OAKLEIGH July Club Day Report
It was a pleasant, although somewhat cold Sunday, but there were plenty of the Oakleigh faithful out in force for the July Club Day. The day ended up being a ripper too with some great racing and plenty of MKC drivers at the front.
Junior National Light was one of the classes to watch as young experienced driver Nikki Sims was racing for the last time at the Oakleigh circuit (as his family is moving to the US). There were also some other good drivers in the field with Cody Donald, Jack Bell and Matthew Iredale all looking to make an impact on the podium.
The battle between Sims and Iredale in the first heat was a solid one too, with Cody Donald even figuring early with a run at the lead. However Iredale made his way to the front and was never headed. Sims started off pole position in heat 2, but after leading for seven laps Iredale again came through the field, fending off solid competition from Cody Donald. Iredale managed to grab the lead at the end of the main straight. A solid battle followed with Sims repassing on the straight on the following lap, but Iredale pulled off a very slick pass in the ‘dipper’ section of the infield, to clinch the win and pole for the final. The final saw some brilliant lap times with Iredale getting into the 45.8 bracket and while Sims jumped into the lead Iredale gradually wore him down. Again Iredale performed a great pass in his MKC prepared Arrow in the infield and after some spirited challenges by Sims managed to hold on for the win and a ‘clean sweep’ of the day in the class.
Sportsman Restricted Heavy was pretty entertaining too with many drivers improving their times and also challenging some of the more established runners in the field. In the first race championship leader MKC Arrow steerer Richard Matera turned a solid start in to a win by coming from the second row of the grid to hunt down and pass Jason Sheales and Paul Maruszak. The race was a close one with these three drivers putting in some smooth and consistent laps.
The second heat saw MKC’s Steve Barlee win the start with Jason Sheales coming for him, reeling him in and passing him. Richard Matera also did well, finishing third after starting in seventh place. Michael Maruszak and Luke Grech-Cumbo, both following in their Arrow karts, were also setting fast lap times and not too far away from the leaders. The final was looking like being exciting. In the end it was a bit ‘processional’ as Matera got the start and cruised to a win. Sheales was in third, but closing on Michael Maruszak and by the time the flag dropped had managed to snag second.
Third: Michael Maruszak
Tag 125 Light and Heavy were combined into the same race, as the numbers were a little low, but there was plenty of excitement in store. In the first race MKC Arrow driver Tim Edwards made a good start and was looking pacey, pushing from fourth up to second place, when he was shuttled about the track and found himself in the dirt after a less than disciplined pass by another driver. After this West Australian James Allen cruised to a comfortable victory. In the heavy class MKC Kosmic driver Vern Kranz and Rhys ‘The Dragon’ Hunt had a brilliant battle, with Kranz taking the win. This would sea saw all day with Hunt taking the next win and Kranz prevailing in the final. Meanwhile Allen did a good job and took home a comfortable win in the light class.
In Clubman Light there was plenty of excitement with the ever enthusiastic Freddie Khan starting out of pole position alongside Nicholas Bates. Bates rocketed out of the gate and jumped to the lead on the start. Experienced driver Ash Arora closed on Bates and the battle was an engrossing one, but Bates couldn’t quite hold on to top spot. MKC Arrow driver Matt McLean and Matthew Lane both followed Arora through and this was hoe they finished.
The second heat saw McLean pursue and pass Arora, with a spirited challenge by the recently engaged Tim Holowell. Matt Lane was also closing in fourth, but now the stage was set for the final. This ended up being an epic battle between McLean and Arora with Arora squeezing past with two laps to go. McLean closed up and had a look at passing on the last lap, but it was a heat win and a win for the day to Arora. The lead as they crossed the line was a mere .05 of a second!
