Pringle Wins Jason Richards Cup as NSW State Titles go down to the wire!

Victorian and former World Number Two Jason Pringle has delivered a stirring performance in DD2 on his way to claiming his second Jason Richards Cup, the round win and also the NSW State Title for his respective category with Pringle’s result headlining a string of close battles for both round honours and a place inside the top three for the State title during the finals for round five of the Rotax Pro Tour in its’ return to the Eastern Creek International Kart Raceway.

After securing his win in heat one, Adrian Haak backed up his performance in the second ten lap race of the weekend, taking narrow victory over key rival Marcos Flack. Cody Maynes-Rutty continued his impressive debut in the Micro Max class, taking third with Jack Childs in fourth and Ethan Feather fifth. After starting in pole position, Oscar Targett unfortunately scored a DNF race result on the opening lap. The close racing that began at the opening round for the class at Warwick and has since continued through became ever more prevalent in heat three with Jack Westbury stepping up to take the win by just 0.08 seconds over Haak with a further 0.5 seconds back to Maynes-Rutty in third. Oscar Targett returned from his DNF to pick up fourth with Flack in fifth.

Building on his performance from the final heat race, Jack Westbury came through to set the quickest time on the final lap before taking the win in the pre-final by 1.3 seconds over Oscar Targett. Cody Maynes-Rutty took a comfortable third place finish ahead of Ethan Feather and Ryan Tomsett. A last lap incident between Adrian Haak and Marcos Flack while the pair were leading the race resulted in a DNF for the two drivers. Continuing to develop his confidence from the win in the pre-final, Jack Westbury managed to open up a reasonable lead in the final before taking the win by over a second from Cody Maynes-Rutty in second, though a post-race penalty for a weight infringement resulted in a disqualification for Westbury, elevating Maynes-Rutty to the round win on debut. Adrian Haak and Marcos Flack fought their way through from the back of the grid to achieve second and fourth respectively with Oscar Targett slotting in for third while Jack Childs made up the final podium placing.

NSW State Title – Top 3
1st – Cody Maynes-Rutty
2nd – Oscar Targett
3rd – Jack Childs

Above: Cody Maynes-Rutty and Oscar Targett were two of the front runners in Micro Max - Coopers Photography

The close racing right throughout the Mini Max field returned in heat two with Queenslander Austin Wells snaring the win by just 0.1 seconds over William Seal. Beau Pronesti and Kai Allen finished third and fourth respectively ahead of Adam Tomsett and Luke Pink in fifth and sixth with early race favourites Jaiden Pope, Jackson Walls, Callum Bishop and Bayley Douglas finishing well down the order.

Tasmanian Callum Bishop took a narrow victory in heat three by a mere 0.009 seconds ahead of Jaiden Pope with the pair banking good points for the pre-final grid. Kai Allen and Beau Pronesti again stepped up for consistent results in third and fourth ahead of heat two winner Austin Wells and Gabriel Gasperak in sixth.

Following his first time round win in Warwick, Jaiden Pope elevated himself into a commanding position in the pre-final, with the business end of the weekend fast approaching, Pope took the win by 6.7 seconds over Callum Bishop with William Seal and Kai Allen in third and fourth, while Austin Wells and Baydon Phillips finished in fifth and sixth. Although the margin was not as significant, it was still a victory for Pope in the final, finishing ahead of a hard charging Kai Allen who came within 0.1 seconds by the end of the race. Bayley Douglas drove through the field to secure third ahead of William Seal with Luke Pink completing the podium.

NSW State Title – Top 3
1st – Kai Allen
2nd – Bayley Douglas
3rd – Gabriel Gasperak

Above: Jaiden Pope secured back to back round wins in Mini Max - Coopers Photography

After taking pole position and the win in heat one, Junior Max Trophy continued to be the Lucas Lichtenberger show as he claimed a narrow victory in heat two by just 0.08 seconds over Reece Cohen. Mitchell Kerrison showed good speed to come through and take third ahead of Travis Lichtenberger while Brodie Whitmore set one of the fastest laps of the race before taking fifth. Though not by much, it was a more comfortable win for Lucas Lichtenberger in heat two, taking victory ahead of Kerrison, while Travis Lichtenberger engaged in a battle with Whitmore during the race ahead of taking third and fourth respectively. Kiwi Matthew Payne continued his trademark form of coming through the field as the weekend progresses to finish fifth.

