Ipswich Championships, Round 3Tweet
from John Goddard
Karting is alive and kicking in South East Queensland, the weather was perfect at 28 degrees and the competitors came out in large numbers for an awesome day of racing. The racing was frantic on the high speed “short” track, if you missed a beat it was all over, with the leaders gone in a flash.
I wasn’t around in the heyday of the Ipswich Kart Club but I am told history is repeating itself right now; Ipswich is the beneficiary of large numbers of Karters keen to get on the track and compete. The “heyday” for IKC is NOW!
One estimate had the Sunday crowd at around 550 which is huge for any club meeting, it was great to see so many family, friends and pit crew out there in support of their drivers, the atmosphere was fantastic with many strong performances but none better than the comeback kid Bodine Antrobus.
After a spectacular rollover at the February meeting where his chassis and helmet were written off and he suffered rib damage, he came back on Sunday and comprehensively dominated a strong TAG 125 Light field. All the hard work and testing has paid off.
Ipswich is a very user friendly venue without all the usual “get your trailer out of there” or “racing will not start until the owner of car registration Joe Blo has removed the vehicle”. For the most part, the competitors know what they can and cannot do and behave accordingly.
It is obvious that Karters like to race in big fields with strong competition because on Sunday 194 competitors nominated and when you take into account the Queensland State Titles are on next weekend in Gladstone, it is all the more heartening to see.
From the participation figures, it is apparent that Ipswich club members take their club championship very seriously and racers from other clubs simply love the strong competition and big fields.
Once again the meeting was supported by the attendance of Pacific Kartsport, Kaos Karting, Champions Way Kart Supplies and Jon Targett from JT Motorsport, all of them great supporters of the Ipswich Club.
THE STEWARDS REPORT
They also outlined the AKA’s Cyber Bullying Policy, which, to most fair minded people, is a step in the right direction in the fight to protect the rights of individuals and the integrity of the sport.
Subsequently the Stewards were very strict on controlling the race starts and the competitors responded accordingly.
A pink slip was issued to one competitor for a start infringement when he was charged with accelerating before reaching the control line. It was clear to some spectators that the recipient, who was on pole, was pushed from behind but unfortunately the steward who changed him did not see the lead-up, only the aftermath.
COC Jo Yarwood took the time to further investigate the charge after the pink slip was bestowed on the alleged perpetrator. On the evidence of the assistant starter, who confirmed that the recipient was pushed from behind by three other karts, the pink slip was withdrawn. The response restored the faith of a veteran karting family.
We all know the stewards are not infallible but we should not dwell on that aspect, instead the focus should be on the myriad of positive decisions they make that benefit us.
There was also a cameo appearance from Chris Robinson to help “whip” everyone into shape and get the meeting rolling and also get himself match fit for the upcoming Queensland State Titles after a recent operation.
THE REAL LEGENDS OF KARTING
Karting can be a bit of an obsession, we are always striving to improve ourselves, get that elusive tenth. Think about it for a minute...... who provides us with that opportunity to race or even practice?
A small group of people from all walks of life who care about our sport enough to give up their weekends, businesses and family life to ensure we get our fix of speed and petrol fumes. Predominately they are unpaid officials and volunteers who unselfishly giving up their valuable time to ensure that others can compete in their chosen sport.
These people may have started out supporting their own kids but some of them are still going long after the kids have grown up and moved on. Others might be ex competitors who still get a buzz when 30 karts with engines rumbling are rolling up to greet the starter.
They rarely get thanked, they don't get paid, more often than not they are either ignored or worse still, abused. They are regularly criticized if things are not to our liking and because we think we are the stars and we are paying for it, we believe we are justified in giving them a mouthful and venting our disappointment at the end of a not so successful result.
$60 or $65 is not a lot of money to pay for a great day’s entertainment such as an Ipswich club-meeting that provides big classes and fantastic racing. I personally watch at least 4 classes at each meeting as we have mates competing, it's very entertaining, it's a way of life, many of us live and breathe karting.
Split the entry fee between the three of us, driver (son), support staff (wife) and fantastic pit crew (yours truly) and you can see it is an extremely small price to pay for 10 hours of nonstop action, entertainment, friendship, family time and camaraderie.
We have "ringside seats" near the hub of all the activity, we see the hustle and bustle of the out grid and especially the in grid when 33 competitors come in after a torrid race all puffing and sweating, some laughing, some swearing, the odd one nursing his nose cone, even the odd blue, a handshake, a back slap, a well done Peter or bad luck mate.
As they walk past our pit we might hear "you bloody idiot, your son took my boy out, what are you going to do about it?" Then the reply… "Calm down mate, I wasn't the driver out there, I was standing next to you on the fence, I am sure my lad didn't mean it, he's only 7". Dad walks away with tail firmly planted between his legs. It’s not sheep stations but hell, it’s certainly entertaining.
It's a month's worth of fun all compacted into one day and in our case, only around $20 per head. You cannot even go to the movies for that and who would want to when there is karting to be had.
There is always a small minority of hotheads in our sport and now is the time that they should step back and take a long hard look at themselves.
Imagine dealing with all that at every meeting and doing it for FREE, I mean to say, their pay is a Hamburger and Coke for lunch. That is real dedication to the sport and how often do we stop and thank them or even say g'day?
None of this first class entertainment would be possible without this small group of unpaid committee members, officials and volunteers who keep turning up for us despite their own personal difficulties and responsibilities.
