|by Frank Viola||11 April 2017|
Arise Racing Carnival of Karts: Cockburn International Kartway April 8th and 9th of April 2017
Several race meetings stand out as the ones to be involved in each year; the State Championships and, in no particular order, the King of the Hill at the Hurricane Kart Club, the Ken and Ces Memorial at the Dirt Trackers Kart Club and the Carnival of Karts at the Cockburn International Kartway.
Part of the tradition being formed is that the Carnival Of Karts is run in the opposite direction at the famous track, which is now heading towards its 40th year. It’s hard to imagine that in 3 years’ time, we will be celebrating its 40 years of existence.
Above: Thomas Bowsher was the winner in TaG R Light (pic - Frank Viola)
Some of the great drivers and personalities of the past were seen around the track at various times during the week-end. The list includes Mike Sully, Gary Light, Jim Coles, John Nastas, Gary Fitch, Simon Furzer, John and Adam Gandossi, Alan Macpherson, Neil Andrew, Sean Phillips, Chris Mitchell, Harvey Morrison, Peter Allen, Bruce and Nathan Mettam, Joe Demarte and many more. They were all seen making their way around the circuit. Some are still driving - Wayne Gough, Gavin Kennedy, Kip Foster, Dave Harris, Brad Fitch, Lloyd Billick, Ben-Lee D’Limi, Kevin Offer, Greg Dicker, Richard and Eddie Dekkers, John Brennan, John Green, Simon Gwilliam, Brian LeCocq. The list goes on and on. The sport does have a huge turn around, but many of them keep coming back year after year.
The sponsors of the race meeting keep coming back every year and they are to be thanked for their wonderful support of this great race meeting.
Junior KA4 Heavy
Thomas Callaghan, Max Whiting and Keiren Ellis all qualified less than 0.325 of a second apart, so it was apparent that the racing would be close in the heats. Next on the grid for the first heat were Lachlan Harvey followed by Caprice Hall less than a second behind the pole sitter.
Callaghan was the dominant driver over the week-end, until the final. He won each heat but missed out in the final. Beaten by Max Whiting in the final, who came out on top, after a consistent run over both days. It was a great result for him, but it’s not a great feeling to have dominated the whole week-end and lose out in the final race of the day. However, the shorter heats and longer finals are two different animals. Set up for the much longer 20 lap final and fitness is the key. This time it was Callaghan to come out on top.
Keiren Ellis was the third placed driver, with ever improving Caprice hall coming in fourth. Young Max was also the quickest driver on the day going quicker than the pole time with a 51.481 second lap on the final lap.
Above: Thomas Callaghan Jnr, 1st in all the heats, but 2nd in the KA4 Junior Heavy final (pic - Frank Viola)
TAG 125 Restricted Medium
Qualifying was a close run thing in this class with John Ray coming out on top in this instance, just eking out Adam Cornick by .049 sec and Luke Hall by .128 sec. In fact the times were so close that a mere 0.25 of a second split the top six drivers in this class. The top ten were covered by less than 0.85 of a second, so the racing would be close.
Unfortunately for Ray, he had to be content with the fasted lap of heat one as he dropped to 6th place during the race. It was won by Robert Bakarat followed by Luke Hall and veteran driver Peter Tenbroeke. Second placed qualifier Adam Cornick had a DNF in the first heat and he would find it difficult to climb back through the field after that.
Heat two was won by Justin Clayden who managed 6th in the first. He was followed by Luke Hall in second again and Bruce Skyring who climbed from 10th after qualifying.
Heat three was to be a good race for Luke Hall after placing second in the first two heats. He covered the distance almost four seconds clear of Michael Versaico who had a bit of fortune in this one. But second none the less was second. Bakarat’s meeting was ruined by a DNF this time and it got even worse for him later in the day.
The final was probably an indication of the true winner on the day. Luke Hall was lucky to hold out Justin Clayden in the end. I suppose it was he who was the most consistent and he won the final by less than 0.5 of a second from Justin Clayden and Grahame Westling who was some distance back in third.
A consolation for Matthew Randall, was the fastest lap of the day.
KA 3 Combined
The top 20 drivers (of 30) in this class were separated by a mere 1.3 seconds in qualifying, so it seemed as if we would see a wonderful set of heats from these drivers. We did, but in the end was a question of who could master the old fox himself.
Kip Foster grabbed pole from Tayla Dicker and Shae Thompson. The difference between the three was a mere 0.169 sec so it was up to the driver who made the best start in heat one.
A chat with Foster a few weeks ago suggested that it was not in many drivers’ plans to drive around the outside at the end of the left hander on the first corner. It was a plan that most adhered to in heat one. But in the end Foster drove a fairly dominant race and won reasonably comfortably from Tayla Dicker. This young lady continues to show that she is close to being the best female Karter in the country. m Corey Minton was third from Jason Betts and he was followed by Shae Thompson.
