With two rounds remaining in the Castrol EDGE CIK Stars of Karting KZ2 Championship, defending Champion, Joey Hanssen has his eyes on becoming a double Australian Champion after an emphatic round three performance at Puckapunyal.
He would become the first driver since Bart Price in 2004/2005 to take back-to-back titles in the premier gearbox CIK class in Australia if he achieved the feat.
Hanssen (CRG) took two final victories today. The first one was a straightforward, workmanlike performance from the Dutch 2011 World Cup Champion. He got to the front early and then was never headed.
The second final was never going to be so easy. With arch rival, David Sera (Deadly) making his way through to second and nemesis from last year, Chris Hays (Energy) charging through to third it was going to be a battle to remember.
With his friends and family watching the Speedcafe.com livestream in a pub in the Netherlands, Hanssen dropped back to third at one point. Sera beat him off the line and Hays snuck past on lap 10.
He then marched forward and stalked the Gold Coast youngster, eventually getting past late in the race to take one of his most memorable victories. Matthew Wall had a season high best fourth placing.
“It was a very tough race, really hard, one of the best I’ve had in Australia,” said Hanssen. “I knew those boys were going to run me hard, it is a difficult track in these karts, you’re doing 24 gear changes per lap – so I was really suffering arm pump at the end of the race, but very happy with the result.”
In KF2, Championship leader, Troy Loeskow (FA Kart) extended his Championship lead in dramatic circumstances after what had otherwise been a difficult weekend by taking victory in the second final. He shared the final wins with Townsville’s Joshua Smith (Kosmic), who backed up his final one win with third in the second 25-lap encounter.
Yesterday’s form man, Nathan Tigani brought his Scuderia PCR Australia machine home second in the second final. Others to impress included Zac Soutar and Leigh Nicolaou, however Nicolaou suffered two technical issues in pursuit of the lead and didn’t finish either final.
In KF3, the title race has really heated up after a pair of immensely exciting finals.
The Juniors are turning it on this season and the Exprit pair of Christopher Sandrone and Jayden Ojeda were once again at the point of it. Sandrone led an Exprit quinella in the first final with Zane Morse (Tony Kart) third.
In the second final, Sandrone spun early in the race through the notorious Puckapunyal ‘bus stop’ chicane. This opened the race up to Ojeda and round two winner, Morse.
Morse – from the national capital – has taken huge strides forward over recent rounds, particularly since his win at Bolivar (round two) and has the potential to bring himself into Championship contention.
He took the final two victory over Ojeda and Darwin’s Bryce Fullwood was third.
Another Canberra racer, Joshua Fife had his best CIK Stars of Karting performance by finishing fourth in the opening 25-lap stanza, but was a victim of a small technical failure which cost him a finish in the second.
Brendan Nelson continued his unbeaten streak in TaG Heavy – he has won all three events conducted this season. In TaG Light, it was Daniel Rochford, who annexed his Series lead with another win. Justin Ford won the TaG Restricted final.
Similarly, Jack Doohan got home in front of Joshua Smith in the Rookies – the pair remaining at the top of the points standings, with young girl racer, Courtney Prince bringing her Tony Kart home third.
The penultimate round of the Castrol EDGE CIK Stars of Karting Championship will be held at Newcastle Kart Raceway in the Hunter Valley over the weekend of July 26-27.