Pro Gearbox winner Matthew Wall thrills the crowd during his weekend success at Willowbank.
Pro Gearbox winner Matthew Wall thrills the crowd during his weekend success at Willowbank.

Defending champs off to good start

DEFENDING series champions Matthew Wall, Cian Fothergill and Pierce Lehane proved superior in their respective categories at round one of the CIK Stars of Karting Series in Ipswich over the weekend.

Wall won both the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) finals contested yesterday. However, his victory in the second final was far from easy.

Bundaberg racer Kel Treseder got the jump off the start line aboard his CRG kart ahead of Toowoomba-based Tyler Greenbury and Wall.

The trio raced within close proximity throughout the opening half of the race, swapping positions on numerous occasions.

When Wall made a mistake just after the half-race distance, Greenbury hit the back of him and the concertina effect pushed Wall forward and opened a slender gap.

From there, Wall held on for the victory while Greenbury and Treseder raced wheel-to-wheel for second and third.

“It was a very tough race out there but I’m glad to have held on for the win,” Wall said.

“I made a mistake which in a way helped me win, which is not common, but luck was on my side today.”

Fothergill finished the weekend undefeated, taking pole position and winning all three heat races before taking out both of yesterday’s 25-lap finals in the Pro Light (KF1) category.

The Gladstone driver was forced to fend off a spirited challenge by Victorian Adam Hughes in the second final on his way to victory. Hughes’ second place was well clear of Tony Kart driver Grant Smith.

Lehane was the dominant driver in the Pro Junior (KF3) ranks with the Sydneysider winning both 25-lap main events yesterday.

The 15 year-old was never seriously challenged on his way to victory, leaving Top Kart pilot Joseph Mawson to settle for second place.

“It is great to start my title defence off with a win but it wasn’t easy out there,” Lehane said.

“I got a good gap early in the race but with about seven laps left in the second final, I could hear the engine starting to make some unusual noises and I lost about 10km/h an hour.

“After that, I really had to push in the slower sections of the track to make sure I maintained my gap.”

Ipswich teenager Brock Plumb had a great battle with Perth’s Jake Klarich for the final spot on the podium. The pair swapped third place on a number of occasions before Klarich claimed the honours ahead of Plumb.

In the Yamaha Challenge, Jake Downs was victorious in an action-packed Junior National race.

Lydon Dodge proved too good in the Clubman ranks.

In the local support categories, Scott Sorensen won the TaG Light division while Patrick Mather took the honours in the TaG Heavy division.

Round two of the series will be in Adelaide on April 2-3.

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