Make Smoking History – WA State Sprint Kart Championships – Albany City Kart Club

By Troy Thompson and Frank Viola….

The picturesque, coastal city of Albany approx. 400kms south of Perth hosted the WA State Titles for 2017. Fortunately the weather was generally fine with only a handful of sessions being wet. The Albany City Kart Club did a superb job of organising and running the event, it all appeared to go smoothly, although I’m sure it was a hectic time for the committee & volunteers behind the scenes.

Simon Gwilliam has been at this game for quite a while. This year he suffered a fairly bad injury whilst playing another sport. However, he showed the great tenacity he has and what a great driver he really is. It is about time that those who ponder about great Karters from WA, start adding this chap’s name to the list. I know of eight State Championships that he has won….A brilliant effort Simon…..He has won championships in many classes and has been doing it for quite a while. Well done to him and all those who have supported him….

Cadet 9

This class was full of hard luck stories and close racing. Nash Ferraro, Jackson Mitchell-Rosenauer and Toby Maiolo had been the inform drivers leading into the event. Bunbury rookie Maiolo didn’t need a second invitation when both Ferraro and Mitchell-Rosenauer struck trouble early in the final. He went on to win a very close race with Lachlan Clee & Zane Rhodes completing the podium, the three crossed the line with only 1 second covering them.

1st Toby Maiolo

2nd Lachlan Clee

3rd Zane Rhodes

4th Kade Davey

5th Jackson Mitchell-Rosenauer

Pole Position- Jackson Mitchell Rosenaur

Cadet 12

A huge field of 26 Cadet 12’s made for some exciting racing over the weekend. It is amazing to see such big fields in this class. We have seen this occurring through-out the season and long may it continue. Throughout the heats there wasn’t a clear favourite for the title and this showed in the final result with Luca Nici in his Ricciardo Kart taking the win only 0.13 sec ahead of Jet Demarte with Caleb Sumich rounding out the top 3.

1st Luca Nici

2nd Jet Demarte

3rd Caleb Sumich

4th James Micucci-Allen

5th Ethan Flynn

Pole Position – Jett Demarte

KA4 Junior Light

A quality field of Junior Lights fought close and hard for the coveted blue plate with the top 3 being covered by less than 1 sec at the finish. Second generation racer Max McRae drove a superb final to take the lead on the penultimate lap from the previously dominant Mason Harvey and took his first State Title. Craig Spencer was right on their bumpers to take the bronze.

1st Max McRae

2nd Mason Harvey

3rd Craig Spencer

4th Jack Sheldon

5th Max Whiting

Pole Position – Mason Harvey

KA4 Junior Heavy

A wise choice of chassis for the meeting paid off for Craig Spencer in the heavy class, the little Arrow 28J was just too nimble through the tight sections of the track. He went on win the final by almost 6 sec’s over Ryan Bender and a close following Jacob De Cerqueira.

1st Craig Spencer

2nd RyanBender

3rd Jacob De Cerqueira

4th Thomas Callaghan

5th Holly Panizza

KA3 Junior

The premier junior class produced some fantastic racing with a different winner every race. It shows just how competitive the racing is in this class. However, in the race that mattered it was Jacob De Cerqueira who drove away to take the spoils from KA3 regulars Ryan Bender and Jake Sawyer. Jacob has had a good season and it is no surprise to see him come on on top when it really counted. The hard luck story was Kieren Ellis who was running strong in 3rd when he struck Holly Panizza’s displaced wheel at high speed damaging the front of his kart, but was very lucky it missed him & the drivers behind him, unfortunately his raced ended a lap later.

1st Jacob De Cerqueira

2nd Ryan Bender

3rd Jake Sawyer

4th Dylan Ferfolja

5th Cody Leunen

Pole Position – Jacob DeCerqueira

KA3 Senior Light

Sam Dicker pulled out the results in the X5 Arrow prototype when it mattered wining the pre-final and final to add another blue plate to his collection. It looked like a Dicker family 1 / 2 at one stage but Keb Evans found the pace required to overhaul Tayla Dicker to take 2nd.  The top 4 for this race were covered by less than 1.5 sec with part timer Tom Howe taking a credible 4th.

