2018 Round 6 Race Report: Portland
Seen first on kartsportnews
words by Andrew Hayes
photos by Pace Images
- NOTE: full series points and series podium photos were posted after the event HERE
The sixth, and final round of the all conquering DPE Victorian Country Series, has been run and won in two largely overcast days at Portland’s Yarraman Park Circuit. The final round attracted 179 karters from Victoria and South Australia to the immaculately presented 760 metre venue.
The final round was afforded a different format to the proceeding five rounds, with qualifying, three heats and a final allowing competitors to bolster their standing in the series points. A weekend of awesome racing followed as the drivers utilised the multi lane Portland circuit to create a thrilling climax to the VCS season.
348 different karters and 1293 entries have raced in the 2018 DPE VCS season, and the Portland season finale was a great end to a very enjoyable series. Series organisers were delighted to give away the lion’s share of the $74K 2018 prize pool at the end of racing on Sunday. One of the big winners was Charlee Richardson, winning a brand new Corsa Racing kart thanks to DPE Kart Superstores, just a day after suffering a very bent kart in an on track incident.
The weather was largely clear all weekend, but a well timed shower just 15 minutes prior to qualifying had competitors in the first few classes racing to their pit shelter to decide between wets or slicks.
- Note: Scroll to the bottom for the Pace Images photo gallery
Fresh from a Race of the Stars campaign the weekend before, It was Jobe Stewart #30 who struck the first blow of the weekend, taking pole on a damp track. His time of 40.203 was 7 tenths faster than his nearest rival. Bronson Boult #71 and Kobi Williams #94 rounded out the top 3, both setting very close times.
The opening stanza would see three separate battles emerge, as Stewart and Boult fought for the lead, Ryan Morgan #12, Williams and Hugo Simpson #17 fought for the minors. Harrison Campbell #83 and Ethan Bray #31 having their own scrap behind that. As they crossed the line it was Stewart from Boult and Morgan. Boult would be hit with 2 separate starting infringements, dropping to 7th and therefore elevating Williams to third place. Fastest Lap – Stewart 36.966
Heat 2 saw the opening heat winner Stewart shuffled down to sixth on the opening lap, allowing Morgan and Williams to take the front running and continue in those positions to the line. Simpson assumed the third position for the majority of the race, until being overtaken by the recovering Stewart with three laps to go. Fastest Lap – Stewart – 36.939
Stewart regained the upper hand in Heat 3 crossing the line first. But only after an enthralling battle with Boult. Boult re-emerged at the front after his earlier penalty, taking the lead off Morgan who had led for 7 laps. Boult and Stewart both moved past Morgan at that point and then waged a war till the end, Stewart only grabbing the lead on the last lap to lead Boult and Morgan home. Fastest Lap – Boult 36.721
The final was set to be a thriller as Stewart, Boult and Morgan set themselves up for the fight, with Williams and Simpson threatening to ruin the party. Stewart got away well and drove a very classy race to lead start to finish, winning by 6 seconds. Behind him though, the action was intense. Morgan went backwards on lap 2, coinciding with Boult moving forward. Morgan was in sixth position as he began to rebuild his race, as the race wore on he was able to capitalise on the fight between Boult and Simpson, moving past both to claim second, whilst Boult settled for third after spending a fair part of the race in second. Simpson fourth, Williams fifth. Fastest Lap – Boult 36.854
Kobi Williams would take the championship ahead of Ryan Morgan and Hugo Simpson.
1ST Jobe Stewart (Portland)
2nd Ryan Morgan (GKCSA)
3rd Bronson Boult (Mt. Gambier)
1st Kobi Williams
2nd Ryan Morgan
3rd Hugo Simpson
4th Bronson Boult
5th Ryan Bettess
The opening session for the youngest racers of the weekend saw the South Australian Champion Jensen Marold #31 put himself in pole position, setting the fastest time (42.719). As expected his usual sparring partner Rusty Ponting #21wasn’t far away, settling for third after being pipped by James Anagnostiadis #9.
