|by Sean Phillips||12 April 2017|
The 2017 Arise Racing Carnival of Karts held at Perth’s Cockburn International Raceway really turned it on over the weekend with perfect weather and lots of close racing action. 200 drivers entered the unique 11 class format designed to produce big fields with more racing and less waiting, a trade mark of the Carnival of karts.
Along with over $12,000 in cash and prizes the Carnival also has awesome trophies right back to 5th place along with 3 random draw prizes each valued at over $3000 so everyone has a chance to go home a winner.
Above: Great field of TaG 125 Heavy form up, Brad Fitch (33) and Lewis Shugar (6) on the front row, then Maverick Cuthbert (88), Ben-Lee D'Limi (68) and Simon Gwilliam (2) (pic - Andrew Hooper)
The weekends racing was fierce but fair with no red flags or major accidents over 2 full days of racing. The new starting procedure with form up zones vastly improved the fairness of the starts and minimized roll up laps helping the club to complete the last final of the day at 2.30pm Sunday. This gave everyone a chance to join in the presentations, tell some war stories and still get home well before dark, just the way we like it!!
KA-4 Jnr Heavy was the first class of the day and it was good to see a few more of the kids racing in the class this year as past years it’s been a struggle to get the numbers on track. The kids all drove really well with some great dices through the field all weekend. Max Whiting was too good though and came through for a strong win ahead of Thomas Callaghan and Kieran Ellis in 3rd. It was also great to see Caprice Hall come home in 4th place with a solid drive along with Imogin Vince rounding out the top 5, well done.
Above: KA4 Junior Heavy podium (pic - Andrew Hooper)
TAG R 125 Medium were next and a great field of 18 karts faced the starter in what was expected to be a very tight race to the final. Luke Hall proved to be the class of the field all weekend but was pushed all the way by Justin Clayden and also Graham Westling who finished 2nd and 3rd in the 20 lap final. Some great racing and nice clean passes all the way down the order shows how much this class has progressed in the past few years when spectacular wipe outs were often the hall mark of 125 Restricted racing.
Sportsman KA-3 combined fronted up with a 30 kart field proving that WA has really taken a shine to the new IAME KA-100 engine and that typical “clubman” style racing where not only speed but tactics play an important role especially during the long 20 lap final. The master of strategic racing is WA karting legend Kip Foster and he once again came to the fore winning the final by just enough over young charger Cory Minton. As an old school karter it was great to see Kip racing against our next generation because with over 30 years of karting experience every lap these young guys race with Kip is a lesson in what it takes to be world class karter. Jayden Pierce came home 3rd and with an unbelievable drive through the field following a heat 2 DNF Taylor Dicker took home a very well deserved 4th place. Well done to all the drivers in this class who put on a fantastic show for the crowd all weekend
Above: The Old Master beats the kids - Kip Foster atop the Sportsman KA3 Combined podium (pic - Andrew Hooper)
Cadet 9 pocket rockets were on fire all weekend and raced hard and fast from the first lap. I often make time to speak to some of the general public who come to our event to witness karting for the first time and the look on their faces when they see how fast and close these young kids race never gets old.. 2 stand out drivers of the weekend were Nash Ferraro and Jackson Mitchell Rosenauer who put on an epic display in the final. About mid way through the final they started to dice and for what seemed to be forever ran inside, outside and side by side with both drivers showing great skill and respect for each other during this close battle. Nash ended up pulling away by a few kart lengths towards the end of the 20 lap final with his kart set to come on late in the race where Jackson had the advantage from the start. Kai Roggio, Toby Maiolo and Chase Wildman rounded out the top 5, congratulations to all the kids in Cadet 9, our next karting superstars.
Above: Cadet 9 podium (pic - Andrew Hooper)
Open Class is something that has been almost unique to WA karting with strong support and some amazing machines all hand built by dedicated karters for many years in WA. This year has seen a new kart emerge as a force to be reckoned with the twin 125cc Vortex DVS. Thomas sparks drove this new weapon like a seasoned professional, using his head in the heat races to conserve tyres and then going all out in the final to dominate proceedings. The twins are always amazing machines to watch corner to corner as they accelerate faster than any kart direct drive kart in the world but the new 125cc Vortex DVS twin kart just takes that to a new level. Jack May did an amazing job to come home 2nd and featured in the front group all weekend along with Glenn Fisher taking home a well deserved 3rd place. David Harris and Mathew Chambers would have been fighting with the front guys but had a coming together resulting in a double DNF and a disappointing weekend for both.
Above: Thomas Spark's Open class winning Twin Vortex DVS - what a weapon! (pic - Andrew Hooper)
KA-3 Jnr was a bit light on for numbers compared to past years mostly due to a huge number of these drivers moving up to the KA-3 senior class this year. The field of 10 karts made up for the lower numbers with some excellent racing and running some really quick lap times in the process. Ryan Bender is fast becoming the star of this class in 2017 and proved it again with a great win over some solid competition. Jake Sawyer held out over superstar Damon Papasergio in 3rd, Kieran Ellis and Isaac Mclean taking 4th and 5th. Special mention to Melinda Sully who came home 6th just missing the top 5 on the day and also had to endure a first aid check over after an on track altercation and injury during the heats, she showing some real guts to finish out the meeting, well done Melinda.
