LKC – IGA X-press Cressy Saturday Night Lights featuring the Phil Goss Memorial
17 May 2023
The Launceston Kart Club hosted its second annual IGA X-press Cressy Saturday Night Lights event featuring the Phil Goss Memorial on Saturday the 13th of May. The largest number of competitors seen at any event in Tasmania this year, eighty-five, convened at the Archerville circuit for what would be an action-packed day of racing with weather conditions the complete opposite to last year’s torrential rain. Track conditions remained reliable throughout the event with two drivers breaking the lap record in their respective classes.
KA3 Tas Masters would see Matty Mayne take pole position over first time master’s competitor and multiple time Targa Tasmania winner Jason White by only 0.041 seconds. The heats would provide some tight racing with current State Champion Shane Stonehouse taking out heat one with Jason White beating home Stonehouse to take the wins in heat two and three. If anyone looked at the lap chart for the Masters final, they would assume it was a bit of a snooze fest with Shane Stonehouse leading all bar one lap of the twelve-lap journey. Nothing could be further from the truth the Stonehouse and White never being separated by more than half a kart length for the whole of the race. Both drivers used their many years of experience to work together to make sure it would remain a two-kart battle in closing stages of the race and not let the outright fastest kart but marginally less consistent Matty Mayne join the fight for the top step on the podium. White who had sat in second place for the first ten laps decided lap eleven would be the right time to make the move on Stonehouse for the lead in what was a great move. Stonehouse would manage to fight back on the final lap to take the lead and cross the line in first place only 0.141 seconds in front of White who would undoubtably have to be thinking of making the full-time switch to the master’s class after such a strong first showing. Matty Mayne would cross the line in third place just over a second behind Stonehouse and White with new Karting Tas President Anthony McCullagh crossing the line in fourth place.
KA3 Junior Heavy saw Australian Championship regular Marcel Byrne take the pole position over Angus Milne by 0.177 seconds. Heat racing would see Byrne capitalise on uncharacteristic last lap mistakes by Cooper Synfield to secure wins in both heats one and two. Heat three would see Synfield learn from the previous two heats to successfully hold off Byrne to cross the line in first place. In the final Marcel Byrne would get the better of the start to lead the first two laps before Synfield would make the move to hit the front. Unlike the earlier races once Synfield got to the front he powered away, pulling out nearly a kart length up the back straight alone on each lap. Cooper would go on to register the win by over four seconds which moves his undefeated streak in 2023 Tasmanian finals onto three. Second place would go to earlier poleman Marcel Byrne who had his strongest outing of the year, with Hobarts Angus Milne crossing the line in third place.
KA3 Senior Medium qualifying saw Brodie Sward snatch his first ever pole position in the class beating out fellow Launceston member Jonathon Harris by only 0.009 seconds. Sward would go on to win heats one and three with Hobarts Harry Ward taking the checkered flag first in heat two. In the final Sward would get a shocking start slipping back to third place behind Hobart pair Evan Livingston and Harry Ward. Ward would take the lead away from Livingston on lap two and not look back, going on to register a 2.7 second victory from current Statewide series leader Riley Newick who had a very up and down weekend. Third place would go to Sward who managed to fight his way back up to second before losing a spot to Newick on the final lap with Livingston crossing the line in fourth place.
Cadet 12 pole position would be taken out by home track hopeful Mason Woods, who was fresh off a third place at the most recent round of Golden Power Series in Victoria. Woods would beat out Hobarts Levi Bush by 0.071 seconds. Once racing started for Cadet 12 it was clear that any of five or six drivers had the pace to be able to take out a podium spot, with three of the four races having at least four drivers cross the line within 0.6 seconds of each other. In heat one current State Champion Harry Warmsley would draw first blood crossing the line in first before Woods would fight back to win heats two and three. The final would provide some super close wheel to wheel racing with Mason Woods again backing up his earlier heat wins to cross the line in first by 0.125 seconds over Harry Warmsley in second. Third place would go to Elenah Rankin with local Ollie Garwood crossing the line in fourth place.
KA3 Junior Light qualifying would see three drivers separated by less than 0.090 seconds, with Samuel Gorisch edging out Jordan Wickham and Harry Bresnehan to take pole position. Heat racing would see Jordan Wickham keep a clean sheet heading into the final by registering three wins by an average winning margin of just over half a second. In the final though it would be Harry Bresnehan that would take the win by 0.301 seconds from Jordan Wickham. Third place would go to earlier pole sitter Samuel Gorisch.
