Australian Speedway Kart Title Finally Gets A Run
Sapphire Speedway Tantawangalo in conjunction with South Coast Speedway Kart Club held the rescheduled White’s Racing Products Australian Title on 21st May 2011.
The original meeting set for 26th March was washed out when the area sustained a devastating 300mm of rain overnight in the lead up to the meeting. Hard working volunteers worked tirelessly to get the track back to racing condition and were still working on the track the day before the event.
Modifieds hit the track first followed by Juniors, 125's, Outlaws and two separate groups of Standards. Each division ran four qualifying 8-lap heats which all ran smoothly with only a couple of yellow flags for minor incidents.
Come feature race time, with each division facing a grueling fifteen x 500 meter laps under clear blue skies, the scene was set for some high class Speedway Kart race action.
The Standards were out first for their feature with Troy Evans qualifying on pole followed by Des Carsberg with Bob Latta back in third. The race only had the one yellow flag on lap eleven for a spun Des Carsberg who was sent ROF for the restart. The race proceeded to the chequered flag with Bob Latta Vic claiming the standards Australian title with Mitch Gladman (Vic) 2nd followed by Steve (Robbo) Robertson (NSW) crossing the line for 3rd.
Next out the Juniors, dominated by a class field of Victorians, with Ebony Hobson on pole for their feature and leading from flag to flag followed by Jamie Gourlay and Ben Hodge. This may not have been the outcome if fate had not produced this hard luck story of the Junior team out of Western Australia, brothers Carl Aylett, 2010 & 2011 WA Junior Kart Champion and Lee who placed 3rd in 2011 WA Junior Kart Titles. They shipped their karts and race gear by rail with what should have been adequate time, however when they arrived in Melbourne to pick it up it hadn't arrived and was not expected to be available till the Monday AFTER the title had been run. Despite all efforts of the NSW & Vic teams, replacement karts were not available and they boys were unable to compete to everyone’s disappointment
In the Modified Speedway Kart feature veteran racer Nev Britton qualified pole and Laura Davidson on the outside. At the drop of the green Laura was away to a great start with Britton dropping back through the field to 4th position. On lap two a yellow flag situation occurred for a spun Dylan Goodger that also saw the exit from the race by Britton with a mechanical failure. Back under Green and Laura led the way with Brad King (Vic) pressing his case until the final lap when in a brilliant move he made an outside pass on turn 1 to take the lead and the Australian modified title from Laura Davidson (Tas) with Steve Robertson (NSW) taking third place from Bob Latta (Vic).
The 125cc's feature was led from flag to flag by Brandon Corish followed across the line by his dad Glen Corish (who replaced a piston in his motor between heats 3 and the final) with Hayden McBain across the line in third. It was a race run at blistering speed typical of the 125dd pocket rockets!
The Outlaw final and last race of the day proved to be one of the best with Graham Keats on pole and local favourite Steve Robertson on the outside. At the green Steve Robertson got away to a great start followed by Michael Van Ginneken. Robbo took a commanding lead, and there was an intense battle for third and fourth between Andrew Horne and Graham Keats.
The yellow flag paused racing in lap 6 for Iain Roxburgh who made a hasty retreat from his stranded kart after the rear axle snaped and the left rear wheel parted company with the kart. Back under green and Robbo shot away and looked a sure winner until lap fourteen when his kart slowed allowing Michael Van Ginneken and Graham Keats to dive down the inside and Andrew Horne around the outside. Keats went from third to first to lead into the final lap only to have the right front king pin let go on the final corner where he bounced off the kart of Andrew Horne (Qld). Horne in his excitement only just managed to stay in his seat long enough to cross the line as the Australian Outlaw Speedway Kart champion followed by Michael Van Ginneken (Vic) with Graham Keats (NSW) managing to cross the line in third.
A big thank you must go to all the volunteers who made the event possible and all involved in getting the track back to a great condition that produced three and four wide racing throughout the day and also to all the sponsors involved-
Whites racing product-supplier of Unilli kart tyres