Australian Vortex Champions crowned in Melbourne
The SP Tools Australian Kart Championship has come to a close with Champions crowned in the four Vortex classes for season 2018.
In KA1 – which uses the Vortex Rok DVS-SV – opening round winner Lochie Dalton became the first Tasmanian to win the multi-round Australian Kart Championship. He took the round win, making it three round wins for the year.
Last year’s Junior Vortex Champion, Broc Feeney secured second in the title race, edging out Joshua Denton – who he was equal on points heading into the Grand Final race.
In the Vortex DVS-powered KA2 Junior category, Mount Gambier (South Australia) based driver, Kai Allen took the Championship. Remarkably, Allen did not win a round throughout the year and his consistency throughout heat races and finals was rewarded with the Championship on Sunday morning.
As it turned out, wrapping up the Title before the Final was fortuitous for Allen who was caught up in a multi-kart incident at the first turn of the 20-lap decider.
Shamick Racing pilot, James Wharton took a dominant win in the Final to become the only driver to have won two rounds in the Championship this year. Despite missing the first round of KA2 he would go on to finish the Series third behind Jaiden Pope.
The Vortex Mini Rok powered Cadet 12 Championship went right to the last lap of the Final. The most competitive class in the Championship saw eight drivers enter the weekend in with a chance at taking one of the two seats at the Rok International Final later this year and that was cut to three entering the Final race.
Championship leader heading into the Final, Harry Arnett was shuffled back to ninth with his closest rivals Jimmy Piszcyk and Marcos Flack at the head of the pack.
While some distance behind, Arnett staged a thrilling run through the field, setting multiple fastest laps to get to the front. At one stage, all three contenders were three wide on the circuit.
Arnett got to the lead before Flack caught up late in the race. Queenslander Flack passed Arnett with two corners remaining, however the Victorian knew that he would have enough points in the bag to become Australian Champion.
In Mini Rok Cadet 9, Formula 1 Grid Kid Lewis Francis held a commanding Championship lead heading into the weekend and indeed by the close of play on Saturday had become Champion elect, aided by closest rival, Peter Bouzinelos not finishing a heat.
The youngster was in the mix throughout the weekend, and was right there throughout the Final, however it was his fellow Victorian Bouzinelos who got the win over Francis with Jaxson Burns coming home in third.
Overall, season 2018 has been sensational for all the Vortex classes.
The four drivers that will represent Australia at the Rok International Cup in Lonato, Italy over the weekend of October 10-13 will be Dalton, Allen, Arnett and Flack. It is anticipated they can continue the good run of Australians in that event, which saw Broc Feeney become the first Australian to stand on the podium last year and Scott Sorensen start the final on the front row. The remaining top three placegetters received an engine parts credit to be spent on Vortex Engines and the Cadet 9 Champion and third place in Cadet 12 received a new Vortex engine.
Australian importer of Vortex Engines, Paul Feeney Group thanks each driver that utilised a Rok power unit throughout 2018 for their support and the thrilling competition that took place at all five rounds throughout the year.
On demand footage from Sunday’s event and the Gala Dinner can be viewed at www.karting.net.au.
More information on Vortex Engines Australia and the Race to the Rok Cup can be found at www.facebook.com/vortexengines.