1st Sam Dicker

2nd Keb Evans

3rd Tayla Dicker

4th Tom Howe

5th Spencer Stone

Pole Position – Braden Bowra

KA3 Senior Medium

An impressive field of 17 karts battled for the medium weight title. Jason Betts almost clean swept the meeting with his colours only being lowered in heat 1 by Shae Thompson. Betts drove away from the field in the final to take his maiden title with Simon Gwilliam taking the silver and Terrance Flynn-Dowell collecting the bronze.

1st Jason Betts

2nd Simon Gwilliam

3rd Terrance Flynn-Dowell

4th Shae Thompson

5th Scott Foster

Pole Position – Jason Betts

KA3 Senior Heavy

This class was always going be a close battle between the top 3 drivers. 2016 Champ Jake Burton went back to back, but it wasn’t an easy weekend with the former National Champ Brad Fitch and super quick local Dion Hounsfield battling with him all the way. Added to this Burton raced the final with a broken hand which occurred in the earlier TAG 125 Heavy final. Goes to show what adrenalin and will power can do. Very brave stuff by Jake Burton and it proves what the mind is capable of when a goal is set and focused on. Brilliant stuff Jake Burton.

1st Jake Burton

2nd Dion Hounsfield

3rd Brad Fitch

4th Troy Stones

5th Timothy White

Pole Position-  Bradley Fitch

KA3 Masters

Eleven “old fellas” made the trip down to Albany and it was Andrew Freeman who came out on top in the final. Daniel Panizza was the only multiple race winner in the class and came home in 2nd and Richard Dekkers took home the bronze. Well done to Andrew Freeman. He has been quite busy the last part of 2017 setting up his great new business concern. The effort by Daniel Panizza and Richard Dekkers was quite fantastic. These two gentleman have been involved in the sport on and off for quite a while. Well done to them and it is great to see them get some reward for the effort.

1st Andrew Freeman

2nd Daniel Panizza

3rd Richard Dekkers

4th Paul Hughes

5th Peter Ten Broeke

Pole Posiiton – Daniel Panizza

TAG 125 Light

The toughest class of the weekend was without doubt TAG Light. The depth of talent is amazing and this was demonstrated by the current champ & regular National Series podium placer Ben Harders finishing outside the top 5 every race. The “old” fox Kip Foster showed his years of experience to have the better tyres in the final over young gun Sam Dicker with Aaron Grossman taking an impressive 3rd. If a lesson is to be learned from watching Kip Foster drive it is that, you don’t have to win every heat at a big race meeting, you just need to be in front at the end. Looking after your tyres is the key and I suppose it has been for a long time….

1st Kip Foster

2nd Sam Dicker

3rd Aaron Grossman

4th Jesse Thomas

5th Cory Hayes

Pole Postion _ Kip Foster

TAG 125 Heavy

Another quality field of drivers battled it out for the title with Ben Harders looking to be the person to beat after clean sweeping up to the final. But it was the veteran Simon Gwilliam who made sure he had the tyres for the final to claim his 14th blue plate. Harders bought it home for 2nd and Lloyd Bilick charged up from 11th in his Italkart to take the bronze.

1st Simon Gwilliam

2nd Ben Harders

3rd Lloyd Bilick

4th Mitchell Skeaf

5th Jay Ten Broeke

Pole Position – Ben Harders

WA Open Performance

A wide variety of machinery rocked up to race to for the title. In the end Kalgoorlie’s Courtney Gough in her Comp Kart twin took advantage of her crash in heat 2 to use the fresher tyres to claim her maiden State Title over the KZ’s of Mitchell Perrella and Blayke Wagner.

It is second ever championship by a female driver in this class. Marlene Dean won the title way back in 1972. Courtney now has the second, forty five years later. Well done to her, Wayne and Rosalie Gough.

1st Courtney Gough

2nd Mitchell Perrella

3rd Blayke Wagner

4th Thomas Gray

5th Glenn Fisher

Pole Position – Tyler Nastasi

Overall it was a fantastic event. Well done to the Albany City Kart Club for hosting a successful meeting and thanks to the sponsors, officials and volunteers who help to make the meeting happen. Well done to all the competitors for supporting the event. The Albany City Kart Club has worked extremely hard over the past few years to built the wonderful facility that they have. The track is brilliant and facilities will only get better if Karters support their events.  Best of luck to the Bunbury City Kart Club. They will be hosting the  State Sprint Kart Championships next year….