Oakleigh's April Race DayTweet
by Paul Griffiths
After a rainy Saturday night, Oakleigh’s April Club Day began with not a cloud in the sky on a perfect Sunday morning. 112 entries, the usual mix of old and new faces and names, and the glorious weather meant a good day of racing was ahead of us. As the day went on the clouds came over, but to everyone’s relief, the wet stuff stayed away.
Thanks as usual go to all the helpers and volunteers and a special thanks to Tara Sims who stepped into the grid marshall’s role for the day and did a fine job.
Once they settled down in Heat 1 it was pole sitter Ben Freeman in the lead, with Ashan Perera in 2nd followed by Stephen Bideleux, Alex Limon and P Plater Kevin Coombes, making a return to racing at Oakleigh but back on P’s, who had worked his way through to 5th. On the last lap Bideleux went to the lead then Freeman and Coombes through to third.
Heat 2 Bideleux and Richard Matera led them away followed by Alex Limon, Ashan Perera and Ben Freeman. A melee at Coffey Ford corner on Lap 2 saw a number of back markers out, meanwhile Bideleux and Matera out front and pulling away. Perera eventually passed Matera for 2nd but Bideleux well clear and took the chequered.
Bideleux off pole for Heat 3, but out at Coffey Ford corner on the first lap – a tough finish to what had been a promising day. This gave Limon the lead, then Perera, Matera and Cameron Phillips. Perera soon to the lead and back in 5th the storming P Plater Kevin Coombes – showing it was not his first time behind the wheel - now through to 4th by halfway. With 4 to go Coombes through to 3rd and all interest centred on whether he could overhaul Perera and win. In the end Perera was untroubled and Limon just held on for second from Coombes, Matera and Phillips.
All points result for the day: 1 Ashan Perera, 2 Alex Limon, 3 Kevin Coombes
A small field of Cadets was led away by Jordan Dudfield with Jai Sparey close behind, then Braydon Callaghan and P Plater Joshua Troiani. Sparey was sporting the blue plate he brought home from the recent Queensland Open at Gladstone, however an awkward passing move into the Dipper on Lap 1 saw him spin and rejoin at the rear of the field. He set about chasing down Dudfield and with 4 to go he had the gap down to a second and was about 8/10ths quicker so it was inevitable that he would catch him, which he did, passing through Arrow corner with 3 to go. He pulled a gap and led Dudfield home, further back P Plater Troiani was engaged in a great battle with Callaghan which the latter eventually won.
Heat 2 a carbon copy of the first, minus the spin from Sparey who drove to a comfortable win from Dudfield, Callaghan and the valiant P Plater Troiani.
Hard to say anything too exciting about a four kart third heat, but Sparey did a good job of pulling to the lead and led Dudfield by a second after 2 laps with Troiani well behind in 3rd , then Callaghan close behind him in 4th. Troiani had a spin with 4 to go which put him back to 4th, but otherwise very little (in fact nothing) changed for the rest of the race.
All points result for the day: 1 Jai Sparey, 2 Jordan Dudfield, 3 Braydon Callaghan
Junior National Heavy
Matthew Lane to the lead in 2 laps after starting 7th, then Jake Paterson and Jordan Poxon with a gap back to James Mastorakos and Justin Carless. Eventually Carless passed Mastorakos for 4th and Poxon passed Paterson for 2nd, but Lane was comfortable out front and led them home getting out to over a four second lead.
Poxon and Lane off the front in Heat 2 and Lane straight to the lead with Carless not far behind, then Mastorakis and a gap back to Mathew Rhodes. Lap after lap Lane and Poxon pulled away and with 2 to go Poxon had a look into Coffey Ford corner but went too deep and dropped back to finish second with Carless a lonely 3rd well ahead of Mastorakis.
Again Lane and Poxon out front after 3 laps of the third heat, Carless back in 3rd, then Mastorakis and Rhodes. Less than a tenth between Lane and Poxon by halfway, so an exciting finish was on the cards. Poxon passed Lane as they started lap 6, then Lane back to the lead at Coffey Ford corner a lap later, then Poxon back to the lead with 2 to go. As they passed a lapped kart, Lane got to the front again (hard to keep up with this!!) but Poxon nibbling at the back of him all the way. Eventually Lane held on by a tenth to win, then Carless, Rhodes and Mastorakis.
