Big Meeting Kicks Off Ipswich Race Season

Report by Geoff Salmon. Full results in the PDF HERE

Ipswich Kart Club had a great first race meeting for 2010. With 163 drivers itching to try out the new track surface under race conditions, it was guaranteed to be a great day night event.

With all classes accepted for this first meeting and great numbers in all classes the racing was expected to be exciting and it did not disappoint.

Thought the day I was joined in the Commentary Box by young Ryan Luke having his first day out at a race meeting since his big crash in the NSW State Titles last year, and he was a great help throughout the day.

ipswich races - ryan luke visits commentary booth
Above: Ryan Luke and Renee Gracie visit SportsVoice commentator Geoff Salmon
pic - Kelly Johnson, Fastlane Media

Sarah Harley also popped in on her way home from the “paper clip” after some driver training in the V8’s. Had the pleasure of the company of Renee Gracie, the young lady who is really taking the Formula J Max class to heart this year. Renee had her first taste of fire and brimstone in Geelong last weekend in the Rotax Pro Tour, and after discussions with this young lady, boys beware. Renee gave us all an update on the time throughout the day, courtesy of “5 IS ALIVE” Renee Gracie style, and helped in the tower with the lap scoring. Gracie was continually heard to comment, “I want to be out there racing, especially in the wet.”

The feature event on the day was the Open Performance class which on Saturday was Formula 100 on MG Yellow tyres and 12 of the best arrived to give the new track a real workout. Of the 12 competitors we had eight A grade License holders and Ryal Harris was there for a run, and has not lost any of his karting cut and thrust, finishing second on the day. Trent Mercer took the win with brother Adam in third place. Ryan Wlodzinski, former Australian Formula A Champion ran fourth, with Peter Richards filling the top 5 positions. Luke Van Doorn was welcomed back into the class after a long absence from the scene.

The reason I believe for the great roll out of Formula 100’s is due to the fact that at the round of the CIK Racing in May at Ipswich there will be a special event for the Formula 100 class and we all look forward to that weekend.

ryal harris
Above: Ryal Harris was back in a kart and punting the famous #58 around the resurfaced Ipswich track
pic - Kelly Johnson, Fastlane Media

Above: Ryan Luke meets Ryal Harris
pic - Kelly Johnson, Fastlane Media

Midgets: Saw 8 entries and a great tussle throughout the day between Callum Ryan and Nicholas James, Callum Ryan took the win from Nicholas James with Liam Thompson running into third.

The advent of some squally showers just after dark threw the cats among the pigeons and took just a little bit of a shine off the meeting, BUT it gave everyone the opportunity to see and experience the grip factor and of course the drying factors of the new surface. A very fast line became evident very quickly after the rain, just showing the great job done by all in the relaying of the surface to clear water and enable fast racing to resume.

Rookies: 12 of the best with the 2009 Ipswich Junior Champion, Nicholas Andrews  running the number 7 kart racing  all day against such great youngsters as Aaron Seton, Mitchell Maddren, Jamie Grohman, Cameron Butler and Kloe Higgins running her pink number plate, won at the Femme Fatale day held at Combined Districts Kart Club recently, just to name a few.

Sportsman Light: After a tumble in Rotax Light at the first round of the Rotax Pro Series in Geelong Damian Ward as you all now know, ran second in the DD2 Class, and then arrived at Ipswich in Sportsman Light mode to take charge of this class for the day. Peter Nolloth has returned and is very serious about his involvement in this class with an encouraging third on his first outing for 2010. Richard Dimmock ran into some strife early, but be rest assured that he will continue his move forward in Clubman as he did in Senior National Light for many years.

Senior Evo Light: Alexandra Whitley, just up from juniors last year is certainly going to keep all the young men on their toes if this meeting's results are any indication. Alexandra ran second in the Sportsman Light class and also took the top spot on the podium in the Senior Evo Light class; boys watch your backs this young lady wants to win.

Maria Auld, after a spell away from the driving seat, has also approached 2010 with a certain look in her eye and obviously the equipment to allow her to be competitive. Maria ran second overall on the day with Richard Dimmock having to take the back seat in the event running third.

