2023 NSW Motor Race Championship – Round 2
Sydney Motorsport Park Gardner
MSA NSW Superkart Championship – 16th April
By Riccardo Benvenuti
Even though this was the second round of the NSW State Championship, it would be the first for the Superkarts. A healthy field of 21 Starters came out to qualifying during the early Sunday morning session. The track was relatively dry, however there was some rain earlier in the morning and the occasional wet patch was still visible. Unfortunately for Dylan Stephens, he found one of these wet patches causing his Kart to hit the wall on the main straight. He would be out for the rest of the meet.
Lee Vella comfortably claimed pole by the large margin of 4 seconds from Paul Campbell and Laurie Fooks. Tony Moit was 4th and Arthur Magaitis 5th. Mark Vickers, Blake Roese, Jock Dos Santos, Wayne Horswell and Adam Stewart made the rest of the top 10.
With the recent passing of Ray Roese, the NSW Superkart club decided to sacrifice the first lap of the first race. All the field drove 4 wide down the main straight
with Blake Roese leading the pack. As the field went past the main pit complex, they saluted the Roese family members watching on. A well thought of tribute to a respected man.
On the second lap, the race would start in earnest, with Vella and Campbell pulling away from Robertson. The two leaders swapped positions in the first few laps; Robertson pursued from a distance as Lauren Shand lead the trailing pack.Horswell and Justin Levis diced mid pack in their respective Flouro livered Karts. Roese and Dos Santos did likewise.
The unfortunate Mehmet Sinani retired during the second lap, Vella ran into trouble while in 2nd position and also retired. At the end of the race (only 4 laps) Campbell won comfortably against Stewart and Shand. Roese claimed 4th just ahead of Dos Santos. Tony Moit edged out Elliot Physick, Magaitis and Vickers to come home in 6th position. Warren McGrouter rounded off the top ten.
In race 2, Campbell made the best start from Vella and Shand. The leaders went through the turn 2 to 5 corner complex together, when all of a sudden Campbell’s Kart stopped. It was a reversal of race one, this time Vella could pull away into the distance. Stewart was recovering from a slow start and started putting pressure on Shand, he eventually went past her in the second lap.
The dice of the race was between Dos Santos, Roese, Magaitis and Physick. The four-drivers slip streamed down the straight with the occasional wave of the arm to direct traffic. It was great racing. Sinani must of run over a black cat, with another DNF to his name in this race.
Another notable dice was between Horswell and Alan Dodge. Vella led the field home to claim the win, Stewart was 2nd from Shand. Physick was 4th from Magaitis , Dos santos and Roese. Vickers finished 8th ahead of Moit and McGrouter.
Only 18 Karts started the 3rd race, Vella had no opposition and quickly bolted away to a commanding lead. Laurie Fooks, Stewart and Shand followed the leader in a battle for 2nd position.
The 4 drivers that put on a wonderful display of driving in the previous race continued on, this time they were joined by Vickers as well. The squabble for position continued lap after lap, until Dos Santos spun coming out of turn 3 and stalled his engine. The desponded driver pushed his kart onto the grass and spectated the rest of the race.
Vella built his lead, and Fooks drove a lonely race in second position. Shand and Stewart closed up towards the end of the race and diced for 3rd. In the end it was Vella from Fooks, Stewart and Shand. Physick was 5th, Magaitis was 6th and Roese 7th. Vickers, Moit and Robertson rounded off the top 10.
The final race was held in relatively low light. This time Campbell rejoined the grid, and he and Vella would again fight for the win. Unfortunately, this race was a race of attrition. Magaitis, Physick and Stewart would not even complete a lap. Fooks would join them a lap later and Moit not long after that. Roese, Vickers and Dos Santos continued their day long rivalry and put on a great show. Horswell and Dodge did likewise. Charles Topfer, Brian Tinsley and Greg Tinsley competed in close quarters. All the drivers were pushing hard throughout the field.
Vella and Campbell were trading lap times, but at the end it was Vella that was victorious, Campbell finished 2nd and Shard was very consistent all day and claimed the final step on the podium. Vickers outclassed the rest claiming 4th; Dos Santos was 5th just ahead of Roese 6th. Congratulations to the latter as it would have been an emotional day for him. McGrouter’s consistency rewarded him with a strong 7th. Levis finished 8th ahead of Horswell and Dodge. Robertson was 11th, Greg Tinsley 12th, Topfer 13th and the final runner was Brian Tinsley 14th.
Congratulation to the NSW Superkart Club for putting on a respectful show in memory of Ray Roese.