Heat 1 set the tone for the rest of the weekend, with hard close racing between Marold, Anagnostiadis and Ponting, each taking turns in the lead and changing positions. Ponting was in front when it counted, leading home Anagnostiadis and Marold. The ensuing pack of Charlie Evans #52, Lochlan Farrell #33, Kai Layland #44 and Ewan Anderson #20 fought hard throughout. Fastest Lap – Evans 41.044
Charlie Evans made his way forward in the opening laps of heat 2, hitting the lead on lap 6, taking over from Anagnostiadis, who in turn had moved ahead of early leader Ponting. Anagnostiadis challenged Evans, retaking the lead, only to drop to fourth at the flag. The consistent Ponting would hold his place in the top 3, taking second from Marold, who grabbed third on the final lap. Layland and Farrell headed the next pack, continuing their battle. Fastest Lap – Evans 41.048
Ponting regained the ascendancy in heat 3, leading every lap to win by 3 tenths of a second. His front row counterpart, Evans, had some contact on the opening lap and dropped to ninth, ultimately getting back to seventh. Anagnostiadis held second position for the majority of the race before succumbing to Marold on the final circuit. Those two had been split by Farrell in the early stages, before he had to settle for fourth. Fastest Lap – Anagnostiadis 41.687
The final was a spectacle of driving that had the crowd at the fence, as Ponting, Marold, Evans and Anagnostiadis went toe to toe for 16 Laps. Of the four, only Evans never occupied the top spot and the momentum shifted time and time again. Anagnostiadis emerged as the leader on lap 12 and held the position heading into the last lap, but you could’ve thrown a blanket over the contenders. Ponting managed to snatch the lead back on the last lap, and the top 3 came to the finish line together. Ponting taking a deserved win, Anagnostiadis second and Evans third, covered by one tenth of a second! Marold finished fourth, after contending all weekend. Farrell and Layland staged their own race for fifth, changing positions lap after lap and showed great competitive spirit. Fastest Lap – Anagnostiadis 40.880
Rusty Ponting had an unassailable lead in the championship after round 5, but was kept very honest with some of the best racing of the series in the final round as the young cadets gain more and more experience.
1st Rusty Ponting (South West)
2nd James Anagnostiadis (GKCV)
3rd Charlie Evans (Mount Gambier)
1st Rusty Ponting
2nd Jensen Marold
3rd Charlie Evans
4th Lochlan Farrell
5th Kai Layland
VICTORIAN COMBINED MASTERS
Neon Leon Forrest #11 fired the first warning shot of the weekend, by taking pole position (38.003) by 2 tenths over the speedy John Page #18. Page, Ian Branson #66, Matt Crane #97, Phil Smith #4 and Andrew Stubbs #55 were covered by a tenth in positions 2 through to 6, proving the competition was going to be hot. Ron Taylor #92 was a casualty of the session, losing a wheel after completing just one lap.
Heat 1 belonged to Forrest as he showed he meant business this weekend, leading from start to finish. Unlucky for Phil Stradbrook #51, out before completing a single lap. The minors involved scraps between Branson, Smith, Page and Stubbs, before Smith and Stubbs emerged to fill the top 3. Fastest Lap – Forrest 38.161
Heat 2 was almost a carbon copy of the opening race, the top 3 spots filled by Forrest, Smith and Stubbs. However Forrest was challenged by Smith, keeping the pressure right up on his back bar. Branson would drop several positions mid race after starting strongly in third, eventually finishing ninth. Page failed to finish after parking it on the exit of the last corner. Fastest Lap – Forrest 37.935
The penultimate event, heat 3 again saw Smith shadowing Forrest for the majority of the 10 laps. Forrest eventually held on for his third win, and would have been very aware of the ever improving Smith. An opening lap skirmish at the hairpin put a spanner in the works for Stubbs, Crane and Taylor, as the Hamilton club mates scrambled to regain positions. Phil Stradbrook had his best run of the weekend, holding down 3rd place for several laps, before the resurgent Branson and Crane bumped him back to fifth. Page again failing to finish. Fastest Lap – Forrest 37.913
The scene was set for the final, would Smith be able to topple Forrest? Was there another challenger waiting in the winds? Stubbs leapt to the early lead, repelling several Forrest challenges, until he made it stick on lap 4. From there Forrest would blaze to a three second victory, setting the fastest lap of the weekend late in the race. Stradbrook held third in the opening laps as Branson and Smith dropped back to the midfield. Smith recovered for third, while Branson followed home Crane for fifth. Fastest Lap – Forrest 37.859
Ian Branson would go into the weekend with a tidy lead over Phil Smith and Matthew Crane. He would hold onto that lead by just 74 points, while Leon Forrest would vault into 3rd after a stellar final round.