Junior Evo Light: With a field of 13 there was nothing unlucky about the racing in this class throughout the day/night meeting. We were privy to field that would be expected to run the Victorian State Titles next weekend. Troy Morrissey, James Foster, Jordan Condor, Brock Plumb, Dylan Higgins, Jaxon Evans, Kyle McGlinn, Ashlon Gardner, Jack Wood, just to name a few.

The racing was tight and exciting for spectators and pit crew alike. The top five taking turns at throwing every thing they had at a win on the day. After a day of hot weather followed by gusting showers that threw everyone into turmoil re tyre choose and many other set up changes, Troy Morrissey started his 2010 season with an outstanding win, James Foster also should be very happy with his performance running into second and Jordan Condor has signaled his intention to be very competitive for the new year with a hard fought third place over Brock Plumb, who we know will be a force to contend with through out 2010.

Rotax Light: After an inspiring 2009 Scott Sorensen has moved into Rotax Light, and LOVING IT! Scott was a clear winner in the class from Andrew Gatland and Nicholas Fein, who is now about six foot 4 inches tall, his height alone, will make his year difficult if he continues to grow. Brothers Josh and Jason Dorn have showed their potential with fine fourths and fifths respectively. Bodine Antrobus went from slow to fast back to slow again, the best I can determine was that he was testing different set ups, because in the second heat he was a missile, not so in heat 1 or 3 and when the rain came decided to take the rest of the evening off. Daniel Servant showed glimpses of his driving potential with a mixed day, and was able to improve on each outing, watch this space.

Above: Scott Sorensen – Hmmm, wet or dry tyres?
pic - Kelly Johnson, Fastlane Media

Sportsman Over 40: Gary Scott, the maybe I’ll go racing this weekend man, who has raced probably 5 times in the whole of 2009, came out on Saturday and absolutely blew the opposition to the weeds, and the thing about this is we might not see Gary for another 6 months, but you can bet your bottom dollar that he will come out then and blow everyone to the weeds again, incredible this mans driving tenacity. Craig Amundsen Mr. Impeccable (always presents himself and his equipment in impeccable condition) ran second, with Paul Brackam filling the third slot on the day. There were only 8 starters in the Over 40 class.

Sportsman Heavy: Luke Thomas took two wins and a second to take honors in this class and was really not troubled, Paul Bryan finished second looking dangerous with three seconds and a win in the last heat, but with the format all heats count, his run came just a little late. Jason Klein took the third position on the podium with four heats of third place. Matt Goddard was expected to do better, but struck trouble in the second heat, had a DNF in the third and retired early on the arrival of the rain.

Junior Evo Heavy: Oliver Etter continues to impress on his first outing for 2010, with a straight 4 heat win and left Robert James to pick up the second with Luke Thomas finishing third.

125 Restricted Light: I continue to be amazed at the great support this class is receiving, 16 entries and every one of them fighting like it is for their last feed. Lee Meek took three wins and a fourth to take the win, Aaron Paul finished in second with Luke Brown very impressive to take the third gong. Don’t take your eyes off this class, my question is, who will upgrade their licenses to move into the main game after the required twelve months on a C grade license.

125 Restricted Heavy: Same question who will upgrade to B grade licenses at the end of the year, 19 entries the biggest class of the day, that in itself says “good decision” by the powers to be re the introduction of the class. Peter Virgulti ran two first and two seconds to take the honors on the day, second Andrew Stevenson; a D  (Prov) driver took second with a third a seventh, a second and came out in the wet to take a win. A good drive from Clayton McPherson with a 5th place, then a second a fourth, and finishing in the wet with a third, claiming third on the day.

Above: Ian Maher & John Murrell in 125 Restricted Heavy
pic - Kelly Johnson, Fastlane Media

Overall comment on the track: great, smooth, grip level just right, good in the wet as well. What can I say “Ipswich Kart Club well done” we look forward to a bumper year of racing.

Next outing 6th March Day/Night meeting, see you there.