Golden Power Series, Round 2 – Gippsland
The first corner was the scene of disaster for many front-row final starters at the second round of the 2011 Golden Power Series at Morwell over the weekend.
Light spits of rain began to fall as the first final, Clubman Light, got underway. At turn one, front row starter Shayla Golding fired straight off the track, over the woodchipsand into retirement. Pole sitter Jordan Sanderson then led for much of the race before he too slid off the greasy track. This allowed Mitchell Wilmot to take the win ahead of Wright Karts importer Michael Bantick with Bendigo’s Tyler Cramer third.
With the slightly damp circuit now officially declared wet, the second final of the day (Clubman Over 40s) saw a similar story play out; front row starter Chris Sanderson sliding off at turn one to DNF.
Highest point scorer Adam Bourke stormed to an early lead, but Grant Wicks came through from grid 12 to win ahead of Bourke and Pro Karting’s Ross Harrod.
Dale Cornfoot came off grid 9 to win Junior National Heavy. The Arrow driver beat home Jack Richardson and pre-final winner Nicholas Rowe.
Jordan Caruso took a big win in Midgets, having never finished any lower than third all meeting. Caruso (Wright) dropped several positions on the opening lap, but recovered for a 12 second win over Cooper Murray (Tony Kart) and Thomas Bennett (Arrow).
Richard Muscat won Leopard Light, but it was Matthew Bumpstead who led virtually the whole way. Muscat won the pre-final and had plenty of pace to overcome a bad opening lap in the final. Jamie Schena was third.
Damon Strongman was too good in Junior National Light. After sharing heat wins with Jordan Boys, the pair was upstaged by Liam McLellan in the pre-final before Strongman led all the way in the final.
Grant Wicks enjoyed a double win, also taking out Clubman Heavy. Starting mid pack, he quickly moved forward and picked up victory after race leader Hayden Dodman slid off on the final tour. Prior to this, Dylan Collett had enjoyed a superlative run, undefeated all meeting, but he DNF’d the final when his kart stalled after a forceful pass by Wicks for the lead. Dodman recovered for second ahead of Ian Murray.
In Junior Rotax, front-rower Liam McLellan replicated the senior racer’s efforts, falling off the track at turn 1. This allowed Blaine Densley to lead for much of the race before McLellan blasted through in the late stages for the win. Chelsea Angelo was third.
David Bishoff (Monaco) led the Rotax Over 40s final all the way, beating Steve Lowerson and Andrew Jackson. Again, turn one saw a front row starter come off, this time Sean Morling. Pre-final winner and former Commodore Cup racer Darren Day also came off during the race, but still finished in the top ten.
Aron Lawrence took a narrow win ahead of Richard Camilleri in Leopard Heavy. This was the Alonso Kart driver’s only win of the day after Camilleri and Phillip Smith shared the preliminary race wins. Local Kosmic driver Geoff Wyhoon was third.
Karting returnee Neville Watt blitzed the TaG Restricted Light class, leaving the field in his wake in the final. Watt won all the races except for the second heat which went to Mitchell Anderson. Anderson grabbed third in the final behind Jamie Harrington.
Daniel Velloff and Scott Cole battled all race in the TaG Restricted Heavy final. However, Jordan Cullas had carved through the field from grid 5 and snatched the win on the final tour of Tramway Park, by just one tenth of a second.
Craig Arnett was unchallenged in the Clubman Super Heavy final. Starting from pole, Arnett edged out an almost 20 second buffer to Michael Angwin during the 10 laps. Heat winner and second in the pre-final, Phil Straughen, DNFd.
As the track dried, Rotax was the cross-over class with about a 50/50 split of slicks to wets. For the wet runners, everything looked rosy until the last couple of laps. Corey James led most of the way and looked comfortable despite heavily worn grooved Mojos. But then the slick-shod karts came to life, Matthew Chahda slicing through to steal the win on the last lap. Corey held on for second ahead of James Reynolds (slicks, up from grid 7) and Hamish Leighton (also on slicks).
Final race of the day was Rookies, and Troy Alger (Monaco) simply checked out from the rest. The Master Karting driver opened a handy buffer on lap 1 and stretched it as the race progressed. Local driver Jacob Prestipino (Wright) was second ahead of Jack Bell (Tony Kart).
232 entries competed across 15 classes under a 3 heats and final format. Results of the finals (cut back to 10 laps due to the weather) determined the placing on the day. Placings from all four races count towards series points.
Clerk of Course Graeme Monds wished to thank all series sponsors: Pro Karting, Cool Aqua Springs, Melbourne Kart Centre, Yamaha, Shamick Racing, Latrobe Valley Bandag, CC Racing, IKD, Dunlop, Caltex, Richard Muscat Construcitons, Marriott's, Remo Racing, Powermac, Master Karting, Executive Houseboats, DP Karts and Tyrepower.
The next round of the series is at the undulating Bendigo circuit on June 4 and 5. A link to the Supp Regs is on the KarsSportNews Race Calendar page HERE.
Full results from Morwell on AKA CM:s HERE.
Clubman Light: 1 Mitchell Willmott, 2 Michael Bantick, 3 Tyler Cramer