Junior Top Guns - Round 2

By Luke Dickson and Steve Polak (Full results HERE, series points HERE - Rookies provisional)

For the second week in a row junior karters flocked to Oakleigh in their droves to take part in round two of the Top Guns series. Hot conditions greeted the competitors, but this did not affect the racing, many a spectacle being produced amongst all classes.

Above: Oakleigh at dusk

With a large contingent of drivers attending round two it made this year’s Top Guns the biggest ever, Midget driver Tyler O’Leary was the winner of a new Arrow kart supplied by DP Karts, DPE and the Oakleigh Go Kart Racing Club.

With the Midgets kicking off the action for the night once again the dominance of Reece Sidebottom was on display, Sidebottom taking pole position and a convincing victory in the pre final. Local driver James Stewart did well to qualify second, but was unable to maintain his qualifying pace under race conditions, dropping away at the start. Tom Hughes had a lonely race to drive home to second position whilst further down the road Dylan Hollis, after battling with Jai Sparey early, cruised home in third position.

Come the final, Hughes like last week was able to jump Sidebottom at the start, but his time at the front was short lived, Sidebottom regaining the lead and driving off into the distance to win by over seven seconds. Hughes was left to fend off Hollis for the remainder of the race to hold onto second place. The most exciting moment of the night came from Zane Morse. He had an ugly looking roll over throwing the young pilot from the kart. However before there was any thought of a red flag, Morse was up, back in his kart and circulating again only to be black flagged after “exiting the kart and then rejoining race during race conditions”. It was amazing!  James Stewart also did very well reversing his early form and driving from 9th to fourth and setting the third fastest time.

Above: Reece Sidebottom on the money yet again

Junior Heavy was one of the largest classes of the evening and provided plenty of action. Anton DePasquale was again in scintillating form, taking pole position and victory in the pre-final after battling with Mitchell Wilmot all the way to the finish. Teagan Osbourne had a great race to finish third ahead of Mason Thomas and Hayden Dodman. Matt McClellan was in contention early as contact halted his run. It was also worth noting Jordan Nicolau carved through the field to seventh after qualifying in 20th place.

During the final Matt McClellan was the surprise packet of the field, after battling with Anton DePasquale for the majority of the race the local driver clinched victory by a mere 0.055 seconds ahead of DePasquale and Teagan Osbourne.

Above: Matt McClellan won both Junior National Heavy classes

Justin Black set the pace in qualifying for Junior C & P ahead of Dale Simpson and Blaine Densley, but as racing got underway Black was shuffled back by Simpson and Densley as they quickly resumed their battle from last week. Simpson had the measure of Densley to take the pre final whilst Black rounded out the podium.

Densley made a blinder of a start in the final to drive around the outside of Simpson, but could not pull away. Simpson elected to tuck in behind Densley before the two put on a great show swapping the lead many times during the race. With only a few laps remaining Densley dropped a wheel which gave Simpson the gap he needed to snatch victory. The battle for the final step on the podium was a ferocious affair between Matt Lane, Thomas Mayer and Justin Black with Lane securing third after Black split the trio after spinning exiting the carousel.

Above: Simmo weighs in after winning the final

Formula JMA
JMA was one of the classes to pick up quite a few more entries in comparison to the first week. Missing from round one was Jonathan Venter who wasted no time making his intentions clear after dominating the pre final ahead of a consistent Pierce Lehane and Daniel Plummer.

Come finals time Pierce Lehane had found some extra pace and after winning the start (driving around the outside!) put in some smooth laps and was never challenged for victory. Brad Jenner drove up to second place battling with Macauley Jones and the third placed kart of Jonathan Venter along the way.

Above: Pierce Lehane ready for the final

In Rookies the Jake Dixon show continued with the local driver again dominating qualifying and taking victory in the pre final ahead of Liam McClellan, Jaidyn Job and Andrew Kahl. The battle for the minor positions was never short of action with plenty of passing moves and  entertaining driving, especially by McClellan who came through the field after starting in seventh position.

The Rookies final was an interesting affair with McClellan winning the start and battling hard with Dixon for the first three laps before contact at pit corner saw Dixon stuck on the side of the track. Dixon managed to rejoin the race and did a great job to recover to 14th position in the massive field of Rookie competitors. McClellan was then pushed all the way to the finish by Andrew Kahl and Luke Guillou who were very close but unable to eclipse McClellan who hung on for victory. These results are provisional, so at this stage they seem to be pending an appeal.

Above: Liam McLellan leads the Rookies back to the pits

Junior Light turned on the action with another large field taking to the track. Both races were almost replays of one another with the trio of Liam Morey, Brad Jenner and Blaine Densley putting on another fabulous display of driving – much the same as round one. Jenner managed to hold out Morey on the last lap with Densley taking third ahead of Dale Simpson in fourth. The only hold up in the proceedings was a restart in the final after a mid pack collision when the light went green scattered karts in every direction.

Above: It was a CC 1-2-3 in Junior Light

Michael Brennan stole the show in the pre final of Junior Heavy C & P. After losing the start to Matt McClellan, Brennan regained his composure and executed some great passes to take the lead when it counted. Nicholas Ingham took a well earned second ahead of McClellan and Beau Hogan.

The final was a slightly different affair with Brennan off to a great start, Nicholas Ingham was hung out to dry at Coffey and later suffered an unfortunate DNF. Matt McClellan pressed on and soon found himself in the lead, driving to a comfortable victory leaving Brennan to battle it out with Beau Hogan for the minor places on the podium. Dylan Slits capped off a solid performance, debuting in the class finishing fourth.

Junior Clubman
In Junior Clubman nobody was going to stop Anton DePasquale, the young driver clearly displaying some exceptional form heading into the Victorian Open by taking out victory in both races. Lucas Ward and Todd Hazelwood battled early before Ward built a gap to consolidate second.

With DePasquale off and into the distance the battle was for second in the final. Tim Smythe looked set to hold down second place until Todd Hazelwood pulled off a sensational pass just two laps from home relegating Smythe to third. Mitchell Wilmot who featured prominently in the battle had to be content with fourth.

Above: Anton DePasquale #86 was too good in Junior Clubman

Above: well presented kart and driver; Samuel Boley in Midgets

Above: Superkarts (for the Vic Junior Championships series) and the Formula Vee Association had displays at Jnr Top Guns

Above: The Oakleigh club has been busy getting things in order for the upcoming Vic Open, such as widening of the in-grid and post-race check area

Above: Head/neck supports are getting more popular, particularly in the junior classes. This is Jonathan Ventner's set up.

Above: Fergus Symes wears the warpaint, evidence of a dedicated pit crew - yep, it's grease! Symes was crewing for Adrian Lazarro.

Above: Jack Nolan, Midgets

Above: Tim Smythe, 3rd in Junior Clubman final


© kartsportnews.com