1st Leon Forrest (Wimmera)
2nd Andrew Stubbs (Hamilton)
3rd Phil Smith (GKCV)
1st Ian Branson
2nd Phil Smith
3rd Leon Forrest
4th Matthew Crane
5th Ronald Taylor
TAG RESTRICTED HEAVY
The series point score was very close heading into the final round of this class, and true to form it was Brett Jenkin #6, Cam Austen #55 and Andrew Harvey #51 right up the pointy end. Harvey put his best foot forward taking pole position (38.907) from Jenkin and Harvey. Incredibly the top the three all did 38.9 second qualifying laps on lap 5! Mount Gambier driver Trevor Pevitt #98 was the best of the rest.
Whilst Harvey got a great started and dominated the opening heat, the real story was the coming together of Austen and Jenkin at the hairpin, causing both to drop right down the order. Hurting their chances, Austen recovered for fourth, however Jenkin could only manage sixth. Peter Sloan #23 was the man to capitalise, snaring second place despite the challenges of Pevitt, who grabbed third after a poor opening lap. Fastest Lap – Harvey 38.947
Harvey’s momentum continued to build in heat 2 as he took another clear win. His kart appeared to be working beautifully, and his driving superb. Jenkin had a brilliant opening to the race, jumping from 6th to 2nd by lap 2, a position he would hold until his rival Austen found a way past with a couple of laps to run. Pevitt again holding down fourth place. Fastest Lap – Harvey 38.792
Sunday morning arrived for heat 3 and all involved wanted to see the contenders run together at the front to sort the series championship out. This time it would happen, but yet again it was Harvey who was first to the line. His starts had been spot on and set this one up too. Austen began to make inroads in this race, matching Harvey for speed for the first time. Jenkin had a relatively lonely run to third, whilst Peter Rogers #56 emerged in fourth. Pevitt popped up with the fastest lap and a fifth place finish. Fastest Lap – Pevitt 39.251
Harvey was staring down the barrel of a clean sweep as he rolled out for the final, whilst Austen and Jenkin understood the job at hand. Harvey again made a great start and looked set to continue his blistering form. However Austen had other ideas, as he hit the front for the first time for the weekend on lap 9. It wasn’t long before Jenkin also pounced on Harvey dropping him to third. Austen timed his run to perfection to take the win from Jenkin and Harvey. Rogers took a solid fourth place.
It would be Andrew Harvey’s earlier heat wins that would seal him a championship win, but just 72 points from Cameron Austen and Brett Jenkin.
His championship deciding weekend got even better when he was one of 2 lucky winners of a 2019 VCS series pass, and also won the DPE Senior Kart Star of the Day.
1st Cameron Austen (Bendigo)
2nd Brett Jenkin (Eastern Lions)
3rd Andrew Harvey (Mt. Gambier)
1st Andrew Harvey
2nd Cameron Austen
3rd Brett Jenkin
4th Peter Sloan
5th Martin Golledge
TAG RESTRICTED MEDIUM
A good sized field of 15 karts rolled out for the Restricted Medium class, and it was the black plate holder, Billy Westerveld #2 who would rise to the top with a time of 38.083. Westerveld’s time was only a tenth clear of his title rival Beau Humphrey #28, with Michael Mifsud #84 edging out Alex Baker #19 for the final spot in the top 3.
