Down To The Wire At Senior National FeatureTweet
from Johnathan Males
The 2012 running of The Launceston Kart Club’s annual Senior National Feature race meeting had the majority of the state’s best drivers suiting up and enjoying the close competition that “J” racing provides. Some big names, including a former World Karting champion, adorn the perpetual shield and all the drivers were keen to add their name to this very select list.
One hundred and seven entries across eleven classes made for an action packed program. Throw in the Phil Goss Memorial for Over 40’s Pro and the stage was set for a great weekend’s racing.
Jamie Bricknell was the standout performer over the weekend running at the front of both Senior National Light and Heavy classes. Jamie is one of Tasmania’s leading Sprintcar drivers and seemed to have no trouble adjusting from his regular race car to a Yamaha KT100J engine with a massive eleven horsepower.
The final of Senior National Light was always going to be a cracker with Kelsey Sapwell, Jay Baily and Jamie Bricknell all demonstrating the outright pace to take the win. Coming into the final lap it was Bricknell followed by Baily and then Sapwell, who by this stage had caught the duelling leaders after having to chase them down after a poor start. Going into Tasman Metal Industries corner three into one didn’t work and Baily’s race was over. This made Bricknell susceptible to a passing manoeuvre at Yamaha corner and Sapwell dutifully obliged. Both drivers were slowed by this and it came down to a drag race to the line. The AKA timing system really earned it’s keep in this race as the finishing order was Bricknell getting the win by 0.001 of a second over Sapwell. Brody Appleby found a little bit more pace from his borrowed Forty Seven Kart Tuning backed Monaco to break away from the mid pack to take third.
All weekend Jamie Bricknell was the pace setter in Senior National Heavy and in the heats he was untouchable taking comfortable wins. However the pre final was a different story and it turned into what was arguably the best race of the day with no less than seven drivers in the lead “freight train” all passing each other and taking their turn at the front. Unfortunately, the final proved to be somewhat of an anti climax with race leaders Jamie Bricknell, Johnathan Males and Michael Vaughan all eliminated from the race at various stages. In the end Steven Wrigley emerged to take his first Senior National feature win from Aiden Shelton and Jack Pickett came in third.
Michael Vaughan is certainly proving to be the pace setter since entering the Senior National Over 40’s Pro ranks with the Party Hub backed Monaco driver taking yet another win in the class. He didn’t have it all his own way though with the very rapid Fred Cocca shadowing him for the entire days racing. Graham Hoar recovered from a pre final DNF to take the final spot on the podium.
Nobody could stop Scott Wrigley chalking up another win in the Senior National Over 40’s Super Heavy class. He ran away from the field in the final in his Wrigley’s Karts and Parts Intrepid, winning by a large margin over Darren Williams and Greg Wood in third. It’s good to see such a large number of competitors in this class and all enjoying themselves to the extent that they do.
The surprise packet for the meeting was young Brodie Sward who used his home track knowledge to really take it up to the usual front runners in Junior National Light. This driver really typifies what kart racing is all about with his attitude and approach to racing, on what can only be described as a shoestring budget. First on the day though was Gemma Wyllie who perfectly executed a last lap pass on Brodie Evans to take the win ahead of Jacob Morris.
2012 Tasmanian Statewide Series Champion Keenan Slater was a surprise non finisher in the final of Junior National Heavy. This resulted in Morgan Jakobovski racing away from the field to take an untroubled victory from Daniel Newman and the constantly improving local James Fitch.
Mitchell Kerrison, Lachlan Dalton and Brock Lamont all looked at times to have the pace required to take home the biggest piece of plastic in the Cadets class but in the end it was Kerrison who came away victorious over Lamont and Dalton in third.
Brock Evans was the standout performer in the Rookies division taking the win on the day from the much improved Andrew Lee and young Justin Murphy debuting his new Intrepid chassis with great effect taking third place.
There were some new names at the front of TAG Restricted Heavy with Michael Warren electing to compete in the light division at this round. Unstoppable on the day was Graham Hoar who showed the field a clean pair of heels to take the win from the returning Gavin Lewis and regular front runner Mathew Clark in third.
With most drivers opting to race a “J” for this meeting the number of Clubman drivers was well down. However this didn’t stop Nathan Zuj, Mitchel Evans and Evan Livingston putting on a great display of driving. Zuj proved to be too fast for Evans with Livingston coming home in third place.
Andrew Sherriff took full advantage of cousin Dave Sherriff’s rotten run of luck to take the win in TAG Restricted Light. Poor Dave had engine trouble on several occasions leaving him only able to muster a third place on the day. Second though was Craig Phillips who was very happy with how his brand new Tony Kart performed for him.
Phil Goss Memorial
Phillip Goss was a long time member of the Launceston Kart Club and staunch supporter and competitor in the Over 40’s class for many years. His love of racing was only rivalled by his love for his family and the enjoyment he got from travelling the state with them and enjoying the social side of the sport. He was often seen in the possession of a longneck and telling stories amongst his friends.
At the time of his passing in 2009 it was decided a race would be named in his honour and the Phil Goss Memorial was born.
This year it came down to a fight between Michael Vaughan and Fred Cocca with the two leaders demonstrating Goss’ motto of racing hard and racing fairly. After a big day of racing for Michael Vaughan, he crossed the line narrowly ahead of Cocca and the hard charging Graham Hoar. Scott Wrigley was unfortunate to snap a chain with only two laps to go whilst comfortably holding down third position. One notable competitor in this class was “Deadly” Dave Sherriff who was overheard telling people that he was pleasantly surprised with how much power a national engine has.
TAG Restricted Heavy:1st Graham Hoar, 2nd Gavin Lewis, 3rd Matthew Clark