2016 Round 2: Portland Race Report
AUSTRANS CONTAINER SERVICES VICTORIAN COUNTRY SERIES ROLLS ON
Round two of the popular AUSTRANS Victorian Country Series for 2016 was hosted by the Portland Kart Club on April the 10th with 170+ entries ready to face the potential of a rainy day, many drivers who didn’t make round one made it to compete whilst almost all of the first round winners arrived to defend their series leads.
To start the day in qualifying, drivers had to give some thought to the type of tyres they used on a drying track after overnight rain. By abou half way through qualifying the track was fine, however earlier qualifiers such as the Cadet 9’s had much trickier conditions to negotiate.
The meeting remained dry for the rest of the day despite a brief shower as the Tag Lights lined up on the grid for the pre final. Most competitors elected to stay on slicks, a couple gambled on the rain with wet weather tyres and suffered such as Jaymi Mackay & Aaron Jackson having to pull out of the race as the track dried in a handful of laps.
One thing that didn’t change was the huge tail wind up the straight all day, the karts were banging off the limiter getting from one end to the other.
huge tail wind up the straight all day- karts were banging off the limiter
There were many close finishes during the day track with eight of the first round winners able to go on and back that result up and extend their series leads. Let’s take a look at the results of each class:
KA4 JUNIOR LIGHT
Jackson Cox and Nikki Watson showed great pace throughout the day quickly making a break from the pack in all races taking a win a piece in the heat and pre final events. Portland member Kobey Sheedy also showed great pace with Sheedy finishing 4th in the final.
In the seventeen lap final Cox led from lap one to nine with Watson taking over the lead from lap ten before Cox snatched the top spot back on lap fifteen going on to win by .124 of a second whilst Watson ran the fastest lap of 38.017. Amber Miller made a late run at the podium moving from fifth to third in the closing laps.
Top three at Portland: Jaxson Cox, Nikki Watson, Amber Miller
KA4 JUNIOR HEAVY
With a small field Junior Heavy drivers combined with the Junior Light field. First round winner Benjamin D’Alia came from fifteenth at the end of lap one in the heat to finish eighth in the field for an impressive win ahead of Naomi Brady. Brady would go on to win the second heat as both Ryan Bettess and D’Alia made their way from the very back of the pack trying to catch her.
D’Alia then stamped his authority on the final when he finished thirteen seconds in front of Brady and Jackson Hodgetts setting a fast lap of 38.438 along the way.
Top three at Portland: Benjamin D’Alia, Naomi Brady, Jackson Hodgetts
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT
For the second round in succession, Jacob Dowson clean swept the top places in the Senior Light division winning the heat, pre final and final Portland racer Giles Rogers in second in all three events. Haiden Smith then Douglas Jackson took third place finishes in the heat and pre-final.
For the second final in a row Dowson won by almost by a ten second distance with Rogers and Jackson finishing in the minor places as Dowson set a 36.977 second lap in the final.
Top three at Portland: Jacob Dowson, Giles Rogers, Douglas Jackson
KA3 SENIOR HEAVY
Senior Heavy competitors joined the field with the lights due to the field size and this time first round winner Aaron Jackson was not able to repeat his heroics of Cobden with Remo Luciani taking a clean sweep of the heat, pre final and final.
Ryan Aitken and Bryce Woollard battled bravely with both drivers swapping second and third in the early races.
Luciani led all the way in the final over the seventeen lap distance setting a 37.926 lap time and winning by three seconds from Aitken. Aaron Jackson had some joy when it counted by finishing in third place to keep Remo at arm’s length in the point standings
Top three at Portland: Remo Luciani, Ryan Aitken, Aaron Jackson
Five drivers were in the thick of the action for most of the Cadet 12 racing with Will Harper, Matthew Domaschenz, Jaxon Johnstone, Bronson Boult and Nicholas Sacco however none of them would win the final.
Domaschenz won a four way heat battle with first round winner Boult, Harper and Johnston before Harper would defeat Sacco and Boult in the pre-final when Domaschenz lost his lead on lap ten in a ferocious battle.
All the action then took place in the final with the top three Harper, Sacco and Domaschenz coming to grief on the final lap in the last corner with Boult and Johnston who were just behind needing to avoid the mess opening up the way for Massimo Capitanio to come through for a win .215 of a second ahead of Johnstone and Boult. Capitanio’s best one lap time was 40.625 seconds.
Top three at Portland: Massimo Capitanio, Jaxson Johnstone, Bronson Boult,
TAG 125 RESTRICTED LIGHT
Brayden Flood continued on his way in Tag 125 Restricted Light, however it would be Ashley Mitchell who would qualify in top spot.