Heat 1 was the first sign of the kind of racing to come, as Westerveld and Humphrey put on a spectacle of tight close racing. Humphrey would prevail at the drop of the chequered flag, winning by 3 tenths from Westerveld. Baker claimed third place after an eventful last lap, which included a touch with Ash Mitchell #5, resulting in Mitchell being disqualified from fourth for a dislodged nosecone. Fastest Lap – Westerveld 38.109
Humphrey was again the man to beat in Heat 2, leading every lap, but certainly not every corner. Westerveld and Baker also swapping positions several times in the race for second. Baker eventually grabbing the spot, finishing up close behind Humphrey. Ray Dumesny #31 finished fourth, Mitchell showing ominous pace on his way to fifth. Fastest Lap – Westerveld 38.226
Heat 3 looked set to be another cracker, and the opening laps were intense. But things went horribly wrong for Westerveld on lap 3, as contact with Humphrey sent him plummeting down the order. Humphrey continued on at the front, leading the majority of the race, until some daring driving from Baker took the heat win. Humphrey crossed the line second but was issued a penalty that saw him drop to 10th, ironically one spot ahead of Westerveld. The revised order elevated Mitchell up to second after the fastest lap of the race, and Mick Angwin #73 into a weekend best third place. Fastest Lap – Mitchell 37.962
The final started with Baker leading the opening few laps before Westerveld had his turn at the front of the queue. Baker would regain the lead, only for Westerveld to make the decisive move on lap 10, going on to win by half a second. Baker would come under fire from Humphrey not long after, then was swept aside by the again hard charging Mitchell. Mitchell had raced from seventh position, and also passed Humphrey on the last lap to secure a fine second place. Baker home in fourth, Phil Reid in fifth. Fastest Lap – Mitchell 38.247
Billy Westerveld would enter the final round 196 points ahead of Beau Humphrey, but having done 1 less round.
With the best 5 rounds counting and the final round having an extra heat, calculators were melting throughout the weekend trying to work out who was in the lead.
Westerveld ended up taking the championship by 141 points from Humphrey.
1st Billy Westerveld (Rochester)
2nd Ash Mitchell (Wimmera)
3rd Beau Humphrey (Bendigo)
1st Billy Westerveld
2nd Beau Humphrey
3rd Alex Baker
4th Ash Mitchell
5th Michael Angwin
KA4 JUNIOR LIGHT
KA4 Junior Light is always one of the most hotly contested classes and the youngsters didn’t disappoint. Nicholas Sacco #80 was the swiftest in qualifying, taking pole with a 37.357. Closely shadowing him were his foes for the weekend, Bronson Boult #71, Jobe Stewart #30, Matthew Domaschenz #92 and Christian Cowie #15, all covered by three tenths.
It would be Domaschenz’s first VCS race in juniors after a very successful 5 rounds in Cadet 12.
Sacco held his nerve and the lead for the opening heat win, never being headed. Boult looked comfortable in second until a late challenge saw Domaschenz sneak through. Boult was also passed by Stewart, but he managed to regain that position and third across the line. Stewart fourth and fastest lap, Cowie fifth. Fastest Lap – Stewart 37.453
Heat 2 and Sacco continued his winning ways, only headed by a speedy Boult in the opening laps. Boult had second position in his keeping for the majority of the race remaining until both Domaschenz and Stewart snuck by on the final lap, demoting Boult to fourth. Fastest Lap – Boult 37.454
The field got a bit of a shake up in heat 3, Stewart gaining the front running for the first half of the race, before that man Boult rose to the top once again. However Boult’s reign came to a sudden halt as Sacco emerged from third to take his third straight win. Boult crossed the line second but was handed a penalty that saw him land in sixth. Cowie had impressively moved to third, which became second and Stewart third. A tough run for Domaschenz, turned around on the opening lap, however he fought back to finish fifth. Fastest Lap – Sacco 37.267
All was set for an entertaining final, Sacco and Domaschenz starting from the front row. Sacco got the jump and took care of business, winning by 2 tenths from Boult who had again surged early. Stewart held third for the majority of the race, claiming the final step on the podium from Cowie and Domaschenz. Fastest Lap – Stewart 37.285
Nicholas Sacco’s wins sealed the deal for the series as well, winning the championship from Jobe Stewart and Christian Cowie.
1st Nicholas Sacco (Eastern Lions)
2nd Bronson Boult (Mount Gambier)
3rd Jobe Stewart (Portland)
1st Nicholas Sacco
2nd Jobe Stewart
3rd Christian Cowie
4th Bronson Boult
5th Jaxon Johnstone
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT
KA3 Senior Light enjoyed a strong field of 19 karts, with plenty of depth throughout the field. Nathan Williams #95 was rapid, taking the pole with a time of 36.599 ahead of Corey Herbertson #25. Jack Bell #37 was in third, the margin between he and tenth being only 3 tenths in a tight session.
