Wollongong Triple Challenge, Round 1
The sun wasn’t the only thing shining at the first round of the Wollongong Kart Racing Club’s Triple Challenge. With the track in pristine condition and the race entries building, the clubs officials were anticipating a day of close and competitive racing and they weren’t disappointed.
Tag Restricted Medium saw the return to racing for Andrew Dorahy, getting back in the seat after a break of 4 years. Dorahy came out and qualified on pole, showing the guys he still had it finished the final 4th behind Brett Cowley 1st, Daniel Smith 2nd & Patrick Carter 3rd. Dorahy put it down to a lack of race fitness which he intends to attend to with more racing.
Rookies was a tough battle for local rookie Thomas Miotto with Sydney drivers Andreas Chronis & Andrew Kahl giving him some competition. The three boys tussled for 1st place in the final with less than a kart length separating them. Andrew finished 1st, Thomas 2nd & Andreas 3rd.
Wollongong lads Dion Fischper & Domenic Marciano drove to within less than a tenth of a second of each others lap times, with Dion taking out the final of Tag Medium half a second ahead of Domenic. Bradley Giffen finished a not too distant third.
The big boys of Rotax Heavy displayed why the class is so competitive with the top five drivers qualifying with half a second of each other. Local driver Joe Gauci raced in his first B grade race and certainly showed he is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Nicholas Crawshay, Grant Donley & Nick Karmalis kept the lead pack to themselves, leaving the rest of the field behind. Crawshay eventually took out 1st place with Donley 2nd & Karmalis 3rd.
Darsey Kondopirakis dominated Senior National Light. The final was a closely contested race with the whole field split by half a second. The first few laps were fantic, with all drivers jockeying for positions. Mitchell Scullion was caught out wide on the hairpin, and that made for a very contested turn 1 at the end of the straight. The remainder of the race was a dog fight between different groups. Alex Henry, Michael Cassar, Solon Tsolakki & Cameron Moss ran hard all day without much luck. Darcey crossed the line in 1st with Dion Fishper 2nd & Logan Reiter 3rd.
With JMAX racing returning to Wollongong, a field of young guns turned up to demonstrate why they are racing in the premier junior class. 2009 Australian JMAX Champion Pierce Lehane was given a run for his money by several drivers including Michael Stewart & Jake Coleman. The stand outs for this class were Luke Spinley & James Taylor who swapped third position in the final a number of times.
Jai Robson & Grant Gaffa continued their on going fight for the Rotax Light trophy with Mitchell Bink and David Coulton contesting for third. Several drivers came off second best in an incident in on the canteen corner in the first lap, leaving a disappointed Chad Horsley standing at the tyre barrier for the remainder of the race. Robson finished 1st with Gaffa 2nd & Bink 3rd.
If you had enough shoe laces you could have tied it between each of the Junior National Light drivers and you wouldn’t have broken one. Sebastian Johnston finished 1st, Jordan Zammit 2nd & Anthony Gamauf 3rd.
Cody Gillis showed the competition why he is a hot contender to take out the series with a near clean sweep of the Midget class, qualifying on pole and winning all three heats, 2nd in the prefinal and winning the final.
Junior National Heavy looked like a freight train in the final, with a group of 6 drivers all nosecone to crash bar for most of the race. A triumphant Nicholas Cooley left the freight train early in the race to go on to win the final ahead of Lachlan Jones and Joshua Seiffert.
Wollongong’s next race meeting is on the 11th July & the 2nd round of the Triple Challenge is on the 15th of August .
Full results from round 1 HERE (pdf)