The picturesque, undulating and abrasive curves of Tiger Kart Club’s ‘Cockburn International Raceway’ was host to the 3rd round of the WA KZ Series over the weekend, as part of the ‘Discovery Parks City of Perth Titles’. The 11 turns and 1.070km of track proved difficult to manage for 4 races with only one set of tires the 28 KZ2 Drivers contending all had common goals: finish clean and look after the tires.
All hope of the goals being met went out the window quickly, opening lap crashes brought damage to almost half the field in the first 2 heats on Saturday – including front runners Bayley Mickler, Nikola Mitic and defending series champ Daniel Currey.
Points leader Blake Mills continued his winning ways with Pole position and wins in heat 1 and 3 to set himself on pole for the 20 Lap final on Sunday afternoon. Thomas Sparkes recovered from a DNF in heat 1 to drive from 6th on the grid and take the win in Heat 2 over Mitic and Mills. Whilst the painful weekend continued for Mickler through the heats, recording only a handful of racing laps during the heat races he would join Currey at the very back of the 28 kart grid for the final.
In the final, Sparkes leapt from the grid to snatch the lead from Mills in the space of just a few corners, making it clear he had no intentions of waiting around to battle, continuing to open up a manageable gap over Mills and take the win. Behind them; Ryan Bender had found himself comfortably in 3rd in the early stages, as drivers behind him squabbled for the remaining places.
With laps ticking over Nikola Mitic was charging through the field, applying pressure for the podium around the halfway mark, eventually nabbing Bender and another podium result for the BRM Kart driver. Bayley Mickler was hoping for a fairytale result in the final, but his nightmare continued; ending a weekend to forget with another DNF.
Daniel Currey mounted a monumental charge from the rear of field, using fresher tires to round up a number of drivers as he consistently matched pace with Sparkes out front, eventually doing enough to secure 4th from Bender, who was struggling for grip on expired tires. With just 2 rounds of the WA KZ Series remaining, Blake Mills has emerged as the title favourite with the most consistent and successful report card so far. Mills isn’t in the clear yet though – Nikola Mitic, Ryan Bender and Riley Trager are hungry for a breakthrough win in 2020.
Thomas Sparkes promises to continue his showmanship but with 3 DNF’s in the series, the realisation of the title slipping from his grasp means entertaining racing and round wins are now his focus.
The stories will continue for the West Australian KZ Series, as WA Karting heads to Bunbury City Kart Club for Round 4, joining the final round of the ‘Patrizicorse.com Gold Star Series’ November 21st & 22nd. Before the final round descends upon Tiger Kart Club’s ‘Wanneroo International Kartway’ for the ‘Carnival of Karts’ on December 5