All points result for the day: 1 Matthew Lane, 2 Jordan Poxon, 3 Justin Carless
Long time Oakleigh competitor Peter Gooch led them away with David Dvorak close behind and regular front runner Chris Thomas quickly through to 3rd after starting 7th. After an incident, Thomas suddenly found himself back in the field and Anthony Westaway inherited 3rd with Lachlan Citrine close behind in 4th and with 3 to go Citrine got through to 3rd. In the end Gooch held off Dvorak for a win in Heat 1.
Thomas straight to the lead in Heat 2 with Citrine and Marcel Ghoukassian behind in 2 and 3, then Anthony Westaway and David Dvorak. Westaway through to 3rd but otherwise little happening until Ghoukassian passed him back with 5 to go. These two started swapping spots which let Thomas and Citrine drive away and allowed Dvorak and Gooch to gain on them. Even P Plater Russell Newnham wasn’t a mile behind them in 7th, but eventually Thomas sailed through for the win from Citrine and Westaway.
Citrine off pole then Thomas and Gooch for the third heat, with Gooch to the front at the green, but he went deep at Coffey Ford first time around and fell back through the field, leaving Citrine out front at the end of Lap 1, then Thomas, Westaway and the recovering Gooch. By halfway Thomas had reeled in and passed Citrine, but he was passed back half a lap later and Gooch had snuck through to 3rd. All this dicing brought Westaway and Ghoukassian onto the lead group, but Citrine had begun pulling away out front, although not by much. Then a pass by Gooch for second on the last lap let Citrine pull away for a win, with Gooch leading Thomas over the line after a frantic last lap dice.
All points result for the day: 1 Lachlan Citrine, 2 Peter Gooch, 3 Chris Thomas
Junior National Light
Nicholas Steel led them off with Andrew Sotiropoulos and Damon Strongman behind him. Strongman through to the lead on Lap 1 with Steel unlucky to spin and go out at Tony Kart turn. Before long Luke Guillou from 6th was through and passed Strongman for the lead, behind them Todd Sparey and Ashton Andoloro. Strongman shadowed Guillou for a number of laps and slid past him at Coffey Ford corner as they began the last lap but Guillou was very clever in pulling off a clean pass at Arrow corner when Strongman went narrow, and crossed the line 2/100ths ahead of the #5 kart of Strongman, Sparey home 3rd.
Andoloro to the lead at the start of Heat 2 with Strongman through to second after a couple of laps, then Sparey and Heat 1 DNF Nicholas Steel. On Lap 4 Strongman through to the lead and looked like he would pull out to a good lead, but Andoloro didn’t let him get away, Strongman winning by less than a second in the end.
The third heat started with Strongman out front, then Guillou, then a 3 second gap back to Andoloro in 3rd, then Sparey, Steel and Lucas Filikotzias rounding out the top 6. Not much changed from then on, except Steel got through to 4th – then with one lap to go a touch followed by a wild spin on the finish straight took out Filikotzias and Sparey in spectacular fashion, leaving Strongman to win over Guillou, Andoloro and Steel.
All points result for the day: 1 Damon Strongman, 2 Luke Guillou, 3 Ashton Andoloro
Clubman Super Heavy
Steve Polak led them away but it was only a couple of laps before Malcolm Hunt was through to the lead ahead of Mark Hunt, then Polak and P Plater Lincoln O’Connor. With 3 to go all interest centred on whether O’Connor could get past Polak but the Melbourne Kart Centre pilot hung on following the pair of Hunt’s, Malcolm and Mark home.
Closer between Malcolm and Mark Hunt at the front in Heat 2, with Steve Polak back in 3rd then the two O’Connor’s Simon and Lincoln, with Steve Morcos out after losing a wheel. Up front it was a big battle for the lead, with Mark having a couple of bites at Malcolm before Malcolm held on to win by 3/10ths, with Polak home in 3rd.
Heat 3 started with first Mark, them Malcolm Hunt leading, Steve Polak third and Lincoln O’Connor close behind in 4th. The two Hunt’s out front were never more than a couple of tenths apart and duked it out as the laps counted down, as did Polak and O’Connor back in 3 and 4. Mark swooped at the Dipper on the last lap to lead Malcolm across the line and Polak got home 3rd.
