History Created At AKA Karting Nationals

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AKA press release

History was made at the 47th National Sprint Kart Championships sponsored by Yamaha in Townsville over the weekend.

Victorian Matthew Wall (below) etched his name into history at Sun City Raceway by becoming the first driver to secure a National Championship in every major category in the sport with victory in the highly competitive Clubman Heavy class.

In a field that included no less than 10 current or former National Champions, Wall led for the majority of the final before being passed by Sydney driver Jason Hryniuk with a lap and half remaining.

Wall used all of his experience to guide his Australian-made Arrow kart past Hryniuk on the final turn and go on to claim his seventh National Championship.

“This Clubman Championship is the one that I have been chasing for my entire karting career, it means so much to me to be able to win it here this weekend,” said an emotional Wall on the podium.

“I’ve won a lot of Championships in my career but this one will go down as the most special of them all. There were times when I didn’t think that I’d ever get it done but now if I decide to retire I can do it knowing that I’ve achieved everything that I ever could.”

Mackay’s Justin Garioch took advantage of the last corner melee to narrowly snare second place ahead of 2008 Champion Shayne Piper, Hryniuk and Townsville’s Brad Belcher.

Belcher went three better in the Leopard Heavy category but he was unable to topple Bundaberg’s Kel Treseder from the top spot.

Treseder and David Sera, who crossed the line third during a dramatic Clubman Light final and later awarded the win following a stewards hearing, now join Wall as the only three drivers to have won a Clubman, Leopard and Rotax National Championship.

Next year’s Championships will be hosted by the Eastern Lions Kart Club at the Hume International Raceway in Victoria.

47th National Sprint Kart Championship
Sponsored by Yamaha
Sun City Raceway, Townsville, Qld


Junior National Heavy

1. #5 Darcey Kondopirakis (NSW/Arrow)
2. #63 Aaron Johnstone (Vic/Monaco)
3. #14 Macauley Jones (NSW/Arrow)
4. #6 Liam Sager (Qld/Phoenix)
5. #88 Joseph Mawson (NSW/Arrow)
6. #86 Chris Farkas (Qld/Arrow)
7. #12 Chelsea Holman (Qld/Arrow)
8. #62 Jarrod Egan (Vic/Arrow)
9. #34 William Sculpher (Qld/Arrow)
10. #15 Brock Plumb (Qld/Redspeed)

Sometimes, a plan just comes together – just ask Darcey Kondopirakis.

The Sydneysider was the pacesetter all weekend aboard his Arrow kart.

While a swag of different drivers challenged at various stages over the weekend, Kondopirakis was the common denominator in the front pack all weekend.

The polesitter for the final was Liam Sager, who stormed home in the wet in Saturday’s Pre-Final. Sager led a pack of five karts that broke away early, until on lap 8 Kondopirakis and Aaron Johnstone pulled clear.

From there, the leading pair ran a lonely race, both with enough pace to stay clear of the field, but Johnstone unable to reel in Kondopirakis’ advantage.

Sager was then left to stage a fierce battle with Macauley Jones and Joseph Mawson in the second half of the race for the final step on the championship podium.

Each kart had turns at running in third place, with Mawson heading the trio with one lap remaining. Jones, however, who has also been a regular fixture in the front end of the field all weekend, grabbed third with a strong run down the inside of Mawson at the top hairpin and was able to hold the spot for the final two corners to grab third.

Jones, son of V8 Supercar team owner Bradley, earned his first national championship podium while Sager made his way down the inside of Mawson at the penultimate corner to grab fourth.

Senior National Heavy


1. #19 Marshall Watson (Qld/Monaco)
2. #14 Corey Lean (NSW/Arrow)
3. #28 Hayden Stephensen (Qld/Phoenix)
4. #76 Nathan Sinclair (NSW/Arrow)
5. #69 Shannon Price (Qld/Arrow)
6. #66 Adam Pisula (NSW/CRG)
7. #44 Dominic Lostitch (Vic/Arrow)
8. #1 Matthew Waters (NSW/Arrow)
9. #8 Robert Thornburn (Qld/Azzurro)
10. #41 Luke Oxford (NSW/BRM)

It was a shame that a great Senior National Heavy final will not be remembered for that reason – as controversy reigned in the second final of the day.

