May Club Day Report.
Author: Steve Polak

 

A great ‘pea souper’ of a fog greeted competitors as they rolled through the gates at Oakleigh for this month’s club day event, and the fog didn’t lift for more than a few hours too. That said some great racing was on the menu and once the drivers could vaguely make out the circuit carby session was underway in some of the most slippery dry conditions we have seen.

 

Then it was down to racing and the 150 or so entrants got themselves ready.

 

 

 

Clubman Light was the feature class and the day didn’t start in ideal fashion for MKC’s Adam Hughes. Hot on the heels of coming through the field from last to second in the All Star round a fortnight ago Adam’s kart had a minor mechanical which saw him unable to post a qualifying time. Undaunted Hughesy fired up and turned the mishap into a good thing as he drove from the back to the front, jumping from 14th to fourth in the first race and then leaping even further in the second going from last to first. Hughesy then won the final in impressive fashion, with a fast finishing Wayne Bourke closing in during the final laps. MKC’s recently graduated junior Jordan Kaye also did well, scoring third on points. Mark Appleby, Trevor Alan and the recently married Marcel Ghoukassian also enjoyed the day with Apples and Trev having some great dices in the heats.

 

 

 

In Clubman Over 35s the racing was intense and entertaining, as you would usually expect from the ‘elder statesmen’ of the track. Peter Gooch leapt out of the gate and scored an impressive heat one win.  In the final it was well and truly on between Phil Smith, Mark Poole and Peter Gooch, with Phil holding the lead early and having a terrific race with Mark. One lap in particular shone as Mark passed Phil at the end of the straight and then Phil threw it cleanly and skillfully on the inside of Poole’s kart in Tony Kart corner to regain the lead. It was pass of the day! All of this battling benefited an increasingly quick MKC Monaco pilot Peter Gooch who snuck up on the pair, passed them and disappeared into the distance for the win. It was also great to see ex Oakleigh President Bernie Kelly battling with Crispy Racing’s Andy Yuill in his Tecno. 

 

Speaking of Poole. Mark also did well to win Clubman Heavy, despite a hard charging Timothy Edwards who had a DNF earlier in the day.

 

 

 

Superheavy saw a decent field take to the track with 9 drivers going for line honours. The first heat was incredibly slippery (as the Supers were class 4 out of the gate and so the fog was still a big issue). MKC’s Steve Polak started on pole and held the lead for five laps, before being passed by Chris Herod at the exit of the straight. After running off into the grass Steve managed to get back on the track, but then had to battle with Mark Hunt, who was setting some fast laps of his own. In the end Herod won the first heat, ahead of Hunt and Polak. The second heat was a very busy affair with MKC drivers Bou Spithoven and Dennis Thomas sharing the front row. The start was a messy affair with a feeding frenzy of drives coming through the pack on the first lap or so. The race was full of action with Hunt grabbing the lead early. The a battle developed between Mick Fisher, Hunt and Chris Herod. Chris and Mick uncharacteristically came together and this left Hunt with an easy win and Steve managing to make his way into second place from the back of the grid. The final saw two great battles develop as Hunt managed to hold off a fast finishing Herod while Mick prodded at Steve’s defenses trying to find his way around the rather wide number 37 Monaco in front of him. In the end the day would be won by Hunt, with Steve grabbing second and Spithoven snagging third with some good consistent driving.

 

 

Junior National Heavy was a ripper of a class and Ben Capuano hit the track in his Monaco with real energy proving a point by winning all three races comfortably in his MKC Monaco. Michael Carless did well and scored second in his Arrow, keeping his championship tilt well and truly alive too, but Ben was clearly the fastest on the day with clean passes and plenty of consistently quick laps.  

 

In Junior Light the large field saw plenty of passing and clean racing with Tim Smythe grabbing the win with both hands ahead of Adrian Lazzaro and Curt Sera. Matt Lane moved up from midgets joining fellow Monaco drive Alex De Souza and while both boys showed some speed tyre choices and a DNF on Lane’s Part kept them battling in the middle of the pack. A special mention also goes to Alan Wong who logged another successful run on Ps.

 

 

 

Leopard Heavy saw the likes of Luke Andaloro, Richard Camilleri Andrew Yuill and Leon Tarrant slug it out with Andaloro winning the first race ahead of Yuill and Camilleri grabbing the second win in his new Kosmic chassis. The final was a close one, but in the end Camilleri prevailed on points with Andaloro and Yuill close behind in terms of the day’s haul. Tarrant in his MKC X1 Monaco was one of the big improvers in the field too, showing increased pace in his second outing in the class.

 

 

 

In Leopard Light the battle was a one sided, if highly entertaining one. Adam Hughes won all three races in his Tecno chassis and set some very fast laps, with a number of ’40 dead’ times. The rapidly improving Josh King grabbed third with Andrew Wiles snagging third. John Reynolds showed solid speed with his new Leopard engine too, but couldn’t quite catch the leaders as he was stuck in slower traffic.

 

 

 

Midgets was a hoot to watch with MKC Monaco rocket Nikki Sims continuing to impress, finishing at the front and scoring a solid second place for the day. Nikki was in touch with the leader, Jordan Hollowell, in the final and was delighted to find himself on the podium again at the end of a hard days racing in the 14 strong field. After a break of a couple of months MKC Midget Calin Maclennan had his best day at the track to date too with a tilt at the lead in lap one of race one. His 5th left a huge smile on father Brett’s face. Cooper Bass and Brigette Cantarella also showed solid signs of improvement and Jimmy Petrakis enjoyed his first race day with a successful run, getting his first P plate signature. Well done Jimmy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile at the other end of the power scale Rotax was alive and well at Oakleigh again with many TagR drivers electing to make the transition to the ‘open’ version of 125 Rotax racing. Of the recent graduates the Leon and Troy Tarrant were in the thick of things battling each other in a hugely entertaining opening race. Leon finished second behind Troy who then went on to demonstrate that he will be a force to reckon with in the class as he took the win for the day. Mark Hunt did well to win the last two races, but was just pipped at the post by Troy’s consistently fast efforts. David Arnolda also showed a good turn of speed setting the fastest lap in the final (42.332) and may have figured in the podium action if a DNF hadn’t hurt his campaign. It was great to see Tony Johnson behind the wheel of his Monaco again too!

 

 

 

The Tag R fields were also quite exciting. In the P-Plate class Steve Petrakis had a superb day winning his first race in heat two and grabbing second for the day in what was almost ‘gentlemanly’ racing - amazing for P platers! Vern Kranz won the day with two solid wins as well and is looking the goods when he heads to Tag R minus his P Plate. Maree Yuill did well, grabbing another signature and improving her times. It was also great to see Andy Heidinger having his first race meet and alongside Bob Barnes and Glenn Chamberlain. P Platers was fun and incident free. . . ..I almost can’t believe I am typing this!

 

In regular Tag R the racing was more frenetic with Peter Gilbee proving (after a holiday) that he doesn’t have to practice to be on podium place in his MKC Tecno Leopard combo. Gilbee drove well to score second place with the experienced Hamish Leighton taking top spot. Brad Clarke scored third for the day and his first race win.

 

Oakleigh put on a fantastic day of racing and the rain stayed away! A HUGE thank you to all of the volunteers, Roger for spinning spanners all day and MKC Engine Guru Graham Ritter for some very insightful advice when needed. See you next month!

 

MKC would like to thank Andrew from AKD Photos for the superb images. You can buy them online, with some of the proceeds supporting the club at http://www.akdphotos.com/

 

See Photo Gallery for photographs of the event