Mitchell then led the early laps in the heat before Flood assumed control to win the heat after mechanical failure got the better of Mitchell. Joseph Clough, Mitchell and William Hall battled swapping positions frequently. In the pre final Flood this time led start to finish with Clough in second until lap seven before Tom Owen took that spot. Hall had a rough heat going from fifth down to tenth.
With a best one lap time of 37.527, Flood again was superior in the final leading complete race distance no matter how hard Clough pushed. Owens looked good to finish on the podium until lap eleven when Shaun Lyness came through to seal the bottom step on the dais whilst Clough finished just .759 of a second behind Flood.
Top three at Portland: Brayden Flood, Joseph Clough, Shaun Lyness
TAG 125 LIGHT
Bradley Stepney-Marsh made his intentions clear from the heat race when he finished ahead of round one winner Kyle Rethus. Kirby Hillyer was in the action picking up a second in the heat and a third in the pre final. Shane Moreland was strong moving from sixteenth to ninth in the heat race.
Rethus relegated Stepney – Marsh to second in the pre final and the battle looked to be on for the days final.
Rethus led the field across the start-finish line on lap one and again on lap two, from there it was all Stepney-Marsh who would set a lap time of 36.962 on his way to a 3.052 second win whilst Rethus found himself down the order with Hillyer in second and Ashley Lear who had been fourth in the heat and pre final pinching the last spot on the podium.
Top three points at Portland: Bradley Stepney-Marsh, Kirby Hillyer, Ashley Lear
Henry Johnstone the winner at Cobden and Jay Coul who finished third at the same event had a tough field to battle with at Portland with Domenic Romeo, Jack Haverland and recent state series round one winner Taine Venables all dangerous at various times during the three races. Romeo won the heat race after Coul led the first four laps. Haverland and Venables also passed Coul to round out the heat race top three.
Haverland then looked the one to beat in the pre final before he slipped from first to third on lap four then to last by lap three. Venables took the lead from Romeo on lap ten with Jackson Rees moving into second ahead of Romeo in third who finished second at the first state series round of the year.
Jackson Rees then continued on in the final to lead from the very first lap right until the end. Henry Johnstone came into the picture and set a one lap time of 37.268 as he moved into second ahead of Coul before the drivers swapped positions on lap sixteen and then seventeen. Rees the winner from Johnstone by almost two seconds with Coul in third.
Top three at Portland: Jackson Rees, Henry Johnstone, Jay Coul
TAG 125 RESTRICTED MASTERS
Ronald Taylor mixed things up in the Tag 125 Restricted Masters starting with a win in the heat over the fancied John Page. A great battle between Leon Forrest and Steven Malkin finished with Forrest getting the better of the winner of the Cobden round. The battles continued in the pre final with a number of positional changes through the race, Taylor led all bar one lap to win the race with Forrest snatching second despite being fourth most of the race. Page who was 2nd for the first six laps dropped out of the top three.
Looking to stretch his series lead, Malkin was determined to pass Taylor. Taylor led the first three laps before Forrest led the fourth as Taylor drifted backwards. Malkin hit the lead on lap five of seventeen and won by .117 from Page and Matthew Crane with fifth placed driver Forrest setting the fastest lap of 38.247 in what many at the track say was one of the best races of the day.
Top three at Portland: Steven Malkin, John Page, Matthew Crane
Another super field in the Cadet 9’s with almost twenty drivers once again. Earlier in qualifying P plate driver Akasha McEachran qualified in pole after using her wet weather tyres. Things didn’t go her way in the heat where she was involved in a turn one incident that claimed a few karts and setting them out of the meeting or back in the field.
Local driver Kade Wilson held the lead in the heat for the first four laps before Ben Holliday hit the front as Wilson drifted back to seventh. Holliday was then challenged by Fraser Carr who took the race by the scruff of the neck and led from lap five to the finish line. Carr again took command of the field in the pre final when he led all eleven laps taking the win from Jesse Lacey and Brocklan Parker whilst Ruby Gibson charged from tenth to fifth.
Carr was unstoppable on the day and went into the final the clear favourite. Carr led all seventeen laps over Parker who was the round one winner with Lacey in third place at the finish. The distance was only .150 between the lead two at the line. Caleb Spence stormed from twelfth to seventh in the final whilst it was Lacey with the fastest one lap time in the race of 41.301.
