2012 Australian Sprintkart Endurance TitlesTweet
from Paul Hewitt
It was a great relief for drivers to wake up on race day to see a dry track after the preceding two days practice saw a wet track. This welcome change though gave teams little chance to get a dry set-up for the race, making the first hour practice an important part of their race plan. This is all part and parcel of endurance racing something that attracts karters to the event the fluidness of strategies and only the chequered flag deciding what worked and what didn't, and the fact having the fastest kart doesn't mean victory.
The light division had the defending champions, past winners and some worthy contenders lining the grid. The defending champions from 2011 under the new name of 1772MVR started well grabbing pole convincingly, and past winners Wildbunch Racing alongside.
The Heavy Division also had their share of past winners lining up to fight for the top spot on the podium. Pace setter and maybe favourites were the More Kart team who would have to battle the elusive and probably the most “strategic” team on the grid in Affordable Palletts who every year feature on the podium with a strategy that appears to get results.
When the flag dropped and a clean start was achieved the race pace was very fast, with front row contenders moving away from the field, with a strong pace. Lead changes regularly as strategies began to play out. Defending Champs 1772MVR had the lead, Lazy Racing had a share as well, Wildbunch took a turn up front.
First to suffer a set-back was the Lazy Racing when their power valve played up and they lost power and began to move back in the filed. Front rowers Wildbunch and 1772MVR began to feel the effects of the early pace. With 1772MVR having an issue with their machine and a lengthy stop for repairs put them down a few laps but with plenty to go still in with a chance. Wildbunch Racing however had an electrical fault and broke down on track and required retrieval, their day was almost done. With the front runners experiencing troubles Schimmins Skid Team and Good Time racing began to appear on the leader board, even the Heavy Div More Kart team were in the outright top 3 at one stage with some excellent pace.
Regular appearances by the safety kart ensured the field was kept close. Lazy Racing fixed their early problem at their first regular stop, some good strategy in doing their tyre change early was later to prove a winning move. Lazy Racing began to build a multiple lap lead. 1772MVR were on the comeback trail and were noticeably quicker than the field, but still a long way behind but still time to possibly win if things went their way.
The Heavy Div was looking like again being a strategy race with Affordable Palletts sticking to their plan however a very rare error was made when their fuel calculations failed, making the worst error in endurance racing was made running out of fuel, the resultant pick up saw their hopes fade but again still in with a podium chance. Another team to make the errors was Good Time racing but as luck would have it ran out of fuel and ahead enough speed left to role into pit lane without needing a pick up, that error was though to bite them later on.
Approaching the last 100 laps things began to play out as they do in endurance racing, would the things that effected some of the favourites early in the race effect those who were fault free to this stage would the gremlins start to appear? Wildbunch racing made a valiant attempt at a comeback but a blown bottom end finished their day. Lazy Racing were out to a clear lead when a brain fade by their driver saw them penalised for passing under yellow requiring a drive through penalty, resulting in a reduction of their lead. Scimmins Skid Team were n the charge and Good Time racing managed to close the gap thanks to some safety Karts and good driving, 1172MVR were rapidly coming into contention after their early setback . It would come down to the last pit stops, when and who was would be first to be fuelled to the end. This is where what happened early in the day would effect their end of the day. First to pit and be ready for the run to the end was Lazy Racing, their decision to do their tyre change early was now to bear fruit.. Scimmins Skid Team and Good Time racing pitted close together but Good Time racing's engine failed to restart after refuelling and lost any chance there and then with along stop. 1772MVR and Scimmins Skid Team had to do their tyre changes with allowed Lazy Racing to regain a sizeable lead.
With the last round of stops concluded it was a case of where everyone was in relation to each other ad the laps left. Again endurance racing quite often throws up problems that keep the marbles in the air and any any team is in with a chance if they believe they are. Lazy Racing began to drop their pace as their earlier problem in the day re-occured and adding a steering problem gave their team a cause for concern and their rivals a sniff of a chance. 1772MVR were coming on hard with some impressive lap times unlapping themselves repeatedly, Scimmins Skid Team were heads down backside up trying to get to the wounded Lazy Racing team. Would there be enough laps left to see a win for the chasers?
The answers was sadly no, Schimmins Skid team managed to unlap themselves on the last lap, but Lazy Racing had enough up their sleeve to see them win the day, Scimmins Skid Team grabbed the second place and the hard charging defending Champs 1772MVR finished in third.
The Heavy Div saw the early pace setters, More Karts grab a commanding lead and thus were able to hold onto this position for a win an a 5th outright finishing position. The running out of fuel of Affordable Palletts may have been critical handicap for a win but some good driving saw them grab the second place trophy. Bury Earthmoving were rewarded with third place after being consistent and endeavouring to keep problems at bay.With another 300 lapper completed and plenty of stories to be told on the trips home, 2013 is already scheduled in and plans being made for their next attempt and climbing the mountain.