All points result for the day: 1 Malcolm Hunt, 2 Mark Hunt, 3 Steve Polak
Matthew Iredale straight to the lead from 3rd at the start, with Blake Kolar and Jack Bell close behind, Kolar through to the lead on lap 2 and Mathew Steel past Bell for 3rd, then Oscar Piastri close behind them in 5th. This group pulled a gap on the rest and after 5 laps only half a second covered the lot of them – a good race ahead! Four laps of fabulous Rookie dicing followed with Kolar pulling a gap while Steel and Iredale fought for 2nd and Piastri and Bell for 4th. Eventually Kolar crossed 1st, then Steel, Bell and Piastri with Iredale shuffled back to 5th at the grid hairpin.
After a few hairy opening laps in Heat 2, Maximmo Torcasio led Mathew Steel then Jack Bell and Matthew Iredale. Steel was soon pressing on Torcasio’s crash bar and Iredale was close behind these two one minute, then under Steel with 4 to go, then under Torcasio for the lead through the Dipper on the same lap. Once in front Iredale pulled away, Steel, Torcasio, Bell and Piastri battling behind him, then Heat 1 winner Kolar a good way back in 6th. With 1 to go Steel had reeled Iredale back in but couldn’t get past – the gap a mere 8/100ths at the flag, Piastri 3rd then Bell, Torcasio and Kolar.
Mathew Steel led the Rookies away for Heat 3, Iredale second then Kolar and Piastri. After a couple of laps Iredale had gone to the front but then Steel passed him back, then Iredale under him again and Kolar following through to 2nd – some great racing!! Unfortunately Kolar lost his nosecone and pulled in, elevating Bell to 3rd behind the now leading Iredale and Steel in 2nd. With 3 to go Steel back to the lead – a very mature performance from an improving driver - then Iredale back under him at Arrow Corner as they began the penultimate lap, with Bell a lonely 3rd. Never say die from Steel who found a way past at Grid hairpin but Iredale back under him at MKC corner to hold on for a narrow win - less than 2/10th - with Bell 3rd, then Piastri, Cody Donald, Jay Di Virgilio and P Plater Kain Kugimiya in 7th.
All points result for the day: 1 Mathew Steel, 2 Matthew Iredale, 3 Jack Bell
J Max / Junior Clubman
Combined on track today, Jordan Holowell led Luke Guillou in JMax, and Jordan Poxon led Matthew McLean, Justin Black and Justin Carless in Junior Clubman with Dylan Slits unlucky to go out on the first turn. In JMax, Guillou was out at Tony Kart on lap 2 leaving Holowell circulating on his own, with McLean still leading the Clubman field and that’s how they finished Heat 1.
Heat 2 looked like being a carbon copy of Heat 1 except that Guillou finished this time, second to Holowell in JMax, and McLean was easily winning the Junior Clubman group until beset by a mystery problem that saw Black, then Poxon pass him as he struggled on, then appeared to throw a chain and expire with 2 to go letting Slits through for 3rd.
Holowell and Guillou 1 and 2 in JMax and after 3 laps McLean through to the lead in Clubman, Black 2nd, then Poxon, Carless and Slits. As well as breaking down on the way to the track first thing this morning, McLean had been a victim of the dreaded loose axle grubscrews in Heat 2 before he dropped a chain, but was now fastest of the Clubmans and pressing Guillou in the Rotax as well, going under him at Coffey Ford by half race distance. Holowell was not pulling away like he had in the heats either and McLean passed him same spot next lap – but it came unglued one corner later when both JMaxes went back under him and this brought Black onto the back of McLean. Then Holowell went off coming out of the Dipper handing a win in JMax to Guillou, but McLean was still battling with the remaining Rotax and Black was gaining on him at the same time. Finally they crossed the line: Guillou winning JMax, then McLean the first Clubman, followed by Black and Carless, Poxon and Slits.
All points result for the day - JMax: 1 Jordan Holowell, 2 Luke Guillou,
Robert Barnes to the lead then Michael Carless and Imran Khan, with Darren Thornton unlucky to drop a chain in lap 1. Carless and Barnes put on a great battle for the lead for a number of laps with Carless eventually through on Lap 7. Thomas Martin had made it through to 3rd and Brent George to 4th by this stage with Shane Alabaster close behind them. Carless pulled away to win, then Barnes, Martin, George and a fast finishing Shane Kovacs in 5th.
