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Aug 15, 2012

Smith, Luneman and Reed Claim Titles

Queenslander Jason Smith, Victorian Brendan Luneman and New South Welshman Jeff Reed were the series winners at the end of racing on Sunday, each of the three with different tales of how it came to pass as the sixth round of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships presented by Hi-Tec Oils concluded at Queensland Raceway.

Smith and the Fuji Xerox/Zahl 1 Karting team broke a 20-year drought for Queenslanders in 250 International to claim the championship. A consistent run at Phillip Island set it up and his pole position, particularly the margin, at Queensland Raceway surprised many. Of the top three drivers he was the only one to finish all eight races and seven top three finishes was also unmatched. He also set the fastest ever lap at Queensland Raceway for a Superkart with his pole position lap.

"It only took 18 years," said a smiling Smith, referring to his Superkart debut in the juniors back in 1994. "Great racing by all. We had a solid round at Phillip Island and we were looking forward to home turf. We had good close racing with Darren Hossack yesterday and with Russell Jamieson and Gary Pegoraro. Garry was tough to catch in the last race but we couldn't get past him. I can't thank enough everyone at Fuji Xerox, Zahl 1 Karting, Anderson Racing Karts and Middleton Printing. We'll be back in 2013 and hopefully we're working towards being able to run in Europe next year."

The collision between Warren McIlveen (Mac's Marine Stockman-Honda) and Darren Hossack (Safe Evolutions Anderson-Safe) in Race 1 on Saturday changed the championship, erasing Hossack's hard won championship lead. Fortunes swung towards Smith, but Pegoraro's improved pace in the Dunlop Kartsport/BRC Engines Anderson-BRC on Sunday morning altered impressions again. Pegoraro's black flag in Race 3 for a safety car infringement was a cruel blow and dropped him out of the title race. Resetting the 12-year-old Queensland Raceway lap record to 1:09.0518 was small compensation for Pegoraro. Smith only had to finish fourth in the last race but he challenged Pegoraro in traffic for the lead before settling for second. With Hossack having brake problems in fourth the championship was under control. The final margin over Hossack was 13 points with Pegoraro a further seven points behind.

Russell Jamieson climbed into fourth place in the championship in the Coach Design Anderson-DEA. Jamieson had front-running pace but was never quite in the frame for a race win. He claimed second for the round behind Smith. South Australian racer Brett Purdie in the Martelco Equipment Hire PVP-Yamaha steadily accumulated points throughout the championship. Apart from Smith he was the only driver to finish all eight races. Fifth position was excellent reward. Kristian Stebbing (Suburban Accounting & Taxation Stockman-Yamaha) vaulted up the order to be sixth in the championship. He was consistently best of the rest behind the four kart lead battle. Martin Latta too racked up points to climb into seventh place in the Viper Racing/MJR Bricklaying Anderson-FPE. Warren McIlveen did not add to his Phillip Island total, dropping out of the fight with a bent chassis and finished eighth in the Mac's Marine Stockman-Honda. Two more South Australian PVP-Yamahas completed the top ten, Charles Maddern (Maddern Oils) in ninth and Dean McGinty (Lofty Coaches) in tenth.

A thin entry meant Brendan Luneman did not have to push hard to claim 250 National class honours but he did nonetheless. He went after each race win and swapped class lap record honours with local driver Bernie Walsh all weekend.

"We're pretty happy," said Luneman. "We would have loved four wins from four starts but the locals had the advantage here. All I had to do was finish but we didn't want to be second for the round. The engine started cutting out in Race 4. I'm confident with the performance, we won both rounds and the championship. What more could we have asked for? Big thanks to Wizzer Race Engines, kart preparation was excellent, and thanks to Autobarn Dandenong and Soma Building Services."

In Dalton Rowell's absence the point score threat was Joe Tyrrell in the Angel Blue Marketting/Racetech Motorsports Anderson-Honda. The pace though was not there, consistently over a second behind Luneman and Walsh. Tyrrell was second, but 38 points distant from Luneman. Walsh in the end won his battle with Luneman for the 250 National lap record, recording a 1:14.2151 in the final race. The former 80cc champion took his Anderson-Honda to third place in the championship.