Bell and Williams jumped to the front at the start of Heat 1 and continued their scrap for the rest of the race. Both had a share of the lead, and culminated in a drag race to the line, Bell taking the win by 0.003. Herbertson and Joel McPherson #42 got together on the last lap, allowing Nikki Watson #14 to sneak through for third. Fastest Lap – Williams 36.715
Heat 2 would see Bell continue to set the pace, holding the lead until challenged by Williams on lap 7. Williams assumed the lead and went on to win by 1.2 seconds. Just one lap later Bell would also succumb to Herbertson, before Watson and also McPherson got by on the final lap. Order being Williams, Herbertson, Watson, McPherson and Bell rounding out the top 5. Fastest Lap – McPherson 36.689
Bell composed himself and got on with the job in heat 3, reclaiming the top spot after accounting for Williams on lap 5. Williams would only hold second until he resumed his battle with Herbertson, which was decided in the latter’s favour. McPherson started to look like he would become a factor, also dispatching Williams for third. Jack Martin #18 also on the move for fifth, fastest lap belonging to Nicholas Trebilcock #86 in eighth. Fastest Lap – Trebilcock 36.583
To say the final was epic, was probably an understatement. Bell, Williams and Herbertson all took a turn at the head of the pack, whilst McPherson, Martin, Jaxson Cox #31 and Watson were well and truly in the battle. Portland local Herbertson found himself in the lead on lap 11 and continued in that position until lap 14 when he and Williams came together under brakes at the end of the back straight. This turned the race on it’s head as karts went everywhere. Bell reclaimed the lead, McPherson now in second. But the big mover was Bryce Woollard #40, who went from eighth to third! Watson moved into fourth and they finished in that order. Hamish Allan #11 also finished strongly coming from ninth to fifth in the closing laps. Fastest Lap – Watson 36.703
Going into the final round it was Corey Herbertson ahead of Jaxson Cox and Jack Martin for the series.
Both needed a great weekend to unseat Corey, but he would prevail for the championship despite a drama filled final relegating him down the order, and Jack Bell would jump into 2nd overall.
1st Jack Bell (Oakleigh)
2nd Joel McPherson (Oakleigh)
3rd Bryce Woollard (Oakleigh)
1st Corey Herbertson
2nd Jack Bell
3rd Jaxson Cox
4th Jack Martin
5th Nathan Williams
KA3 SENIOR MEDIUM
Whilst not having the same big field as KA3 Light, KA3 Medium always proves entertaining as the field chases the benchmark that is Remo Luciani #20. Luciani drew a line in the sand in qualifying, topping the session with a 37.388. Just 4 hundredths off Luciani was the ever competitive Chris Thomas #7, threatening to take down the champ. Third belonged to emerging local Todd Chambers #42, with Heath Jelbart #14 and Aaron Jackson #13 rounding out the top 5.
Thomas proved to be every bit the match for Luciani, claiming the heat 1 honours after trailing the master for the opening few laps. The pair both looked to be in form, Luciani coming off spending the previous weekend in France. Chambers had a solid run to third, remaining close to the front runners right to the end. Jelbart got the better of Brad Anderson for fourth. Fastest Lap – Luciani 37.433
Proving that when driver and kart are fully in sync the results will come, Thomas was again victorious in heat 2. Luciani got a great start, but it wasn’t long until Thomas moved ahead and held sway until the flag. Chambers continued to show his credentials, setting the fastest lap on another run to third. Jackson rising to fourth, Jelbart thereabouts again in fifth. Fastest Lap – Chambers 37.364
The story of the third heat came on the first corner as concertina contact from the inside bumped Luciani into a spin and eventual DNF. This was a very unusual sight for most in the field, being Remo’s first DNF at a Victorian Country Series event in many years.
