State series finale showdown

Mount Gambier Kart Club played host to a large field of local and visiting drivers last weekend when the club held the fifth and final round of the 2021 South Australian Festival State Cup.

With over 100 entries the South East delivered ideal racing conditions as drivers from all over the state converged on Glenburnie Raceway to battle it out for the final points on offer.

Racing was held across two days with the 12-lap final conducted Sunday afternoon under blue skies. A number of local entrants were among the strong fields, contesting for all important state series points.

Cadet 12 driver Xavier Cain continued his stellar season with a strong qualifying performance. He backed this up in heat races, including 3rd place. Cain earned a starting grid position in the final from the second row and quickly settled into a rhythm, securing a podium result with 3rd place.

KA3 Junior driver Brock Fewins took the challenge of visiting drivers head-on and was in good position after an outstanding race on Sunday morning. KA4 Junior Lights driver Hayley Fewins gained confidence with great racing and set a new Personal Best.

Nick Collins and Matt Hensel were among the action in Tag Restricted Light. Collins showed great pace qualifying inside the Top 10, but recorded a DNF in the first heat before fighting back in remaining races to secure a top 10 result.

Fellow competitor Matt Hensel – with the guidance of chief mechanic Ian Stratman – qualified in 4th place which set him up for a great weekend. Dominant results during heat races led Hensel to finish all outings in the top five.

A large class of drivers showing off local talent was Tag Restricted Medium, as the entire field was separated by less than two seconds during qualifying.

Jack Ryan started the weekend well, qualifying 2nd before recording a DNF in a heat race, but a good result in the final ensured the youngster finished just off the podium in fourth place.

Rick Amoroso drove brilliant heat races after qualifying 4th, with memorable results over the weekend showcasing his speed to finish in 6th place.

Father and Son duo Alex and Paul Clode proved to be a formidable combination, with Alex getting the better of Paul in qualifying to take the upper hand.

Alex finished 3rd in Race 2, with a a strong result recorded by both drivers.

State Champion and local sensation Callan Belmonte set the pace early in 4SS Medium to qualify a tenth of a second away from snatching pole position.

Two more race wins put him in good position for the final, but a last lap charge for the lead resulted in Belmonte beaten to the line at the end of the final race by a mere four hundredths of a second.

Belmonte competed again in the 4SS Light and had things under control from the moment he hit the track, with a clean sweep of results from qualifying right through to the final.

The result was four wins from four starts, earning himself the top step of the podium.

Local members Jack Ryan, Alex Clode, Kevin Harvey and newcomer Grady Hutchesson competed in 4SS Heavy.

Ryan was dominant early with a strong qualifying performance and heat result putting him in a great position to start the final from the front row of the grid.

Challenging for the lead early, Ryan secured himself 2nd place while Harvey recorded a DNF in race one before bouncing back to record top 10 finishes in the remaining races.

Clode was amongst the mid-pack action up until the final race.

Rookie sensation Grady Hutchesson showed race craft and skill behind the wheel and recorded three 6th place finishes including the 12-lap final.

Troy Moreland showcased home-track knowledge in the KA3 Light class, with two 3rds and a 2nd before starting the final off the front row.

Moreland took control of the race and left the remaining drivers to fight for minor placings position as he claimed the win in convincing style.

The hotly contested TAG 125 Light was the final event with Parker Scott and Shane Moreland both on the hunt for overall series accolades.

Scott started well with a 4th place in heat one and – with some great driving – finished 3rd in races two and three.

Moreland placed 3rd in race one and rounded out the weekend in 4th place.

The Mount Gambier Kart Club will host the final round of the KartSport SA series on the first weekend of December, with the two-day event sure to be action-packed as visiting competitors going wheel to wheel with local drivers in search of karting glory.

The club invites everyone to come out and enjoy some of the best value racing on offer and free entry for spectators means an enjoyable family day out supported by on-site catering.

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