15th October 2023
Despite facing different race formats to yesterday on Day Two of the Karting Australia Summer Series in Albury Wodonga, the term that ‘cream always rises to the top’ could not have been any truer, with multiple Gold Medal winners from Saturday doubling up.
Under the format, the two days are separate rounds – the only carry over being that Saturday’s Feature Race doubles as the qualifier for Sunday’s first Sprint Race – grids being determined by the fastest times set by each driver in that Feature.
This didn’t stop Reece Cohen in Gearbox, Pip Casabene in KA3 Junior Light, the brothers Thompson – Zachary and William in X30 Heavy and KA3 Senior respectively; and Max Walton – who remarkably won four gold medals from the two categories he was racing in his senior racing debut.
One of the most dominant performances of the day came from Europe-bound James Anagnostiadis in KA2. He won the Feature Race from the pole position in the most complete performances of his elite Junior career.
Anagnostiadis won by 8.9 seconds coming home in front of a fight for second that went to the wire. Hamish Campbell, who started deep in the field after several issues early in the day, fired through and snuck past Jack Steere late in the 11 minute Feature to claim Silver, the result not only relegating Jack Steere to Bronze but creating a Tom Williamson Motorsport quinella.
The first Feature Race of the day saw Parolin Australia’s Max Walton pick up where he left off in Rotax Light, taking a 3.3 second win over Jack Webster, with Velocity Race Department’s Joshua Car collecting a third place win in his Kali Kart. Incredibly, it was Car’s first competitive kart drive since 2019 during his time in the United States.
Just two races on the schedule later, it was a repeat dose from Walton. He took the Rok GP race by 3.4 seconds over Zachary Heard and Brodie Whitmore – the Sydney-sider making a rare cameo on the national karting scene.
The Rok GP class saw all drivers lease control engines, which were balloted ahead of day one and then the top five and bottom fiver were re-balloted the following day.
Yesterday, Reece Cohen lamented that he wasn’t first over the line to win his Gold Medal (a post-race penalty handed to another driver decided that result), however today, there was no denying that Cohen was the KZ King of the Summer Series, leading the entire 11 minute feature from the pole. He frayed the Top Gun team’s nerves late in the race when it looked like he would relinquish a sizeable lead to a charging Toby Webb.
Cohen dug deep late and ended up getting over the line in front of Webb by almost a second. Webb himself was kept honest throughout the race by West Aussie Jack Webster in his first Gearbox race, coming home in the Bronze medal position, scoring two podiums from two categories.
The brothers Thompson from Shepparton, Victoria were once again victorious in their various categories.
The first to double up was Zackary – who took out the X30 Heavy category. He looked like having it shot to bits but didn’t count on the resolve of veteran Leigh Nicolaou. Producing a textbook Sunday Nicolaou Feature performance, he took a seven-tenth of a second deficit to a side-by-side finish in the space of three laps.
Third home was Zac Raddatz who was in the mix throughout the day and was in the top four battle along with Jackson Souslin-Harlow.
William Thompson had it slightly easier in KA3 Senior, backing up yesterday’s performance to claim victory. An early charge by local driver, Jamie Rowe soon expired and Thompson was able to open up a 2.8 second win at the chequers.
Hunter Salvatore came from deep in the pack to claim a narrow third place, that result literally not decided until the last corner when he and Anton Katavic traded blows over the last few laps.
In KA3 Junior Light, the battle that took place between Australian Champion, Pip Casabene and Ayce Buckley continued, with even more vigour than yesterday. Even starting the inverse ten spot Sprint Race Two from ninth and 10th after their one-two finish in Sprint Race One, the Pro Karting pair scythed their way to the front and continued on.
Casabene showed his class in the Feature Race however and took the win by 1.6 seconds – Cooper Fysh scoring Bronze after a spirited four way battle for the final podium spot.
In KA3 Junior Heavy, Zachary Turner took the win from Trent Newton and Darwin Harris.
The Cadet 12 final saw a reverse of yesterday’s top two. Cooper Folley avenged his second placing Riley Grande yesterday by timing his run to the Feature flag perfectly. After a battle throughout with Oscar Singh, Folley was able to slide his way into the race lead with minimal race time remaining and took the victory over yesterday’s rival Grande. Singh had to be content with third.
In Mini Max, Aston Mills took the Gold. Yesterday’s winner, Oskar Hennock scored the Silver, while Hunter Fischle claimed the Bronze Medal.
Junior Max ended early in bizarre circumstances when Cooper Fysh became the ‘Sole Survivor’ as his competition either didn’t start or retired with mechanical issues. Hamish Campbell was leading, however his TGR machine expired handing the Gold Medal to Queenslander, Fysh.
Overall the Summer Series proved to be a great success with terrific feedback from competitors on the unique circumstances that were presented to them through the innovative formats, coupled with a challenging Albury layout.
The next Summer Series event will be hosted in Warwick, Queensland in early December – and already, Karting Australia is plotting ways to throw even more madcap challenges to competitors in future Summer Series events!
On-demand vision from today’s event can be viewed at http://mysportlive.tv.
Full Results can be viewed on MYLAPS Speedhive