The Griffiths Report April Club Day 2017

Oakleigh’s March Club Day being held mid-month made it seem like a long break until the April event rolled around, so everybody was geared up for a good day. Weather was OK after recent rain – an overcast but mild day greeted us. Again, we have no one to do the flags so the report is a summary only – the club this month trialling two random draw heats, then a third heat based on points for the first two, then a final with starting positions based on all points for the day.

Since I have a little spot here to editorialize, can I just give karting a bit of a pat on the back for being such a great sport for parents to get involved in with their kids, as well as being a way of making lifelong friends and building character through the triumphs and adversity it delivers. So far this year I have made it to Clipsal in Adelaide, the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, the National karting round at Geelong a few weeks ago, the Phillip Island Historics, and the Phillip Island round of Supercars last weekend. At each of these events I have caught up with friends made through go karting, and watched kids I knew as go karters go on to bigger and better things in Motorsport. Even if you never do that, make the most of the time you spend karting with your kids – it’s over before you know it.

Editorial over – now to today’s racing:

TAG 125 Light and TAG 125 Masters

A blast from the past in Jesse Fenech off pole for the Final – almost certainly a junior the last time I saw him race, he had come through from mid pack for a win and a 2nd, then won the 3rd heat to start ahead of Jack Scanlan and Daniel Frencham, Shane Kovacs and Kain Kugimiya. In Masters Mick Fisher led away Timothy Martin who had suffered a DNF in Heat 2, behind them Richard Matera and Vern Kranz. Scanlan got the better of the start to lead Fenech by half way, then Frencham, Daniel Griffin coming through after a couple of DNF’s in the Heats, and Ray-Yu Wang. In Masters Martin got the upper hand on Fisher then a big gap back to Matera. At the flag both Scanlan and Martin held on to take wins.

KA3 Junior

Good racing here all day saw Christian Pancione off pole for the final beside Matthew Hillyer then Hamish Allan and Oliver McNaught, but it all came to naught for McNaught as he expired on the opening lap after having trouble getting out the gate. Pancione meanwhile had been led away at the start by Hillyer and these 2 went on to establish a big break on the field. Try as Pancione might he could not bridge the gap to Hillyer and Hillyer went on to take the win, Allan then Callum Potter, Ethan Church and Thomas Smith rounding them out.

Cadet 9

A battle in 2 for most of the day between Thomas Schmidt and Giancarlo Arthur, with Hayley Zammit spending her day in a lonely 3rd followed by P Platers Charlie Blanchard and William Brinsley. Zammit, Blanchard and Brinsley all DNF’d the 2nd Heat after a coming together at Tony Kart turn so Schmidt and Artho had the front row to themselves at the start of the Final – and from there they went away with it, Schmidt holding the upper hand and taking the win in the end, just ahead of Artho, then Zammit, then a gap to Blanchard with Brinsley a DNF.

KA3 Senior Light

Probably the most competitive racing all day and after the Heats it was Jack Martin and Michael Carless the front row, then Jordan Dudfield, Jack Congdon, Adam Pasek and Blake Kolar behind them. At the green Martin away and led Carless, with Dudfield and Pasek then Mark Appleby behind him. Pasek sailed into the trap at JSKC corner mid-way through the Final, taking the pressure off Dudfield in 3rd, but Martin and Carless had driven away out front and went on to record a 1 -2,

TAG 125 Heavy

Justin Carless the pole man here, recovering from a heat 2 DNF to lead Vern Kranz, Zach Morris, Gavin Dorning, Richard Matera and Brenden Jenner away at the green. Carless’ superiority was soon established as he went away to a big lead with Morris the best of the rest ahead of Dorning and Kranz at the flag.

KA4 Junior Light

Joshua Hocking and Bradley James the front row for the Final with Callum Potter and Lotem Ben Yosef behind them, then Flynn Cooper, Mason Kelly and Braden Clark. While James got the better start, it was sadly all over for Hocking on Lap 1 as he was backwards into the trap at Tony Kart and out, James still out front, then Potter and gap back to Ben Yosef and that’s how they finished up.

TAG R Light

Andrew Sotiropoulos getting the job done here  to lead them away in the Final, Kyle King beside him and Nicholas Flodstrom behind him, then Stephen Marshall, Matthew Duncan and Ben Marshall behind them. At the green Sotiropoulos got the upper hand and led Flodstrom then King around for a few laps before pulling clear of this pair, which left King to pass Flodstrom and take 2nd but no one was catching Sotiropoulos who greeted the finisher

TAG R Medium

Zachary Marshall and Tristan Fusinato the front row, then Andrew Ceravolo and Nathan Orton, and right at the back another blast from the past in James Spengler making a return after a few years absence from Oakleigh. Lap 1 and it all turned to manure for Fusinato who DNF’d coming out of the Dipper, leaving Orton to lead ahead of Jackson Harris and Marshall. Marshall eventually took over from Harris in 2nd but Orton was well gone out front and took a comfortable win.

Cadet 12

A battle all day long between Liam O’Donnell and Samuel Gibson who started off the front row, leading Tyler Knowles and Jakob Hailes then Thomas Patching, Hamish Tonkin and Michael David. At the green O’Donnell and Gibson resume hostilities, pulling away from the rest of the field as they had done all day. Gibson ranged up on the back of O’Donnell at times but couldn’t seem to find a way past and O’Donnell hung on for the win; Knowles well back in 3rd.

KA3 Senior Medium and KA3 Senior Heavy

Three of each today with Peter Gigis, Adam Corbett and Johan Pasek the Mediums, and David Martin, Nicholas Drew and Darren Kemp the Heavys, and that was the order as they took off. In fact that had been the finishing order of every Heat so far, so perhaps we weren’t expecting much change for the Final. In Medium we didn’t get much, with Gigis driving off into the sunset, Corbett and Pasek well in arrears, but in Heavy Martin must have had a spin of an off I didn’t see because suddenly we found him at the back chasing Kemp, with Drew well clear in the lead. Bit by bit Martin reeled Kemp in and with about 4 to go looked like he would have him, until in one of those moments when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, Martin had a slightly awkward look at Kemp going into the Dipper and suddenly the 2 karts were as one, riding off into the grass together; a DNF for both. Each driver seemed to see the funny side of it and I hope were going to sort it out at the bar once racing finished. Thus Gigis our Medium winner and Drew the sole surviving Heavy also went on to record a win.