Race wrap up from a wet and wild 2021 Vic Kart Championship at Oakleigh

After being delayed by 12 months to due the COVID pandemic the 2021 Victorian Kart Championship finally got under way at the Oakleigh Go-Kart Club at the weekend April 9th to 11th with just under 150 competitors competing across 10 classes.

With the weather scheduled to bring a cold front of heavy rain and winds across the weekend the drivers were able to take advantage of mostly dry practice on Friday but knew they would have to be ready to swap over to their wet weather setups at a moments notice.

Saturdays morning was run smoothly in mostly fine conditions with patchy rain and the sun shining at lunch time but then into the afternoon the clouds turned dark and the wild storms, wind and rain descended onto the circuit testing the skills of all drivers. On Sunday morning with more turbulent weather to come the decision was made Sunday morning to cut heat 4 and go straight into the finals.

A big thank you to the Oakleigh Go-Kart Club, its members and all volunteers for putting in so much great work in such trying conditions.

See the full results at Speedhive https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1846397

View more photos on the Karting Victoria Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kartingvic/

Cadet 12 class

Fastest qualifier – #13 Lewis Francis 44.122 (21 competitors)

State championship final podium
1st #31 Jenson Burns
2nd #23 Jaxson Burns
3rd #25 Alexander Yoannidis

In the heats Lewis Francis looked to be the driver to beat taking 2 of the 3 race wins with Cooper Stapleton winning the other. In the final Francis was able to clear out to a commanding lead ahead of Jenson and Jaxson Burns but on the wet and slippery track Francis ran wide with a few laps to go giving the race lead to Jenson Burns who went on to claim the state championship with Jaxson Burns 2nd and Alexander Yoannidis 3rd not far behind.

KA Junior Light class

Fastest qualifier – #90 Ryan MacMillan 41.535 (18 competitors)

State championship final podium
1st #14 Toby Dvorak
2nd #86 Angus Hall
3rd #55 Xavier Avramides

The KA4 Junior Light class was hotly contested with many different drivers filling the podium positions in the early heats.
In the final #6 Hunter Salvatore was out in front for much of the running but Toby Dvorak was able to come through from 4 rows back driving through the field in the pouring rain to take out the state championship title ahead of Angus Hall 2nd and Xavier Avramides 3rd.

Cadet 9 class

Fastest qualifier – #44 Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi 49.693 13 (competitors)

State championship final podium
1st #99 James Flynn
2nd #47 Cruz Kelly
3rd #44 Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi

The very wet track would be a good test of the young drivers skills in the Cadet 9 class final and #25 Cayden Beacham was able to get out to an early lead. After starting the final from the 4th row in 8th Cruz Kelly got a blistering start immediately jumping up to 4th but made contact with James Flynn into turn 2 with Flynn pulling off a miraculous save after being fully sideways. A few laps later Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi and Kelly started fighting for position which allowed Flynn to make a great move passing both drivers at the same time at the back hairpin. In the later stages Beacham had a moment in the wet allowing James Flynn to take over the lead and went onto claim the state championships title ahead of Cruz Kelly 2nd and Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi 3rd.

KA3 Senior Medium class

Fastest qualifier – #11 Hamish Allan 41.633 (10 competitors)

State championship final podium
1st #43 Taine Venables
2nd #18 Braden Clark
3rd #21 Benjamin Mouritz

In the final Taine Venables was able to get out to an early start and was never headed with Braden Clark duking it out with Benjamin Mourtiz for 2nd and 3rd.

KA3 Junior class

Fastest qualifier – #9 Jake Santalucia 40.479 (20 competitors)

State championship final podium
1st #46 Peter Bouzinelos
2nd #3 Harrison Draffin
3rd #94 Anthony Capobianco

In the final #9 Jake Santalucia was able to get out to an early lead with Harrison Draffin battling hard with Matthew Domaschenz and Anothony Capobianco. At about the 3rd distance mark the heavens opening up and absolutely teamed down with rain. Peter Bouzinelos started started to set some fast times and started to real in Santalucia and into turn 1 Santalucia ran deep and off into the gravel, with Bouzinelos claiming the state championship ahead of Harrison Draffin and Anthony Capobianco.

KA3 Senior Light class

Fastest qualifier – #94 James Sera 40.639 (17 competitors)

Oakleigh stalwart multi state and national champion James Sera took a clean sweep of the meeting but was made to earn it by Steven Tsesmelis right on his tale keeping him honest. With a few laps to go in the final Sera caught the back of a line backmarkers and Tsesmelis seen an opportunity and took his chance passing for the lead at the back hairpin but Sera came straight back with a classic switch back move and going on to add yet another state championship plate to his collection, Tsesmelis 2nd with #21 Max Torcasio coming home in 3rd.

State championship final podium
1st #94 James Sera
2nd #47 Steven Tsesmelis
3rd #21 Max Torcasio

X30 Light class

Fastest qualifier – #37 Jack Bell 39.474 (8 competitors)

State championship final podium
1st #37 Jack Bell
2nd #55 Jordan Dudfield
3rd #28 Matthew Hillyer

Oakleigh local Jack Bell took victory in the final by 2 seconds from fellow Tony Kart driver Jordan Dudfield with the Tony Kart drivers honouring their team mate Adam Pasek, Matthew Hillyer was not far behind taking 3rd after a good battle with Jordan Dufield.

TaG 125 Heavy class

Fastest qualifier – #10 Paul Rodgers 40.525 (8 competitors)
State Championship final podium

1st #5 Matthew Wall
2nd #33 Rick Pringle
3rd #94 Thomas Hughes

In the final Matthew Wall looked in control the wet and maintained his lead from Rick Pringle who was keeping him honest throughout finishing only 1 second back, with Thomas Hughes taking the final podium spot after a close battle with Benjamin Walter.

KA4 Junior Heavy class

Fastest qualifier – #36 Thomas Patching 42.258 (13 competitors)

State Championship final podium
1st #13 Harrison Sellars
2nd #2 Ethan Briggs
3rd #4 Zach Findlay

In the final Zach Findlay made a blistering start from the 2nd row taking the lead by turn 2 and building a 10 kart gap from the rest of the field in the early running. At the mid way point Brodie Thomson and Seth Burton had a coming together and running onto the grass while fighting for 2nd both dropping 3 positions.
As the race wore on Harrison Sellars began to find speed in the wet and started to chase down Findlay making the pass at turn 4 and going on to take the win, while Findlay and Thomson battled, Ethan Briggs was able to take advantage to take 2nd and Findlay coming home 3rd.

Victorian Combined Masters class
Fastest qualifier – #99 Peter Gigis 41.545 (6 competitors)

State championship final podium
1st #4 Phil Smith
2nd #5 Alan Roberts
3rd #99 Peter Gigis

Throughout the the heats Phil Smith and Peter Gigis duked it out at the front. In the final Smith took the lead into turn 1 then into turn 2 Dab Sriratana ran a little deep on the wet track making contact with Gigis with both karts spinning around and rejoining at the back of the pack. Gigis put in a great drive coming through the pack to reclaim 3rd, Alan Roberts revelling in the wet conditions to come home 2nd, with Smith well out in front and adding another state title to his belt.