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23rd February 2024

LOCALS LEAD QUALIFYING FOR AUSTRALIAN KART CHAMPIONSHIP OPENER

Local driver Joshua Elliston qualified fastest in KA3 Senior (Pic: Tim Francis)

Local drivers have led the way in qualifying for the opening round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship at Adelaide’s Bolivar Raceway on Friday afternoon – setting the pole time in three classes, while in the premier categories, Sydney-sider Reece Cohen claimed fastest time in KZ2 and Kiwi, Maxim Kirwan in KA2.

Joshua Elliston grabbed the first pole for the Adelaide fans in KA3 Senior, setting his quickest time in the final stages of the top 50% six minute session.

The next category to qualify – KA3 Junior – fell the way of Noah Enright – a local track specialist that has been on the SP Tools Championships for several years. Jack Szweczuk – who spent his formative years in South Australia – now based in Queensland – qualified third after being split by Toowoomba’s Michael Janusz.

South Australia’s third pole position fell to Ben Holliday in the incredibly tough TaG 125 category – one of the best populated categories (by entry numbers) in the Australian Kart Championship.

Fellow South Aussie, Jacob Chandler was second fastest and will head up the ‘B’ Group races (the over-subscribed categories are split into four groups based on qualifying position). Current Australian Champion, Harrison Hoey was third fastest with another South Aussie – perennial front-runner Jacob Dowson fifth quickest.

Coming off his best season in the premier KZ2 Gearbox category, CRG racer, Reece Cohen started his weekend with pole position in a field full of Australian Champions.

CRG Driver Reece Cohen claimed his maiden pole position in KZ2 (Pic: Tim Francis)

Cohen left it to the latter stages of qualifying to secure the two Championship points over Henry Johnstone by 0.087 of a second. Former Dunlop Super2 Supercars racer and double Australian KZ2 Champion, Josh Fife was fifth, reigning Champ Sam Dicker was sixth and three time Australian Champion, Troy Loeskow was debriefing well after qualifying, managing just a 16th position in his BirelART.

Rapid New Zealander, Maxim Kirwan started his first full season of KA2 Junior competition in style taking the pole position. Continuing the trend of South Australian success, Oceane Colangelo – one of 14 female racers in the 375 entries this weekend – had her best ever qualifying and will start alongside Kirwan on the front row tomorrow. Queenslander, Charlotte Page produced another great result for lady racers finishing third for the Empire Karting squad.

It was a disaster for one of the Championship favourites, Bundaberg’s Ky Burke who wasn’t able to get started in qualifying. Burke has definite pace on board his Energy machine, however starting at the rear of the grid for his racers will make it difficult.

Four time Australian Champion, Brad Jenner got his X30 Championship off to a fine start with pole position over Novocastrian, Toby Spinks and 2023 KA2 Champion, Max Walton who graduated to senior competition this year.

Victorian, Archie Bristow started his Cadet 12 Title race in fine style, heading the 67-strong field in front of New South Welshmen Joseph Bianchini (his best AKC qualifying), Hunter Pearce and West Aussie, Jay Kostecki – who moves up from Cadet 9 this year.

Oliver Armitt took pole in the youngest category in the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship, Cadet 9, over second generation racer Jarvis Hindle and Harlen Bell.

Heat racing goes through on Saturday starting at 8am, with the final round of heats and Finals on Sunday.

Entry to the Bolivar Kart Raceway at 51 Robinson Rd, Waterloo Corner is free to the public, with live streaming broadcast available from http://watchmysportlive.tv; also accessible by www.karting.net.au.