Team5150R Dominates Queensland Championship Opener

press release

Last weekend saw the Cooloola Coast Kart Club host the opening round of the 2010 powered by Honda ProKart Australia Queensland Endurance Kart Championship at their magnificent Gympie Gold Raceway.

team5150 prokart
Above: The Team5150R karts dominated at Gympie, so much so they were able to stage a formation 1-2 finish.

A number of new teams joined the Queensland Championship for the opening round of the 2010, that included Team J.A.D and the Forty Fours, some of whom flew in from Adelaide (SA) just to drive in the event.

As the team’s arrived at the Cooloola Coast Kart Club and commenced preparations for their first practice session it was clear that quite a number of teams had regrouped over the Christmas / New Year break and were approaching the 2010 season with a renewed sense of determination.

KnK Scuderia are the 2010 iteration of last year’s Ideal Place Racing (IPR) Scuderia team and they showed their commitment to this season arriving with an all-new chassis and full team uniforms for all personnel; deservedly earned ProKart Australia’s “Best Presented” award although with strong presentation from Team Faith (TF); the team from Frog Racing 101 and Team5150R among others, the standard of presentation was exceptionally high.

Above: Prokart is attracting some very professional looking outfits. This is the KnK Scuderia team.

In an ominous sign for their competition, both Team5150R karts completed only one of the two timed practice session, electing to sit out the second timed session and wait for qualifying before showing their ultimate pace.

Closest to them in initial practice was the TF team of Phil Wallis, Scott Pearce, Greg Robinson and James Stevenson and qualifying looked like it could be a close contest with a half a dozen teams all posting competitive lap times in practice. Qualifying took place in a single 20 minute session and all teams took to the track immediately to post a time, as there was heavy cloud cover initially and a strong likelihood of rain.

Ultimately the weather held off and the # 50 Team5150R kart qualified by Ian McMah won pole position with a 44.838, the fastest lap of the weekend until that point. Locking out the front row for Team5150R was Troy Corones, driving the team’s # 51 chassis and posting a 45.266 to secure the outside front row and second on the grid. The second row was filled by the # 27 MS Kart of TF, driven in this session by Phil Wallis, and the # 661 Phoenix kart of PDS Grand Prix in 4th position. In 5th were BF Racing in their Azzurro, the Phantom team were 6th in their MS kart followed by KnK Scuderia in 7th, Frog Racing in 8th, J.A.D Racing in 9th and the Forty Fours team rounded out the Top 10 being unable to post a time due to a brake retaining bolt failure in the second practice session. With a damaged brake calliper, irreparable hydraulic brake hoses and no spare parts, it seemed very unlikely the team from Forty Fours would make the grid on Sunday morning.

Sunday morning dawned and the weather looked more favourable than it had on Saturday, with only a mild cloud cover. Inclement weather can never be discounted at Cooloola however and the series has experienced rain at some point over the weekend at 3 of the last 4 meetings held at the venue. Consequently most teams prepared wet-weather tyres to ensure they were ready for any rain that may occur during the race.

Above: Race start

Remarkably, as karts rolled out for the race warm-up, the # 44 kart of the Forty Four’s team was among them, circulating strongly despite their disastrous brake failure the day before. Trevor Smallacombe of the Forty Fours expressed his appreciation at the support shown by ProKart competitor’s as many teams offered parts, technical advice and moral support as they worked to repair their kart well into Saturday night. 

This season’s ProKart Endurance Championship features live streaming of all qualifying and race events and the ‘Gympie 7 Hour’ at Gympie Gold Raceway was no exception. As the teams took to the starting grid the live National webcast began and the 2010 ProKart Queensland Championships were underway. Viewers who witnessed the start at the track or online at  saw Ian McMah in the # 50 Team5150R kart draw away from the field to lead convincingly at the end of the first hour.

