Blazing Start to CIK Stars of Karting SeriesTweet
The 2012 CIK Stars of Karting Series presented by Castrol EDGE blazed into action at South Australia’s Bolivar Raceway on the weekend.
Competitors in the country’s elite karting series battled temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius throughout the event before Jake Spencer (Melbourne, Vic), Kyle Ensbey (Sunshine Coast, QLD) and Jake Coleman (Sydney, NSW) shared the spoils in their respective categories.
Spencer’s (right, AF Images pic) win in the Pro Light (KF1) category was one of the narrowest of wins in recent history of the series with the JAM Racing driver holding out a hard charging Daniel Rochford (Melbourne, Vic) for victory by one-tenth of a second.
“All weekend I struggled for pace, especially through yesterday in the heats. Overnight Dad and I thought about set-up a lot and luckily we got it right for the final,” said Spencer.
“The competition in Pro Light has closed up again this year, Cian (Fothergill) is always going to be quick and then you’ve got Daniel Rochford who’s in the Kosmic chassis now along with Matthew Waters, and there’s plenty of other guys who are very fast. I think this was highlighted this weekend with some very close racing all weekend long and I think it’s only going to get closer.”
After he was involved in a turn one incident of the 34-lap final Rochford charged through the field to make a last corner pass on Cian Fothergill (Gladstone, QLD) to snare the runner-up placing, and the Alpine Star ‘Hot Shot’ Award in the process.
By virtue of winning the opening final of the day, Fothergill was awarded the South Australian Championship for the category.
Driving the Patrizicorse Top Kart, Ensbey (left, leading Jason Pringle and Chris Hays - AF Images pic) led from start to finish in the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) final to claim his first round win since round three of the 2010 series at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway.
While pressured late in the race, Ensbey maintained his composure to edge away from Tyler Greenbury (Toowoomba, QLD) and secure his fourth main event victory in the category.
“It’s a great way to start the year, it’s a lot better than last year already – which is all we can ask for,” said Ensbey.
“The Top Kart seemed to just take off on the new softer compound tyre that we’re using this year and with so many good drivers out there the competition is extremely tough which means that you earn every place in every race, nothing comes easy at this level of the sport. It’s great to be able to race with guys so fast and so close and not touch which creates some great racing.”
CRG Australia’s Jason Pringle (Melbourne, Vic) and Vodafone-backed Energy kart driver Chris Hays (Gold Coast, QLD) ran within close proximity of each other for the majority of the main event before Pringle claimed the final spot on the podium.
Coleman was the dominant force in the Pro Junior (KF3) finals with a pair of victories on Sunday. The CRG driver took a 7.3 second win in the opening race before crossing the line 1.9 seconds clear of his Top Gun Racing team-mate Joseph Burton-Harris (Sydney, NSW) in the second race.
“It’s a great feeling to finally break through for a win. We’ve been trying to get one for three years now, and it’s a huge relief to get the win,” said Coleman (right, leading Brock Plumb #15 and Joseph Burton-Harris - AF Images pic) .
“While Pierce (Lehane), Joey (Mawson) and Jake (Klarich) have all gone up to seniors there’s still a lot of top drivers here like Brock Plumb is also in his third year at this level and my team-mate Joseph Burton-Harris is really showing some good speed as well. If this weekend is anything to go by I think this year is going to be very tough and very close.”
Kosmic Racing NSW driver Dimitri Agathos (Sydney, NSW) ensured the podium was dominated by drivers from the Harbour City by charging his way from 13th to third place.
After qualifying on provisional pole position, and running near the front of the field throughout the duration of the weekend before finishing sixth in the main event, Lachlan McHugh was awarded the Smart Device Powerful Award.
In the Yamaha Challenge it was James Greenwood (Brisbane, QLD) who remained undefeated throughout the weekend. Local driver Jesse Batson (Adelaide, SA) finished in the runner-up position ahead of Sunshine Coast driver Shay Mayes.
Almost as dominant as Greenwood’s display was James Sera’s performance in the Australian Leopard Challenge. The Victorian led home local driver Jedd Stojakovic (Two Wells, SA) with another South Australian Brett Fortainer classified third.
Omega driver Paul Pittam (One Tree Hill, SA) finished on top in the Leopard Heavy division ahead of JAM Racing’s Michael Griffiths (Melbourne, Vic) and Queenslander Gaven Whitmore.
Also during the day, a number of local Cadet drivers put on a demonstration in the Castrol Cadet Challenge where they displayed their driving technique and car control on the biggest stage in Australian karting.
The next round of the series will be contested at Newcastle’s Mount Sugarloaf circuit on April 21/22.
The full results can be found by clicking here.
2012 CIK Stars of Karting Series
Bolivar Raceway, SA
RESULTS – Top Five
Pro Light (KF1)
Pro Gearbox (KZ2)
Pro Junior (KF3)
AUSTRALIAN LEOPARD CHALLENGE
PRO LIGHT (KF1)
PRO GEARBOX (KZ2)
PRO JUNIOR (KF3)
AUSTRALIAN LEOPARD CHALLENGE