With Luciani gone, it was up to Thomas and Chambers to fight this one out. Thomas showed a clean pair of heals, although Chambers remained in touch for second with Jackson looking to have found his mojo in third. Fastest Lap – Chambers 37.212
Thomas and Chambers led the field away for the final, but it wasn’t long before Luciani joined them at the front, taking the lead from Thomas on lap 9. But not content, Thomas fought back to retake the lead on the 12th circulation, bringing Chambers with him into second. It must have been the smallest motivation Luciani needed as he took Chambers on the next lap and moved ahead of Thomas on the following lap to regain the lead and go on to win. Thomas second, Chambers third and fastest lap, Anderson fourth and Jelbart fifth. Fastest Lap – Chambers 37.321
Remo already had the championship sown up before the final event, but Chris Thomas kept him honest all season, finishing 2nd 463 points behind the master, while the racing margins at each event were minuscule.
1st Remo Luciani (Wimmera)
2nd Chris Thomas (Geelong)
3rd Todd Chambers (Portland)
1st Remo Luciani
2nd Chris Thomas
3rd Aaron Jackson
4th Jackson Hodgetts
5th Bradley Anderson
On paper the Cadet 12 field looked to be very open following the departure of Matthew Domaschenz, and qualifying was a clear example of it. Putting together a stunning lap was SA’s Annalise Ellis #42, who set the pace to take pole with a time of 40.348. The top 16 karts were within a second of Ellis’ time, but closest was local Brocklan Parker #7 and Xavier Avramides #55. Darcy Heyne #60 and Thomas Schmidt #36 rounding out the top 5.
Heat 1 would see the emergence of Avramides as the standout performer in the class. His driving was faultless, and kart phenomenal as he dominated proceedings. The battle for the final spots on the podium were far more intense, with Schmidt and Jake Krasna #75 fighting it out for second until Krasna made the decisive move on the last lap. Parker staged a major comeback for fourth, Parker Scott #23 claiming 5th. Fastest Lap – Avramides 40.491
Avramides was again untouchable in heat 2, strutting his stuff to win by 5.8 seconds. Other than an earlier scrap with Schmidt, Krasna had a hold on second place. Schmidt spiralled down the order with a mechanical issue after his strong start. Parker was in eighth on lap 3, but from there he showed strong form to finish third. Leo Iannella #3 and Anthony Capobianco #49 also top 5 finishers. Fastest Lap – Avramides 40.388
It was Iannella who jumped up to lead the opening lap of heat 3, before dropping to 21st by lap 3. Avramides re-assumed his top spot on lap 2 and went on to win, albeit with a far smaller margin. Parker continued to charge, snaring second, ahead of an improving Capobianco. Schmidt and Jesse Lacey #16 collecting the final spots in the top 5. Fastest Lap – Avramides 40.180
Finishing off a very impressive weekend’s work, Avramides again controlled the final to win by 5.8 seconds. Lacey started to put it together in the middle of the race, moving up to and holding onto second place. Iannella and Schmidt went to war lap after lap, Schmidt eventually sealing his spot on the podium. Good pace for Iannella in fourth, and Parker Scott in fifth. Fastest Lap – Avramides 40.242
Matthew Domaschenz had confidently won the Cadet 12 championship before moving up to KA4 Junior Light at Portland. The final 2 podium spots were to be disputed between Thomas Schmidt and Brocklan Parker. Schmidt’s good weekend sealed second position in the championship, while Parker maintained 3rd.
1st Xavier Avramides (Oakleigh)
2nd Jesse Lacey (GKCV)
3rd Thomas Schmidt (Geelong)
1st Matthew Domaschenz
2nd Thomas Schmidt
3rd Brocklan Parker
4th Jesse Lacey
5th Jake Krasna
KA4 JUNIOR HEAVY
The hotly contested KA4 Junior Heavy field was littered with class and hard chargers and promised to be a fascinating duel. Winston Smith #28 made the most of qualifying to head the 20 kart field with a time of 38.553. 2 tenths away was Joel Johnson #5, who lead a conga line of karts on very similar pace. Third belonged to Riley Jabke #44, with Johnny Hill #88 and Zaiden Barry #63 in fourth and fifth.
