L and J Superkart Spectacular / ARDC Super70
Sydney Motorsport Park
Superkarts – 3rd & 4th of September, 2022
Spring had arrived in Sydney for the ARDC Super 70, but unfortunately someone forgot to tell the weather to play nice. ARDC 70 is a celebration of this stoic club for its 70th year in existence. Many racing categories were invited to participate in this motorsport festival, and the Superkarts obliged in great numbers.
22 Superkarts braved the wet conditions to come and qualify early Saturday morning for this two-day meet. The local knowledge of Lee Vella out gunned the fast Victorian Nicholas Schembri to claim the fastest time in qualifying. Paul Campbell and Mark Robin were 3rd and 4th, South Australian Johnny Twidgen and Aaron Cogger occupied the third row. Adam Stewart, Stuart Robertson, Martin Anderson (VIC) and Robert Trimmer made up the rest of the top 10 qualifiers.
Dylan Stephens was the only 250cc Superkart in the race and he used his favourable starting position (1st) to his advantage, leading the field into the first couple of corners. Coming over the crest after turn 4, he spun in the greasy conditions; his Kart went from one side of the track to the other. He was fortunate to have a considerable lead at that time or he could have been cleaned up by the pursuing field. Schembri made the most of this and claimed the lead from Vella, Robin and Fooks.
The rain was not easing and the field quickly spread out in the slippery conditions. Jock Dos Santos had a moment at turn 5, his Kart doing a 360 spin and his rear number dislodging at the rear. He continued on with his rear number hanging off to one side. Weather conditions and mechanical problems reduced some of the runners. Lauren Shand, Shane Thompson, Mehmet Sinani and Paul Battle all retired during the 3rd lap.
Up front Schembri was pulling away from the dicing Pair of Campbell and Robin. Just behind them was the pair of Vella and Fooks. Cogger and Trimmer had their own battle a little further back. Schembri mastered the conditions winning comfortably from Campbell and Vella. Fooks finished 4th from Robin, Cogger and Trimmer. Stewart was 8th, Stephens recovered from his early mishap to finish 9th and Twigden was 10th.
Race 2 was held in wet conditions; however, the rain had eased off. The start was a lot closer than the previous race. Stephens arrived at turn 2 first but was quickly overtaken by Campbell, Schembri and Robin. The field remained a lot closer throughout the race, with dices forming between many drivers. Mark Vickers and Nicholas Marshall fought hard, as did Robertson and Anderson.
Up front Schembri was hounded by Campbell, they subsequently had pulled away from the pair of Vella and Fooks. The leaders swapped positions numerous times. At one stage the two drivers went through the turn 2 and 3 complex side by side. Neither driver lifted. The pace was frantic and lap time was faster than the previous race.
Sinani and Shane Thompson had already DNF, but the most interesting retirement was that of Greg Tinsley. His Kart coasted to a halt at the end of the main straight just before turn 1. Unknown to him there were two interested spectators by the fence next to where his Kart stopped. As he got out the two hooped off into the distance, yes hopped…. a pair of Kangaroos.
Towards the end of the race Schembri put down some consistent laps to edge out in front from Campbell. The final result was Schembri 1st, Campbell 2nd and Vella
3rd. Fooks came home in 4th in front of Trimmer and Cogger. Lauren Shand recovered from the disaster in the first race to finish 7th from Robin, Twigden and Stephens.
Race 3 was held during Sunday morning, it had stopped raining, however the track still had some damp patches. The field was reduced by 2 to 20 starters. Dos Santos and Coggar would not start the race. Schembri made a brilliant start and took command of the race. Stephens was a lot more confutable in the drying conditions and was able to put some pressure on the leader early on. Robin was running in 3rd position just ahead of Vella and Fooks.
A great midpack dice was forming between Blake Roese, Twigden and Vickers. Up front Schembri was just too fast, he was pulling away from the new 2nd placed driver Fooks. Robin’s race ended while in 3rd position. During the same lap, Shand’s woes continued with another DNF.
Schembri won with a massive margin of 33 seconds from Fooks and the ever-improving Stephens. Trimmer and Vella finished 4th and 5th. Campbell struggled home to finish in 6th from Twigden, Vickers and Roese. Robertson rounded off the top 10.
The final race was run during Sunday afternoon in sunny conditions. Again, Schembri made the best start from Vella and Fooks. As the race developed
Schembri and Vella diced for the lead, then a gap to Fooks and Robin battling for 3rd place. Behind theses driver there was a 4-way dice for 5th between Campbell, Cogger, Trimmer and Stephens.
As Stephens was approaching the last turn, his Kart started to lose grip and speared off into the gravel trap, that was the end of his day. Nicholas Marshall also retired with his Kart stopping at turn 6. Dos Santos and Robertson put on a great show in a mid-pack battle. As did Shand, Vickers and Roese.
Schembri showed his class, putting down the fastest lap of the weekend on the way to another victory. Vella made the most of the dry conditions to finish second, Robin was home in 3rd. Fooks out gunned Cogger and Campbell to finish 4th. Trimmer was 7th from Stewart and Twigden. Shand finished 10th.