|by Frank Viola||publish date 2017|
There were two reasonably warm days to greet us for the first major meeting of the 2017 Western Australian Karting Calendar. Quite a lot of new equipment was on show including the first JC Kart in Western Australia. Young Luke Coveney put the Kart on the grid and seemed quite proud of his new mount.
Wundowie Kartway looked resplendent as it always does. You can sit comfortably in the canteen and observe the whole circuit while you enjoy your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wundowie Kartway is certainly one of the more picturesque race circuits.
Above: Nathan Will finished 2nd in the Open Performance class, here leading David Harris and Alexander Barboutis (pic - Frank Viola)
Practice seemed to go quite smoothly as no one really wanted to show too much to their opponents. Many drivers seemed to struggle to get the extra few tenths after fitting their new rubber for qualifying. But that seems to be the norm at this track and it has been for a long time.
A few hiccups with the lights seemed to briefly hold up proceedings on Saturday morning. With those issues sorted out, qualifying got underway at about 7.45am.
After qualifying on pole, Lachlan Marshall seemed to struggle his way through the heats. Jack Clohessy was the star of the day and won every heat after qualifying second. The racing was extremely close and only few metres separated them as the crossed the finish line after every heat. Caleb Sumich and Jeff Demarte shared the minor placings throughout the heats with Lachlan Marshall, James Micucci-Allen and Jacob Byrne.
Laclan Marshall grabbed the win in the final after an interesting day from him. The track local seemed to struggle in the heats but found the right setup for the final. He was followed by Jack Clohessy and Caleb Sumich after the two had a great battle with Jett Demarte. The later struggled in the final laps but was still on the pace at the end.
Sportsman KA3 Masters
John Ray completely dominated the racing in this class and won all the heats and pre-finals and finals. Paul Hughes and Roy Tester shared the minor placings in each of the other races. The racing was good and close for most of the day and the rest of the series should be very interesting for these chaps. Peter TenBroeke had a fair day, but Daniel Panizza seemed to struggle which was quite strange for some-one who has been in the game for a while. He is sure to figure in the upcoming rounds.
TaG 125 Light
An excellent field of drivers lined up for the honours in this class. It was great to see former British Gillard team driver Daryl Henderson, completely dominant in his brilliant looking fresh Gillard chassis. Pole position and wins in all his heats and Pre final saw him line up for pole in the final. Another great performance from him in this final saw him take out the major trophy.
Kip Foster was the best performer of the week-end. After qualifying second he was driving to an easy win in heat one when a failed sensor on his exhaust caused an engine to misfire and he dropped down to last place. He managed to rip out the offending device and carry on to the end albeit in last place.
A drive to 8th place in the second race of the day and 3rd in the pre-final from down the order, showed just how good a driver he is. He duly won the final and showed the younger guys just how to do it properly.
Daniel Curry maintains his hunger and had a good day taking out second place, while Bart Horsten took out his maiden trophy in his first meeting as a Senior driver.
A DNF in the final, cost Flat Out team driver Sam Dicker, a place on the podium after he recorded some great results in the heats and pre-finals.
Above: Bart Horsten #50, 3rd in TaG Light. #38 is Jack May (pic - Frank Viola)
KA 3 Sportsman Medium
After grabbing pole, Jason Betts seemed to have everything going his way all week-end. Jordan Morris two had a good week-end, but a slip-up in the final caused him to slide down the podium positions at the end. He grabbed a couple of wins in the heat and pre-final before dropping to sixth in the one that counted.
Nathan Phillips had a bit of misfortune in pre-final one. He didn’t make it out onto the track and therefore did not record any points. This dropped him right down the order and cost him a podium in the end. A good drive to second in the final saw him record second place, while Betts had a great win to grab the spoils on the day.
Tag 125 Heavy
The racing in this class was very good. Taylor Thomas had a perfect week-end with four wins. He was the class of the field and dominated through-out. Robert Hooper was his closest rival on the day and recorded a brace of second places with Daniel McLoud and Mitchell Skeaf the next best.
A new Birel for Mitchell Skeaf has given him a lot to fight for this year and he is thoroughly enjoying the experience so far. He will definitely be up the pointy end of the field during this season.
A DNF cost Thomas MacPherson a place on the podium, but he was on the pace and consistently in the top five through-out the day. A good drive from the back of the grid saw him record sixth place in the final, but it was not enough in the end...
Ben-Lee D’Limi was back in a Kart for the first time in quite a few years. After a slip up in heat two, he was able to show his pace in the pre-final and final with a pair of fifth places. He seems to be really pleased with his return to the track and will figure in the results through-out the series.
Above: Daniel McLeod leads TaG Heavy ahead of Ryan Barron (4) and Thomas McPherson (94) (pic - Frank Viola)
Sportsman KA3 Light
2016 State Champion Thomas Shou, had a great run at this meeting. If I remember correctly, he uses his dad’s old number as well as winning his title at the same track. The Arrow mounted driver had a clean sweep of the heats and is looking to dominate the series. It was he in first and it was a fair gap to the second placed drivers in each heat.
Jackson Timmer was Shou’s main rival during the heats. A poor second race result cost him and Keb Evans from Albany was able to take advantage and grab a place on the podium.
Corey Minton’s DNF in the pre-final cost him badly. The FA mounted driver had excellent results in the first two races of the day, bad failed to finish the pre-final.
KA4 Junior Light
Mason Harvey and Max McRae had a good battle all day and Harvey recorded a clean sweep of first places. He was followed in each race by McRae. There was very little between Jacob De Cerquiera, Luke Sawyer and Riley Traeger all day. They swapped places many times during the day and they provided wonderful entertainment for the spectators.
Liam Cain looked like he was going to have a good day, but two DNF’s completely ruined the week-end for him.
Thomas Callaghan had some fine results and the “P” plate he had emblazoned on the rear of the Kart certainly fooled everyone. Four top ten finishes in each heat (out of 17 drivers) suggests that he may figure in results later in the season as soon as the “P” plates are removed.
Above: Tayla Dicker, Open Performance (pic - Frank Viola)
TaG Restricted Light
Tag Restricted Medium
KA4 Junior Heavy
WA Open Performance