PIERCE LEHANE ENDS SERA’S ROTAX REIGN
Sydney teenager Pierce Lehane (Castle Hill, NSW) ended David Sera’s (Narre Warren, Vic) stranglehold on the Rotax Light category with victory at the Rotax Nationals in Dubbo, New South Wales today.
Lehane was the dominant driver all throughout the weekend with the only blemish being due to a mechanical issue in his final heat race. Despite starting from the middle of the pack in the pre-final he steered his Exprit to the front of the field where he enjoyed a spirited battle with the six-time and defending champion.
The pair had an intense battle during the 18-lap encounter before Lehane crossed the line first to set the scene for an intriguing battle in the championship final.
During a frantic start Lehane was shuffled down to fifth place but he wasn’t fazed knowing that he had the pace to climb back up the order. Picking his opposition off one by one Lehane found himself in second spot by the end of lap five. On the next lap he caught Sera by surprise at the end of the main straight, the pair touched exiting the turn which led to some minor front end damage to Sera’s Arrow kart.
Shortly after Sera was caught up in a battle with Nathan Tigani (Sydney, NSW), Daniel Rochford (Narre Warren, Vic) , Fraser Hart and Tyler Greenbury (Toowoomba, QLD) which allowed Lehane to open a slender lead.At the end of the straight Sera made an ambitious move which led to him having a coming together with Hart rolling out of contention. The race was red flagged shortly after for the New Zealander to be checked out by the medical staff.
From the restart Lehane was never challenged as he went on to claim his third national championship in less than 12 months.
“It’s a great feeling to win three national titles in less than 12 months,” said Lehane.
“It was a great race between myself and Dave in the pre-final, there was a bit of a biff and barge, we were racing pretty hard but I ended up coming out on top.”
Joseph Mawson (Hinchenbrook, NSW) and Daniel Kinsman (New Zealand), who started from the back of the field in the pre-final, had a titanic battle for the runner-up spot.
Joining Lehane in the winners circle at the event was Matthew Wall (Sunbury, Vic) who led an Arrow Karts one-two in the Rotax Heavy category. Wall’s victory moved him to equal second on the all-time winners list in Australian karting on 12 National crowns, equal with former AKA President Peter Ward and David Sera.
Wall was joined on the podium by Queenslanders Brendan Nelson (Gold Coast, QLD) and Matt Greenbury (Toowoomba, QLD).
“Going into the race I was a little nervous because I lost a bit of pace in the pre-final but we made the right changes to regain that speed and finish on top,” said Wall.
“Brendan and I have raced against each other for a number of years and this year we’ve finished one-two for Arrow in a variety of classes and events, which is great for the new X2 chassis.”
Victorian FA Kart driver Thomas Randle (Narre Warren, Vic) extended his unbeaten streak in Australia to five successive events with victory in the Junior Rotax category. Since taking out the Junior Clubman category at the National Sprint Kart Championships in July the 16 year-old has been victorious at the Rotax Pro Tour, CIK Stars of Karting Series, City of Melbourne Titles and now the Rotax Nationals.
New Zealander Josh Drysdale got the jump at the start, only to have Randle close in on his rear bumper by mid-race. The pair ran nose-to-tail for a number of laps before Randle moved to the front. As the race continued, the field spread out while James Golding (Warragul, Vic) elevated himself into second and closed to within several kart lengths and pressure Randle over the closing laps.
Despite this pressure Randle held on to claim the win, crossing the line ahead of Joseph Burton-Harris (Rouse Hill, NSW) and Golding.
“To now be a two-time Australian Karting Champion feels pretty damn good,” said Randle.
“In the final the kart wasn’t handling too well, towards the end of the race I noticed that Jimmy Golding was right behind me, so I just tried to go defensive where I could and hold on for the win.”
In the support categories, it was Queenslander Lucas Ward (Gold Coast, QLD) who secured the biggest win of his career with victory aboard his Energy Kart in the DD2 category. Ward fended off the challenges by World Final Runner-up, Jason Pringle (Essendon, Vic) and Pacific Kartsport’s Troy Bretherton (Gold Coast, QLD) to cross the line first.
Canberra’s Bruce Otter was simply dominant in the Rotax Over 40s category while Daniel Richert won the DD2 Masters category.