With the first of the longer races for Junior Max Trophy, it brought about a more convincing victory for Lucas Lichtenberger in front of his home crowd. The Sydney sider took the win by 1.3 seconds ahead of Reece Cohen and Brodie Whitmore while the New Zealander, Matthew Payne continued to move his way through the field, picking up fourth with Mitchell Kerrison fifth. A breakaway performance by Lucas Lichtenberger in the final saw him open up a lead by three seconds by the completion of the 18 lap event, securing his first round win since joining the category. The battle for the remaining podium places would go down to the wire, with multiple changes in position before Cohen secured second ahead of Whitmore and Payne with West Australian Aaron Love coming on strong at the right end of the weekend to take fifth.

Above: Lucas Lichtenberger took a clean sweep and his first round win in Junior Max Trophy - Coopers Photography

The second round of heat races for oversubscribed Junior Max class again had plenty of interest, with Zane Morse delivering another commanding performance for group A & C, taking the win by three seconds ahead of South Australian Joshua Denton in second. Alec Morse managed to pick up third from a hard charging Reece Sidebottom in fourth Cody Brewczynski and Jessie Attard rounded out the top six. New Zealander Dylan Drysdale continued his return to form by picking up a strong win for group B & D ahead of Joshua Car in second while Jack Winter stepped up to make his first appearance inside the top five for the weekend, finishing third from Troy Alger and Joshua Fife.

Heat three for group A & B would be the first race of the weekend where the fastest two qualifiers overall would match up, with Zane Morse managing to secure the win and set himself up for the two points scoring races in the best way possible. Multiple challenges would come throughout the race for Morse from eventual second place sitter Kyle Bonser and Liam Ford in third while Joshua Fife and Reece Sidebottom again stepped up to be part of the top five. Sydney racer Cody Brewczynski delivered a commanding home track performance for group C & D by taking a 3.6 second win ahead of Thomas Hughes and Kody Garland with Aaron Cameron and Alec Morse in fourth and fifth.

The pre-final for Junior Max would be the first time that all 40 Karts would race together in a battle for points for both the National series and NSW State title. Numerous battles for position within the front running Karts continued right throughout the 18 lap race before Cody Brewczynski managed to surpass the reigning National Champion for the win by just 0.05 seconds with Zane Morse settling for second. Kiwi Dylan Drysdale was a short way back in third with Kody Garland set to join Drysdale on the second row for the final, while the third row would be made up of Timothy Colombrita and Thomas Hughes after they finished fifth and sixth. In a similar vein to the racing style of the pre-final, the battle for the lead would go down the wire in the Junior Max final with as many as three drivers sharing their time at the front of the field, though a late race pass by Zane Morse would see him take the win by a mere 0.05 seconds over Thomas Hughes who stepped his way through to take second ahead of Drysdale in third with Brewczynski and Colombrita snaring the final two podium places.

NSW State Title – Top 3
1st – Zane Morse
2nd – Dylan Drysdale (NZ)
3rd – Thomas Hughes

Above: Zane Morse took a narrow victory in the Junior Max final to extend his series points lead - Coopers Photography

After having picked his way through the field in the heat races, taking two wins from three starts, Pierce Lehane returned to his trademark form in the final, taking victory by 3.4 seconds ahead of Thomas MacDonald in second. The battle for the remaining places inside the top four developed throughout the race with Daniel Rochford settling for third ahead of Matthew Lopino in fourth with Alex Waters and Mitchell Maddren taking fifth and sixth.

