Action & Drama At Pro Tour Gympie

Saturday report / press release

There was plenty action and drama at the Cooloola Coast Kart Club today, as the first day of Rotax Pro Tour Gympie was conducted under glorious weather conditions that were contrary to the wet weather deluge that plagued Queensland’s Sunshine and Cooloola Coast earlier this week.

156 competitors across six categories converged at the Gympie venue, which included two oversubscribed fields for Rotax Light and Junior Max, who had 43 and 41 entries respectively, fighting for the maximum 40 grid spots available for the Pre-Final and Final.

Above: Intrepid driver, Mitchell Gee, winner of two heat races in Junior Max
pic - Bill Bryant, Fletcher Photography

DD2 Masters kicked off proceedings with Cameron Harch stamping his authority early on the 12 kart field by setting the fastest time of the class with a 37.180s during the first session, equalled by John Bailey who set an identical time in that same session. Hamish Leighton was bouncing back from an off track excursion during Friday practice to set the third fastest time from Brett Cowley, Jose Ruiz and Brent Coghlan.

Harch would then follow up his pole position success with two back to back heat wins. He won the first race from Bailey and Cowley and in the second from Scott Connole and Tony Prendergast. Leighton suffered bad luck from both heats, after he retired with a broken engine bracket in heat one and failing to make the grid from heat two.

Troy Woolston continued his excellent form in Rotax Heavy with another dominant performance with wins in both heat races held today. Woolston’s grip on the class was briefly interrupted with Trent Moore upstaging his contemporary by claiming pole with a 37.915s, 0.002s ahead of Kel Tressider and the followed by Woolston. Fellow Rotax Heavy frontrunners Aaron Rintoul and Travis Kodric were fourth and fifth respectively. In the races, Woolston charged his way through in the early stages of both heats to win comfortably from Brendan Nelson and Kodric in Heat 1 and then from Tressider and Kodric in Heat 2.

Woolston also competed in the DD2 class, but was unable to make a full impact in the overall results. That was left to Todd Road round winner Tyler Greenbury, who shared the winning honours with Lucas Ward. The Kosmic driver set the fastest overall time in the first qualifying session from Exprit driver Thomas MacDonald and Top Kart’s Kyle Ensbey. Heat 1 saw Ward stamp his mark almost immediately when he set out into the lead and remain unchallenged to win with MacDonald persisting for each of the 14 laps to finish second and Greenbury in third.

The roles were reversed dramatically in the second race, when Ensbey retired after three laps with steering failure and Ward and MacDonald succumbed to on-track pressure, allowing Greenbury to take the heat win from CRG’s Jason Pringle then a fast recovering MacDonald.

Rotax Over 40s also saw two drivers share the honours from today’s racing with Todd Road winner Shane Karandrews and Malcolm Walker the men to beat. Karandrews claimed pole position for the heat races with 38.637s ahead of Malcolm Walker with a time of 38.680s and David Rotstein with a time of 38.845s. Walker would then come out swinging in the first hear race, taking first blood from Karandrews and Rotstein. Karandrews turned the tables in heat two and took that race win from Walker, with Mark Poole finishing third. Rotstein would finish sixth in Heat 2.

The main focus was on the oversubscribed fields in Rotax Light and Junior Max.

In the four group races held for Rotax Light, Tyler Greenbury backed up his DD2 commitments to takes the win in the race for Groups A & D ahead of Arrow’s Joey Mawson and CRG’s Pierce Lehane. In Groups B & C, CC Racing’s Brad Jenner took the win Trent Grubel and Adam Lindstrom. Daniel Rochford bounced back from early troubles in qualifying to take a heat win in the race for Groups A & C ahead of Greenbury and Mawson. Following this, Lehane broke thorugh to win the heat race for Groups B & D.

In Junior Max, local driver Mitchell Gee and Joseph Burton-Harris stamped their authority with two heat wins from the four group races held for the 41 competitors. Gee won the heat race for Groups A & D from Jordan Boys and Jaxon Evans. In the race for Groups A & C, Gee would claim the victory from Andrew Kahl with Boys in third place. In Groups B & C, Burton-Harris took the win from Kahl and Cameron Hill before backing up the result with a win in Groups B & D from Mitchell Maddren and Nicholas Andrews.

Due to time constraints, the final round of heats have been held over until early Sunday morning at 7am QLD time, where racing will continue at the Cooloola Coast Kart Club.