Top Kart driver Cameron Hill (Canberra, ACT) and Energy Corse Australia’s Chris Hays (Gold Coast, QLD) claimed their maiden victories in the CIK Stars of Karting Series presented by Castrol EDGE at round two of the 2012 series in Newcastle today.
Hill has been somewhat of a revelation in the Pro Junior (KF3) ranks over the past 18 months and today was his time to shine. Until today, the 15 year-old had only finished on the podium in the series on one occasion but with a pair of victories in the two 25-lap main events Hill confirmed his place as a serious contender for this year’s title chase.
“It’s unbelievable, it feels great to finally get this monkey off my back and finally win a round,” said Hill.
Hill crossed the line ahead of round one winner Jake Coleman (Glenmore Park, NSW) to move to within five points of the championship lead. For the second round in a row Kosmic Racing NSW driver Dimitri Agathos stood on thefinal step on the podium.
In his return round to the series, Dalton Ellery showed tremendous potential and as a result received the Smart Device Powerful Award and a Blackberry Playbook. For Hays, today’s victory was a breakthrough one. Competing in his 11th round of the elite series, the Vodafone-backed driver had always showntremendous speed but never walked away with a Pro Gearbox (KZ2) round victory. After shadowing Kyle Ensbey (Sunshine Coast, QLD) for the majority of the weekend Hays found his way to the front when it mattered most – at the start of the final race of the weekend. Hays got the jump off the start line and after opening a handy buffer in the early laps, was never challenged for the win.
“This has been a long time coming, I’ve been in a winning position a couple of rounds but have never been able to finish the job off for one reason or another. It’s really a huge relief,” said Hays. “A huge thanks must go to Adam Graham and the Energy Kart team, along with my mechanic Jon Targett and my Dad for all of their hard work inmaking this win possible. “Until this weekend I wasn’t a real fan of the Newcastle track but after today, I love it.”
2010 champion Matthew Wall (Sunbury, Vic) encountered a mechanical issue in the opening final, forcing him to the back for the second 25-lap main event. The BRM driver charged his way through the field to finish within several kart lengths of Hays. Third place went to Ensbey, who now holds a 19-point buffer a top of the standings in the chase for the John Pizarro Trophy.
There was both heartache and joy in the Pro Light (KF1) ranks with race leader Cian Fothergill (Gladstone, QLD) coming to a halt with a mechanical issue two laps from the end of the race, handing the win the Joseph Mawson (Hinchenbrook, NSW). The Fujitsu Cool driver was one of the pacesetters all throughout the weekend with he and Fothergill holding a commanding buffer over the remainder of the field for the majority of the final race. Mawson inherited the lead before crossing the line four seconds clear of points leader Daniel Rochford (Narre Warren, Vic). JAM Racing driver Adam Hughes rounded out the podium after holding out Tyler Greenbury (Toowoomba,QLD) in the second half of the race.
“You could certainly say that I had luck on my side today,” said Mawson. “I was able to stay with Cian but couldn’t quite out myself in a position to be able to challenge him, we were very close in lap times.When he stopped I knew that I had a bit of a gap on the field, so I was able to cruise to victory.”
Top Kart driver Damien Radosevic's fifth placing ensured that he was presented with the Alpine Stars 'Star of the Round' Award.
In the Challenge categories, it was Pierce Lehane who was in a class of his own in the Australian Leopard Challenge. The CRG driver claimed a dominant 17-second victory ahead of Mitchell Hewitt and Jedd Stojakovic. In the Heavy category it was 1993 CIK Stars of Karting Series Junior Champion MikeHazelton who claimed the win ahead of Travis Martin and Gaven Whitmore. Monaco driver James Greenwood once again proved too good for his opposition in the Clubman ranks during the Yamaha Challenge. 2011 Series winner Aaron Borg finished second ahead of CRG driver Bryce Davidson.
Sydneysider Jayden Ojeda claimed the Junior National Light victory ahead of Shamick Racing’s Justin Ford and Will Hawkes – who put in the drive of the race coming from the back of the grid due to not starting the pre-final. James Duckworth proved too good in the Junior National Heavyrace to take the win ahead of Anthony Gamouf and Mitchell Kennedy.
The next round of the five-round series will be contested at Ipswich in Queensland on June 15/16.