A breakaway performance from Pierce Lehane saw the Sydney based driver clean up in the final for Rotax Light, taking the win by almost seven seconds, in addition to setting the fastest time of the race on the penultimate lap with a blistering 40.210. A good return to form for Thomas MacDonald earnt him second place behind his team mate with Daniel Rochford continuing his consistent Eastern Creek form, finishing third. A strong performance by both Cody Gillis and Nathan Tigani, driving through the field, earnt the team mates fourth and fifth and the final two places on the round podium.

NSW State Title – Top 3
1st – Daniel Rochford
2nd – Pierce Lehane
3rd – Thomas MacDonald

Above: Pierce Lehane was dominant in both the pre-final and final for Rotax Light - Coopers Photography

A convincing performance by Regan Payne in the pre-final, on the back of a bank of consistent results throughout the heat races earnt the Queenslander the race win in the first of two points scoring races for the weekend. The battle for second, third and fourth ran right throughout the event though it would be Corey Lean who would finish first behind the race winner with Chris Farkas in third and Clem O’Mara fourth while Craig Stauner took fifth and Marcus La Delle sixth in his return to Karting.

The eventual winner of the Rotax Heavy final would go down to the wire with close racing right across the 22 lap race. Clem O’Mara, Regan Payne and Corey Lean all diced for the lead with O’Mara holding the number one spot for a majority of the race. A final lap move however by Chris Farkas would help him earn the win with Payne slipping back to sixth, however Lean came through to take second from O’Mara with Benjamin Ritchie and Craig Stauner completing the podium.

NSW State Title – Top 3
1st – Chris Farkas
2nd – Regan Payne
3rd – Clem O’Mara

Above: Chris Farkas came from behind to secure the win in Rotax Heavy - Coopers Photography

On the back of his success throughout the heat races, Jason Pringle displayed his experience in the DD2 category, taking a 2.3 second win over Reagan Angel in second who continued his breakout performance since stepping up to the two-speed gearbox class. Josh Drysdale finished third, just 0.3 seconds behind Angel on his way to setting up a second row start for the final alongside Jordan Boys with Matthew Erdmann and Joel Smith taking fifth and sixth respectively.

In his trademark form behind the wheel of a DD2, Victorian Jason Pringle delivered yet another convincing performance, taking the win in the final by four seconds, on his way to earning his second Jason Richards Cup, given to the winner of DD2 at the annual Jason Richards Memorial event in honour of Richards’ competition in the category in the series in 2010. Kiwi born Josh Drysdale continued his impressive form, taking second and his first podium in DD2 since joining the class. On the back of his first heat race win on Friday, Reagan Angel managed to secure third overall and his first podium in the category with Troy Woolston taking fourth and Jordan Boys returning to the podium, claiming fifth.

NSW State Title – Top 3
1st – Jason Pringle
2nd – Troy Woolston
3rd – Lee Mitchener

Above: Jason Pringle delivered a strong performance in DD2 to take the round win AND the Jason Richards Cup AND the NSW DD2 State Title - Coopers Photography

Following on from the close battles for the lead throughout the heat races, the eventual winner of the pre-final in DD2 Masters would again go down to the wire, though it would be the local track knowledge of Jason Hryniuk that helped him claim the win over pole sitter Daniel Richert in second. After qualifying down the order and fighting through the heats, Adam Hunter stepped up to take third from Klinton Hancey in fourth with Christopher Board and Danny Wright rounding out the top six and forming the third row for the final.

The leaders would again turn it on for those watching on at Eastern Creek in the final as the top four drivers all shared their time battling for the lead throughout the longer 22 lap race. Backing up from his impressive performance at the last round in Warwick, Klinton Hancey drove through to take out the round win, finishing 0.5 seconds ahead of Jason Hryniuk with Adam Hunter settling for third. Daniel Richert finished fourth while Kiwi Aaron Cunningham, affectionally known as the ‘Kartsport Superstar’ stepped up to take fifth and his first podium since joining the Pro Tour.

NSW State Title – Top 3
1st – Daniel Richert
2nd – Klinton Hancey
3rd – Adam Hunter

Above: Klinton Hancey picked his way through the field across the weekend to come out on top in the DD2 Masters final - Coopers Photography