2012 NKA Prokart NationalsTweet
from Wendy Lucas
The NKA Prokart Nationals were held over 2 days on November 24/25 at Wollongong City Raceway. A mixture of hard racing and blistering hot weather added to the excitement of the weekend, with 115 competitors across 17 classes. With the race schedule including a 5 minute qualifying followed by 3 x 12 lap heat races, a 15 lap pre-final and a 18 lap final, each driver’s stamina, setup knowledge and strategy was tested.
Saturday’s racing included the majority of the junior classes, each of these showing strong fields. The first class in the racing order was Junior National Light, with PCR driver John Iafolla showing a dominant performance over the day to take a clean-sweep of victories. The class was dominated by the PCR brand with the remainder of the podium completed by PCR drivers Luke Scanu, and Thomas Krstevski rounding out 3rd.
Junior National Light was followed by Clubman Heavy, also resulting in a clean-sweep to Michael Saller. Michael was unchallenged over the day, while the fight for 2nd was fierce between Leigh Wright and Ron Arnold over the day. Ron Arnold was victorious in his battle for 2nd, edging out Leigh Wright by less then a kart length.
Senior National @ 150kg was the next class. With a solid field of 11 drivers, it was always going to be tight on the track. Gary Cosis proved the convincing winner, 8 seconds clear of the field, whilst Chris Kapp and hard charging Zac Carpenter battled hard for 2nd and 3rd. In the end it was Starkey Motorsport pilot Chris Kapp who resulted in 2nd ahead of Zac Carpenter.
TAG Light followed and didn’t disappoint. The final was a hotly contested 3-way battle for the lead, with Matt Ferraro emerging the victor with a late-race dive on SQ driver Daniel Smith. Daniel finished 2nd ahead of a relative newcomer in the likes of Grant Booth, showing great improvement to finish 3rd.
The mighty Cadets were the next class out as PCR talent Benito Montalbano proved too strong for his opposition to bring home a clean-sweep of victories, followed by local hotshot Dylan Obrien. The Cadets had the biggest turnout for the weekend, showing a strong future for karting at Wollongong City Raceway.
TAG Super Heavy and TAG Over 50’s may have been combined on track, but it certainly didn’t separate battles between rivals in each class. TAG Super Heavy was dominated by Shane Tate in his new beloved X2 Arrow, followed by George Nosworthy in 2nd, and Mark Kerr a close 3rd. Although they may be moving on in age, the Over 50’s put on a good show with Anthony Coles only just edging out Vince Ferraro for 1st place and the green number 1 plate, as Darcy Cox finished 3rd after his successful win in the Prokart Saturday Night Series Championship.
Rookies was last but not least, and was a nail-biting race until the finish between Zac Raddatz and Anthony Wiskich, with Zac Raddatz taking a narrow victory over young Anthony. Rounding out the podium was Luca Krkovski, also showing good pace from a PCR kart.
Sunday brought immense heat and uncommon track conditions, leaving even the veterans scratching their heads on setup choices. This meant the drivers and riders with the best tyre conservation and physical endurances rose to be #1.
The Promoto category brought reigning champion Liam Niblock all the way from Queensland to defend his National Title, which he did was great success. Liam overcame mechanical issues throughout the day to be triumphant ahead of Brad Watson in 2nd, and Beau Yates in 3rd.
Senior National @ 170kg followed with Andrew Dorahy dominating the class with a clean-sweep of victories ahead of Grant Gafa, and Andrew Williams coming home 3rd.
Junior National Heavy was a two-horse race between Harry Hayek and Jacque Isarin, who were neck-and-neck throughout the course of the day. Fortunately for Harry Hayek he managed to find the superior pace to come home 1st ahead of Jacque Isarin in 2nd, and Mitchell Morosin finishing a strong 3rd.
One of the feature classes of the day, Junior Performance, followed as qualifying only separated the top 4 karts by less then a tenth of a second, raising excitement for racing. The strong field didn’t disappoint either with the biggest winning margin in any race was merely .4 of a second! In the end it was the Karting World driver of Chris Bregonje that emerged the victor ahead of PCR driver Luke Scanu, making it two 2nd place finishes over the weekend for him, and Mitchell Koval rounding out the top 3.
TAG Heavy and TAG Restricted followed the Junior Performance boys with Michael Couani managing to claim a clean-sweep ahead of his monthly rival Tony Bregonje and Prokart regular John De Gori claiming a well deserved 3rd place. TAG Restricted was also a clean-sweep to Barts Karts driver Michael Bartley, representing the SQ manufacturer strongly at his home track. Chad Horsley drove well to take home 2nd place, and rounding out the top 3 was Saturday Night Series champion Barry Woods.
Next up was Clubman Light and Clubman Super Heavy. Always a hotly contested class, Clubman Light saw a new champion in Dean Henry-Smith, who drove strongly all day and showed the same form most PCR’s did over the weekend. David Sultana didn’t quite have the pace to win the final after showing strong form in the heat races but still came home 2nd, ahead of Peter Cannon who finished 3rd.
Clubman Super Heavy saw the witty Andrew Starkey come home with victory after driving a smart race to finish with the better tyres in the end. Andrew’s achievement is made even greater as this was the third class he was running all weekend, a great effort from not the fittest of men. 2nd place went to Anthony Thors finishing ahead of Paul Sciberras in 3rd.
Last but most certainly not least was the spectacular Open Performance. With the likes of CIK driver Matthew Erdmann and local hotshot Dean Starling, most eyes were certainly on the track. With Matthew Erdmann and Dean Starling sharing heat wins, the final came with great anticipation. Dean Starling broke through with the win in the final ahead of Matthew Erdmann, with Joe Chetcuti coming home a solid 3rd place.
The 2012 NKA Prokart Nationals were a great success, and hopefully next season the numbers will be higher, with big names such as Michael Saller and Matthew Erdmann attending.
Have a good Christmas everyone and we hope to see you at Wollongong City Raceway soon.