SEK NSW kicked off the season on Saturday night (and Sunday Morning) at Eastern Creek after Mother Nature attempted to put a hold on proceedings. Thankfully due to the hard work of officials, drivers and track staff the show was allowed to go on.
Unofficial practice allowed teams to try few different things which included trying out other teams karts. It also allowed Single engine 4 stroke Karts to test themselves against the might of the Honda twins.
Qualifying threw up some unexpected results with some of the usual front runners being relegated to the back of the grid. The eventual pole sitter was none other than the debutants in Thorntek (71), followed by Double D’s (44) and Cargo Safe (84).
The start of the race displayed some great driving by Legends (11), Team TWR (24) KW racing (3) and Aussie Driver Search (365) to find their way to the front of the grid after being DQ’s in qualifying. Disappointment struck Double D racing (44) instantly as an accelerator cable fault put them out of the running after a strong qualifying result As the race settled into a rhythm we saw Legends (kart 11) starting to sail off in the distance, however the real excitement was in the developing battle for second place. Second place was shared by no fewer than 5 karts, with Kart, 84, 3, 71, 24 and 12 having a turn of being bridesmaid. CJ Racing (12) also encountered an unknown problem with the usually unbreakable Honda power plant, that saw them drop out of podium contention. Kart 71 and 24 were involved in an incident which ended in kart 24 slamming into a tyre barrier and losing touch with a podium and kart 71 having damage that would eventually end their race. KW Racing (3) also had the mechanical demons in the way of a carby issue which saw them drop out of the race for a podium. Cargo Safe (84) appeared to have the second step of the podium wrapped when clutch problems dropped them down several laps allowing Team TWR (24) back into second position.
However the main question on everyone’s lips was, would legends finally be legends? Considering they had been in the position several times before only to be cruelled at various stages of the race with mechanical issues. The answer was a resounding yes, cruising to an impressive victory with a fastest lap to boot. Team TWR secured second place with a strong comeback after that Collison, with Cargo Safe recovering well from clutch problems to wrap up third.
In the Sportsman Class the speed of Gardiner racing was never rivalled with Kart 29 leading from start to finish in a dominant display. CIA racing (65) also had an uneventful race battling with Karting Solutions (70) for most event until 70 was forced to the pits with a clutch issue after 8 hours.. This left Kart 65 the opportunity to cruise to 2 nd place with an unlikely candidate final step of the podium emerging in the Flying Bananas (747). 10 minutes to go and disaster! Both of the bananas engines lost drive, one sprocket striped and another clutch drum striped, Allowing a fast finishing Karting Solutions (70) to reclaim their 3 rd place.
Thanks must go to the all that make this event happen but none less than the officials who run this race right through the night.
Thanks also to Dave Oliver and Peter Gardiner who as always produce great photos of this yearly event.
Next round is March 23rd at Newcastle and don't forget the SEK 24 hour to be held at Eastern Creek in October.