The first pair across the line at the chequered flag were local Marshall Watson and regular J front-runner Corey Lean. But an off-track excursion by the two on the final lap saw the result thrown into question even before the chequered flag was unravelled.

Marshall led the final lap after taking the lead for the first time in front of the hometown fans at pit corner – the final corner on the Sun City Raceway layout – on lap 11.

Lean then retook the lead as the pack of 10 karts that battled for the lead passed the last lap board.

At the ultra-tight Turn 3 hairpin, Lean and Watson came together just as defending champ Matthew Waters made his move to take the lead. As Lean and Watson rejoined the circuit at Turn 6 after an excursion over the grass, two races developed for the half a lap remaining – that between the two out, now way out in front, and the remaining karts that completed the full lap, where eight karts still battled on.

Watson clearly won the battle for the former, but the latter battle was still up for grabs right until the finish line, where another local in Hayden Stephensen edged Nathan Sinclair by half a kart length to get third place, but the potential for that place to be much more post-race ...

Leopard Light

1. #12 Tyler Greenbury (Qld/Tony Kart)
2. #64 Adam Hughes (Vic/Kosmic)
3. #96 David Sera (Vic/Arrow)
4. #42 John Grother (Qld/Gillard)
5. #45 Jason Hryniuk (NSW/CRG)
6. #14 Grant Smith (Vic/Tony Kart)
7. #7 Ryan Wlodzinski (Qld/Birel)
8. #30 Jedd Stojakovic (SA/CRG)
9. #73 Deepal Kandola (WA/Kosmic)
10. #29 Kyle Ensbey (Qld/Arrow)

At his first Nationals as a Senior, Tyler Greenbury (above) had a host of former National Champions to compete with in Leopard Light.

But that didn’t seem to phase the Toowoomba young gun as he decimated the quality field to clearly win the final in Townsville, with daylight second.

Greenbury was the dominant force on Friday in dry conditions, scoring pole and winning the opening heat. But his speed was curtailed on a wet Saturday, with Victorian David Sera gaining the ascendancy and grabbing pole for the final.

As a sprinkle of rain descended on the 1004-metre Townsville circuit during the roll up laps before the green light, fortunes looked to be pointing towards Sera and his Arrow kart, but Greenbury took the lead at the start and was never headed.

As Greenbury cleared out in his Tony Kart, Adam Hughes and Sera maintained a race-long battle for second, with Hughes winning that battle in his Kosmic.

The first three drivers home were all 2007 national champions, Greenbury in Junior National Light, Sera in Rotax Light and Hughes in Formula 100.

2007 Queensland champion John Grother was fourth in his Gillard kart, just ahead of Jason Hryniuk, who pasted young gun Grant Smith and veteran and former CIK Formula A champion Ryan Wlodzinski in the final stages.

Leopard Heavy

1. #75 Kel Treseder (Qld/Arrow)
2. #22 Brad Belcher (Qld/Kosmic)
3. #78 Simon Roberts (NSW/CRG)
4. #14 Matt Greenbury (Qld/Tony Kart)
5. #28 Hayden Stephensen (Qld/Maranello)
6. #33 Rick Pringle (Vic/CRG)
7. #2 Nathan Mills (Qld/Top Kart)
8. #88 Daniel Stein (NSW/Arrow)
9. #99 Rowan Booth (SA/CRG)
10. #31 Mike Powe (Qld/Arrow)

Kel Treseder (above) made history by winning Leopard Heavy in Townsville, becoming the first driver history to win Australian Titles in the Clubman, Rotax and Leopard classes.