With the event doubling as the final in the 2011/2012 Rotax Pro Tour Schedule the drivers to be invited to represent Australia in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Final were also announced. This honour goes to Brent Coghlan, Daniel Rochford, Hamish Leighton, James Golding, Jason Pringle, Jose Ruiz, Joseph Burton-Harris, Joseph Mawson, Kyle Ensbey, Pierce Lehane, Thomas Randle and Troy Woolston.
To view the full results from today’s action as it happens please click here.
2012 Rotax Nationals
Dubbo, New South Wales
RESULTS: Final (Top Five)
1. Daniel Richert
2. Hamish Leighton
3. Jose Ruiz
4. Lee Adams
5. Peter Newland
Race Notes: Kosmic driver Daniel Richert left the field in his wake during a dominating performance in the DD2 Masters category. The Victorian crossed the line 14 seconds clear of Hamish Leighton at the chequered flag. Niki Urwin and Scott Connole had coming together early in the race which left them languishing near the back of the field.
1. Matthew Wall
2. Brendan Nelson
3. Matthew Greenbury
4. Rick Pringle
5. Paul Rodgers
Race Notes: Matthew Wall took full advantage of his front row start to lead the Rotax Heavy field through turn one, however, it didn’t take long for his Arrow Karts team-mate to move into the lead. The pair were joined shortly after by Formula K driver Lee Mitchener to make it a three-way battle at the front. The trio raced nose-to-tail for the next 19 laps, when Mitchener speared off the track at the top end of the circuit. Over the remaining six laps Wall extended his lead to take his 12th national title.
Rotax Over 40s
1. Bruce Otter
2. Lucas Burt
3. Peter Virgulti
4. Julian Watts
5. Peter Jackman
Race Notes: In another Bruce Otter domination, the Stable Karting driver drove off into the distance to claim the victory in Rotax Over 40s. Shane Karandrews crossed the line second but was later excluded due to a technical issue with a broken seal on one of his engines. Malcolm Walker, who crossed the line third, was also excluded for a technical infringement.
1. Pierce Lehane
2. Joseph Mawson
3. Daniel Kinsman
4. Tyler Greenbury
5. Brock Plumb
Race Notes: After a frantic start David Sera led the field while the polesitter Pierce Lehane was shuffled down to fifth place. Picking his opposition off one by one Lehane found himself in second place by the end of lap five. On the next lap he caught Sera by surprise at the end of the main straight. Shortly after Sera was caught up in several close battles before he had a coming together with Fraser Hart and Daniel Rochford which led to Hart rolling out of contention. The race was red flagged shortly after for Hart to be checked out by the medical staff. From the restart Lehane was never challenged as he went on to claim his third national championship in less than 12 months. Joseph Mawson and Daniel Kinsman, who started from the back of the field in the pre-final, had a titanic battle for the runner-up spot.
Alex Griffiths, the only local driver in this weekend’s event, started 24th in the final before his race ended on lap 11.
1. Lucas Ward
2. Troy Bretherton
3. Jason Pringle
4. Travis Millar
5. Troy Woolston
Race Notes: The battle for the DD2 honours went down to the wire with Travis Millar, Jason Pringle, Lucas Ward, Troy Bretherton and Thomas Macdonald fighting for positions at the front of the field. When Pringle and Millar touched mid race it allowed Ward a slender buffer, but also Troy Woolston and James Macken to hook on to the back of the freight train.
1. Thomas Randle
2. Joseph Burton-Harris
3. James Golding
4. Jake Coleman
5. Josh Drysdale
Race Notes: New Zealander Josh Drysdale led the early running of the Junior Rotax final, only to have Thomas Randle close in on his rear bumper by mid-race. The pair ran nose-to-tail for a number of laps before Randle moved his FA Kart to the front. As the race continued, the field spread out while Golding moved into second and closed to within several kart lengths and pressure Randle.
