V8 DRIVERS AND KART RACERS BATTLE THE BIG WET IN MELBOURNE
V8 Supercar drivers and the stars of the future all persevered in atrocious weather conditions in the MOJO Rotax Karting endurance race at VACC Park in Port Melbourne, Victoria yesterday.
The Victorian pair of Jordie Lindstrom and Aaron Ivermee 'paddled' their way to victory in a rain soaked event ahead of the Price brothers, Bart and Shane.
With Melbourne experiencing its wettest 24 hours this year with 35 millimetres of rain being recorded in the city, it made life interesting for the 46 teams competing behind the wheel of their 125cc Rotax-powered karts.
Greensborough's Lindstrom, 20, and Geelong's Ivermee, 24, were among the front-runners for the majority of the gruelling four-hour journey before crossing the line two laps clear of their nearest rivals.
"The weather seemed to work in our favour today and after leading for the most of the race it was a big relief to cross the line for the win," said Lindstrom.
"Once again, I think the event was a huge success and look forward to defending our crown next year."
From the outset, the race was hard fought at the front with pole sitters David Sera and Kel Treseder leading the early running aboard the #1 Arrow entry. A spin by Sera dropped him to tenth spot but it wasn't long before he was back in the race lead.
Also running in close proximity was the CRG kart driven by Jason Pringle and the #6 Arrow kart with Jace Lindstrom at the wheel.
Throughout the day, the race lead was exchanged on a number of occasions with both the Ben Walter/Reif Corbett and William Yarwood/Nick Lakasas combinations spending a number of laps at the front.
When the chequered flag fell, it was Lindstrom who slid his way across the finish line first aboard the #58 Pro Karting-backed Arrow kart. Behind the Price brothers in second spot came Walter and Corbett.
Tony Ciccione and Western Australian Steven Scoble, who was competing in his first event after recovering from a shoulder injury sustained at the NSW State Titles two months ago, finished fourth in a CC Racing prepared entry. Pringle and Phil Lucas finished fifth.
Fujitsu V8 Supercar drivers Taz Douglas and Tim Slade were the first of the full non-regular karting entries, finishing in ninth spot. Rod Nash Racing's Tony D'Alberto and Supercheap Auto Racing V8 Supercar Engineer James Small finished 13th, closely followed by Event organiser Matthew Wall and Darren Hossack who were followed across the line by Garry Rogers Motorsport drivers Lee Holdsworth and Michael Caruso.
"Despite the weather, today was a great day," said Caruso.
"It was a heap of fun out there and reminded me about why we love motor racing so much. I know one thing for sure -- I'll be back for more next year."
V8 drivers Jason Richards, who this week announced that he is leaving the Sprint Gas Racing Holden team, paired with his 2008 race engineer Adam DeBorre in the four-hour event. The pair finished in 25th place
Leanne Tander, runner-up in the Formula 3 series this year and wife of former V8 champ Garth, teamed with fellow fast femme Carley Wells, finishing 21st.
After racing near the front of the field during the opening half of the race, the 'dream team' of current Australian Rotax Champions Sera and Treseder were forced onto the sidelines with mechanical issues.
Earlier in the day, Bradley Jenner rounded out his year with victory in the 90-minute junior enduro. The CC Racing driver finished three seconds clear of Liam Morey with Brenton Mountjoy rounding out the podium.
Also braving the conditions at VACC Park yesterday was the newly elected VACC President Graeme Hill who took to the circuit in his 1964 Vintage kart powered by a Danarm chainsaw engine based on a Villiers 7F.