The 2007 and 2008 Rotax Heavy champ and winner of Clubman Heavy at the 2004 Nationals, Treseder completed the set with aboard his Arrow at Sun City Raceway.

The Bundaberg driver’s win was all the more remarkable as he took a break from racing for most of 2008, able to find his speed quickly over Easter.

Local Townsville driver Brad Belcher was a favourite in terms of both form and crowd support, but a slow start hurt his chances.

As Belcher battled amongst the pack, Treseder and Simon Roberts set about building a lead out in front. Roberts had led the early laps by virtue of a spectacular move around the outside of several karts to take P1 at the ultra-fast first turn at the start.

Belcher eventually broke free of the skirmish and set about chasing the lead two. The Kosmic driver was able to round up Roberts’ CRG with two laps to go, but despite setting fastest lap after fastest lap, could not pull in Treseder.

2007 Leopard Heavy Australian Champ Matt Greenbury could not emulate his younger brother Tyler’s green plate winning efforts, but still turned in a commendable effort to finish fourth aboard his Tony Kart.

Local lad Hayden Stephensen passed 2006 Leopard Heavy national title winner Rick Pringle to grab finish in the final few laps.

Clubman Super Heavy

1. #39 Ryan Fulcher (Qld/Kosmic)
2. #20 Lee Foster (WA/Monaco)
3. #1 Scott Simpson (Qld/Redspeed)
4. #4 Ben McKinley (Qld/Redspeed)
5. #88 Dale McDonnell (Qld/Monaco)
6. #7 Glen Stallbaum (Qld/Tony Kart)
7. #19 Thomas Janusz (Qld/Arrow)
8. #83 Scott Manson (Qld/Arrow)
9. #52 Jack Meyer (NT/Top Kart)
10. #26 Chad Wissler (Vic/Arrow)

The reign of three-time Clubman Super Heavy champion Scott Simpson was ended in Townsville, the mantle passed to a fellow Queenslander Ryan Fulcher (above) in a popular win.

Fulcher was the primary rival to Simpson for several seasons this decade, able to defeat his nemesis at state championships but never when the green plate was on the line.

After spending most of 2008 on the sidelines with his attention focused on work commitments, Fulcher made a comeback for the Nationals and finally achieved his first Australian Title victory.

It was local driver Paul French that took the lead at the start as three karts made their way past Simpson down the inside at the first corner.

On the second lap Fulcher took the lead, followed by West Australian Lee Foster. Foster briefly took the lead on lap eight, before the Bundaberg driver took the lead back on lap 11.

Foster looked to be set for one last charge at the lead on the final lap, but lost time when going deep under brakes at Turn 2, giving Fulcher enough of a gap to get the win.

Simpson pushed hard all race to pull in the leading duo but never got close enough to challenge. His Redspeed team-mate Ben McKinley picked up fourth, with Dale McDonnell getting fifth after French spun off mid-race.

Senior National Light

1. #68 Blake Sciberras (NSW/Arrow)
2. #12 Scott Sorensen (Qld/Phoenix)
3. #1 Matthew Waters (NSW/Arrow)
4. #20 Cian Fothergill (Qld/Phoenix)
5. #47 Tyler Cramer (Vic/Arrow)
6. #96 Lydon Dodge (Qld/CRG)
7. #46 Dale Beaton (Vic/Arrow)
8. #69 Shannon Price (Qld/Arrow)
9. #16 Brock Ten Bensel (Qld/BRM)
10. #44 Dominic Lostitch (Vic/Arrow)

Is there are record kept for the closest finish in the history of the Australian National Sprint Kart Championships – because in the 47 occasions that the premier event in Australian karting has been staged, there is unlikely to have been a closer finish that that in Senior National Light in Townsville.

Blake Sciberras edged Scott Sorensen (above) at the line by just 0.009 seconds in the final, after a frantic final lap that saw four karts all vie for the win.