Club meetings are all over in a day and must be utterly exhausting for the officials and volunteers but it’s still almost always service with a smile. Man, what a great job they do and that leads to another question.
WHY DO THEY DO IT?
In most sports and karting is no exception, there are some very genuine and decent people who don’t get a trophy at the end of the day and they certainly don’t get the accolades that the competitors do.
It's the laconic Aussie way to just toil away in the background year after year with virtually no recognition or thanks but for today, that is going to change.
I believe the majority of the volunteers and officials give their time because they love the sport like we do, they get a feeling of self satisfaction out of seeing the family bond strengthened through the sport, they enjoy watching kids grow up into skillful and useful citizens, this sport produces some very good people. It's a bit like a big family for some of them, it’s the karting community.
They get a sense of fulfillment even in tough times, they want to see Karters get the same enjoyment out of the sport that they did, so next time you are about to blow up at an official or volunteer, STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT FOR A MOMENT…. Then turn around and walk away.
A few of the kids will make the grade in motor racing, they achieve the impossible dream and despite all their own and their families hard work, it simply would not have been possible without the hard work of the following people;
They are so few, they keep turning up and their efforts should be greatly appreciated by all of us, now it’s time to show our appreciation.
They need urgent help, on Sunday we had;
I don’t know how many meetings in a row that I have seen Terry Sheedy doing Tech, I didn’t see him there on Sunday, Terry was probably having a well earned rest before the QLD States.
AND THEY DO IT ALL FOR FREE!
There are probably numerous people I have not mentioned but our thanks go to them as well.
Most of these people do enough work between meetings to make them happen without the extra load of a 15 hour day at a meeting. We need to get behind them and offer some support so anyone who is not participating should get off their backside and offer their assistance, even if it is only once a year. It will benefit all of us in the end.
If you can help out please email Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ipswich has the CIK meeting coming up on the 15 to 17th June and they need your help.
They won’t like me saying this but Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, these good people are the REAL UNSUNG “STARS OF KARTING”.
New kart racers Tristyn Martin, Jacinta Hoey and Michael Philp have joined our ranks and raced very well in their 1st meeting. There was plenty of great racing between them and other Ipswich 1st timer Zayd Tones with Rusty Ross and Jett Hopkins. There was a continual battle at the front of the field between Harrison Hoey, Jack Doohan, Jai Brown and Jace Matthews all showing why they are some of the fastest Cadets in the country.
Just behind the front 4 came the ever improving Oliver Bayliss, Josh Radford and the fastest P Plater of the weekend, Lachlan Hughes. With a couple of incidents in the first 2 heats they all settled down in the pre-final and final with Benjamin Deissler, Austin Wells and Bayley Douglas competing at every corner, also in the mix with them was Jayden & Ethan Wilcox. After a couple of DNF’s Energy pilot Declan Matthews was continually battling away, getting to the midfield with some good speed.
Congratulations to Jack Doohan with his 3rd Place at Victorian Open Champions.
All points counted and you could drop you worst for the day with final Placing 1st Harrison Hoey 2nd Jack Doohan 3rd Jai Brown. See you all at round 4.
Suhle went on to win the second heat and pre-final but the tables were turned in the final with Randy Morgan grabbing first place from Suhle with Damon Ash a good third. P Plater Jye Hopkins performed solidly all day to finish 14th. The final results were 1st Ryan Suhle, 2nd Randy Morgan with Cameron Shields 3rd.
TAG RESTRICTED LIGHT
JUNIOR NATIONAL HEAVY
TAG 125 LIGHT
With the Rotax Pro Tour on last week-end at Gympie and the QLD State Titles on next week-end at Gladstone; it was surprising to see the class field of 19 Karters line up for the April Fool’s day meet. It was great to see Luke Baldry back again especially after doing the pro-tour last weekend, also well done to Brett Sinkins on his way to the state titles, Brett put in a very positive performance.
There was also plenty of action in the mid field with Shawn McNamara, Jack Ross and Ashley Lester dicing throughout the day, great to see guys. Adam Mercer pumped out some fast laps to push Bodine Antrobus all the way to the very last lap of the day. Bodine ended up taking out the day, Adam Mercer second, Luke Baldry and Holly Patrizi tied for third on points with Matt Goddard ready to pounce in fifth position.
SENIOR NATIONAL PRO
Although it was a small field of J MAX made up of Michael Fabri, Mitchell Maddren, Dalton Ellery, Tristan Ellery, Matthew Byrne and Matthew Swile, the battle between the first three competitors kept everyone at the edge of their seats. Mitch Maddren and Dalton Ellery pressured Michael Fabri race after race for first position but Fabri proved to have the advantage on the day.
The track layout also added to the thrill watching these aspiring young drivers soar through those fast corners.
Scott Black had a strong meeting with 3 seconds and a DNF followed by a much improved Paul McNeil who came in third for the day.
JUNIOR NATIONAL LIGHT
What a great field with a total of 27 karts nominating for a club day, well done to all. There were only a few non finishers in each race which demonstrates that the quality of driving was excellent to say the least. The thing that impressed me the most as I walked up the in-grid after each race was the excitement and the sense of achievement that was so apparent among the drivers as they got out of their karts. It didn't matter if you finished first or last, they had fun and that is what karting is all about.
I would like to offer special congratulations to a great son for winning the day, well done Blake Brooks and congratulations to all the other competitors.
RESULTS SUMMARY (full results HERE)