Pierce Lehane (Castle Hill, NSW), Jake Spencer (Wantirna South, Vic) and Tyler Greenbury (Toowoomba, QLD) joined illustrious company when they were crowned Champions in the CIK Stars of Karting Series presented by Castrol EDGE at Newcastle, NSW on Sunday.
Lehane’s title was his second consecutive in the Pro Light (KF3) division and in claiming the win becomes only the third driver in series history to complete the feat. The other two being IndyCar star Ryan Briscoe (1995/1996) and Kristian Lindbom (2003/2004).
Second place in Sunday’s final 25-lap final was enough for the CRG driver to claim the Jon Targett trophy ahead of round winner Joseph Mawson. Jake Coleman finished third for the round.
“To put my name on the trophy two times in a row is something that I’ll never forget in my career, especially when you look at the calibre of drivers that have won this title over the years,” said Lehane.
“The racing has been really intense this year, even today when I knew that all I had to do was finish the second final and I was the champion again I felt some of that pressure.
“It was pretty close racing all weekend, the younger guys have really been stepping it up in the second half of the series and with a few of the older drivers moving into seniors next year I think they will really shine next year.”
In Pro Light (KF1) Matthew Waters (Horsley Park, NSW) and Aidan Wright (Cairns, QLD) shared the spoils in the two 25-lap main events. However, a third and a fourth place finish in the second race was enough for Jake Spencer to etch his name on the James Courtney trophy.
Following his domination of the previous round at Newcastle, Cian Fothergill (Gladstone, QLD) was the favourite to snare the title this weekend from Spencer’s grasp. Entering the final race today the pair were separated by a mere seven points.
Unfortunately for Fothergill, he was unable to defeat Spencer in the final encounter and had to settle for the runner-up placing.
“It really hasn’t sunk in that I’ve joined the likes of Mark Winterbottom and Jamie Whincup who have won this trophy before, it’s an amazing feeling,” said Spencer.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it – I thought Cian was going to win the race and if he won I had to finish second to get the championship.
“The main tactic entering the final race was to keep Cian in sight. I followed him for about the first ten laps and then when I passed him I was making sure that didn’t hit any bumps or kerbs that could have ended my race, I was being extra cautious.
“it was probably the longest ten laps I’ve done in my life and I was relived to have got across the line.”
Third place in the title chase went to Waters ahead of Grant Smith (Patterson Lakes, QLD).
The battle for the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) title went down to the wire with Greenbury winning the championship by a mere six points over Kel Treseder. The pair finished on the podium in the last race, however, it was Jason Pringle who broke through for his maiden round win.
There was drama all throughout Sunday’s Pro Gearbox action with front row combatants Dave Sera (Narre Warren, Vic) and Kel Treseder (Bundaberg, QLD) given a ten-second penalty for a starting infringement in the opening race of the day.
Further drama was still to come for Sera when he arrived too late to the pre-grid for the final race and therefore wasn’t eligible to compete – a fate also felt by John Grother (Gladstone, QLD).
Greenbury led the majority of the final race before being passed by both Pringle and Treseder in the closing stages. Third place was enough for the Intrepid driver to secure the title and leave Treseder ruing the jumped start in the opening race of the day.
“At the start of the race I felt I had a bit on the guys behind me, then they caught me up when I started to struggle with the set-up of the kart," said Greenbury.
“I thought it was Kel behind me but then Pringle surprised me first. I knew to win the championship I had to finish one or two places behind Kel, so I made sure I did that.”
As a part of their prize for winning the championship in their respective categories, each driver will also receive $10,000 for them to compete in an overseas CIK-FIA accredited event. *Conditions apply.
In the Yamaha Challenge categories Lydon Dodge, Aaron Borg and Brett Robinson all went into the final race with a shot at the title. While Harrington Doyle Racing's James Greenwood won the race ahead of Robinson, fourth place ensured Borg won the title by a mere two points and also the top prize of a trip to Japan to compete in the All Japan Yamaha Championship next month.
A calculated drive by Stefan Stankovic in the Junior National ranks across the weekend secured him the Junior National crown in the Yamaha Challenge.
In the Tag Restricted support category it was Evan Brannock who won the Light division and Wayne Bower TaG Restricted Heavy.
Find the standings in the file attached