Heat two saw a disappointment for Dicker as she was shunted all the way back to the rear of the pack. She was able fight her way back up to the middle of the pack in 14th. Meanwhile, up the front Foster had his problems with Corey Minton as he was able to fight off Foster in the closing laps of heat two to take a great win. In third a few seconds back was Bradley Nock. From Lake King it was Keb Evans in fourth.
The pre-final so some sort of “normality” return with Foster holding out Minton and and Jayden Pierce who was started to turn his week-end around some-what. Right on their tail was Tayla Dicker who had recovered beautifully and had put in the drive of the day so far. She did the quickest lap of the race on lap on lap 14 and she was well on her way.
A brilliant final was witnessed, with Kip Foster being hunted down by Corey Minton. The closing laps were extremely exciting as Corey Minton drove up to within a Kart length over the last three or four laps. But in the end Minton just didn’t have the edge, but showed just how good a driver he is. The third placed driver, Jayden Pierce was just able to hold out Dicker (quickest lap 50.452) who again drove extremely well in turn to hold out Shae Thompson.
Above: Tayla Dicker, 4th in KA3 Combined (pic - Frank Viola)
After qualifying on pole, Nash Ferraro dominated the week-end in this clad. Aside from a hiccup in the prefinal where Jackson Mitchell-Rosenauer won, he won the remaining heats and final. He did the quickest lap of the wee-end and was the only driver to dip below 56 sec per lap in the final. A wonderful week-end for the young lad. The minor places were argued between Jackson Mitchell-Roseauer, Chase Wildman, Kai Roggio, Toby Maiolo over the week-end. In the end, second went to Mitchell-Rosenaur and third to Roggio.
It is good to see the number 35 up the front of the fields once again. The number was raced by Kai Roggio’s uncle Jason Nastas in the 1980’s and 1990s and the young lad is being looked after his grandfather John Nastas.
A good field of 13 Karts greeted the starter in the heats, with Thomas Sparkes being the quickest in qualifying by almost half a second. It was obvious that the rest of the field would have to work hard to prevent him from taking the honours. Jack May, Wayne Gough and Matthew Chambers were not far apart in qualifying and it was these drivers who would battle out for the minor places over the week-end.
Sparkes was in tyre conservation mode for the first few heats, but blitzed the field in the final as the others had probably used up the best of their rubber trying to keep him in sight early on in the heats.
Jack May and Glenn Fisher were able to take out the minor placings in the final.
TAG 125 Heavy
The top twenty drivers in this class of a field of 29 were covered by less than a second in qualifying, so it was again obvious that we would see some close and tight racing over the week-end.
The first two heats saw Lewi Shugar, Brad Fitch and Ben-Lee D’Limi fight for top three honours with top qualifier Maverick Cuthbert being shunted down to fourth place. Less than two seconds covered these three over the first two heats. Former National Champs Fitch and Lloyd Billick were making their return to top level competition. The latter struggling a little, but was doing very well to keep the leaders in sight over the week-end.
The final was a battle between Lewi Shugar, Brad Fitch and Simon Gwilliam. After finishing out of the podium positions in the early heats, Gwilliam, the six times State Champion found his mojo and asserted himself on the top runners in the Pre-final and Finals of this class.
Ben-Lee D’Limi was caught up in some scraps during the Pre-Final and Final and managed only sixth and seventh. He had to make his way through the field in the Pre-Final and did very well to get back to a position where he may be able to fight for a podium finish.
All in all, it was a brilliant exhibition by all runners in this class and it does prove that the class is achieving what it was planned to do.
Above: Jake Burton, TaG 125 Heavy (pic - Frank Viola)
Qualifying in this class was always going to be interesting. The top 15 drivers were covered by less than one second. The top six were separated by less than 0.3 of a second and Luca Nici just pipped Lachlan Marshall by 0.005 of a second for pole. It was going to be tight all week-end.
The other notable and obvious feature of this class was that a lecture or two (discussion perhaps?) must have been had as the drivers were beautifully behaved during the roll up laps for the pre and final race of the week-end. It seemed as if some-one got a crucial point across to them.
The first two heats were fought out between Luca Nici, Lachlan Marshall, Jacob Sumich, Brandon Locke and Jacob Fimognari.
Jett Demarte had a shocker in the first two heats and sat them out. He would have a difficult task to get back through the field of 27 drivers in the following two heats. This is an obvious segway into what I consider to be the best two drives of the week-end.
The top five drivers fought out those positions in the final two heats, but behind them a great come back drive was being completed by Jett Demarte. He drove back through though the field twice in the last two heats and he did this in a clinical and assertive manner. He managed to climb back up to sixth from the back of the field and receives my drive of the day star. It was definitely a boost for the young chap and hopefully a sneak peek into what we may see later in the season.
