Motorsport Australia NSW Championship – Round 1

Race report by Riccardo Benvenuti The 2022 season kicked off at a damp Wakefield Park. Unfortunately, only 10 drivers made the journey to the NSW rural track. Paul Campbell set the pace in qualifying with the time of 1:14.5026. Mark Robin was 2nd fastest and Lee Vella was 3rd. The remainder of the field consisted of; Blake Roese, Sam Zavaglia, Aaron Cogger, Stuart Robertson, Mark Vickers, Alan Dodge and Brian Tinsley.Race 1 started cleanly and withing a few laps a five-kart pack was dicing for the lead. Vella led from Zavaglia, Robin, Cogger and Campbell. During midrace Campbell dropped back. Vella’s pace was fast and consisted of and eventually build a gap to 2nd place driver. The result was Vella 1st, Zavaglia2nd and Robin 3rd.

Race 2 was run in complete dry condition, and it was a similar start to the first one. Zavaglia led the charge followed by Vella and Robin. During the 3rd lap Vella passed Zavaglia to take the lead. Campbell was running in a strong position when he suddenly dropped towards the back of the field and had to work his way up again.Robin and Cogger were having the best dice of the race as they battled for 3rd place. Cogger made a decisive overtaking move on lap 5 to claim the position. Roese, Vickers and Robertson had their own scrap further back. Vella claimed the win 4 seconds ahead of Zavaglia. Cogger nudged out Robin for 3rd and Campbell recovered to finish 5th.

Vella made the best start in race 3, he was closely followed by Cogger and Campbell. During the second lap Campbell went past Cogger to take 2nd position. That would not be the only problem for Cogger, a lap later he retired from the race. As the race evolved Vella had a commanding lead from Campbell, Robin Roese and Vickers. However, the leader made a mistake and Campbell went passed him.Vella was now being pressured by Robin and eventually the latter also went past to claim 2nd position. Further back Roese and Vickers scrapped for position as Robertson, Dodge and Tinsley maintained the pressure. Campbell came home 1st from Robin and Vella. Roese was 4th and Vickers finished 5th.For the final race of the meet, Campbell made a great start to claim an early lead. Vella battled with Zavaglia. During lap 3 Vella went past Campbell to take the lead, and at the same time Robin’s Kart started misfiring badly. The issue was a flooding engine that progressively became worst as the race evolved.At mid race distance the order was Vella first, and a large gap to Campbell, Zavaglia and Roese. Campbell started slowing down and eventually retired from the race. Zavaglia was also having some issues. The bumpy nature of Wakefield Park was taking its toll on the Superkarts. Vella eventually finished 1st by a massive margin of 40 seconds. Zavaglia was home 2nd from the hard charging Roese. Vickers finished 4th and Robertson was 5th. The remaining places went to Dodge, the struggling Robin and Tinsley.