CIK Stars of Karting, Round 3 - Qualifying and Heats
The action came thick and fast during qualifying day in round three of the CIK Stars of Karting Series hosted by the North Shore Kart Club at Sydney’s Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway today.
Local drivers shared the front row of the heat races for the Pro Junior (KF3) category with Pierce Lehane continuing his strong run to claim pole position. He was joined on the front row by Trent Grubel who showed strong speed to secure the second fastest time in the top five shootout.
Above: Sydneysider Trent Grubel in action aboard his Kosmic Kart at Eastern Creek.
The CRG pilot of Lehane crossed the line first in all three heats but the battle for the minor positions was intense with the likes of Grubel, fellow Sydneysider Jake Coleman and Queenslanders James Macken and Brock Plumb running in close proximity.
“It is a great feeling to show that I can be right up there in Australia’s elite junior category,” said Grubel.
“My final heat race didn’t quite go to plan but I’m confident that come tomorrow I’ll be right back up there mixing it with Lehane and the other guys.”
Also showing a good turn of speed today was the TopGun Racing pair of Jonathan Venter and Jacob Parsons.
Over the years the Eastern Creek layout has lent itself to some close and exciting racing and this weekend is proving to be no different.
Gillard driver Peter Hollings was also one of the surprise packets of the day qualifying on the front row alongside polesitter Hayden McBride in Pro Light (KF1).
Above: Peter Hollings upstaged his more fancied rivals to qualify second fastest in Pro Light (KF1)
After failing to finish the opening heat, Damien Radosevic broke through to claim the first heat of 2010 in heat two, the other two race victories were shared between Hayden McBride and Cian Fothergill.
The racing was close all throughout the field, a little too close for the Smith brothers. The Tony Kart pair came together midway through the second heat when Joel, the younger of the pair, looked to make a pass on the inside of Grant resulting in damage to both karts.
“This place is very hard to pass around, I went to go inside and we came together. Grant’s not happy about it, he’s sure let me know about it,” said Joel Smith.
“We both had some good speed and look forward to getting back out there tomorrow”
Daniel Baker is being labelled the ‘Super Sub’ this weekend filling on for the Tesa tape-backed Matthew Waters who is suffering the effects of a broken rib. In his debut at the top level of the sport Baker is certainly holding his own and is a serious podium contender for tomorrow’s two races.
BRM driver Justin Ruggier, who is making his return to the championship this weekend, set the track alight in qualifying as the only driver to crack the 40 second bracket and secure pole position for the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) category.
Above: Justin Ruggier has made a successful return to the championship this weekend
Behind Ruggier came a group of five karts separated by 0.05 seconds.
During the heat races the action saw Ruggier reign supreme aboard his Any Door & Gates BRM kart to win all two of the three heat races, only a stall on the start line halted him from winning all three.
Chasing Ruggier in the opening two heats was championship contenders Kel Treseder, Chris Hays and Matthew Wall along with Kyle Ensbey, Tyler Greenbury and Troy Woolston who were racing in close proximity.
Just as exciting was the racing in the Clubman and Junior National categories where drivers are battling for the East Coast Title.
Queenslander Brendan Nelson won two of the three Clubman heats narrowly ahead of Jason Burns, Daniel Baker and Jason Hryniuk.
In the Junior National category it is Jordan Zammit, Joshua Craig, Mitchell Gee and Dimitri Agathos who are battling at the front of the pack.
Tomorrow’s action will consist of a pair of 25-lap finals for the Pro classes and a 16-lap Pre-Final and 20-lap Final for the Development categories.
The full results will be posted on www.mylaps.com this evening.