125 cc class turned into a series of match races between Jeff Reed (The Chrome Shop/MG Tyres Stockman-Honda) and Matt Bass (Top Torque Engines Stockman-Honda). The pair had a gap in pace over the field despite qualifying suggesting a six kart battle was in store. Reed took all four wins, erasing Bass' points lead and successfully defending his title in a much more satisfying manner than in 2011 when he stood at the side of the circuit with a broken kart and had to hope results broke his way.

"Great racing all weekend," said Reed. "I was very excited to come up to Queensland and to be setting fast times straight off the truck. It was great racing against my Victorian mate Matt and I'm very proud to win Stockman Superkarts' tenth consecutive win in the 125 cc class. Big thanks to Brian and Vivian Stockman and to MG Tyres andThe Chrome Shop."

Third in the championship opened up as circumstance turned against the incumbent Tim Philp (Floth Sustainable Building Consultants Avoig-Honda). Tangling in accidents and a penalty from a safety car restart slowed the Queenslander but an engine problem in race three was what sidelined Philp. Former Superbike racer Paul Campbell (Redbank Racepaint Avoig-Honda) recovered from spins and collisions to take third as first Philp and then Garry Haywood (Bakker Superkarts/Water Tunnel Car Wash Bakker-Honda) fell out of contention. Queensland team Bluff Racing were ecstatic when Doug Amiss snuck his Stockman-Yamaha into fourth place in the championship, eclipsing both Philp and Haywood in the last race after a steady accumulating run in the points. Phil Silcock was next in the Rockpress Stockman-Honda while former champion Sam Zavaglia entered his Stock-Honda class kart, the ProComp Electronics BRM in the 125 cc class and finished fourth for the round, just one point behind Campbell and eighth overall.

Superkarts Australia wish to thank Dunlop Kartsport, Rockpress Metal Fabrications and Supercheap Auto for their support of the 2012 championships, and the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships, presented by Hi-Tec Oils.

Round 2 points:
250 International: Jason Smith 79, Russell Jamieson 65, Gary Pegoraro 62, Kristian Stebbing 53, Darren Hossack 48, Brett Purdie 45, Martin Latta 37, Ant Basile 30, Dean McGinty 29, Shannon Novaski 29, Josh Barnett 29, Charles Maddern 23, Stuart Kostera 15, Jason Laker 6, Darren Kitchen 3, Carlo Chermaz 0, Warren McIlveen 0, Steve Murray 0

250 National: Brendan Luneman 79, Bernie Walsh 77, Joe Tyrrell 52, Barry Kunowski 15

125cc: Jeff Reed 85, Matt Bass 73, Paul Campbell 60, Sam Zavaglia 59, Stewart Bell 46, Doug Amiss 39, Phil Silcock 29, Brian Wild 27, Tim Philp 22, Garry Haywood 18, Drene Jamieson 8

Championship points:
250 International: Jason Smith 141, Darren Hossack 128, Gary Pegoraro 121, Russell Jamieson 101, Brett Purdie 94, Kristian Stebbing 82, Martin Latta 70, Warren McIlveen 49, Charles Maddern 45, Dean McGinty 42, Josh Barnett 41, Ant Basile 30, Shannon Novaski 29, Jason Laker 28, Steve Murray 24, Stuart Kostera 21, Sam Zavaglia 10, Darren Kitchen 8, Carlo Chermaz 6, Todd Johnson 4

250 National: Brendan Luneman 157, Joe Tyrrell 119, Bernie Walsh 105, Dalton Rowell 76, Michael Ward 29, Barry Kunowski 15

125cc: Jeff Reed 150, Matt Bass 141, Paul Campbell 101, Doug Amiss 81, Tim Philp 76, Garry Haywood 70, Phil Silcock 65, Sam Zavaglia 59, Lindsay Jamieson 51, Brian Wild 47, Stewart Bell 46, Robert Xerri 29, Anthony Lappas 27, Tracey Crawford 22, Drene Jamieson 18