Friday Report: Rotax Pro Tour & CIK

press release

rmc_logo_protour_2009 SKYLINE CUP.jpgThe Rotax Pro Tour Skyline Cup ignited Melbourne’s VACC Park today when Australia’s leading kart racers met on the tight city-side circuit.

Picking up from the opening event in Newcastle, David Sera dominated the Light category, with Queensland’s William Yarwood proving tough in Rotax Heavy. Meantime, South Australia’s Tyson Pearce is having a solid weekend – undefeated in the three Australian CIK Championship races held today.

After qualifying, David Sera looked untouchable. Once again, he secured the pole position and raced away to take the heat one victory. Heat two provided an interesting contrast for Sera, with from row partner, Daniel Rochford swinging to the lead in the run to turn one. Try as he might, Sera was unable to get past his fellow Victorian.

Nevertheless in the following race, Sera reasserted his dominance and will start tomorrow’s Pre-Final from the Pole. Jordie Lindstrom and David Whitmore will start from the second row after both performed solidly today. Troy Woolston had the opportunity to start on row two, however got off track in the final heat. His recovery effort was notable and he will start the Pre-Final from position five.

Although Queensland Arrow driver – William Yarwood – came through today’s three heats undefeated, by no means could you say he dominated. Both Paul Rodgers and Daniel Richert took it to Yarwood during the heats, but couldn’t annex a heat race win.

Yarwood was at his absolute finest, however don’t count out Rodgers or Richert for tomorrow – nor CRG racing brothers, Jason and Rick Pringle. The siblings had a topsy-turvey day, which included Jason spinning in heat two, only to leave Rick with nowhere to go but into his brother’s kart! They will start tomorrow morning’s pre-final from fifth and ninth respectively.

Mike Godsell – one of the many CC Racing karters at Todd Road this weekend – could spring a surprise. He was workmanlike in his performance today and will start the Pre-Final from fourth. Others to impress were Daniel Stein, Craig Stauner and Reece Broady.

No clear favourite has emerged in the Junior Rotax class, however Luke Rochford was arguably the leading driver in the class until he snapped an axle whilst leading this afternoon’s final heat. This took him from a certain Pre-Final pole position to starting it from 10th.

Rochford’s misfortune allowed young lady racer, Jaymee Frampton a clear passage to take the heat win. Her results earlier in the day however mean she will line up from position 13.

The first turn of all J-MAX events today were interesting affairs. Whilst there weren’t many first turn crashes, it had a strong bearing on the competitor’s ultimate finishing position. None more so than pole sitter and heat race one winner, Ben Jurczak. The Redspeed driver was shuffled back in turn one incidents in both his remaining heats, although will start the Pre-Final from position three.
Another to suffer was Joshua Hunter. The CRG driver exorcised his Newcastle demons until race three, where he was left stranded in the turn one sandtrap.

Max Johnston will start the Pre-Final from pole, despite not taking a race win, with Pierce Lehane off position two. Jurczak and Matthew Hard will occupy row two, with Chris Hays and the impressive Jordan Lloyd starting on row three. It promises to be an enthralling battle throughout the afternoon tomorrow!

After taking two race victories, curiously, Paul Mapperson didn’t greet the starter for the third heat this afternoon. He would appear to be the pace of the Rotax Over 35s field thus far. Kosmic driver, Chris Stern will start the Pre-Final from pole after taking the win in heat three, with Canberra’s Bruce Otter alongside him.

Mapperson will occupy position three, whilst Newcastle winner, Nicholas Crawshay is looking to recapture that form here this weekend, no doubt plenty of head scratching will occur overnight to dial in a winning setup for tomorrow’s final.

Local Melbourne racer, Travis Millar has shown the field a clean pair of heels in all of today’s Rotax DD2 races. Millar has been sensational in dominating the super-fast DD2 field, leaving the competition with very little answer.

Sydney-sider, Brinley Gread has once again proven handy and has secured himself a Pre-Final front row start, his battle with Melbourne Tony Kart racer, Grant Smith continuing on from Newcastle.
Kyle Ensbey has been chasing setup with his Kaos Karts machine and was coming under significant pressure from Paul Hamilton, who it must be said put in a solid performance.

The battle between Peter Beeten and Steve Martin was one of the spectacles of the opening day. Despite the two fighting it out away from the pointy end, arguably they were the most entertaining to watch, swapping positions at every opportunity.

The return of CIK competition to Todd Road was all about South Australia’s Tyson Pearce. He took his Omega kart to a dominant pole position and from there has seen nothing but daylight in front of him.
New Zealand’s Mitch Cunningham really took the fight to Pearce in his CRG, finishing the first heat in second, however Cunningham had his own problems fending a challenge from Sydney-sider, Damien Radosevic.

Radosevic – who won Final #1 in Newcastle – has been superb and will start alongside Pearce in the first Final.

Simon Roberts had a seat stay come adrift and discovered a problem within his engine they are fixing tonight, whilst his fellow Novocastrian, Hayden McBride has been fast, but has had an up and down day.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Pre-Finals and Finals will take place for all competitors. The VACC Park complex – arguably the best located kart track in the world – is located adjacent to the Westgate Bridge in Port Melbourne.

The Rotax Pro Tour is a collection of four events showcasing BRP-Rotax manufactured karting engines, with all events contributing to the National Rotax Rankings. The Rotax Pro Tour is being supported by the CIK Australian Championships.

All four Pro Tour events will be showcased in their own one hour highlights package on Fox Sports. The coverage from Todd Road can be seen on Tuesday, July 14 at 3pm, with replays at 10am Saturday, July 18 and Thursday, July 23 at 12pm.