In Sportsman Restricted Light there was some tight racing and one amusing ‘conga line’ moment, when the entire field had to start single file on the track. In the first race James Hakim had an unfortunate rollover that saw the field called back to the in grid and a restart was required. This was quite amusing as the entire field of 21 karts started line astern on the track from a standing position. Championship leader Nathan Grover made the best of the restart, driving smoothly and getting to the front.
Blink Racing’s Mark Barlee and Zack Cerato also figured in the early running and Sean Bernardo was also on the charge moving from 5th to 2nd. Grover and Bernardo battled furiously for the last few laps and it looked like Grover might be headed, however he hung on for a well deserved win. Mark Barlee in his B-Max RL Leopard combination proved that “grandpa’s axe” can still chop wood, as he held on for a very impressive third, surrounded by X30 engines and much newer karts. Shane McCutcheon also did very well in this heat, moving from 17th to 8th during the race. Having recently come of his P's Shane looked like he was getting to grips with his new Arrow chassis quite nicely.
The second heat saw Bernardo out of the gates in his X3 MKC Arrow like a ‘rat up a drainpipe’ and he was never headed or challenged. Bernardo pumped out some really fast lap times too with a few low 43 second lap times and even a 43 dead, the fastest in the race. Behind Bernardo, Grover and Barlee an entertaining battle was unfolding between Travis Bird and the ever smiling assassin, Josh Goh.
Goh looked to just have the legs on Bird, but Bird was close to passing a number of times. It was a great battle. So the second heat wound down with Bernardo, Grover, Barlee, Goh and Bird filling the top five spots.
Now it was time for the final. This one was fast and furious, but also a bit of a non event, as Bernardo took the lead, followed by Grover and Barlee and that was how they finished. The race saw another 43.0 time from Bernardo, but that elusive 42 second time was still not to be.
Junior National Heavy saw plenty of carnage and some really great racing. MKC Arrows were plentiful in the field as some of our more recent converts to the sport had a hit out and enjoyed their racing. It was great to see battles up and down the field as Flodstrom, Frencham and Westaway battled for fifth in the first heat while O’Keefe Filikotzias and Sparey battled at the front. At the end of the day O’Keefe proved too god with two wins out of three heats. However Todd Sparey upset the applecart somewhat, winning the final.
Cadets was well worth watching too as ten competitors hit the track and the battles at the front of the pack delivered plenty of entertainment. The first heat saw MKC Arrow driver Josh Hocking grab the lead with both hands and hang on to it tenaciously. Hocking put down some fast laps, but surrendered the lead to Callaghan in an awkward passing moment through the dipper. From here Callaghan led to the flag, but Kai Upiter did look like he was closing at points. In the second heat Callaghan got the drop and led to the flag in a relatively uneventful race, with Upiter and Hocking in pursuit. Another MKC Arrow driver, Josh Troiani, also showed good speed early, staying with the lead bunch for much of the race.
The final in Cadets was a ripper though. The battle between leader Hocking and tenacious Callaghan in 2nd was a beauty. Couple of times Callaghan looked like he was on for the pass, but Hocking’s nerve was not to be broken and Josh did a great job to win the final in one of his best drives to date.
Clubman Heavy and Super Heavy were running a combined field this month too. The Heavy field saw some spirited battling between Dylan Slitts and Chris Thomas, with each driver winning a race each. The final was to be an exciting showdown except sadly Slitts and James Mastrorakis were both relegated to ‘spectator status’ by virtue of a rather dicey passing attempt on the part of another driver. So the win went to Thomas with Tom Martin and Jason Sidwell taking second and third.
All in all it was a great club day and many thanks to the officials and volunteers at Oakleigh who helped to run the event. See you next month!
(special thanks to AKD Photos for the use of the images here too, check his website out at http://www.akdphotos.com/)
An FA Victory Go-Kart fitted with a Rotax engine and Chatfield OzCool stickers has been stolen from the suburb of Lynbrook.
If anyone has any information or believes they have seen it please contact MKC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kart has been found! The culprit(s) are currently being given plenty of attention by the boys in blue!