TAG 125 Heavy was a field stacked with talent right through the 29 kart field. With $1000 cash on the line for the top 3 drivers the racing went up another level again. Brad Fitch has made one of his trademark comebacks recently and you almost get the feeling he takes a year or 2 off every now and then to let the competition catch up again and give himself a challenge. He came back in his usual style with front running pace all weekend but it was Lewis Shugar who had the outright pace in the heats and the final. Fitch pushed hard to make the breakthrough but just couldn’t run him down in the end and Lewis went on to take a very well deserved win. Simon “gumby” Gwilliam rounded out the top 3 with a typically solid drive but just couldn’t get the kart into that sweet spot in the final where hotter conditions took some grip away from the karts. Master kart tuner “Grassy” tried every trick in the book to get Simon the win but in the end a solid 3rd place was the final result. Ryan Barron and Maverick Cuthbert rounded out the places and a great effort in a field this size.
Cadet 12 has to be one of the most exciting fields of young champions WA karting has ever seen. 25 young chargers were going at it front to back all weekend and the crowd really got behind them all the way. Caleb Sumich is setting himself up to be the next big thing in WA karting and has a huge future ahead of him if he keeps progressing at this pace. Caleb took a strong win in the final but deserving as much recognition were Lachlan Marshall and Jacob Fimognari who took 2nd and 3rd along with Luca Nici who came back from a bad result in the pre final for 4th place. Jack Clohessy rounded out the top 5 but if we could give a trophy to every driver they would all deserve it, the racing was absolutely on the limit all weekend, well done kids!!!
Above: Cadet 12 podium (pic - Andrew Hooper)
Above: Cadet 12 winner Caleb Sumich (pic - Andrew Hooper)
TAG 125 R Light was pardon the pun a bit light on entries with 9 karts taking to the starter but the racing was still very close. Roy “the Boy” Tester our much esteemed club treasurer looked to have the goods to take a win by qualifying pole and winning heat 1 but it was Thomas Bowsher who came good for heat 2, the pre final and the final. It looked to be a close final with Roy, Thomas and a super fast Brook Miller all set to do battle to the end but Roy got tangled up at turn 1 during the start and ended up with a disappointing DNF. Thomas went on to a strong win followed by Brook and Daymon Nicoli coming home in 3rd
Above: Brock Kenny takes the win in TaG 125 Light (pic - Andrew Hooper)
KA-4 Jnr Light is the proving ground for our top Cadets first move into the Jnr ranks and the calibre of drivers in the class shows how well the cadet classes are training these young champions as our future motorsport superstars. 17 of WA best Jnr drivers battled tooth and nail very lap, every race all weekend and in the next year or so when some of these kids move up to KA-3 Jnr we are going to see really impressive karters move through our sport. Jacob De Cerqueira, Dylan Ferfolja and Jack Cattalini took the top 3 spots but it could have been any of the top 10 drivers taking the win the field is so stacked with talent. 4th and 5th went to Max Mcray and Luke Sawyer who both put in outstanding drives all weekend. Full credit to all the drivers first to last everyone put in 100% and really kept the crowd entertained every time they hit the track.
TAG 125 Light was the headline race of the weekend with 47 second lap times in qualification and only 3 tenths separating the top 10 karts it was going to be all guns blazing to even make it through the weekend. Brock Kenny had the speed and consistency to win 2 heats and the final is style and has really come of age with his move to the TAG class. Jessy Thomas and Sam Dicker were never far behind but just didn’t quite have the speed to hang with Brock in the end. Jason LeCocq put in the drive of the final to move up through the field with incredible pace and was unlucky not to make the podium ending up 4th. The speed of this class and calibre of driver is evident with recent Australian Championship place getter Ben Harders coming home in 5th after a hard slog in the 20 lap final.
Above: Luca Nici was the lucky winner of the Tony Kart chassis (pic - Andrew Hooper)
Well that’s another Carnival of karts done and dusted, events of this size take a massive effort and we can’t thank our volunteers, officials and sponsors enough for all the help and support they have provided to make this one of WA’s premier karting events. A special thanks to our canteen staff lead my Mandy Ryan and her team who worked all weekend to provide us tasty food, cold drinks and a friendly smile.
We also raised over $600 for one of our young karters Daniel Clark who is going through a difficult time at the moment so a big thank you to everyone who donated towards his recovery and our thoughts are with Daniel his wife Gabby and young baby Joshua, we hope to see Daniel back out and racing with us again soon.
Above: Kip Foster (pic - Andrew Hooper)
Above: Club President John Wishart at presentations (pic - Andrew Hooper)
Above: Lewis Shugar on the scales after the TaG Heavy final (pic - Andrew Hooper)
Above: Arise Racing's BD with 125 Light winner Brock Kenny and Arise Racing Driver-of-the-Day Cory Minton (pic - Andrew Hooper)