All credit to Caleb Sumich for a great win in the Final. It was a fantastic effort by him. Lachy Marshall from the Hurricane Kart Club was in second place. He was followed by Jacob Fimognari. It was a surprise to see Luca Nici in fourth, but perhaps a good wake up call for him. I have no doubt that he will be back up the front of the field.
Junior KA4 Light
Dylan Ferfolja, topped the charts in qualifying with Max McCrae and Jason DeCerqueira stopping the watch at exactly the same moment but one lap apart. Cody Leunen, Jack Catalini and Max Whiting were also very close after the qualifying session.
A good sized field of seventeen drivers lined up for the green light in the first heat. This one was taken out by Ferfolja followed by the top six drivers in the same order as qualifying. The same results as the first heat occurred in the second heat with only Max McCrae being shunted down the order in the pre-final. He however, still finished in the top six, so his chances of taking the final were not lost completely.
The final seemed to begin as a repeat of the previous heats and it remained as such for a few laps. Unfortunately for Ferfolja, Jacob DeCerquiera, had other plans and was able to sneak by him. In the end it was DeCerquiera, Ferfolja, Cattalini, McCrae, Luke Sawyer and Liam Cain over the line in that order. Cain drove through the field twice in a great pre-final and Final after suffering a DNF in heat two. A fantastic effort by all the drivers in this class with Dylan Ferfolja providing the quickest lap of the day. It was no consolation for him when stumps were drawn on the day, but he was the quickest in the field all week-end.
This was another very entertaining class which had the spectators interested over the entire week-end. It began with qualifying where the top 20 drivers were again split by only a second. Fantastic results and it definitely shows how close these Driver/Chassis and engines combinations are.
Bartholomew was the lead driver after the qualifying session with the unlucky Brock Kenny pipped by 0.016 of a second. Sam Dicker showed that the family was right on the ball and was beaten by just 0.029 of a second. In fact the top five drivers in this field were covered by less than a tenth of a second.
The first heat was incredibly tight with Kenny, Dicker, Jesse Thomas, Ben Harders and Bartholomew in a tight bunch over the line in that order. There were a few DNF’s in the first heat as well with six drivers coming unstuck fairly early on in the heat. It was a brilliant first race apart from those unfortunate drivers. The second was just as tight and exiting with the order slightly changed at the checker with only Dicker and Kenny swapping places. Jason LeCocq drove brilliantly from a long way back to record 8th place in this one. Only two drivers, multiple State Champion, Shane McPherson and John McGreadie, did not make it to the end and they would have to start from a long way back.
Final was a race which saw Brock Kenny make it two in a row, after winning the pre-final. It was another tight and exhilarating tussle between him, Jesse Thomas, Sam Dicker and the charging Jason LeCocq. They were covered by less than a second at the chequered flag and final results and on track action will make it really interesting to see just who comes out on top in the for future race meetings this year.
Above: Jayme Light, TaG Light (pic - Frank Viola)
Ryan Bender had a dream week-end in this class, winning all three heats and the final. He was the only driver to clock a sub 50 sec lap in qualifying and was 0.250 of a second quicker than the second placed driver. Damon Pappasergio was coming of a long term injury and he did very well to place second in qualifying. He was followed by Jake Sawyer and Keiren Ellis.
Pappasergio was second in each of the heats and he did well to hold off Zakkariah De Angelis-Pritchard in third in both heats.
The final was a different story with Ryan Bender taking the lead fairly early on from Pappasergio and Sawyer. As the race laps ticked over it seemed as if Sawyer had a few more recent race miles under his belt and he was able to skate past a seemingly tiring Pappasergio. In the end it was Ryan Bender, followed by Luke Sawyer and Damon Pappasergio, with Keiren Ellis and Isacc MClean some distance behind.
Restricted TAG Light
Roy Tester continued his current vein of form by grabbing pole from Brooke Miller and Tom Bowsher. He was able to win the first heat, but with the positions reversed from qualifying Bowsher was able to take second from Miller.
The second heat was to see Bowsher seize the ascendancy from Tester. He won in great style during the eight lap journey. Brooke Miller and Vaughn Elliott had a great battle for third while Daymon Nicoli was some distance back in fifth.
Tom Bowsher was a winner again in the pre-final with Tester following in second place. Elliott was able to take a podium finish in this race with Miller in fourth.
The final saw the end of Tester’s challenge with him unfortunately not making the first corner. With his biggest challenger gone early, Bowsher was able to establish a big lead over the rest of the field. He won by over 7.5 seconds from Brooke Miller. She was also able to scoot away from Nicoli who himself was almost five seconds ahead of Elliott. It was a test of stamina in the final and Bowsher was the one who was at his best in those conditions.