Back to back Pro Tour victories for Gillis and Walton
Cody Gillis and Kris Walton have made it two rounds wins from two starts in 2016, taking the overall victory in Rotax 125 Light and DD2 respectively at Warwick’s Sandy Creek Raceway while a string of maiden round wins across the other classes have setup an intriguing third round at Eastern Creek in six weeks.
The battle between Sebastian Ruiz and Ryan Tomsett continued into Sunday in Warwick in Micro Max with the pair remaining to be the two drivers to catch in the class. In the end it was Ruiz who took out the round win, his first since joining the series. Tomsett settled for second while Macka Hazard recorded his best result of the Pro Tour with third from round one winner Emerson Vincent and debutant Jordan Ensbey.
Finals day Sunday at Warwick proved to be the day for Luke Pink in Mini Max as he took the win in the remaining two heat races and the two finals, handing him the round victory. The Queenslander showed good consistency across both the sprint and longer races, with the final seeing him take the chequred flag by 1.8 seconds over heat one winner Jack Westbury. James Wharton finished a close third for the round while Victorian Hugh Barter and New Zealander Connor Davison made their first appearances on the podium since joining the series, with the class delivering a field of 33, its largest since becoming part of the series and Karting in Australia in 2015.
Junior Max Trophy
Debutant Travis Worton proved to amongst the drivers to chase in Junior Max Trophy, taking the win in heat two before claiming the outright success in both the pre-final and final, handing him a round win in his first appearance in the series. Heat race polesitter Brodie Whitmore scored the win in heat three before taking second in the pre-final, however the longest of the weekend’s races saw Jaiden Pope step up to take second behind Worton with Jac Preston, Callum Bishop and Samuel Wright rounding out the podium.
With a capacity field of 36 drivers in Junior Max for both the pre-final and final, it was sure to bring two races filled with battle packs full of action. Starting from the second row in the final, Canberra’s Alec Morse proved to be able to break through to the lead in the 22 lap event, with Lachlan Hughes and Harrison Hoey both following him closely during the race. Entering the weekend’s last race, Lucas Lichtenberger looked to be favourite, starting from pole position, however after slipping back down the order, it opened the door for Morse. Hoey would set the fastest time of the race on lap 18, however he would go on to finish third behind Morse with Hughes taking seond. Heat-race polesitter Nathan Herne managed to finish fourth while Benjamin Deissler recorded his first podium in the Pro Tour.
Rotax 125 Light
Cody Gillis remained to be the driver to chase in Rotax Light in the category’s 22 lap final, breaking away to an early lead and securing not only the race win, but a clean sweep and back to back round victories. Gillis is now the driver to watch in the season ahead, likewise his team mate, Canberra’s Joshua Fife who finished second, a mirror of the top two from round one at Todd Road. Liam McLellan made it two podiums in two rounds, taking third with Liam Ford finishing fourth after Wayne Bourke received a post-race penalty for a weight infringement which subsequently promoted Paul Rodgers to the final podium place.
Rotax 125 Heavy
Sydney’s Shay Mayes looked to be the dominant driver in the Rotax Heavy final after breaking away to an early lead on the back of his success on Saturday, however for Mayes, a mechanical black flag after 15 laps due to a loose rear crash bar brought about a premature end to the race and prevent two round wins in a row. Gaven Whitmore was running second for much of the race behind Mayes, taking the lead late in the race to then go on and take the wine over Benjamin Ritchie with Lane Moore picking up third ahead of Clem O’Mara and Corey Lean.
After having been the driver to beat in the early races of the weekend in DD2, Victorian Troy Woolston looked as though he would again be sprinting away to a round win, however a close battle within the top four throughout the 22 lap final saw Sydney driver Nathan Tigani move through to the race lead while Dutchman Marijn Kremers got his way to second, placing Woolston in third towards the end of the race. A narrow victory for Tigani by just 0.1 seconds made it his maiden round win in the class with Kremers finishing second, his best result on Australian soil in DD2. Woolston held on for third from Chris Bregonje with Brock Plumb completing the podium.
The two longer races of the weekend for DD2 Masters proved to be a battle of four in the most part with Kris Walton, Lee Mitchener, Klinton Hancey and Troy Bretherton all being realistic chances of taking the round victory. With Walton taking the win in the last of the heat races on Saturday afternoon, he entered the finals day full of confidence, taking the win in the pre-final by just 0.3 seconds ahead of Hancey with Mitchener a further 0.2 seconds back in third. Bretherton took fourth while his team mate Scott Howard finished a comfortable fifth. The results were all but mirrored in the final, despite a rotation for second and third as Walton drove to take back to back round wins to start the season.
Round three of the 2016 Rotax Pro Tour takes place at the Eastern Creek International Kart Raceway, Eastern Creek, NSW from April 15-17.
To follow either event online throughout the weekend, like Rotax Pro Tour on Facebook, follow Rotax Pro Tour on Twitter and tune into the live audio commentary via Ustream at www.rotax.com.au/streaming.html