TaG 125 Restricted Heavy saw current Tasmanian state cup champion Billy McCullagh take pole position over Jason Close by 0.066 seconds. The super experienced Daniel Hinds would recover from a shocking qualifying to clean sweep the three heats and final. Billy McCullagh would cross the like second place with Launceston’s Michael Wilson in third, which would be his first ever podium.
KA3 Senior Light would see Callum Bishop score the pole position in his new Arrow kart by 0.089 seconds over the returning Tayla Heath. Once racing began though it would be Launceston local William Blair who would assert his dominance after an average qualifying result. Blair’s average winning margin was 1.248 seconds. The final wasn’t quite as comfortable for Will though as he was pushed for the full twelve laps by Tayla Heath who finished only 0.478 seconds behind in second. Gemma Wyllie would cross the line in third place with Isabella Mayne finishing fourth.
Cadet 9 qualifying would be taken out by Hobarts Wil Cairns by 0.196 seconds from Launceston Makenzie Leonard who put together her career best qualifying result of second place. Leonard had been sitting at the top of the time sheets for the majority of the session but was pipped by Cairns in the final fifty seconds of qualifying. Heat racing would be dominated by Cairns who would win three from three heats by an average margin of over three seconds. The final wouldn’t be quite as easy for Cairns who was pushed all the way by current State Cup champion Ethan Youd, but would still ultimately cross the line 0.335 seconds clear of his competition. Third place would go to Eli White who would make it two from two podiums for the White family after Eli’s father earlier took second place in the Masters final. Crossing the line in fourth place would be P plater Levi Williams who pieced together his best race of the day in the one that counted the most.
TaG 125 Restricted Medium would see Allan Sheahen take pole position over Andrew Lee by just 0.194 seconds. Sheahen would win heats one and three with Andrew Lee taking the victory in heat two. In the final Sheahen would cross the line just over five seconds in front of Andrew Lee in second. Third place would go to Nigel Sheahen, with Launceston’s Jack Wilson finishing in fourth.
This years’ Phil Goss Memorial saw a strong field of eleven drivers competing in the 21-lap feature race which was run under the same format as 2022 after its raging success. The event started off with the second annual Pole Shuffle which was even more popular than last year with spectators lining the fences to see which driver would gain the most positions after their original grid draw. This year was completely dominated by former Targa Tasmania winner Jason White who moved forward seven positions with Shane Stonehouse the only other driver to move up the grid, gaining two positions to start the feature from pole position. This year’s feature race will go down as the most epic race seen in the fifteen years of the Phil Goss Memorial. Undoubtably Phil would have been sitting up there watching the guys go to battle under the brightly lit Archerville circuit. When the lights went out it would be Jason White who got the better of the start taking the lead from the outside into turn one closely followed by Shane Stonehouse, Matty Mayne and 2022 winner Anthony McCullagh. White’s kart was dialled in for the first three laps with several spectators thinking it was his to lose but Stonehouse had other ideas, slowly chipping away at the lead which had snuck out to 1.5 seconds. Stonehouse would make the move on White for the lead on lap nine which would ultimately allow Mayne and McCullagh to tack onto the train and make it a four-way battle. White would pass Stonehouse back for the lead on lap eleven but would be passed straight back on lap twelve. For the next three laps the four drivers would remain nose to tail, never being separated by more than a second. Lap fifteen is when the real action started with White and Mayne tag teaming to both get passed Stonehouse before a lap later Mayne would take the lead away from White. Mayne would lead the next two laps, pulling himself a nice lead over White, Stonehouse and McCullagh. Lap eighteen is where the race was turned on its head, Mayne getting caught up in lapped traffic allowing White up the inside into turn one which resulted in Mayne’s day ending in the tyre wall. This was the opportunity that both Stonehouse and McCullagh who had been waiting for an opportunity to move from third and fourth to first and second respectively. White would recover quickly and tack straight onto the back of McCullagh and pass him one lap later, but the damage was done, Stonehouse had gapped both drivers by over a second. Stonehouse would greet the checkered flag first to win his fifth Phil Goss Memorial in six years, his first since the event reverted back to the original 21 lap feature race. Jason White would cross the line in second place 1.054 second behind Stonehouse. Anthony McCullagh would cross the line in third place putting up a valiant effort in defending his 2022 Memorial win. It would later be said at presentations that McCullagh had lent Stonehouse his best engine for the event in what was a true sign of sportsmanship which was one of Phil Goss’ most valued traits as a competitor. Former state champion Malcolm Watson would cross the line in fourth place, moving up five positions from the start of the race.
Racing returns to Archerville for the KA3 Cup incorporating the third annual Bec Wyatt Memorial on Sunday the 18th of June 2023
Written by Jade Stone