Race Report by Riccardo – Priceless Images
2023 Nankang Tyres MSA NSW Motor Race Championship – Round 5
Sydney Motorsport Park
2023 Superkart Championship Round 3
The Superkart championship continued at Sydney Motorsport Park on what turned out to be a pleasant Sydney Winters day. Cool in the morning warming up to nearly spring weather. The format of the day would be Qualifying in the morning, 2 races in the afternoon and two more races at night. Unfortunately, only 9 drivers rolled out to qualify, this low entry did not affect the racing.
Running of the event would be on the smaller North Circuit and not the GP track. Aaron Cogger set the fastest time to claim pole position from Laurie Fooks. Adam Stewart was 3rd fastest from Jock Dos Santos and Mark Vickers. Alan Dodge ran into trouble during the session, his Kart stopping at the start of the back straight, he was still able to set the 6th fastest time. Wayne Horswell was 7th from Stuart Robertson and Brock Schafer.
Race 1 started cleanly with 2 groups quickly forming. Cogger, Fooks, Stewart, dos Santos and Vickers the leading group. Schafer, Horswell, Robertson and Dodge in the 2nd group. As the race wore on Cogger was able to pull a gap to Fooks and Stewart, who were dicing for 2nd position. This dice lasted until lap 6, when Fooks retired. His stricken Kart stopped just after the crest at turn 4.
Just as intense was the dice between dos Santos and Vickers. In each lap Vicker would tuck right behind dos Santos in the beginning of the straight and sling shot past him in the straight, dos Santos seemed to be quicker in the technical part of the track and he would repass.
This was repeated each lap, with dos Santos signalling the other driver to pass on the left-hand side as both drivers commenced the straight.
You could have thrown a blanket on the other 4 drivers during different stages of the race. Horswell, Schafer, Dodge and Robertson swapped position multiple times. They were never separated by more than one second. At the end Cogger came home 1st, Stewart 2nd and dos Santos 3rd. Vicker was 4th from Dodge. Robertson, Horswell and Schafer filled the rest of the places.
Race 2 started in a similar fashion to the 1st one. Cogger took an early lead from Stewart and dos Santos. Fooks was struggling in 4th place just ahead of Vickers. The quartet that diced throughout the previous race recommenced their battle. The unfortunate Fooks retired again. He would not be alone, Cogger retired while in the lead during lap 4.
Stewart found himself in the lead with no opposition, he was able to pull away and eventually won by a massive 38 second margin. Jock dos Santos was 2nd and Vickers 3rd. Behind them, it was a different story, Dodge and Robertson swapped position multiple times, Horswell shadowed each and every move and Schafer kept them honest. As before these four drivers put on the best show. The result was Robertson 4th, Horswell 5th, Dodge 6th and Schafer 7th.
Race 3 was run under light in much cooler conditions. Cogger again made the best start from Stewart and Fooks. Behind the leaders, dos Santos held off Vickers. The top 5 spread out quickly, for the 4 at the rear it was “status quo”. Fooks luck did not change, another retirement during the 3rd lap. Cogger found the cool night air to his liking, his Kart was extremely fast. His lead was ever increasing overlapping backmarkers at will.
By mid-race the order was Cogger with a big lead from Stewart. Another big gap to dos Santos and Vickers. Robertson was leading the intense battle at the rear. Cogger won comfortably lapping all but second place Stewart. 3rd place went to Vickers, dos Santos ran into trouble dropping from 3rd to last. Robertson was 4th and Dodge 5th. Horswell finished 6th and Schafer 7th.
The final race was held late Saturday night and the temperature had dropped considerably. Again, Cogger showed his speed from Stewart, Fooks and dos Santos. The leader began to pull away dragging Stewart with him. Fooks and dos Santos scrapped for 3rd position.
Vickers drove a relatively lonely race in 5th position. Dodge diced with Robertson and Horswell, and Schafer swapped positions just behind them. Cogger was lapping 4 second a lap quicker than the 2nd fastest driver, there was no catching him. Fooks and dos Santos battle intensified, with multiple position swaps and late braking overtakes. This was until the unthinkable happened. Fooks retired one more time robbing him of a high position finish.
Cogger won comfortably by a 44 second margin from Stewart. Dos Santos claimed 3rd place ahead of Vickers. Dodge and Robertson crossed the finish line side by side, with Dodge claiming 5th by a mere 0.1 of a second. Horswell was 7th edging out Schafer by a small margin.
A great day racing by all, lets hope at the next round there are more competitors.