Warwick Kart Club hosted their first race meeting for 2015 on February 8th with the feature race being the 1st Round of the SEQ J-Max Series which alone attracted 23 starters out of a massive entry list of 94 across all the classes. Sandy Creek Raceway continues to offer a great atmosphere to race and increasingly many people are making the trip up through the Gap to enjoy the experience. For the J-Max boys and girls, qualifying was conducted, followed by a Heat, Pre Final and Final, with the Final only counting. For all other classes, random grid draws were the order of the day and racing was conducted over 2 Heats, a Pre Final and a Final with all results to accumulate.
Jack Westbury, Tristian Griffin and Oscar Targett shared the major placings around throughout the day, but Westbury was the most consistent as Griffin and Targett both had a DNF in one race. Westbury with a win in Heat 1 and the Pre Final coming out on top in points, from Griffin who won the Final race and Targett who won Heat 2. Chase Gooding has shown some very good progress and had some good battles all day with Ethan Feather and Harrison Lyne. Gooding finishing 4th overall when Feather had a DNF in the Final. Lyne was very impressive as leading P Plater and 6th overall on points.
Cadet 12 looks to be a class with a lot of talent this year and with the new engines they are real little rocketships. Jai Brown had to work very hard to gather 3 wins across the day and a 2nd place in Heat 1 to finish 1st overall on points. Kai Walker started the day well with a win in the 1st Heat and kept his consistency up with more minor placings over the day to finish 2nd on points, narrowly ahead of Zayd Tones in 3rd. Gabrial Gasperak was looking good for a podium result but got caught up in a scuffle in the Final which dropped him to the tail of the field and whilst he recovered very well to 6th spot, it only got him to 4th overall on points. Samuel Teen was quite impressive to be first P Plater ahead of Samual Greenhalgh and Bailey Scarsbrook.
Those with the new IAME engine were dominant in Junior National, Broc Feeney just a little quicker than the rest with wins in the 2 Heats and the Pre Final, but dropping a chain in the Final which allowed Bailey Sagaidak to win the Final and along with his 2 x 2nd placings and a 3rd place in the Heats take the overall win from Feeney. Marcos Innes recovered well from a difficult 1st Heat to gather 2 x 2nd placings and a 3rd to finish 3rd overall on points. Michael Philp was the best of those still running the Yamaha J and managed to finish 5th overall ahead of Luke Van Herwaade. Seth Mathie was quite impressive in his 1st race meeting to be the 1st P Plater. Rohan Sams and Nicholas Currie were the only 2 Heavy entries and Sams drove very well, mixing it with some of the Lights during the day to win all 4 races ahead of Currie.
Thomas Gasperak was a surprise fastest qualifier ahead of Jai Buckley and Joshua Davey, but it was Davey and Ryan Suhle who had the pace when racing started. Gasperak led early in Heat 1 before Davey and Suhle worked their way past, these 3 putting on a great display of driving. Nathan Herne and Harrison Hoey completed the top 5. Davey, Suhle and Gasperak again ran nose to tail in a great display of driving in the Pre Final, finishing in the same 3 positions. Herne again was best of the rest in 4th with Broc Feeney doing very well in his 1st J Max outing finishing 5th. Suhle seized his opportunity in the Final though and took the lead at the start and whilst he was under constant pressure from a brilliant starting Zak Hudson and Davey throughout the 20 lap Final, he always looked in control, these 3 crossing the line nose to tail. Buckley recovered from a poor Heat race to work his way back up the field in the Pre Final and Final to finish 4th ahead of Broc Feeney in 5th.
Qld Sportsman Light
Shane Roberts continued his dominance of Sportsman Light at Warwick, but recent graduates from Juniors, Daniel Plant and Sebastian Blindell are starting to keep him really honest. Roberts won the 1st Heat from Plant and Robert Mortensen. Blindell took advantage of a better random grid draw in Heat 2 to take the win ahead of Luke Thomas with Roberts and Plant in 3rd and 4th after coming from the back of the field. The Pre Final was a terrific race with Roberts leading early, Plant challenging and taking the lead and Roberts then taking it back and just holding out Plant at the end. Thomas and Blindell also had a great battle for 3rd, swapping positions before Thomas just held out Blindell at the finish. Roberts was able to sneak away in the lead in the Final as Plant, Blindell and Thomas had a race long battle, Plant getting the better of it to finish 2nd, Blindell 3rd and Thomas 4th. This was also how they finished overall on the day.
Qld Sportsman Heavy
The Sportsman Heavy boys put on some great racing. Brett Minnett, Paul McNeil and Mark Keilar were the pacesetters, Keilar winning Heat 1 and the Pre Final to start on pole for the Final, but a DNF in the Final ruined his day. Minnet with a win and 2 x 3rd was equal on points with McNeil on 3 x 2nd placings going in to the final and whilst Ben Lillis put in a magnificent drive in the Final to win, Minnett held out McNeil for 2nd and with Keilars DNF finished 1st overall, McNeil 2nd overall and Keilar 3rd overall.
Editorial by Russell Innes