Tasmanian Kart Championship
21 Nov 2022
The Circular Head Kart Club hosted the annual Tasmanian Karting Championship from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th of November. Around 110 competitors including several interstate travellers gathered at the Briant Park circuit to compete in the biggest event on the Tasmanian karting calendar. This event was sponsored by Tall Timbers.
The three-day event served up weather from sunny clear blue skies to torrential rainstorms which put a lot of driver’s skills to the test. Several events saw drivers racing with slick tyres on a wet track and wet tyres on a dry track, this resulted in some action-packed racing.
Cadet 9 was the first State Championship to be decided. Going into the final Ollie Garwood, Jasper Partouche and Beau Chambers had all taken a heat victory but it was Chambers who would start pole due to a less than ideal result for Garwood & Patrouche in Heat 3. Sadly, due to first corner contact both Garwood & Chambers would end up off the track and not able to continue. This resulted in nearly a thirteen second victory for Victoria’s Jasper Partouche. Second place went to Southern Tasmanian Kart Club’s Will Cairns who was competing at this very first state championship, with Ethan Youd in third. Fourth place went to Launceston Kart Club’s Makenzie Leonard.
Going into the event KA4 Masters was seen to be one of the most hotly contested classes with four of the eight competitors having won a state championship. On this occasion it wasn’t to be the case with Shane Stonehouse producing the most dominant performances of the meeting, leading all sixty-two laps over the race weekend, with his only blemish being missing out on pole by 0.305 to Johnathan Males. Stonehouse would comfortably take the win over Southern Tasmanian Kart Club’s Andrew Walter who did well to recover from a DNF in heat 1. Third place went down to the wire with Anthony McCullagh holding off a hard charging Geoff Lawrence who was only centimetres away from making a successful pass on the last corner of the race. Fastest qualifier Johnathan Males sadly had to settle for a DNF after coming undone in tricky condition with two laps remaining.
KA4 Junior Heavy was one of the few races that the weather was a big influencer in. Driving out for the final only three of the sixteen competitors chose to run wet tyres on a relatively dry track which a few laps in seemed to be the perfect choice. Denzil Sargent was on target for his first state title win when the weather gods had other ideas and it began to torrentially rain. At the time Launceston Kart Club’s Jonty Rowbottom who had started on the front row with Sargent was in seventh place and the first driver on wet tyres. Rowbottom who is in only his first year of racing would slowly make his way up the field with drivers slipping and sliding all over the place. He would take the lead from Sargent on lap fourteen and register a 10.5 second victory over the North Western Kart Club’s Ari Lawes who was also one of the drivers who rolled the dice to run on wets. Sargent who was in his last race before moving up to Seniors would finish the race in third place, one lap behind Rowbottom. The Launceston Kart Club’s Isabella Mayne would finish the final in fourth place which would also be her final run before moving to Seniors.
KA3 Senior Medium saw the biggest winning margin of the weekend, Jackson Souslin-Harlow would convincingly win by 12.521 seconds to collect his ninth State Championship. Jackson would be pushed all the way in the three preceding heat races but was just a class above the rest in the final. Second place would go to Launceston Kart Club’s Toby Callow who did an excellent job to recover from a DNF in heat two to fight his way onto the podium. Friday’s quick man Johnah Slater would inherit third place after a post-race disqualification to Jason White with Brodie Sward fighting his way from thirteenth to fourth.
Oliver Wickham of the Launceston Kart Club took his first of two state championships in KA4 Junior Light. Going into the final Oliver had only dropped the heat two race win to eventual second place finisher Cooper Frith. Wickham would win the final by 2.165 seconds from Frith with the Southern Tasmanian Kart Clubs Harry Bresnehan holding off Samuel Gorisch for the final step on the podium.
TaG 125 Restricted Medium had the smallest number of drivers make it to the final with only four drivers. Queenslander Joshua Herne had won two heats with former Hawthorn Football Club player and Launceston Kart Club member Jackson Callow taking the other. In the final though it was North Western Kart Club member Dave McCullagh who got the best of both at the start before Callow took the lead into turn five on the opening lap. Callow went on to win by 5.224 seconds and claim back-to-back blue plates in TaG 125 Restricted Medium class and his fourth state championship overall. Josh Herne would finish in second place with early leader McCullagh finishing in third.
