Queenslander Jason Faint has taken a memorable victory in the second round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship, presented by Castrol EDGE, in Newcastle NSW.
Faint led home last round winner Troy Loeskow and perennial front runner, Christopher Hays in Sunday afternoon’s KZ2 Championship final.
Faint took control from pole in Sunday morning’s final heat race of the elite class and then backed that up in the afternoon with a lights to flag victory.
The Gladstone (QLD) based restauranteur had a lead of almost a second in his French-built SodiKart over a busy battle pack.
Loeskow in his Patrizicorse Ricciardo Kart pushed through from 12th on the grid to join the fray that included GP Karts Australia pilot, Matt Smith and CRG’s NSW firebrand, Zac Zamprogno – who was on for his best KZ2 finish.
Joining that fight with Loeskow was Hays who started from seventh on the grid. Opening it up for the pair was Zamprogno coming together with Smith deep in the race. It allowed Loeskow and BirelART Hays Health & Fitness-mounted Hays to close in on Faint at a rapid rate of knots.
The trio of Queenslanders were locked in a three-way fight for the last four laps, Loeskow trying every single way to get past his fellow Central Queenslander, but Faint would not be denied despite suffering significant arm pump in the latter stages of the race.
Faint’s victory sees him move into the lead of the championship, seven points clear of Hays with Loeskow a further three points adrift.
The elite Junior KA2 class fell the way of Reuben Goodall – the South Australian taking his first round win in his DR Kart. It was a tough fought battle between Goodall, Fletcher Harris, Beau Pronesti and Championship leader coming into the weekend, Luke Pink. After a full course caution following a lap one incident, Harris established an early lead before being reeled in. Goodall got to the lead and pulled away, before the pack closed down on him.
Harris went deep under Goodall on the second last corner and came off second best. From there, Goodall maintained the lead with Pronesti (PPG, TWM Exprit) trying to close down for his first AKC win, however Goodall won by 0.320 seconds. Ethan Feather charged through from ninth on the grid in his Parolin to record his first KA2 podium. Christian Mansell in his Rush Performance Exprit Kart scythed through to fourth from 16th position – a tremendous effort considering the opening two heats he started 36th and last after a penalty in qualifying.
A record four New South Wales drivers took victory across the eight classes in Newcastle.
The most dominant performance came from Pierce Lehane in the X30 category. He was head and shoulders above the capacity field throughout the weekend, winning every single race in his Kosmic Kart and romping to victory in the final by 2.6 seconds.
He beat home fellow Sydney-sider, 15-year-old Jackson Souslin-Harlow who took advantage of starting behind Lehane to follow him through to turn one. Souslin-Harlow withstood immense pressure from round one winner, Brad Jenner who put in another strong performance on board his Arrow Kart.
Another domination came from Top Gun Racing Academy JC Kart driver, Reece Cohen who took his first Australian Kart Championship round win in TaG 125.
The youngster pushed forward to the race lead midway through the event and then he pushed forward to open up a 2.64 second lead at the end of the race.
He beat home early race leader, Adam Lindstrom – who was celebrating his birthday on finals day. Pro Karting Formula K driver, Lindstrom was strong all throughout the weekend and is starting to build a case for a Championship challenge. He came home in front of 2015 KZ2 Australian Champion, Jason Pringle – also driving a Formula K who had been at the head of the field for the entire weekend.
Disaster struck current Australian Champion, Brendan Nelson – who was out of sorts for much of the weekend. After dominating round one in Ipswich, Nelson drifted back through the field, ultimately crossing the line in 25th position.
Kosmic’s Matthew Waters’ position as the KA3 King of Newcastle continued – backing up last year’s win by taking a solid Final win having started back in sixth position.
He won by just over a second from JC Kart driver, Jai Brown who is quickly emerging as a Championship threat after two solid rounds. This weekend’s performance sees him move into second place in the standings – five points adrift of Tony Kart driver Jack Bell.
South Aussie Joshua Denton did everything to get his Series back on track with a podium finish in third.
The other New South Welshman to score a win was Alex Ninovic in Cadet 12. He was involved in a huge early race battle that involved up to five karts at times, however pushed forth and made a decisive move to the lead. From there he was able to open an advantage to win by 1.9 seconds over reigning Cadet 9 Champion, Parolin’s Lewis Francis and round one winner, Carter Mobbs – who snuck into third over defending Champion, Harry Arnett on the line by two-one-hundredths of a second.
In KA4 Junior, Arrow’s Kobi Williams reversed Ipswich’s result by taking the win over AWC Motorsport Academy’s Hugh Barter. It wasn’t through a lack of trying from Barter who started in seventh position and picked his way forward. It was an entertaining fight that involved four or five competitors, Barter edging out pole-sitter Kurtis Tennant for second position.
Victorian B&A Concreting/TWM Energy Kart driver, James Anagnostiadis took his first AKC round win in the youngest category – Cadet 9 – by a margin of 1.3 seconds. He beat home an entertaining fight for the minors that ultimately fell the way of Ipswich winner, Patty Buckley (JC Kart) and ZedCorse CompKart pilot, Jenson Burns – who edged past his twin Jaxson for the final podium position. All three had stanzas in the minor positions at some stage throughout the 16-lap affair.
The SP Tools Australian Kart Championship, presented by Castrol EDGE, now enters a hiatus until the weekend of May 17-19 when it heads to the Monarto Karting Complex just outside Murray Bridge in South Australia.