|by Paul Griffiths||19 March 2017|
The first Oakleigh Club Day report for 2017 after I missed the Feb Club Day, and March turns on a beauty with a forecast top somewhere north of 30 degrees and very little wind – a great day for it.
Trying a new format, Oakleigh offers Qualifying, three Heats and a Final, so to save boring you all to death, the report that follows is only on the Final – 8 laps Heats and the need to do the flags doesn’t leave me time to say much about them!
Matthew Hillyer, Hamish Allan, Callum Potter and Pearson Grant the only 4 racing KA3 Junior this month and that was the starting order for the finals after Hillyer had won 2 Heats and Allan one. Hillyer got a good start and took the lead as Potter dropped back to 4th at the start and from there Hillyer drove away to a big win, Allan 2nd and Potter and Grant fighting it out for 3rd with both of them coming together only metres short of the finish line and Potter went around, and for a second looked like it might be a heartbreaking DNF with the finish in sight, but he managed to keep going and cross the line in 4th.
Cadel Ambrose had won every Heat and Toby Dvorak had run 2nd, so they formed the front row with Giancarlo Arthur and Cooper Stapleton behind them as we set sail in the final. Ambrose and Dvorak soon pulled clear and left Artho in a lonely 3rd with Benjamin Birchall coming through to an equally lonely 4th. Out front there was lots of lead swapping and dicing as Ambrose and Dvorak fought for supremacy but in the end Ambrose triumphed and drove away to take the win.
Good racing here all day and Michael Carless had taken the lollies in each Heat with Jack Martin in 2nd every time, then behind them at the start of the Final was Jai Sparey and Mark Appleby and as we got underway Carless’ day was all over before it began - a move up the inside by Sparey saw Carless end up in the trap at Arrow corner, so we have Sparey, Martin, Angelo D’Ettorre and Appleby our front 4 on Lap 1. By Lap 4 Martin had reeled Sparey in and taken the lead, then a lap later Sparey found himself back in 6th after an incident I didn’t see, so the order now Martin, D’Ettorre, Appleby, Joel McPherson, Jake Congdon and Sparey. A lap later and McPherson had moved to 3rd with Appleby and Congdon now behind him and from here Martin and D’Ettorre went away with it leaving McPherson, Appleby, Sparey and Congdon to engage in a battle which went on for many laps with Sparey finally emerging in 3rd, Martin and D’Ettorre already across the line in 1 and 2.
Only the 4 of them ended up contesting the Final: Justin Carless, Richard Matera, Vern Kranz and William Hewitt, and at the start that was the order, then Kranz got ahead of Matera and so they circulated for the remainder of the race – Carless an easy winner in the end.
Seven Lights and just the one Heavy so Benjamin Moss in Heavy was guaranteed a good result pretty much no matter what happened. Ahead of him in Light we see Bradley James, Callum Potter, Kai Upiter and Flynn Cooper the front 2 rows of the Final grid and James and Potter shot away to a good lead with Cooper doing well to get through to 3rd ahead of Upiter – at the chequered flag James held on for the win. Moss toiled away at the back to take the win in Heavy.
Two “Mediums” (where did this stuff come from?) and three Heavys so not the liveliest of competition here: John Reynolds and Adam Corbett were 1 and 2 in every Medium Heat (sounds like a recipe!), with Heavy David Martin winning every Heat and Darren Kemp and Nicholas Drew sharing the spoils behind him. As the Final got underway Reynolds took the Medium lead ahead of Corbett and held it to the end, with Martin again leading the Heavys home; Drew and Kemp in his wake.
A certain predictability here as the same karters took the wins and 2nds in all Heats: Andrew Sotiropoulos and Ross Stubbs 1 and 2 in Light, and Tristan Fusinato and Andrew Ceravolo 1 and 2 in Medium. Away we go in the Finals and it looks like we might see the same results – and in Light we do as Sotiropoulos leads home Stubbs again, with Nicholas Flodstrom in 3rd, while in Medium Fusinato salutes, but behind him we find Zachary Marshall who got the better of Ceravolo to take 2nd in Medium.
Liam O’Donnell not headed all day as he won each Heat, Samuel Gibson also 2nd in every one, then Jett Wilson worked through to start 3rd ahead of Jakob Hailes and Tyler Knowles as we got the Final going. O’Donnell and Wilson went away with it as Gibson dropped back and Hailes further back in 3rd. At the flag O’Donnell took the win ahead of Wilson while the rest of the field spread further apart
Light saw Michael Carless, Daniel Griffin, Kain Kugimiya and Rory Spencer the front 2 rows, in Heavy Vern Kranz, Mick Fisher, Richard Matera and Shane Alabaster the same. As we got going it was Carless, Griffin and Kugimiya, then Kranz, Fisher and Matera - both classes in close formation for a few laps. Lap 4 and Kugimiya had got through to 2nd in Light and Kranz and Fisher were turning on a great fight in Masters. By Lap 9 Kugimiya had taken the lead in Light while Kranz and Fisher continued their battle in Masters, In the end Kugimiya drove away to take the win ahead of Carless and Griffin, a good Final for him after coming 3rd or 2nd in all the Heats, while Kranz just held off Fisher to take the Masters win.