Greenbury and Randle claim Final victories at Rotax Pro Tour Gympie

Tyler Greenbury, winner of Rotax Light at Pro Tour Gympie. Pic: Bill Bryant/Fletcher Photography

The final day of racing from Rotax Pro Tour Gympie was conducted under overcast skies at the Cooloola Coast Kart Club, but what lacked in the glorious weather from Saturday was made up by some incredibly exciting racing which featured the final round of heats along with the Pre-Final and Finals.

Up until this weekend, DD2 Masters was the domain of Melbourne Tony Kart driver, Hamish Leighton. That all changed when Exprit’s Cameron Harch took command of the class throughout the weekend. Having won the previous two heat races on the Saturday, Harch was attempting to make a clean sweep of the heats, but was beaten by a highly competitive John Bailey who fought through to take his first heat win of the season from Jose Ruiz and Harch. Harch made amends in the 20-lap Pre-Final, taking command from the get go from Bailey and Jose Ruiz and continued his winning form by leading every lap of the 26-lap Final. Bailey continued his consistent form with a second overall, along with Canberra’s Tony Prendergast who claimed third. Behind the top three were Brett Cowley, Peter Newland, Stephen Hampson, Scott Connole, Paul Mapperson and Owen Guthrie. Prendergast left the weekend without scoring any points, thus severely denting his standing on the Rotax Rankings.

Rotax Heavy remained the domain of Troy Woolston, whose dominance of the class had been 100% so far on the Pro Tour. Having won the previous two heats, Woolston’s dominance was put to the test by Kel Tressider, who fought his way through the final heat race to win ahead of Woolston and Travis Kodric. Woolston would reverse his fortunes in the Pre-Final when he took charge and led to a comfortable win from Kodric with Tresseder settling for third. The Final however saw one of the drives of the weekend from anyone competing, with Kosmic’s Daniel Richert fighting his way from 10th on the grid to a highly commendable third outright, behind Kodric and eventual winner Woolston. Finishing behind Richert in fourth was Rick Pringle, followed by Todd Davey then Tresseder, Adam Hunter, Paul Rodgers, Brendan Nelson and Aaron Rintoul.

Woolston also competed in DD2 and his fortunes had improved considerably after a disastrous run at Todd Road, be he could not get into the top three. Lucas Ward bounced back from his fifth place finish in heat two to take the final heat race from Top Kart’s Kyle Ensbey and Jason Pringle in third. Pringle would then lay down a challenge for the top spot in the Pre-Final, which he successful accomplished from Ensbey and Ward. In the Final, Ward and Pringle were battling early for the lead before Pringle took hold to win from Ward and Ensbey. Woolston would have to settle for fourth overall, ahead of Damian Ward, Thomas MacDonald, Travis Millar, Ethan Dowton, Brendan Nelson and Scott May. Previous round winner Tyler Greenbury had a day he’d rather forget with the gear selector on his gearbox breaking, forcing him to retire in the subsequent three races.

Greenbury’s fortunes in Rotax Light were much better however. Having won the first heat yesterday, Greenbury bounced back from a fourth in heat two to take the win in Groups A & B from Vodafone’s Chris Hays and CC Racing’s Brad Jenner. In the race for Group’s C & D, CRG’s Pierce Lehane took a second heat win from Kosmic’s Daniel Rochford and David Whitmore. With only three drivers missing the cut, the 40 remaining drivers were combined for the 20-lap Pre-Final and it was Hays who emerged a strong victor as he fought through to beat Rochford and Canberra winner, Joey Mawson. Greenbury was 4th. In the Final, the race lead changed up to six times during the early stages of the race. Greenbury was one of the six leaders and it was the Intrepid driver who would take charge, driving to a win in the Final from Hays and Rochford. Mawson was fourth and Oakley’s James Macken, who finished fifth in his new Kubica Kart, which made its debut this weekend. Finishing sixth was Jenner, then Whitmore, Joel Smith, Lehane and Adam Lindstrom.

Junior Max was also hotly contested. Joseph Burton-Harris was in very good form, having won the previous two heat races and continued his winning ways by winning the heat for Groups A & B from Mitchell Gee and Lachie McHugh. In Groups C & D, Andrew Kahl drove to the last heat win ahead of Cameron Hill and James Abela. The fields were combined for the Pre-Final in which Burton-Harris held off the likes of Kahl, Gee and Thomas Randle to take the win. Gee would finish second from Randle, who worked his way from outside the top ten to take third. In the final, Randle drove like a man possessed to work his way through to the lead by one third distance and maintained his composure to beat Burton-Harris, who was gallant in defeat and Kahl, who drove well to claim the final podium position. Mitchell Maddren finished a creditable fourth ahead of Jordan Boys, Lachie McHugh, Matthew Smith, Jaxon Evans, Todd Road winner Liam McLellan and Zac Phillips.

Rotax Over 40s saw Shane Karandrews take another heat win during the final heat from Malcolm Walker and David Rotstein. Karandrews would repeat the result in the Pre-Final but his luck ran out when he retired from the Final at mid-race distance along with Malcolm Walker. That allowed Steven Johnson to inherit the lead and an unlikely win from Julian Watts and Mark Poole, who later admitted he didn’t expect to get a podium from this weekend. Rounding out the four karts that finished the Final of Over 40s was Peter Virgulti.

The next round of the Rotax Pro Tour is the Jason Richards Memorial, round four of the series at Albury-Wodonga on April 27-29, 2012. Information on the upcoming event, including the memorial for the late Kiwi V8 Supercar driver will be announced over the coming weeks on the Rotax Pro Tour website and through our pages on Facebook and Twitter.

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