A strong battle ensued throughout the first hour as the # 27 TF kart driven by Phil Wallis battled with the # 661 entry of PDS Grand Prix, Carl Brown of PDS Grand Prix strongly contesting second place, the crowd entertained as the karts swapped positions a number of times with each driver jostling to secure position. After initially moving into 2nd at the start, the # 51 kart driven by Troy Corones of Team5150R settled into 4th position, posting competitive lap times and waiting for the opportunity to capitalise on any mistakes from the karts ahead. 

Above: PDS Grand Prix grabbed the 3rd podium position after a gruellng 7 hours.

Disaster struck the KnK Scuderia Team as one of their engines stalled on the grid, forcing team driver Jason Appleton to coax the # 42 KnK Kart back to pit lane where the team immediately restarted the engine; which then rang strongly all through the event.

At the completion of the ‘Gympie 7 Hour’ it was the # 50 kart of Team5150R driven by Josh Townsend, Ian McMah and Luke Delaurence that dominated the event, leading every lap and finishing some 6 laps ahead of the field. To cap off what was a dominant display, team driver Luke Delaurence also set the fastest race lap with a 44.790.

The # 51 Team 5150R, who had qualified second behind their team-mates, lost some ground on the leaders when they were hit with a stop / go penalty during the race for failing to stop at the pit lane exit, however ultimately they secured second place and the team of Steve Prokop, Troy Corones and Glenn Firth capped off a remarkable weekend for Team5150R with a formation 1-2 finish and maximum points as both Team5150R karts chase the Queensland Championship trophy.

Recording a strong result in third place were Mark Johnson, Mark Maczek, Joel and Carl Brown in the # 661 PDS Grand Prix Phoenix, finishing 2 laps behind second place having completed 524 laps over the 7-hour race distance and running competitively and reliably throughout; a hallmark of the PDS Grand Prix team.

For the # 661 PDS Grand Prix team their third place finish was a great start to the year and the former ‘Gold Coast 12 Hour’ winners are hoping that this result is the start of what will be a strong 2010.

The # 2 Azzurro of BF Racing finished just off the podium in 4th place after completing 521 laps, with the # 27 MS Kart of TF ResiSales Racing rounding out the Top 5 finishers, after starting the race in 3rd position. It was a weekend of ‘what ifs’ for the Resisales outfit as they incurred two stop / go penalties for pit lane infringements during the ‘Gympie 7 Hour’, effectively losing a lap for each infringement.

In 6th was the team from Phantom Racing in their # 152 MS Kart from the # 42 KnK Scuderia team. The latter team never quite recovered from losing an engine on the grid and then having to replace brake pads mid-race due to excessive wear to their soft-compound pad material. They won’t repeat this mistake and with the KnK Scuderia team already finding over a second in improved performance this weekend it won’t be long before they’re contesting at the front of the field.

Rounding out the finishers were the # 101 Frog Racing BRM, the relatively new team travelling all the way from just north of Tamworth to compete in the Queensland series and having a very reliable and competitive run, consistently improving their lap times throughout the weekend to record a fastest lap time of 46.661, less than 2 seconds of the fastest lap of the weekend. In 8th were ProKart debutants J.A.D Racing in their # 72 BRM, the team of Daniel Pownell, Anthony Hannam and John O'Hagan who just finished ahead of the # 44 Forty Four Racing team who overcame all odds to finish the race circulating strongly despite their almost insurmountable challenges from the day before.

The next round of the Queensland Championship is sure to be a titanic battle between a number of teams, many of whom will regroup after Round 1 and look to come back stronger, faster and even more determined to win. 

Round 2 of the Queensland Championship will be held at Greer Park Raceway in Helidon, home to the Toowoomba Kart Club on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of May. Saturday May 1 will see teams practice, qualify and then contest a 1-hour ‘sprint’ race where each team needs to complete 3 pit stops. This event produced some of the best racing in last year’s ProKart Championship and remains a favourite with competitors and spectators alike. On Sunday May 2 racing commences from 9am with the teams contesting a 6 hour endurance race around the torturous Greer Park circuit.