2018 Vic Open - Sony Creek
The opening round of the 2018 RKA F100 Series was held at Stony Creek in Victoria on Saturday, 30 drivers participating across the two weight divisions.
First of all, the weather was actually pretty good for Stony Creek as this time around it didn’t rain until the racing was finished. The skies were cloudy with some sunny breaks making it through every now and again and quite warm when it did.
Competition was stronger than ever with 16 entries in F100 Light and 14 in F100 Heavy, all vying to take out the RKA F100 Victorian State Title and pick up the coveted Blue plate. It had been about four months since RKA last had a run in Toowoomba, and all drivers seem to have found a heap of pace since then.
The racing was top quality all day with lap records being broken along the way. In the F100 Light class, Glenn Riddell broke the lap record with a 38.047 and in the F100 Heavy class Gus Van Velzen cracked it with a time of 38.871.
All heats were hotly contested across both classes with plenty of overtaking throughout both fields. In the Light class Jason Pringle, Chris Uhlhorn, Matt Wall and Glenn Riddell all moved forward or made up positions after facing difficulties throughout the heats. In the Heavy class, Rick Pringle, Aaron Jackson and Mark Newman all had good runs through the heats making up ground from their qualifying positions.
Heat winners in Light were Glenn Riddell and Steven Riddell with Steven starting on pole for the pre final where he finished 3rd behind Glenn Riddell and Matt Wall, setting the grid positions for the all important final.
In the Heavy class both of the heats and the Pre final were taken out by Patrick Parry which put him on pole for the final followed by Paul McKinnon who charged through the field to finish in 2nd place with Rick Pringle rounding out the top 3 for the start positions in the Heavy final.
As the finals rolled around the gathering cloud formations were getting darker with rain imminent. Everyone was hoping to get to run the 15 lap finals on a dry track so those lining the fence could see the full potential of the F100 karts and their screaming engines. Fortunately the weather did hold out with the finals providing exciting racing and some hard luck stories.
In Light current F100 national Champion Mars Gheorghiu broke a chain before it even began, and Matt Wall dropped from 2nd to 4th before retiring with Kart issues. At the front Glenn Riddell blasted off in to the lead and was never headed. Shaun Atherton come through to 2nd with Steve Riddell rounding out the podium in 3rd. Neil McAuley finished 4th, Mark Vukusic 5th and Lee Uhlhorn came through the field from 10th to finish 6th.
Next up was the F100 Heavy Final which didn’t disappoint. Parry took the lead at the start before Pringle overtook him to lead the next couple of laps. McKinnon then came through into the lead on lap 5 where he remained for the remainder of the race. Parry moved up from 3rd in to 2nd on lap 9 and closely shadowed the leader for the remainder of the race, with Pringle dropping back in to 3rd before retiring shortly after.
Meanwhile Aaron Jackson, having his first race with the RKA F100 group, climbed his way through from the rear of field (15th after a pre-final DNF) to take the final step on the podium finishing in 3rd place. Gus Van Velzen finished in 4th after a difficult weekend and Kurt Woodward finished 5th showing great potential. Barry Ryan was the hard luck story of the race after starting the final in 4th position and completing the race in 10th.
An Open Performance support class also competed on the day, Brad Tremain taking the win.
Presentation followed the racing with trophies and prizes awarded to the first 3 place getters, a random draw for a set of MG tyres and presentation of both a hard charger and hard luck awards being handed out.
This was then followed by a social gathering by drivers and their supporters at the Meeniyan Hotel, where stories of the weekend’s ups and downs were exchanged.
A big congratulations to all the F100 drivers for putting on a fantastic show and making it such a great weekend.
The next RKA round is when F100 returns to Eastern Creek for the Oceania Titles on May 26-27. This could be the biggest & best F100 event in RKA history as it will have a Vintage support program and massive prize pool. Don’t miss it!
Full results on Speedhive HERE
Report by www.kartsportnews.com with assistance from Michelle Riddell