Joe Sciacca struck back at Round 3 of the Exclusive Auto Centre Rotax Max Superkart Cup. On a weekend where the Rotax Class winners clean swept their classes, the large Rotax Light put Sciacca over the top. The races themselves saw the four class winners go at it each time, with visiting New South Wales driver Ryan Taplin taking two race wins.
In the Exclusive Auto Centre Superkart Challenge Series Dan Lewis was the star performer at the front of the field in the Lewis Plumbing Anderson-Honda, winning all three races. Lindsay Jamieson though took the most points from the weekend, overcoming a smashed nosecone to win the larger 125 cc class in the Linra Properties Stockman-Honda.
Sciacca set the standard for the weekend in qualifying, taking pole position with 1:02.9707 in his Arrow X2, barely five hundredths of a second ahead of his perennial rival from Rotax Heavy, Sean Maberly in his Intrepid Explorer. Rotax Junior hotfoot Quintin Slabbert (Arrow X1E) was just two tenths further away with Rotax Light driver John Caruana (Top Kart) taking fourth on the grid. Peter Nuske (Wildkart FY32) led the third row of the grid along with Lakeside rookie Ryan Talpin in a BRM BPM66 similar to Jason Laker's Stock Honda but in Rotax trim. Sporting a large aerodynamic nosecone, Taplin was not eligible to run in Rotax Light and sat in his own class. Steve Scott in the Laurus Enterprises Azzurro R6B was seventh (second in Rotax Heavy) ahead of Grant McKay in the second Intrepid, Jason Shaw in the Heavy class AJS Electrical Services Arrow X1 and Warwick Donsky's Arrow AX9 completed the top ten ahead of Nick Marshall (Arrow X1), Rod Tredgold (Arrow X1), John Thorogood (FRC Environmental Arrow X2), Rhys Endicott-Davies (Tony Kart) and Jackson Caruana (CRG Maximo). Nick Contarino in the Exclusive Auto Centre Energy Reactor failed to set a time but joined the grid for race 1.
Race 1 saw Sciacca, Maberly, Slabbert and Taplin pull away into a fierce dice. Taplin retired after lap five leaving the remaining three to decide the race. Slabbert won by four hundredths over Maberly with Sciacca a tenth behind in third. Nuske finished fourth and second in Rotax Light.
Steve Scott was fifth heading into lap 7 heading a gaggle of karts. A lap later two collided after Hungry Corner and Jason Shaw flew off track and retired. Marshall and Donsky got away clean and finished fifth and sixth. Scott claimed seventh ahead of John Caruana and McKay. Jon Thorogood was tenth with Jackson Caruana and Rhys Endicott-Davies also making the finish. Nick Contarino had an electrical failure with Tredgold also dropping out.
Race 2 was similar with the same four clearing out for their own fight. Taplin moved into the lead early and held it for much of the race, winning by two-tenths over Maberly with Slabbert and Sciacca each another two-tenths further back. Nuske held off Marshall with Donsky gradually failling away from the two as the race went on. John Caruana, Scott, Thorogood, McKay and Endicott-Davies followed. Contarino was in strife again when an exhaust sensor broke and fell through the system.
The short final race saw Slabbert push Taplin all the way to the chequer, falling seven hundredths short. Sciacca and Maberly developed their own fight for third which Nuske joined. John Caruana and Donsky followed closely. Scott was further back with the karts spaced out: Thorogood, McKay, Endicott-Davies, Tredgold, Marshall, Jackson Caruana and Contarino.
Sciacca won Rotax Light on points from Nuske and Donsky. Maberly won Rotax Heavy from Marshall and Scott.