The 2022 Cadet 12 state championship will be forever known as the one that got away for Victoria’s Blake Purvis. Blake had dominated all weekend, sitting at the top of the time sheets after qualifying and having three comfortable wins in the heats. However, it just wasn’t to be in the final, Purvis would lead the opening four laps before succumbing to a mechanical issue. This left the event wide open with for a three-way battle between Jack Kalbfell, Elenah Rankin & Harry Warmsley who had fought his way back up from a shocker start dropping back to sixth position. Kalbfell would lead from lap four to lap fourteen which was when Launceston Kart Club member Harry Warmsley made the move into the lead. On lap nineteen Rankin would make a mistake which saw her drop down to fifth. Once the dust settled it would be Warmsley who would claim his first state championship from Southern Tasmanian Kart Club member Jack Kalbfell. Ayrton Myers and Levi Bush would battle it out for the final step on the podium with some sensation dive bomb passes from both drivers but it would be Myers who greeted the checkered flag first. Bush would finish the final in fourth place which would be his best finish at a state championship.
KA3 Senior Light will go down as one of the most intense finals of the weekend with drop down bumper penalties, rain and some super aggressive racing being the main talking points from the race. Going into the twenty-two-lap final it would be William Blair who would be the red-hot favourite after taking victories in all three heat races, however his main competitors Toby Callow, Gemma Wyllie & Ethan Wyllie knew that the race would be over if they let Will get any more than a three-kart length break away as that was all he needed in prior the heat races. All four competitors would take their turn to lead the final, it would just be a matter of who blinked first. Blair’s hot run would come to a tragic conclusion on lap eleven when trying to make a pass on Callow for the lead into turn one resulting in him beached in the pebbles, dropping the lead group down to three. Callow would cross the line first in the final in what was a brilliant display of defensive driving on the final lap however in the same fashion as the Tasmanian Statewide Series his victory would be taken from him due to a two place drop down bumper penalty handing the win to Ethan Wyllie who crossed the line in second. Gemma Wyllie would suffer the same fate as Callow crossing the line in third but received a two-place penalty dropping her back to fifth. Fletcher Bellars would be the biggest gainer from the penalties jumping from position four at the line to second place with Callow
taking third after all penalties were applied.
KA3 Junior saw Oliver Wickham take his second state championship of the race meeting with a convincing 7.315 second victory. Oliver was pushed early in the final by West Australian Jackson Mitchel-Rosenauer who was the only driver to trouble Oliver throughout the heats. Sadly, for Mitchell-Rosenauer a mechanical issue on lap twelve dashed all hopes of taking the win away from the Tasmanian. KA3 Junior ended in a family affair with Oliver’s identical twin brother Jordan finishing the final in second place. Marcel Byrne completed the Launceston Kart Club trifecta by holding off Jasper Frith for third place.
TaG 125 Restricted Heavy saw the battle continue between Josh Herne & Jackson Callow. On this occasion Herne cruised to a comfortable victory from Callow who suffered from engine problems at the start of the race dropping down to seventh, instead of starting on the outside of the front row. Callow would fight his way through the field and would finish 3.417 second behind Herne which could have been a lot closer if Callow hadn’t of dropped over 2.5 second at the start. Jason Close would make a triumphant return to karting by finishing the final in third place.
TaG 125 Restricted Light was the last race of the day and was decided by the smallest margin of the weekend, 0.142 seconds. Going into the final Scott Hildyard was the short price favourite having won the three heat races pretty comfortably, but the final was a whole different story with Scott’s younger brother Nigel, Matty Mayne & Joel Clements all pushing Scott to the very end of the race. Matty Mayne produced the driver of his life to finish second with Nigel Hildyard in third. However post-race checks resulted in Nigel being disqualified and Joel Clements being elevated into third place.
Racing continues in Tasmania on December 3rd and 4th for the third annual Cowbiz Archerville Classic which will be held at the Launceston Kart Club.
Report by: Jade Stone