The 2004 Sparco CIK Australian Championships, presented by the Foster's Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, have drawn to a close over the weekend in spectacular fashion at Sydney's Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway, with a number of surprise ...
The 2004 Sparco CIK Australian Championships, presented by the Foster's Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, have drawn to a close over the weekend in spectacular fashion at Sydney's Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway, with a number of surprise results and the crowning of four new Champions.
Formula A promised to be one of the more tense battles of the weekend and it provided the majority of the drama for the weekend. Western Australia's Daniel Elliot came into the round six points behind Barclay Holden and after his efforts of Saturday, looked as though he would put up a strong fight to the end in his Pieper Motorsport Birel. However, the complexion of the Championship changed indelibly at the beginning of the pre-final, when exiting the pits, Elliot broke a big end bearing, meaning he would be watching from the side of the track, scoring no points. To rub salt into Elliot's wounds, Championship leader, Barclay Holden collected the 15 points for winning the pre-final. Holden wasn't spared dramas of his own in the pocketbikes.com.au Trulli, as he had an early race coming together with Redspeed's William Thomason, Holden lucky not to sustain any race ending damage.
In the final, it was Holden who got the best of the early running, before Matthew Wall, after starting toward the back of the pack, began to assert his authority in his Eagle Lighting/JT Team Arrow. Wall moved his way through to take the lead a few laps into the race and began eking out an advantage. Elliot, meanwhile, worked his way through the pack onto the back of Holden and was pressuring the back of the Queenslander by lightly tapping the rear bumper of his Trulli. This went on for a number of laps, until Holden finally succumbed with a flat rear tyre, pulling out of the race. Nevertheless, he had enough of a points advantage to take the title regardless of where Elliot would finish. Holden confirmed that
Whilst Holden and Elliot were battling, Wall continued to edge away. The 25-year-old Victorian was putting in one of the drives of the year and he continued on to take the victory. Elliot drove superbly well to finish in second for Birel, whilst CRG's Jason Hryniuk battled strongly with Redspeed's Jason Burns throughout the race. With Hryniuk holding down third position, Burns had a stab at the Sydney-sider on the final corner with one lap left in the book, taking the third placing, which he would hold until the end.
Junior Intercontinental A provided a similarly tense Championship battle. With BRM's Joshua Scott looking to be the form driver of the weekend, and Kristian Lindbom being somewhat out of sorts on Saturday, it was setting up to be a fierce battle for the Championship. The face of the Championship changed in heat two when Lindbom's closest rival, Jake Williams collided with Top Kart driver, Roddy Bell-Bowen outside of the 75% race distance, which would mean that the Trulli driver would not receive the 5 points towards his Championship, thus virtually assuring Lindbom of the title.
In the pre-final, the surprise of the weekend, Richard Rapa, driving the LaFarge Plastermaster Parolin again looked incredibly fast, however was unable to do anything about Scott, who went to Eastern Creek knowing that he had to throw caution to the wind hoping that something may afflict his fellow Championship contenders. Meanwhile, Lindbom had done enough that all he had to do was greet the starter for the final in his Smeg Appliances/Bass Player Top Kart and he would take the Junior Intercontinental A crown for the second year in succession.
The final proved to be an absolute cracker. The opening laps were fast and furious, with all competitors in close combat with one another. Scott got the best of the early going, however blew an engine just prior to mid race. It wasn't long until Lindbom, with the pressure of the Championship chase off his shoulders, assumed the lead. With the battles raging behind, he was able to pull away easily.
Rapa and Williams had a slight coming together, with the two just touching in turn four, unsettling Rapa enough that Paul Pittam snuck through into third. The South Australian fought toughly with Williams, however was unable to pip the Reliance Security driver when it came to the crunch. Rapa was unsettled enough that he could not mount a challenge for the podium and consolidated fourth spot. In the end, Lindbom took the win from Williams and Pittam, with Rapa in fourth and class debutante, Steel Guiliana taking his CRG to a fine fifth.
Motor Quality Intercontinental A saw the first sign of fallibility from Ashley Walsh all season long. A carburettor problem for the Trulli Kart driver in the third heat saw him compete for points only, whilst Paul Laskazeski was stuck battling with Tim Ball and Ryan Gallagher. Laskazeski, the Top Kart driver, was having enormous rib troubles after a race crash last weekend. After leading the early part of the pre-final, the pain became too much for the 16 year old to bear, pulling out of the race and the final, leaving Tim Ball to take the pre-final win.
The final proved to be one of the races of the year in ICA. Birel's Chris Ensbey proved to be very fast in the early stages, running comfortably in fourth, however his TM engine let go in no uncertain terms. The following lap saw an interesting fight between the front runners almost end in disaster. Toowoomba Trulli driver, Tim Ball was pushed wide and Top Kart's Deepal Kandola had to take avoiding action, missing Ensbey's stricken Birel by millimetres. Kandola's Top Kart team-mate, Ryan Gallagher broke the reed petals on his Comer Engine in the rollup laps, therefore was unable to mount any kind of challenge.
Kandola soon made short work of Ball and set out on building a lead. Toward the end of the race, well in front, Kandola was suffering with the shoulder injury that he sustained in his cartwheeling efforts at the penultimate Dubbo round. Despite suffering with carburettor problems for the majority of the final, Ball was amazingly able to fix the problem during the race and carry on for second in his karting swansong, wrapping up third overall in the Championship. Ashley Walsh was unable to capitalise on Ball's misfortune, however came home in third placing, confirming his dominant Championship victory, taking his first CIK Championship by over 80 points.
Vega Tyres Intercontinental C proved to be one of the more interesting battles throughout the weekend. The final saw the best effort yet from Brett Hobson, it also underlined the class of Team BRM's Justin Ruggier.
Top Kart's Brett Hobson had a great start from toward the back and was showing the potential he has been begging to show all year, hugging the rear of Bart Price's Arrow. Unfortunately for Hobson, he ran into brake trouble midway through the event, just as Ruggier's BRM was coming into it's own. Transwest Racing CRG driver, Mathew Sofi was suffering with a severe virus, which saw him pull out of the pre-final. He succumbed to a kart malfunction in the final, the nosecone coming adrift, taking the Nassau panel with it.
Ruggier fought hard to get past Hobson and set out after Price, however the gap was just too much, Price confirming his first ICC Championship and his fourth win of the season. Ruggier finished a fine second and Hobson an impressive first, his first podium in CIK racing.
Thus concluded the Sparco CIK Championships for another season, seeing two repeat champions in Barclay Holden and Kristian Lindbom and two new Champions, in the form of Ashley Walsh and Bart Price.
The Australian Karting Association's International Karting Committee would like to thank all the competitors for supporting the Sparco CIK Championships throughout the year, all of the clubs for their support and the Series Sponsors - Sparco, Motor Quality, Vega Tyres, International Karting Distributors, CAMS and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.
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