LKC – KA3 Cup featuring the Bec Wyatt Memorial
22 Jun 2023
The Launceston Kart Club hosted its twenty seventh annual KA3 Cup which also included the third annual Bec Wyatt Memorial on Sunday the 18th of June. The event was sponsored by Steve Guy from FT Guy Bodyworks who continues to show his support for karting in Tasmania. Just over seventy competitors convened at the Archerville circuit for what was a great day of competition. Racing started in wet conditions but dried out slowly throughout the day providing drivers with reasonable track conditions.
KA3 Senior Light would see two heat race wins by local William Blair and one by Gemma Wyllie, ensuring both drivers would start from the front row for the fifteen-lap final. Gemma Wyllie would get the best of the start to lead the first two laps before pre-race favourite William Blair would take the lead on lap three. One lap later Wyllie would lose another position to Callum Bishop, dropping back to third. Bishop would then set off in chase of Blair who had pulled out a slender lead over the field, however Blair would consistently lap a tenth faster than Bishop ensuring he wouldn’t need to drive defensively at the end of the race. Blair would cross the line 1.673 seconds clear of Bishop in second to capture his first ever KA3 Cup win. Wyllie would finish the final in third place, running a rather lonely race after leading early. Fourth place would go to Hobarts Elliot Bellars who crossed the line over six seconds clear of his older brother Fletcher in fifth. Emilie Williams would finish in sixth place recovering from a less than ideal start to her first race meeting in the senior category.
KA3 Junior Heavy would see Cooper Synfield take comfortable wins in heat one and three with state champion Jonty Rowbottom winning heat two. Synfield’s heat wins would see him start from pole position in the final with Hobarts Angus Milne starting in second. Synfield would get the jump in the final and would never be headed, registering the largest win of the day by just under ten seconds. This would be Synfield’s fourth straight final win in Tasmania, his seventh straight podium finish of 2023 and his second consecutive KA3 Cup win. Smithton’s Jaiden Marshall would cross the line in second place ahead of Angus Milne in third, with both drivers nose to tail for nearly the whole fifteen lap journey. Jack Taylor would finish the final in fourth place recovering from two DNF’s in heats one and two.
TaG 125 Restricted Medium final would go down as another chapter of the “Sheahen Showdown”. On this occasion it would be youngest brother Allan Sheahen who took the victory in the final which was a relatively surprising results after he was the only brother not to lead a lap, or win a heat race heading into the final. Second place would go to the eldest Sheahen brother Nigel who in 2023 has had his pace and overall race craft improve out of sight to be a real threat in the medium weight class. Third place would go to the middle Sheahen, Troy who crossed the line only 0.080 second behind Nigel. Fourth and fifth place would go to Launceston pair of P Platers Jack Wilson and Jason Brown.
KA3 Junior Light would see the most dominant performance of any driver of the weekend with Harry Bresnehan clean sweeping the three heat races and final to win his first ever KA3 Cup. Second place would go to Jordan Wickham who put up a good fight in all four races but just didn’t quite have the pace of Bresnehan. Hobart pair of Samuel Gorisch and Eli Davey would cross the line in third and fourth place respectively with current Tasmanian State Cup champion Mitchell Conroy finishing fifth.
KA3 Senior Medium saw two heat race wins by Nathan Zuj and one by Hobarts Jonathan McDonald, which ensured both drivers would start off the front for the final. McDonald would get the best of the start to lead the first two laps before Zuj took the lead on lap three. Zuj would never be headed from here to cross the line 4.283 seconds clear of the field, however a post-race starting penalty for Zuj would see the margin cut back to 1.283 seconds, ultimately not effecting the overall result. McDonald would be pushed late in the race by Brodie Sward who attempted a move into second place on lap thirteen, ultimately resulting in a spin for Sward. Jonathon Harris recovered from a shocking start to cross the line in third place, just over 1.5 seconds behind McDonald. Burnie youngster Patrick Johnston put together one of his most notable drives of his karting career to finish in fourth with sixty-one-year-old KA3 Tas Masters state champion Shane Stonehouse stepping up to the unrestricted class proving that age is just a number to move forward six positions to cross the line in an impressive fifth place.
Cadet 12 would see Burnie’s Elenah Rankin greet the white flag first however contact with current state champion Harry Warmsley on turn four would allow Ollie Garwood to pass both drivers to cross the line over five seconds in front. Warmsley would recover to cross the line in second with Hobart pair Logan Potter and Casper Anderson crossing the line in third and fourth place.
TaG 125 Restricted Heavy would see the smallest field of the weekend with four competitors. Launceston’s Michael Wilson would lead the first three laps of the race before a mechanical failure ended his chances of a maiden final victory. Wilson’s loss was Burnie’s David Fidlers gain. Fidler would inherit the lead on lap four and go on to register a comfortable 3.8 second win over earlier heat race winner Marcus Howe in second place.
Cadet 9 would see the battle of Golden Power Series regular Wil Cairns and Australian Karting Championship regular Ethan Youd. Once the dust settled it would be Wil Cairns who would cross the line just over two seconds clear of Youd in second. Cooper Lockett would pinch third place away from Makenzie Leonard on lap ten, with Leonard having to settle for fourth. Heat one winner Eli White finished the final in fifth place.
This year saw the introduction of the “Prelude to the Bec Wyatt Memorial” for KA3 Juniors. This race was run at a middle “pro” weight between the light and heavy classes. Hobarts Harry Bresnehan was able to fight his way from tenth on the grid to cross the line in first place just under four seconds clear of second place. Finishing in second was Launceston’s Cooper Synfield who wrestled his way from position nine, with early race leader Angus Milne crossing the line in third. Jack Taylor had much better luck in this race to cross the line in fourth place with KA3 Junior Heavy state champion Jonty Rowbottom finishing fifth. Drivers finishing in positions two through to five were competing as Heavy’s throughout the regular racing so did a great job to lock out four of the top five positions, considering most were competing heavier than the required pro weight.
The main event for the race meeting was the Bec Wyatt Memorial, which is a 21-lap feature race dedicated to the beloved Launceston Kart Club member, Rebecca “Bec” Wyatt. In what were highly emotional scenes for many spectators this year’s event was led from start to finish by Bec’s younger brother Zane Wyatt. This was Zane’s second podium finish in the event dedicated to his sister but most importantly first win. Zane received the checkered flag waved by his parents, Chris and Christine Wyatt along with his young son Jace, just under five seconds clear of Launceston’s Jonathon Harris who has fought his way to the front from well done the grid. The only driver to pass more competitors was William Blair, passing seventeen karts on his way to a third-place finish. Rounding out the top five was Callum Bishop and Riley Newick.
At the completion of the Bec Wyatt Memorial race, there appeared a double rainbow which strangely enough happened at the 2022 event. To most people this would have just been something that happens when the sun meets light rain, but to those who really knew Bec it was a sign that she was there with us, watching along excitedly the people in attendance enjoying the sport that she LOVED and appreciated for so many years together with her family.
Racing continues in Tasmania at the Circular Head Kart Club in Smithton for the third round of the Karting Tas Statewide Series on July 7th and 8th, with racing returning to Archerville for the final round on July 29th and 30th. #racingforbec2023
Report by: Jade Stone