Dan Lewis upset the order of things in the Exclusive Auto Centre Superkart Challenge Series by placing the Lewis Plumbing Anderson-Yamaha by placing his 250 National on pole ahead of the 250 Internationals by 2.5 seconds. Steve Cloake had his Stockman-Honda in second with Michael Nicholas' Stockman-Yamaha in third. Sean Maberly's Anderson-Honda and Tim Weier's Anderson-GasGas followed. Just over 60 second lap times were the 125 cc's, Paul Davis quickest in the Flowtek Stockman-Honda ahead of Jason Laker's BRM Stock Honda. Graeme Taplin was next in his BRM Stock-Honda giving Laker a real rival for pace in the MW Motorsport Cup. Stewart Bell was next in the 85 cc Linra Properties Gladiator-Yamaha, then a trouble Grant Yarrow in the motorsportzone.co.au Cougar-Honda. Phil Silcock made his return to Lakeside after twelve year absence in the Rockpress Stockman-Honda with Luke Spalding rounding out qualifying. Lindsay Jamieson (Linra Properties Stockman-Honda) and Grant Goss (Tecno SS30 Stock Honda) missed qualifying but joined the races. Jamieson had spun on his out lap and was hit by Laker, shattering both nosecones, leading to drafty days for both drivers.
Lewis cleared out in the first race and won by 18 seconds. Behind him Cloake sat in second place early on, defending from Nicholas and a fast starting Tim Weier. Finally Nicholas got through Cloake with two laps to go and finished second with Cloake using the horsepower of the Honda twin to keep Weier's GasGas power 250 National at bay. Davis won 125 cc from Jamieson who climbed from rear of grid to finish six tenths behind Davis. Graeme Taplin won the Stock Honda battle with Laker, by four hundredths of a second. Maberly, Silcock and Goss completed the finishers. Luke Spalding dropped out late while Stewart Bell had a piston failure caused by a broken ring.
In the second race Cloake got the better of the start but Lewis was soon in front and pulled away to win. Cloake was left to battle with Nicholas and Weier for second. Cloake faded to fourth and Nicholas was just four-tenths ahead of Weier at the flag. Jamieson, now starting further up the grid pulled a two second margin in fifth ahead of Taplin with Davis just behind. Maberly, Spalding and Goss followed with Laker falling to the rear after an off. Yarrow stopped in the early running again.
Nicholas lead race three for the first three laps before Lewis was able to pass and pull away to a three second win. Cloake led Maberly home for third. Jamieson again won 125 cc with Taplin following home to win MW Motorsport Stock Honda Cup. Davis, Laker and Goss completed the finishers with a loose wire claiming Weier on the warm-up lap.
Exclusive Auto Centre Rotax Max Superkart Cup
1st 1953 Joe Sciacca Arrow X2
2nd 1460 Peter Nuske Wildkart
3rd 1009 Warwick Donsky Arrow AX9
4th 913 John Caruana Top Kart
5th 569 John Thorogood FRC Environmental Arrow X2
6th 517 Grant McKay Intrepid Cruiser
7th 315 Rhys Endicott-Davies Tony Kart
8th 181 Jackson Caruana CRG Maximo
9th 83 Ron Tredgold Arrow X1
10th 50 Nick Contarino Exclusive Auto Centre Energy Reactor
1st 1503 Sean Maberly Intrepid Explorer
2nd 1033 Nick Marshall Arrow X1
3rd 938 Stephen Scott Laurus Enterprises Azzurro R6B
1st 1278 Quintin Slabbert Arrow X1E
1st 852 Ryan Taplin BRM BPM66
Exclusive Auto Centre Superkart Challenge Series
1st 1497 Lindsay Jamieson Linra Properties Stockman MR2 Honda
2nd 1361 Paul Davis Flowtek Stockman MR2 Honda
3rd 305 Luke Spalding Stockman MR2 Honda
3rd 305 Phil Silcock Rockpress Stockman MR2 Honda
1st 1461 Daniel Lewis Lewis Plumbing Anderson Maverick Yamaha
2nd 912 Sean Maberly Anderson Maverick Honda
3rd 729 Tim Weier Anderson Maverick GasGas
MW Motorsport Stock Honda Cup
1st 1461 Graeme Taplin BRM BPM66 Honda
2nd 1002 Jason Laker BRM BPM66 Honda
3rd 912 Grant Goss Tecno SS30 Honda
1st 1375 Michael Nicholas Stockman MR2 Yamaha
2nd 1028 Steve Cloake Stockman MR2 Honda