Awesome Opener for Two Slideways Sprint Series

The 2018 Slideways Go Karting World season of racing kicked off with a bang yesterday, with the opening event for the Slideways Sprint Series, as well as an Australian first – the opening round of the Slideways Ladies Series.

The race day was also the very first to be contested on the reverse track direction layout, the first time the new Sodi weight box system has been used, and also the first to utilise a new three-race format.

Coming up next for the Sprint Series and Ladies Sprint Series will be the first ever Slideways Go Karting World night sprints, scheduled for the normal track direction on Wednesday March 14.

Moving forward, all sprint events will move to a permanent home on Wednesday evenings.

In the meantime, the Slideways Junior Racing Series will kick off on Sunday March 11, with races for Cadets and Juniors aged 7 to 15 years old, while the Slideways Enduro Series returns for a third season on Wednesday March 21st, with a 75-minute race on the reverse track direction.

Slideways Sprint Series

With the playing field levelled with the introduction of the new Sodi weight box system, as well as the random draw grids, racing proved to be incredibly intense, as competitors came to terms with the all-new reverse track layout.

The 24-kart field was split in two for the heats, with the random grid order inverted for the second heat, with total points determining the grids for the finals.

Jackson Faulkner made his intentions clear in the opening heat race, with a mega drive from grid position 11 through to the lead, which he held until the chequered flag after 12 circuits.

Along the way, Faulkner registered a fastest race lap of 40.386sec.

Young gun Liam Hydes made a successful transition to senior competition by finishing second from grid position four.

Hydes will later this year be representing Slideways at the Sodi World Series finals in Italy, as Australia’s top junior competitor from the 2017 season.

Slideways newcomer Phil Edwards came through from sixth at the start to fill out the podium, followed by James Walsh who advanced a position to finish fourth, then Martin Kidd in fifth from grid nine, then Robert Fernandez, Chris Telep, Matthew Turner, Matthew Peters, Clayton Hydes, Ben Ward and Keenan Faulkner.

With the grid inverted for the second race, it was once again the Jackson Faulkner show, with a clear 11.852sec victory, with a fastest race lap of 40.586sec.

Keenan Faulkner jumped up a place from grid three to finish in second, with Edwards coming through from mid-pack to place third.

Fourth position went to Peters from Kidd, Walsh and Hydes, with positions two through seven covered by less than two seconds at the end of 12 laps.

Turner was next home, then Hydes, Telep, Fernandez and Ward.

In the second grouping, Matt Wedzicha took advantage of his second starting slot to finish on top with a margin of 6.011sec.

Christian Bishop worked past four competitors to finish second, but it was the battle for third that claimed all the attention.

Polesitter Jayme Hemi drove a remarkable race to hold off the pack and finish third, with the following seven competitors split by less than three seconds after 12 laps.

Benn Wilson drove from the rear of the grid to finish in fourth, then Kyle Ashcroft, Gavin Faulkner, Scott Shaw (who set the fastest race lap with a 41.336sec), then Leighton Cook in eighth, Daniel Bell, Aaron Gilbert, Richard Trevillien and David Reiser.

Wilson took advantage of pole position to claim the second heat race win by 1.689sec over Cook, who registered the quickest lap with a 40.669sec.

Third place went to Shaw, then Bishop, who climbed four places, ahead of Hemi, who put in a staunch drive from the rear of grid.

Ashcroft was next from Gavin Faulkner, Gilbert, Bell, Wedzicha, Reiser and Trevillien.

In the B Group final, Wilson came through for the win with a fastest race lap of 40.294sec, ahead of regular Slideways Enduro Series competitor Bell, then Shaw, Fernandez, Hydes, Telep, Gilbert, Reiser and Ward, with positions third through ninth all setting quick laps in the 41 second bracket.

Meanwhile a full grid of 15 racers greeted the starter for the A Group final, with Jackson Faulkner rounding out his excellent day with a strong drive to overall victory.

Edwards came through to finish in second position, while Bishop claimed the bottom step on the podium with the fastest lap of the race, a 40.365sec time.

Fourth position was solid reward for Hydes, then Cook, Ashcroft, Walsh, Wedzicha, Keenan Faulkner and Peters rounding out the top-ten.

Gavin Faulkner was 11th, then Turner, Kidd, Hemi and Trevillien.



Ladies Sprint Cup

The field of nine racers faced the starter, with a mix of youth, experience, and newcomers to racing at Slideways Go Karting World.

In the opening race, Olivia Herbison went from second on the grid to claim a strong victory, with a fastest race lap of 41.821sec.

It was Herbison’s first ever race in senior karts after claiming the Cadet Series title last year.

Second in the heat was Melissa Thompson, who was having her first race in seven years, after a successful career in circuit racing Holden Geminis and a Mazda RX7.

Third place in the opener went to Amanda Rohde, ahead of Karina Young, Gia-Peal Lowry, Chloe Buck, Holly McMullen, Mikayla Henry and Tracey Overell.

Thompson took full advantage of starting on the front row in the second race to jump away into the lead, although she was pushed all the way by Herbison, who started second last, and fell only 0.214sec short at the chequered flag, with a fastest lap of 41.117sec.

Rohde was once again third, from Overell, Buck, Henry, Lowry, McMullen and Young.

The final race went right down to the wire, with a last corner challenge from Herbison unsuccessful, with Thompson claiming the race win.

Third for the third straight race was Rohde’s, with Buck in fourth from Lowry, Young, Henry, Overell and McMullen.

The special awards for the day went to McMullen (Encouragement) and Rohde (Best & Fairest).



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