Just as he has so many times in Senior National Light races at state and national titles, Cian Fothergill led for virtually the entire race aboard his Phoenix kart.

But entering the Turn 3 hairpin on the final lap, Sciberras, who had been glued to the back of Fothergill’s kart for the entire race, decided that now was the time to make his move.

Immediately after pouncing, Sciberras defended eagerly in his Arrow, the battle allowing third and fourth place runners Sorensen and 2008 champ Matthew Waters to catch up.

Fothergill made a last corner attempt around the outside in an attempt to grab the first national title he so eagerly wants, but ended up wide on the grass on the exit, leaving Sciberras to drag Sorensen down the hill to the finish line.

Waters collected third, giving him two top 10 finishes in the Senior National classes in Townsville where he was defending both titles from Launceston, Tasmania in 2008, with Fothergill fourth and Tyler Cramer in fifth.

Junior National Light

1. #95 Warren White Jr (ACT/Monaco)
2. #6 Jonathon Venter (NSW/Kosmic)
3. #94 Jordan Lloyd (Qld/Kosmic)
4. #88 Joseph Mawson (NSW/Arrow)
5. #3 Liam Sager (Qld/Phoenix)
6. #64 Caleb Wilson (Qld/Monaco)
7. #17 Sam Lumsden (Qld/Redspeed)
8. #30 Sean Butcher (NSW/Azzurro)
9. #9 Jacob Parsons (NSW/Monaco)
10. #10 Shannon Holley (NSW/Arrow)

Speed is vital, but patience is a virtue. That’s the best way to describe the final of Junior National Light at Sun City Raceway in Townsville.

And it was Warren White Jr (above) that had both in the final, running in the leading trio along with Jordan Lloyd and Jonathon Venter throughout the championship decider.

All three drivers took the lead at some point throughout the 16-lap final, but by staying out of trouble on the final lap as the other two clashed on the final lap gave White Jr his first National title.

Contact between Lloyd and Venter at Turn 8 on the final lap sent both off-track, and with White Jr right on their heels he found himself in the perfect position to capitalise.

Joseph Mawson and Liam Sager found themselves out of reach of the leaders early in the race, but that did not stop them from having a hard fought race to round out the top five. In the end, Mawson took the spoils aboard his Arrow.

Clubman Heavy

1. #15 Matthew Wall (Vic/Arrow)
2. #23 Justin Garioch (Qld/Monaco)
3. #1 Shayne Piper (NSW/Monaco)
4. #45 Jason Hryniuk (NSW/CRG)
5. #22 Brad Belcher (Qld/Monaco)
6. #20 Remo Luciani (Vic/Monaco)
7. #90 Lee Mitchener (Vic/Arrow)
8. #12 Dale Verrall (Qld-NZL/Arrow)
9. #16 Shay Mayes (Qld/Tony Kart)
10. #10 Jason Varley (NSW/Arrow)

‘Wally’ has done it – finally!

Matthew Wall (above) has for so long chased a national title in a Clubman category. Year after year he tried and came up short in Clubman Light, and then a move up a weight division to Clubman Heavy in 2008 netted him state – but not national – titles.

But the hoodoo was broken in Townsville, with a sensational final that say Wall race wheel-to-wheel with his greatest rival and good friend, Jason Hryniuk.

Wall now has Australian Titles in Formula 100, Formula Australia, Senior National, Rotax and Leopard categories – putting him among the greats of the sport in this country.

Defending champion Shayne Piper took the lead at the start and led the first circulation, but Wall was quick to pounce. From there he led until lap 14 as a field of five karts pulled away from the rest of the field.

The pack was reduced to four when Bart Price lost a plug lead while running in second place, losing ground that he was never able to recover.

Jason Hryniuk moved to second behind Wall mid-race and after a few laps stalking his long-time foe, ‘JH’ made his move with two laps remaining.

In a hectic final lap, Wall looked both left and right but could not find a way past Hryniuk’s CRG until the final corner, when Wall snuck down the inside.

