It has been a big off-season for the Four Stroke Karting Association of NSW Inc.
It started with a name change from the Subaru Karting Association of NSW to the new name, better aligning the club to a future beyond the Subaru KX21 Engine.
Interest in the season began early, with lots of new enquires from new teams and drivers that were looking for a karting option to share with their mates. The attraction? Close racing, one engine, big fields and a friendly helpful racing environment.
Round One held last Sunday at Eastern Creek, made possible by our sponsor Dieci Telehandlers, saw an unprecedented entry of 31 endurance karts covering 105 drivers.
Due to the large grid, qualifying was split into two, and our $100 Pro-Axle Pole award went the Pro-Axle driver Cameron Crick. $100 was also awarded to the fastest qualifier in Class B (Champ Class) that being Craig Woolley from CDK Racing.
Racing began at 9am for a full-on 8 Hours and the Subi train didn’t disappoint. The front pack of nine Subaru’s raced it hard for the opening stint, with an uncountable number of passes and lead changes. The lead swapped between Pro-Axle 68 in their brand new 4-Stroke CRG Chassis, Double Trouble, Hoof-Hearted 12, and after a slow start The Marvans.
With such a big field there was always going to be caution periods. CDK Racing, Hoofhearted Too and Second String Racing all had early mishaps but all returned to race after repairs.
An early retirement from the event was last year’s Champ Class Champions Having Fun 2.0, the Track Warrior chassis having cried enough, the team is keen to return with a new chassis for round two.
As the day wore on it became a race of attrition. Pole sitters Pro-Axle 8 were sidelined with a rear bumper issue and then suffered a bent axle in an incident. The team did finish and managed to salvage some points for the championship campaign.
Hoofhearted-12 were running well until an intermittent fueling issue plagued their pace, eventually crossing the line well down but still classified a finisher.
As the race wore on the battle at the front was between Pro-Axle 68, Double Trouble, Maldon Storm, The Dudleys and backing up from their impressive debut last year at Orange, the Manning Maniacs.
The new teams were beginning to realise it was a race of two, the front teams treating the race like an 8 Hour sprint race, hitting every curb and driving every lap like a qualifier, while the mid pack teams were looking after their equipment focusing on finishing the race as high up as they could.
It was great to see so many teams enjoying themselves, some teams were there with the goal of a top ten finish, some a top twenty finish, others looking for a class win, or a podium. There were lots of smiles at Five4 Engineering, with Gav Norman making his karting debut. Their aim, to finish in the Top 30, so to finish in 11th was a big achievement.
To our brand new teams – Loose Nuts Racing, No Chance, Secret Men’s Business & MPV Racing congratulations on finishing your first endurance event. To the guys in Kart 22, Plan A, so close yet so far!
So how did it all finish up?
The 8 Hour race, completing 532 laps of Eastern Creek, was won by Pro-Axle 68 by 0.9 seconds to Maldon Storm. Team Dudleys finished third only 5.9 seconds off the leader. To David Upston, Matt Pescod and Jarrod Crick congratulations on your first endurance win.
In Champ Class, returning team St Croix pulled off an excellent and dominant win from Dieci Racing, and Pro-Axle 38 in third. To Mitch Lozina, Andy Sandlin and Michael Shiller we are really glad you had an awesome time and congrats on fourth outright and Champ Class honours.
Lastly, the club would like to thank everyone that turned up to make the event great. The amount of people that were at the event was beyond anything we ever expected.
Round Two of the series, sponsored by Pro-Axle Australia, will be held at Circuit Mark Webber in Canberra on April 15th. Until then, from the committee its heads down to organise yet another successful and enjoyable event.