Johnson capitalised on a great start to take the heat 1 honours, setting him up as a contender for the weekend. Early in the race, perennial front runner Daniel Hookway #95 made his way up to second, before it became quite apparent he wasn’t in his usual equipment, dropping back as the race went on. Smith regained his momentum after a testing start to assume the second spot, whilst Barry showed his potential in third. Fourth and fifth for Jabke and Hill. Fastest Lap – Jabke 38.710
Johnson again proving his speed with another win in heat 2, but not before a sustained attack from Barry, who looked energised in his fluro paint scheme. After taking the lead for a few laps, Barry would need to settle for third after Jabke come on strong late in the race to claim second. Hill and Smith home fourth and fifth. Fastest Lap – Jabke 38.594
After fastest laps in the two proceeding heats, It was Jabke who took the heat 3 chequered flag first. Jabke had got the upper hand after Barry and Johnson had staged an epic duel, only to find themselves in second and third in the closing laps. Hill and Smith continued their weekend long battle to fill fourth and fifth. Fastest Lap – Johnson 38.554
Motorsport can be cruel sometimes, as it proved for Jabke, out on the first corner of the final in a case of what might have been. The early part of the race saw Barry and Johnson jostling for the lead, before Johnson got the better of that one. After looking like the benchmark all weekend, Johnson lead for several laps before being passed by Hill on lap 8. What was to come had to be seen to be believed as Hill come under fire from Johnson on the final lap before a drag to the line. Hill won by a mere 0.007 of a second! The race for third was interesting with Smith, Barry and eventually Maximus Fahey #71 gunning for a podium. In the end it was Fahey charging through to pip Smith and Seth Burton. Fastest Lap – Hill 38.438
Daniel Hookway ended up having a bit of fun in a different chassis at the final event after putting his championship beyond doubt at round 5.
Joel Johnson claimed 2nd position, with Zaiden Barry holding off Johny Hill for 3rd in the series.
1st Johnny Hill (GKCV)
2nd Joel Johnson (Mildura)
3rd Maximus Fahey (South West)
1st Daniel Hookway
2nd Joel Johnson
3rd Zaiden Barry
4th Johnny Hill
4th Samuel Davies
TAG RESTRICTED LIGHT
Always big numbers, always chaotic, Tag Restricted Light didn’t disappoint in Portland. Local gun Todd Chambers #42 started the weekend with all guns blazing, scorching to pole with a 37.295. The veteran Steven Malkin #12 parked it on the front row, just ahead of the improving Dave Menzel #99. Andrew Rae #96 and Aaron Neilson #86 signalling their front running aspirations in fourth and fifth.
Chambers was on a mission, and a heat 1 win by six seconds was a perfect start. Malkin involved in an early skirmish dropped back as A Rae, Ross Stubbs #37 and Brock Rae #19 fought for the minors. A Rae home in second, Joseph Clough #94 in third after holding ninth on the opening lap, B Rae fourth and Jono McKean #48 fifth. Fastest Lap – Chambers 37.136
Heat 2 was very unlike this class, as the top 5 repeated in the exact same order! Chambers looking untouchable out front, the Rae’s coming, Clough speedy and Mckean threatening. A largely uneventful race for the leaders. Fastest Lap – Chambers 37.145
Same top 5 again heat 3, meaning the expectation was only getting bigger, especially with Chambers’ margin at its smallest. Top 3 remained Chambers, A Rae, Clough, but McKean got the flag ahead of B Rae. Malkin’s drive deserved a mention as he dropped from fifth to twenty sixth and recovered for thirteenth! Fastest Lap – Chambers 37.283
The final was hyped up, but who could beat Chambers? A Rae got the jump early, leading the first 3 laps before Chambers got back in his groove and cleared out to win from A Rae. Menzel ran strongly and took his chances to finish third ahead of B Rae and Riley Meens. Fastest Lap – Chambers 37.396
Joseph Clough survived a DNF in the final to claim the championship by just 91 points from Brock Rae. Andrew Rae would take 3rd in the series; one of 3 Raes to take home series trophies.
1st Todd Chambers (Portland)
2nd Andrew Rae (Portland)
3rd Dave Menzel (Geelong)
1st Joseph Clough
2nd Brock Rae
3rd Andrew Rae
4th Todd Chambers
5th Riley Meens
TAG Light saw the arrival of a new force, 14 year old SA driver Blake Purdie #48 signalling his arrival with a stunning pole position (35.355). Purdie pipped Connor Farr #82 for the position, with Domenic Romeo #12, Jordan Rae #9 and Mav Benson #2all doing 35.5’s to round the top 5.
