Australian Kart Championship 2023 - Round 1
The opening round of the Australian Kart Championships is done and dusted, being held at the Go-Kart club of South Australia on March 3-5.
The Kart Class team had a dominant weekend winning two categories (KA2 & TAG), whilst scoring another three podiums.
Brad Majman went on to secure his first AKC round win in KA2 after a stellar drive from position 8. Following him closely was team mate Ben Holliday who scored second place handing the Kart Class team a 1-2 finish in the elite junior category. It was a great recovery for Holliday after qualifying back in 16th position. Kiwi driver Izaak Fletcher was one of the standouts in the category having his debut in the class aboard the new Arrow development chassis. After qualifying 3rd overall, Fletcher would unfortunately have a DNF in the early heat race, but go on to secure a 5th in the final with some fastest laps across the weekend. Jack Szewczuk rounded out the Kart Class KA2 team in 7th place having shown the best pace throughout practice on Friday, Jack was also in recovery mode after an earlier DNF. To have four karts inside the top 7 in the premier junior class was a huge testament to our team of drivers and these kids combined to have the 11 fastest racing laps in the final to assert their dominance on the field.
TAG 125 saw five Kart Class drivers take to the class in the strong 73 kart field. Having being fastest in practice, Jake Spencer would go on to secure 2nd overall in qualifying before dominating proceedings clean sweeping the weekend with five wins from five races.
On his tail all weekend was Walkinshaw Andretti Supercars driver Nick Percat who would take home 3rd place after earlier winning a heat race. Next in line for Kart Class was Jaxon Johnstone in 8th and junior graduate Peter Bouzinelos in 10th securing four karts inside the top 10. Unfortunately Daniel Rochford was forced to retire in the final after contact with another driver whilst inside the top 10. An earlier heat race saw a Kart Class 1-2-3 with Spencer leading home Percat & Bouzinelos showcasing our teams stranglehold on the category.
Cadet 9 young QLD driver Carter Grother would take home 3rd place and his maiden AKC trophy after leading at various times throughout the final. Grother started the final lap in second and went for a bold move for the race lead with a few corners to go. With the overtake not coming off, Grother wheeled the kart through the dust to hang onto a hard fought podium and collect a nice haul of Championship points. Joining Grother were NZ drivers Nixon Cripps and Levi Trotter. Cripps’ highlight was a second place finish in a heat race and Trotter was inside the top 5 in the final before contact dropped him just outside the top 10.
Cadet 12 was our first pole position of the year with WA driver Beau Casagrande driving the ultimate lap to trump 65 other competitors. Australia #3 Riley Harrison would move up the order after qualifying outside the top 10 to secure 4th in the final with SA driver Dominic Mercuri in 6th & Casagrande P7. NZ driver Jackson Culver started the final inside the top 20 and would make some great moves forward in the final before settling for 16th.
X30 was an up and down weekend that showed promise but ultimately lacked race results for our drivers with Peter Bouzinelos, Jaxon Johnstone & Jake Sawyer all encountering issues throughout the weekend. All drivers showed top 5-10 speed but didn’t get rewarded for their efforts.
Miley Miller was our lone driver in KA3 senior where she would qualify just outside the top 20. Having shown pace throughout the heat races, we unfortunately couldn’t extract the speed for her to move forward in the final which was disappointing.
Nonetheless, our team comes out very close, if not leading the teams championship after the opening round with the four top scoring drivers being calculated.
Our team now gears up for round 2 of the championship, when it goes to the Tiger Kart Club in Wanneroo, Western Australia.
By the Numbers:
Pole positions: 1
Finals Wins: 2
Heat Wins: 7
Heat Top 3’s: 24
Fastest Laps: 9
Laps led: 111