Heat 2 saw Carless shoot to an early lead, Kovacs and Alabaster behind him, then a gap to Corey Paterson and then something of a boxing match further back in the field between Brent George, Robert Barnes and Thomas Martin. In the end Carless in a canter from Kovacs and Alabaster.
After 4 laps of the third heat, Carless held a 2 second lead from Kovacs and Barnes, then Shane Alabaster, Brent George and Darren Thornton. With 2 to go and the field well spread out, the only possible thing of interest was whether Alabaster could pass for 3rd – which he could not, so Carless, Kovacs, Barnes and Alabaster home in that order.
All points result for the day: 1 Michael Carless, 2 Shane Kovacs, 3 Robert Barnes
Luke Andoloro led them away, Richard Camilleri sneaking through to 2nd from Rhys Hunt and Andrew Yuill, then Aron Lawrence and Greg Smart. Camilleri through to the lead on lap 3 and the field stretched out behind him. Andoloro started to come on by the halfway mark and Hunt was pressing hard behind him as well, but Camilleri was keeping out of trouble up front and eventually held on to win from Andoloro with Yuill, Hunt and Lawrence in a battle behind them for 3rd, 4th and 5th.
The second Heat was something of a procession with Camilleri in the lead, Yuill 2nd, Mark Hunt 3rd then a gap back to Rhys Hunt, Luke Andoloro who spun on the opening lap, then Aron Lawrence and Greg Smart. Towards the end Camilleri had looked like being a comfortable winner, but a fast closing Yuill got under him at Grid Corner on the last lap and recorded a narrow victory, Mark Hunt in 3rd and a recovering Andoloro 4th.
Camilleri to a good lead after a lap or two of Heat 3 with Yuill second, then Andaloro, then Rhys Hunt, Mark Hunt, Lawrence and Smart rounding them out. Lap by lap Yuill reeled in Camilleri as he had done in Heat 2 and by halfway was only 3/10ths adrift of the lead, Andoloro a lonely 3rd. With 2 to go Yuill looked unable to bridge the gap to Camilleri and drifted a little off him and back towards the fast finishing Andoloro as Camilleri took the win.
All points result for the day: 1 Richard Camilleri, 2 Andrew Yuill, 3 Luke Andoloro
Feature Class Qualifying saw Mark Appleby off pole, 3/10ths quicker than long time Oakleigh competitor (and Rotax Light lap record holder) Ashley Arora, then Angelo D’Ettorre, Michael Nichols, Nicholas Bates and Trevor Allen the top 6, all in the 42’s. Arora streaked away at the green, 1.5 seconds clear after 1 lap, then D’Ettorre, Appleby, Nichols and Bates. By halfway Arora was well clear, but only one second covered positions 2 to 7 where there was a great battle going on, still led by D’Ettorre from Appleby and Nichols. Eventually Appleby through to 2nd, then Nichols, but 5 seconds or more ahead of them Ash Arora took the chequered flag.
Not so easy for Arora in Heat 2, with Appleby to the lead and holding him at bay for the first few laps. A mid pack tangle behind them eliminated a number of contenders including D’Ettorre, Allen and Nichols, elevating Bates into 3rd, then Terry Salatas and Ben Creed behind him. By halfway Appleby had a 7/10ths lead from Arora then Bates – these three well clear of the rest, and that’s how they finished.
The 12 lap Final of the Feature Class began with a number of karts off on the first lap and once they settled Appleby led Arora then Creed, then Nicholas Bates and a gap back to Caleb Citrine and Michael Phillips. Arora got through to the lead with 7 to go and pulled a handy gap, but before long Appleby was back on him and these two pulled away from Creed and Bates. Appleby under Arora at Coffey Ford with 4 to go, then Arora back to the lead two corners later. Back in the pack Nichols, Allen, Citrine, Phillips and Nicholas Ingham were putting on a great show, but out front there was nothing between Appleby and Arora, Appleby sneaking under at Arrow corner for a last corner victory by a tenth. Great racing between these two, with Creed and Bates back in 3rd and 4th.
Final only counts for Feature Class so: Appleby, Arora, Creed at the end.
See you next Club Day!!