The opening heat saw Purdie given a rough and tumble initiation to the class as he dropped well down the order before recovering to sixth. Farr seized the opportunity, and drove to a well deserved win. Rae was never far from the lead, finishing second ahead of Nathan Williams #95 who had recovered to 3rd.
Williams joined the winners list in heat 2, showing that he had turned his fortunes around, posting a 1.1 second victory. Williams had to overcome Rae and Farr to win, a task he was upto. Harley Benson #15 popped up for his best result of the weekend in fourth, Purdie making inroads in fifth. Fastest Lap – Williams 35.528
Farr held the lead in the early running of heat 3, before Rae and Williams both moved ahead, finishing in that order. Purdie and Romeo ran together all race long before Romeo’s demise on the last lap, elevating M Benson into the top 5. Fastest Lap – Williams 35.588
Rolling out for the final was an unknown as several drivers had shown pace, yet nobody had really stamped themselves on the class. Rae would be the man, as he led all the way in the final to take a fine win. Behind him was where the action was, Farr and Williams battling early, Williams gaining the upper hand eventually. He was going along well in second, until challenged by Morgan Feast #39, who appeared to have been saving tyres in the earlier heats. Feast was flying until he and Williams came together coming onto the main straight, causing Feast to retire. Third place was now on the line and it came down to a race between Farr and M Benson, with Benson getting the job done. Farr and Purdie rounding the top 5. Fastest Lap – Feast 35.654
Heading into the final round Jordan Rae had a small margin from Connor Farr and Domenic Romeo in the series.
Jordan Rae would extend his lead in the final round, taking the championship ahead of Connor Farr and Nathan Williams
1st Jordan Rae (Ballarat)
2nd Nathan Williams ( Geelong)
3rd Maverick Benson (Hamilton)
1st Jordan Rae
2nd Connor Farr
3rd Nathan Williams
4th Domenic Romeo
5th Harley Benson
Low numbers in Tag Heavy as it tapered off late in the season. The King Brothers, Scott and Adam were the class of the field, going 1-2 in every session. Scott took pole position with a time of 35.946. The order of the opening two heats was Scott, Adam, Aaron Jackson and Paul Feely. Jackson would retire in heat 3, elevating Feely behind Scott and Adam.
The Final looked to be Scott’s to lose after earlier performances, but Adam had been close all day and hit his straps in the final. After leading early Adam was passed by Scott, but made the decisive move just after half way to clinch the victory. Jackson home in third and Feely fourth. Fastest Lap – Adam King 36.471
TAG Heavy almost didn’t form at Portland, with most drivers ready to jump into another class given pre-entries.
But a championship was on the line and Aaron Jackson needed just 64 points to beat Scott King to the title.
It was always going to be a tough ask to beat the King brothers at their home track, and Scott King would take the championship ahread of Aaron Jackson.
1st Adam King (Portland)
2nd Scott King (Portland)
3rd Aaron Jackson (GKCV)
1st Scott King
2nd Aaron Jackson
3rd Adam King
4th Glenn Croxford
5th Paul Feely
VCS Prize Winners
Corsa Racing Kart thanks to DPE Kart Superstores
50% Arrow Kart Discount thanks to DPE Kart Superstores
TAG Light: Gerry Westerveld
TAG Heavy: Paul Feely
$300 Allstar Graphics sticker or apparel voucher
2019 Season Passes thanks to Allstar Graphics
Portland DPE Kart Stars of the Day
Each picked up a did chain for their great drive
Cadets: Thomas Schmidt
Juniors: Matthew Domaschenz
Seniors: Andrew Harvey
Bridgestone Tyres thanks to Paul Feeney Group and Vortex Engines
Cadet: Taj Vandenberg
Junior: Christian Cowie
MGTires winners thanks to DPE Kart Superstores
TAG Light: Paul Trengrove
TAG Heavy: Adam King
So thats a wrap!
We hope you have enjoyed what we believe to be one of the best karting series in Australia.We sincereley thank all clubs, officials, sponsors, volunteers, commentators, photographers, first aid, competitors and everyone else involved in making this our biggest year in memory.
- NOTE: full series points and series podium photos were posted after the event HERE