|from AKRA's Mr Race Reporter||6 March 2017|
Australian Kart Racers Alliance have found themselves a new home.
Having overcome some challenges in 2016, nothing could deter the karters from coming to race at Wollongong last month. The weather was hot but it turned out to be a great day for AKRA's first event - eleven Clubmans (you would have to go back a long time in KA's CMS records to see a field of 11 Clubmans, so for the 1st event that really was spectacular), eight Yamaha 'J' karts and six TaG Restricted.
Above: AKRA's first meeting attracted almost a dozen KT100S Clubman drivers (pic - AKRA)
Greg Mackay, Wollongong Track Legend from the 1990s, brought his A game to win Clubman Class, but only just from Chris Green. Chris's pit-crew and chief mechanic Maggie Green had her pilot pushing Greg Mackay all the way all day and finished just 1.5 kart lengths behind. Chris gave Greg a big head start - a few decades of youth. With the average age 35-45 yrs, Chris Green at 71yrs young is an absolute Superstar. He drives like a champion, is fitter than most 40 year olds and can drive hard too.
Chris you are an inspiration to all of us Karters on how long we can still play this fun game of Karting - cheers to you!
A much younger Adam Mada Constable, on a social visit to Troy Boldy's home, saw Boldy's old FOX Kart with a Clubman and TaG kart and offered to clean the garage to secure their use for the weekend. Adam in the FOX Kart made good for a solid 3rd place in Clubman.
Above: 71-year old Chris Green, Clubman (pic - AKRA)
Constable took the honours for the first ever win at an AKRA event at Wollongong in TaG R Heat 1. But by Finals time it was Kingswood's Taxi Driver Layne Stace who showed a clean pair of heels to bring the yellow JC Kart in front of Constable's Gold FOX Kart. Local driver John Guest made the top 3 having only just heard about the meeting on Thursday and said he'll be there. Fantastic stuff!
Now the class of the day - the J Bangers! It was a ding dong royal battle between 1990s Karting Legend Darren Steeden and Peta Jane. Steeden, the greatest driver in the 90s to miss out on a certain Green National Plate 3 times, took the Finals honour in his trusty Arrow kart he pinched off his 16 yr old twin daughters.
Steeden, still looking lean and hungry, still fits in a girls kart ....lol........but made his fellow racers eat dust more than once. Jane followed close, just 2-3 karts behind, but Steeden was in total control out front.
Third place was a happy New Karter to racing, Jayson Darke. Darke took up the offer of an Arrive & Drive Kart available from the AKRA team and first had to overcome a spin in the earlier heats and grabbed a podium result after much improvement. So excited about the day and the possibility of future racing Darke is now looking for a kart for himself.
"I just want to have some fun karting" Darke said. "I'm not interested in being the next world champion and spending $1,500-2,500 on a kart compared to $10,000 is a no brainer. Thank you AKRA for introducing this affordable and fun racing for us average fun karter."
Above: TaG winner Layne Stace (pic - AKRA)
The racing was great with dicing all up and down the field. The karters were a great social bunch of people who had fun as the main goal.
The arrive & drive karters got a great taste and opportunity to drive a real race kart at a race meeting to see if they liked it before forking out some coin. Three karts have now been bought by these New Karters to join in the Racing for next meeting.
A huge thanks to the catering team of Vonny, Tara and Mandy who put on a splendid sit down lunch for all karters and crews to enjoy. It really was a highlight that all appreciated considering the weather.
And more thanks to Darryl Goodwin 'BigDee' and his imported German Flaggies David, Nick and Starter Klaas who showed Glen Dix style with the Chequered Flag, and Alfred Fripp for keeping the Arrive & Drive hire Karts alive all day
All in all a great start to Round 1 at Wollongong Kart Track Championships under the AKRA banner - bring on Round 2, March 12th.
Above: Darren Steeden and daughter (pic - AKRA)
Above: Clubmans do battle (pic - AKRA)
Above: TaGs (pic - AKRA)
Above: Greg & Chris (pic - AKRA)
Above: Clubman (pic - AKRA)