STKC – State-wide Series Round 1 – 25th & 26th February 2023
02 Mar 2023
The Southern Tasmanian Kart Club hosted Round 1 of the Karting Tasmania Statewide Series on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of February. Just over 60 competitors gathered at AWC Kartway in Orielton for a weekend of racing that threw weather conditions from 32 degrees and clear blue skies to windy with torrential rain. This year’s first round proved to be even more competitive than 2022 with twenty-three different drivers taking a race win, which is up from the previous year’s nineteen.
KA3 Tas Masters qualifying saw the two pre-race favourites in Matty Mayne and State Champion Shane Stonehouse only separated by 0.015 seconds, with Mayne taking pole. The three heat races were dominated by Stonehouse whose average winning margin was over 8.5 seconds to his nearest competitor. In the final though it would be Matty Mayne who recovered from some less-than-ideal heat race results to register his first win of the series. Second place went to Stonehouse who held off a fast-finishing David Hazell. With four top two results Stonehouse will lead the series heading into round two.
Going into the weekend TaG 125 Restricted Heavy would be one of the most wide-open fields with most competitors being relatively new to the sport. Qualifying would see Launceston’s Michael Wilson take pole position by 0.319 seconds over Luke Millar. Heat racing saw some brilliant racing with Burnie’s David Fidler taking the win in heat one, with Hobart local Luke Millar getting it done in heats two and three. In the final Luke Millar would continue his hot form from the heats to take a comfortable win from David Fidler and Marcus Howe. Fourth place would end up going to Launceston’s Brett Fulton who was in his first ever race meeting. With three race wins Millar will lead the Restricted Heavy class going into round two.
Cadet 12 qualifying saw current State Champion Harry Warmsley take pole position from local hopeful Casper Anderson by 0.127 seconds. Heat racing saw a real mixed bag of results with Elenah Rankin, Harry Warmsley and Ayrton Myers all taking a win each. The Cadet 12 final was one of two races where tyre choice was a huge influence on the overall result. The ten-kart field saw seven drivers selecting wet tyres with three mid pack starting drivers rolling the dice and choosing dry tyres. It only took around three laps for the right decision to be made clear with highest placed driver on slicks, Ollie Garwood banging off fastest lap after fastest lap. It would take Garwood nine laps to work his way from eighth to the front, going on to register an emphatic win in what would only be his third race meeting in the highly competitive Cadet 12 class. Second place would go to Launceston’s Ayrton Myers who possibly had the most impressive drive of the final. Myers was the first driver home using wet tyres on a bone-dry track, a massive fifteen seconds in front of fellow wet tyre user Harry Warmsley in third place. With four top three finishes Myers will lead the series going into round two.
In KA3 Junior Light Smithton’s Lucas Furphy would score pole position by the smallest margin of the weekend, 0.006 seconds. Heat racing would see Hobart local Samuel Gorisch fight back from missing out on pole position to register wins in heats one and two. Furphy would then take a comfortable win in heat three. In the final race Gorisch would register a 7.5 second win over Lucas Furphy, with Hobart’s Eli Davey coming home in third. With three wins Gorisch will lead the series going into round two.
Gemma Wyllie would completely dominate KA3 Senior Light, comfortably scoring pole position and winning all four races for the weekend. Second place in the final went to Hobart’s Lewis Turnbull with Cameron Jeffreys finishing in third. With her dominant performance Wyllie will hold a relatively comfortable lead going into round two of the series.
TaG 125 Restricted Medium saw Burnie’s Dave McCullagh take pole position from Troy Sheahen by 0.129 seconds. Heat racing provided a mixed bag of results with Troy Sheahen taking the win in heat one, Dave McCullagh bounced back in heat two to score a 3.6 second win. Heat three saw the craziest of weather changes with torrential rain coming from nowhere which resulted in the top three flying off the track on lap seven. This would leave Nigel Sheahen and Jack Wilson, who was competing in his first race meeting of his karting career to slip and slide their way around the track for a further six laps before Wilson would succumb to the treacherous conditions, ending up off the track. This resulted in a declared race which saw Nigel Sheahen take the win and a big bag of points. The final would see only three drivers finish, who happened to all be brothers. Crossing the line first would the baby brother Allan who would get the job done by only 0.045 seconds over Troy. Oldest brother Nigel would cross the line in third place. With four different drivers taking a victory in this class there will be less than 100 points separating them heading into round two.
In KA3 Junior Heavy there would be less than 2 tenths of a second between the top four in qualifying with local pair Harrison Duske and Jack Turnbull locking out the front row from Jaiden Marshall and Cooper Synfield. The heats provided some action-packed racing with Marshall taking wins in heats one and three, with Duske greeting the checkered flag first in heat two. The final for KA3 Junior Heavy would go down as the toughest race of the day, with the weather gods supplying the same crazy weather it did three months earlier for their State Championship in Smithton. Heading out the gate the track was dry, with all bar Burnie’s Ari Lawes deciding to run dry tyres. Drivers didn’t have to wait long to find if Ari’s roll of the dice had been the right decision with the heavens opening and rain bucketing down on the warm up lap. Going into turn one karts struggled to make it around with most drivers all crossed up. Ari however, with his wet tyres flew through the field. He would go on to lap the entire field once and crossed the line in first, however due to a post-race two place drop down bumper penalty was relegated to third. This would then mean the win would go to Launceston’s Cooper Synfield who handled the wet conditions on dry tyres with ease registering his third consecutive win in the KA3 Junior Heavy class for 2023 after a convincing win at Archerville in January and then backing in up with a win in Round 1 of Victoria’s Golden Power Series in early February. The ultra-consistent Jaiden Marshall would finish eight second behind Synfield to claim second place. With four top two finishes Marshall will lead the series going into round two.
In KA3 Senior Medium Harry Ward would score pole position by 0.022 seconds over Riley Newick. Heat race wins would be split between Hobart trio Ward, Newick and Callum Bishop. The final would see Newick take the win from Bishop by just under nine seconds. Launceston’s Brodie Sward bounced back from a heat three DNF to finish the final in third place. With his two wins Newick will hold a slender lead heading into round two.
In Cadet 9 Launceston’s Andy Rowlings would score his maiden pole position edging out Ethan Youd and Wil Cairns, with the three drivers being separated by only 0.089 second
s. Cairns would register wins in heats one and two with Launceston P Plater Cooper Lockett crossing the line first in heat three to score his first win in karting. Cairns would also put on a dominant display in the final to cross the line in first, nearly thirty seconds’ clear of Burnie’s Eli White in second. Hobart local Arlen Tapp would cross the line in third place which would be his best ever finish in a final. With his three wins from four races Wil Cairns will hold the series lead heading into round two.The series will continue with Round 2 to be hosted by the North Western Kart Club in Burnie on March 25th and 26th.
Report by: Jade Stone