Martin Bass’s experience of the Swan Hill Tankworld Junior Championships – Round 1 – 5th of July 2009.


Author: Steve Bass & Martin Bass


On the Saturday morning we got up really early (at 4:10am).We then set off on our 4.5 hour trip to Swan Hill, it was raining and it was cold. When we got to Swan Hill we had trouble finding the road to the track. Once on the track I tried the ‘Thunder Dome’ (which is a 15 degree embanked 180 degree corner you take flat out at about 85 km/h) and it was heaps of fun. One of the times going into the pits I went too fast as I didn’t see the last lap flag, the lap before as I was passing two karts at the flag corner, and I spun and went past the pits, ending up side-ways next to the senior who were going out next. The third time I went out there I did my fastest lap of the day (43.2 sec). We struggled with Kart speed and after nine practise sessions we were going backwards, getting high 43’s, so after practice finished, we decided to add two teeth for race day without testing this change.


Tankworld 2On Sunday we got up at 7:00am and then my Grampa rang. His car battery was flat so we had to go to the Caravan Park and jumpstart his car. We then went back to the Motel to grab the go kart and the trailer and go to the track. It was freezing at the track and unfortunately I had to get out and help Dad lift the go kart out of the trailer. The weather cleared after Carby session and although still on the cool side, we had sun for most of the day.


Rookies Race 1: With 17 entrants in Rookies, I started race 1 from grid position 15, I worked my way up to twelfth. Mikayla Harper spun out on a tricky sharp left hander and we hit nose to nose but not heavily, but hard enough to bend my right tie rod giving me excessive toe out. I again worked my way back from fifteenth to eleventh, but pushed too hard and took a detour via the Swan Hill scrub, and finished fifteenth. My lap times had got back to 43.2, but still not as quick as we knew we could go.


Rookies Race 2: We had to do a lot of roll arounds because one of the local karters had engine trouble and had to get started on the track. We passed him on the roll around twice. I was starting from second position and had a good clean run and didn’t spin or come off and got some really good laps. My fastest was 43.05 and I finishing 10th.

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Photos by Peter Bass (‘Grandpa’)


Rookies Race 3: Didn’t start well as some one went in front of me on the roll arounds and I started two positions back from my qualifying position of twelfth. I passed him on the third lap and then I got my fastest lap 42.95 and I caught up to the guy in front of me. I moved up from fourteenth to eleventh and was moving up on 10th, but I lost too much time in the first 3 laps of the 10 lap final. Eight of my laps were below 43.2, with my last lap equalling my best lap time, so we were happy with the improvements and results that we had. I ended up getting eleventh in overall points for the round.


Racing was well organised and a credit to the hard work done by the Swan Hill Kart Club.

We stayed for the presentations and the following Oakleigh karters collected well earned trophies:

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Matthew McLellan 1st – Jnr Nat. Light
Kieran Brennan 1st – Clubman Heavy
Timothy Edwards 3rd - Clubman Heavy
Liam McLellan 3rd- Rookies