Top three at Portland: Fraser Carr, Brocklan Parker, Jesse Lacey
TAG 125 RESTRICTED SUPER HEAVY
Cobden round winner Michael Angwin was hoping to have things all his way however Andrew Hayes had other thoughts taking a clean sweep of the day in the Restricted Super Heavy’s. Hayes led all the way in the heat race whilst Martin Golledge and Angwin battled on for second and third. Hayes again in the pre final was in charge at the front of the field with Golledge and Angwin the challengers taking another first to third between them.
In the final whilst Hayes stuck his machine at the front, Angwin got the better of Golledge from the start and looked set for a great second position result, before losing that spot on the very last lap to his rival with Golledge finishing one and a half seconds behind Hayes. Golledge was the fastest lap time driver with 38.888 his best.
Top three at Portland: Andrew Hayes, Martin Golledge, Michael Angwin,
TAG 125 HEAVY
The Tag 125 Heavy and Restricted Heavy divisions competed together due to numbers and in the 125 Heavy division it would be Scott King, Bradley Anderson and Ryan Aitken for the most part leading the pack. With his home track knowledge Scott King won the heat passing Daniel Rethus on lap one from Anderson and Aitken and the results were the same in the pre final for the top three positions.
Scott King in Karting terms took a huge win in the final stretching the lead out over six seconds as he knocked off Anderson and his own brother Adam King. Anderson and Adam, reversed their results from the first round. A 37.370 second time to Scott King was the best.
Top three at Portland: Scott King, Bradley Anderson, Adam King
TAG 125 RESTRICTED HEAVY
Luke McPherson put himself in the picture in the 125 Restricted Heavy division giving Matthew De Stefano and Barry Clough some competition right through the day. Whilst De Stefano won the heat McPherson was able to finish ahead of Clough. De Stefano led the ten of the eleven laps in the pre final before Clough picked him off and went on to win with McPherson back in third.
Another incredibly close finish to a race was dished out by De Stefano and Clough in the final. Although De Stefano led the whole race, Clough was the fastest setting a 38.822 time for one lap. At the finish line the timing monitor separated them by .5 of a second.
Top three at Portland: Matthew De Stefano, Barry Clough, Luke McPherson
The days Kerb Rider Awards were as follows.
Winners received Kerb Rider gear and $200 OMP Race wear voucher
Senior: John Page
Junior: Nikki Watson
Cadet: Bronson Boult
Round three will be at Warrnambool on May the 15th.
Victorian Country Series wish to thank:
AUSTRANS Container Services
RaceCulture Motorsport Design
Ballarat Bolts and Fasteners
Wimmera Design and Print
DMT Sports Media
For AUSTRANS Container Services Victorian Country Series
#76 Fraser Carr clean sweeping all the races after qualifying in 15th in Cadet 9
#23 Brayden Flood leading TAG Restricted Light
#96 Joseph Clough puts a decisive move on #21 William Hall to 2nd in heat 1 of TAG Restricted Light
#24 Brad Marsh-Stepney leading the TAG Light Field through turn 1
#11 Jackson Rees has some work to do after catching a massive slide in turn 1 in KA3 Junior
#5 Scott King is fast in TAG Heavy at most tracks, and his home track was no exception
#19 Matthew De Stefano and #99 Barry Clough leading TAG Restricted Heavy
#15 Andrew Hayes leads the TAG Restricted Super Heavy all day in his retirement year.
#66 Benjamin D’Alia taking out KA4 Junior Heavy
#31 Jaxson Cox and #14 Nikki Watson traded the top 2 positions in the heats before Jaxson took the win in the final of Junior Light
#13 Aaron Jackson and #92 Ryan Aitken had a ripping battle all day in KA3 Senior Heavy
#20 Remo Luciani on his way to a KA3 Senior Heavy clean sweep
#98 Jacob Dowson has been untouchable in KA3 Senior Light since the start of the series
Cadet 12 leaders for almost every lap: #92 Matthew Domachenz, #66 Will Harper,#71 Bronson Boult and #80 Nichloas Sasso appeared to be attached by a bungie cord all day
Tony Kart on Tony Kart as #51 Mav Benson takes flight over a sideways #87 Regan Clapham
#12 Jaymi Mackay and #2 Aaron Jackson gambled on wets after a brief shower while on the out grid…. and lost
The top 4 in KA3 Junior, lead by #12 Domenic Romeo, hustle through turn 1
#18 John Page and #12 Steven Malkin put on a great race in TAG Restricted Masters
#11 Massimo Capitano makes hay while the sun shines, as the Cadet 12 top 4 trip over each other while negotiating a backmarker in the last corner of the day.