In a three-wide run to the finish, Wall had sufficient momentum to take the win ahead of Mackay’s Justin Garioch and Piper, with Hryniuk just holding out local driver Brad Belcher.

Junior Clubman

1. #97 Christopher Hays (Qld/Tony Kart)
2. #96 Warren White Jr (ACT/Monaco)
3. #76 Ben Jurczak (Qld/Redspeed)
4. #2 Mathew Hart (ACT/Arrow)
5. #62 Jarrod Egan (Vic/Arrow)
6. #6 Adam Lindstrom (Vic/Arrow)
7. #79 Mitch L’Estrange (Qld/Arrow)
8. #10 Aiden Wright (Qld/Tony Kart)
9. #66 Morgan Haber (Qld/Arrow)
10. #75 Tobias Bellbowen (NSW/BRM)

Chris Hays (above) made the Junior Clubman final a relatively straight-forward affair by leading from start to finish in Townsville.

But after having luck go against him on final’s day at the Nationals for the past two years, the Vodafone-backed driver left nothing to chance by clearing out, setting super-fast lap times all race and taking the chequered flag for his first Australian title.

After leading with one lap remaining at Eastern Creek in 2007 and having his kart fail to start in Launceston last year, it was welcome relief for the Gold Coast driver who has asserted himself as one of the fastest junior drivers in Australia at every race since graduating from Rookies.

Honourable mention must go to Warren White Jr, who backed up his championship-winning drive in Junior National Light with a never-say-die drive, rising all the way up to second.

Initially, it was Mathew Hart and Ben Jurczak that set out chasing down Hays, but neither could make a serious impact on the margin.

White Jr caught and passed both Hart and Jurczak in the second half of the race to take second, with Jurczak holding on to third ahead of Hart and Egan, who was another to come home strong in the second half of the race.

Clubman Light

1. #96 David Sera (Vic/Arrow)
2. #48 Ben Stewart (Qld/Arrow)
3. #64 Adam Hughes (Vic/Monaco)
4. #20 Cian Fothergill (Qld/Phoenix)
5. #27 Brenton Simmonds (Qld/Phoenix)
6. #34 Steven Scoble (WA/Arrow)
7. #95 Lydon Dodge (Qld/CRG)
8. #14 Tyler Greenbury (Qld/Tony Kart)
9. #31 Jason Burns (NSW/Tony Kart)
10. #51 Luigi Catanese (Vic/MBA)

The big question in Clubman Light was ‘can anyone beat David Sera?’

When Ben Stewart passed the multiple Australian Champion at the final corner of the race and crossed the line in first, the answered initially appeared to be ‘Yes’, but post-race Sera was elevated back into first place, with Stewart adjudged to have forced Sera off-track and therefore relegated to second.

Stewart got a great start in the final and along with Sera and Cian Fothergill, the three karts set about pulling a gap on the field, leaving Adam Hughes to drive a lonely race in fourth place.

Sera led the race for the first 14 laps without being headed, but on the 15th lap Fothergill edged his Phoenix past Sera’s Arrow at the tight Turn 3 hairpin.

Sera, however, was well aware of the situation and moved back past Fothergill two corners later, with Stewart following him through.

Fothergill made the same move on the final lap, only for Sera and Stewart to readdress the situation in exactly the same fashion, leaving Sera to lead into the final series of corners.

Entering the final corner, Stewart and Sera made contact. Stewart exited the corner in front as Sera ran wide and it was Stewart that was able to win the drag race to the line, with Hughes crossing the line in second, having gained enormous ground as the lead trio battled it out over the final two laps.

Sera crossed the line in third ahead of Fothergill and Queenslander Brenton Simmonds fifth in his Phoenix, a good reward for his consistent pace across the entire weekend against Australia’s best.

A post-race stewards hearing changed the order to read Sera, Stewart, Hughes.


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