Zavaglia Wins Race 1 at Superkart Nationals

by Mark Jones

Sam Zavaglia (Sam Zavaglia Racing Stockman-Yamaha) took the first victory of the Australian Superkart Championship round 1 after a drama-charged six lap race at Round 4 of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships, while pole-sitter Gary Pegoraro (Marron Excavations / Wizzer Race Engines Anderson-FPE) was forced to spectate the final lap.

Zavaglia moved into the lead just before the end of the fifth lap of the race after tear-away race leader Pegoraro rolled to a halt with no drive. Zavaglia won the start from fourth grid position rounding up the front row by the time thbe field reached the first corner. Zavaglia was unable to hold back Yiani Harpas (Internode / Metaplanners / Davtec Zip-BRC) and Pegoraro though once the race started to settle and the two moved away until Harpas ran off track at turn 3. Now unopposed Pegoraro raced clear of the field and had the race under control until the car slowed and stopped just past the start finish line for the last lap.

Zavaglia held on to win while Harpas began a blistering charge back through the field despite having little to no front brakes. Harpas picked off his brother Ilya, then Anton Stevens (Dunlop / ART Motorsport PVP) before out-dragging Darren Hossack (Safe Evolutions Anderson-Safe) from the final corner to the finish line for second position. Hossack's team mate, Shane Price struggled with a sticking throttle and retired the car to save it for Sunday's races.

Ilya Harpas in the second of the Internode Zips finished in fourth position while Stevens rebounded strongly from a major engine rebuild during qualifying to finish fifth, just ahead of another driver charging back from an excursion, former champion Warren McIlveen. The Mac's Marine Soundy's Electrical Stockman-Honda spun in the early running with fading brakes. Dan Ramerman finished in seventh position ahead of Robert Oakley with Jason Laker (1800 Bumper Stockman-Honda) and Russell Jamieson (Coach Design Stockman-Honda) completing the top ten race positions.

In the 125cc class Jeff Reed and Steven Tamasi swapped the lead twice as they fought for position amongst the slower 250cc karts with Reed fighting clear late in the race although Tamasi charged back in the shadow of the finish line. John Pellicano claimed a strong third position ahead Chryss Jamieson (Coach Design Stockman-Honda) and Rod Conn (Arconn Refrigeration Stockman-Honda).

There are three races still to come on Sunday's racing program at Mallala with the final race carrying bonus points.

Driver Quotes:

Sam Zavaglia (Sam Zavaglia Racing Stockman MR2 Yamaha) First 250 International class: "Yiani (Harpas) and Gary (Pegoraro) are in a different league out there today. We've tried a different set-up with each sessions trying to learn the new Bridgestone tyres. I'm still finding my feet with the kart and get on top of the gearing. Commiserations to Gary."

Yiani Harpas (Internode / Metaplanners / Davtec Zipe Eagle II BRC) 2nd 250 International class: "Talk about making it hard for yourself. We had brake issues early with the brake pedal going long. I just went in too deep at turn 3, there's a bump in the road at the wrong position. Car speed is good though."

Darren Hossack (Safe Evolutions Anderson Maverick Safe) 3rd 250 International class: "I've never really been strong here but third's not too bad We've just got to keep picking up points, that was how we closed out the title here last year."

Jeff Reed (Telgrit Stockman MR2 Honda) Pole Position 125cc class: "Had a really good fight with Tamasi, put up a good fight. He got away from me at one point but traffic condensed the field backing again."

Steven Tamasi (Domain Prestige Homes Stockman MR2 Honda) 2nd 125cc class: "It was a pretty tactical race, the kart felt great. I had a moment with a 250 that was coming out of the pits, and I got out of the power and really bogged down coming onto the straight and that's where Jeff got me."

John Pellicano (Giova Jewellery Design Avoig Elise Honda) 3rd 125cc class: "I can't beat Jeff and Steven in a shootout, but closed up on them in traffic towards the end of the race."