Rotax Nationals Honour Roll
2001 – Matthew Wall (Vic) – Arrow
2002 – Josh Arandt (Vic) – Arrow
2003 – Bart Price (Vic) – Arrow
2004 – Scott Auld (Qld) – Arrow
2005 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow
2006 – Hayden McBride (NSW) – Gillard
2007 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow
2008 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow
2009 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow
2010 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow
2011 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow
2012 – Pierce Lehane (NSW) – Exprit
2001 – Damien Meyer (NSW) – CRG
2002 – Brett Davidson (Vic) – Arrow
2003 – William Yarwood (Qld) – Arrow
2004 – William Yarwood (Qld) – Arrow
2005 – William Yarwood (Qld) – Arrow
2006 – William Yarwood (Qld) – Arrow
2007 – Kel Treseder (Qld) – Top Kart
2008 – Kel Treseder (Qld) – Kosmic
2009 – Matthew Wall (Vic) – Arrow
2010 – Simon Meyer (NSW) – CRG
2011 – Troy Woolston (Vic) – Intrepid
2012 – Matthew Wall (Vic) – Arrow
2009 – Ben Jurczak (Qld) – Redspeed
2010 – Jonathan Venter (NSW) – Kosmic
2011 – Joseph Mawson (NSW) – Arrow
2012 – Thomas Randle (Vic) – FA Kart
2001 – Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway, Sydney, NSW
2002 – Todd Road Karting Complex, Melbourne, Vic
2003 – Mt Sugarloaf Raceway, Newcastle, NSW
2004 – Ipswich Raceway, Ipswich, QLD
2005 – Beckley Park Raceway, Geelong, Vic
2006 – Mt Sugarloaf Raceway, Newcastle, NSW
2007 – Ipswich Raceway, Ipswich, QLD
2008 – Todd Road Karting Complex, Melbourne, Vic
2009 – Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway, Sydney, NSW
2010 – Ipswich Raceway, Ipswich, QLD
2011 – Beckley Park Raceway, Geelong, Vic
2012 – Lincoln County Raceway, Dubbo, Vic
RESULTS: Pre-Final (Top Five)
1. Daniel Richert
2. Hamish Leighton
3. Niki Urwin
4. Jose Ruiz
5. Brett Cowley
Race Notes: Hamish Leighton got the jump at the green light ahead of Niki Urwin aboard his Formula K Kart in the DD2 Masters category while Daniel Richert moved his way up the order from his fifth starting position. By lap four Richert was pressuring for the lead. Richert went on to claim a comprehensive victory aboard his Kosmic kart.
1. Brendan Nelson
2. Matthew Wall
3. Matthew Greenbury
4. Michael Saller
5. Daniel Richert
Race Notes: When Matthew Wall was involved in an opening turn skirmish after starting on the outside of the front row, it allowed Matt Greenbury to lead the field away. Greenbury’s fellow Tony Kart driver Adam Hunter slotted into second to chase down the polesitter and take over the race lead on lap three. Wall and Michael Saller fought back to close the gap on the leading duo. As the group battled behind him Hunter opened a handy buffer in the lead. Brendan Nelson showed good speed to move into second late in the race. Hunter was later given a 10-place penalty for a technical infringement handing Nelson the win.
Rotax Over 40s
1. Bruce Otter
2. Malcolm Walker
3. Shane Karandrews
4. Lucas Burt
5. Julian Watts
Race Notes: Canberra’s Bruce Otter has dominated the Rotax Over 40s category all weekend long, and the pre-final was no different. Malcolm Walker matched the times of the race leader but was unable to find a way into the lead.
1. Pierce Lehane
2. David Sera
3. Daniel Richford
4. Nathan Tigani
5. Fraser Hart
Race Notes: Polesitter David Sera benefited from the drivers behind him dicing it out for the minors to grab a handy buffer in the opening laps of the Rotax Light pre-final. Daniel Rochford, Nathan Tigani, Pierce Lehane, Mitchell Gee and Fraser Hart all ran within close proximity of each other. Lehane was the fastest driver on the circuit in his Exprit kart, as a result he slowly closed in on Sera. With five laps remaining Lehane was right on the rear bumper of Sera’s Arrow Kart. After several intense challenges, it was Lehane who held on for the win.
1. Josh Dysdale
2. Thomas Randle
3. Joseph Burton-Harris
4. Jaxon Evans
5. Cameron Hill
Race Notes: A pile-up at turn three involving more than half of the 40-kart field led to the circuit being blocked and the red flag being produced to halt the race. At the full restart, Thomas Randle got the jump with New Zealander Josh Drysdale right behind him. As their main rivals tripped over themselves the leading pair enjoyed a race on their own at the front of the field. Drysdale made a last corner move to claim the win. Joseph Burton-Harris showed good speed to finish third.
1. Lucas Ward
2. Travis Millar
3. Troy Bretherton
4. Jason Pringle
5. Thomas Macdonald
Race Notes: Lucas Ward got the jump from the outside of the front row to lead the way in the DD2 pre-final while polesitter Jason Pringle was shuffled back to fourth in the opening turn. The top four traded fastest lap times throughout the race before Ward took the win.