Karters in epic battle
THE old adage always says that 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'.
After scraping through in the final of the Clubman Light class at The Yamaha on the weekend, Queenslander Richard McLeod wishes he'd remembered that old chestnut.
McLeod recorded two wins and a second in his three heats and won the pre-final race fairly comfortably but he couldn't help tinkering with his kart prior to the final.
"I made some changes to the exhaust, the sprockets and the chassis and I actually ended up slowing the kart down," McLeod admitted.
"It was such a competitive group that you only had to slow your kart down by one-tenth of a second and suddenly the rest of the field is up with you."
How true those words turned out to be.
The final turned out to be an epic battle between McLeod and fellow Queenslander James Greenwood.
The two were neck and neck throughout the entire contest and the lead changed hands on a dramatic final lap an amazing three times.
It was on the final right hand bend that McLeod finally got his man and scraped home by only a couple of cart lengths.
"That last lap, I knew where I was quicker than him and vice versa, he knew where he was quicker than me," the winner said.
"In the end I think it just came down to experience because he's only a young bloke.
"I set him up a little bit on that last bend because every time I passed him he'd come back with a desperation move and I just came under him."
Although disappointed that his actions slowed down his kart and put his winning chances in jeopardy, McLeod admitted that his tinkering proved to be a blessing in disguise.
"That was the toughest race that I've had in quite a while," he said.
"And it was a clean race too.
"I can honestly say that throughout the whole race, our karts didn't touch once."
Like many of the drivers from the weekend's event, McLeod will be competing this weekend in the Queensland Rotax Series in Toowoomba before going to Geelong in four weeks time to compete in the national Rotax championships.
A lot of travelling but McLeod says that he will definitely put Coffs Harbour in his itinerary for next year.
"That's the first time I've been to Coffs Harbour and it's a terrific little track with a real professional setup," he said.
"We'll be down next year to defend the title, definitely."
n With 135 competitors coming from NSW and Queensland, event organiser Russell Grimson was overjoyed with the weekend's proceedings.
"That's the best one we've had," he boasted.
"Just the quality fields that we had all weekend were a highlight.
"The number of former and current Australian and state champions that were driving on the weekend made for some hot competition."
The crack fields are all starting to come in droves to Coffs Harbour for the karting events after CAMS Australia rated the Hogbin Drive track the best and safest in Australia.
"The club has worked really hard on the facilities," Grimson added.
"And the results are starting to show."The Coffs Harbour Kart Racing Club paid tribute at the presentation to Yamaha Motor Australia for there on going support for kart racing regionally and with events like 'the Yamaha' regional karting can only benefit with support from Yamaha due to their longevity and reliability.
As part of the presentation Yamaha had on display the latest innovation in Yamaha Kart Motors an electric start Yamaha KT 100 SEC to be released shortly onto the karting market.
Two engines were put up by Yamaha for ballot by popular draw and the winners being Jordon Turner winning the KT 100j and New comer to the sport Graham Edwards the KT100s.
Midgets: 1 Jack Gordon (QLD) Arrow, 2 Lucas Ward (QLD) Arrow, 3 Christopher Corbet (NSW) Monaco.
Rookies: 1 Mitch L'Estrange QLD) Arrow, 2 Damien Ward (QLD) Arrow, 3 Curtis Porter (QLD) Arrow.
Junior National Light: 1 Chaz Mostert (QLD) Tony, 2 Ben Stewart (QLD) Arrow, 3 Tyler Greenbury (QLD) Truli.
Junior National Heavy: 1 James Whitley (QLD) Arrow, 2 Rohan O'Farrell (QLD) Aurora, 3 Brett Sinkins (QLD) Arrow.
Junior Clubman: 1 Brendon Nelson (QLD) Arrow, 2 Ben Stewart (QLD) Arrow, 3 Fergus Symes (NSW) Parolin.
Senior National Light: 1 Victoria Whitley (QLD) Arrow, 2 Billy Whitaker (NSW) Arrow, 3 Terry Cobb (QLD) Arrow.
Junior Nationals Girls: 1 Brittany Standen (NSW) Azzuro, 2 Nichola Kellie (NSW) Arrow, 3 Monica Saunders (QLD) Omega.
Clubman Light: 1 Richard Mc Leod (QLD) Azzuro, 2 James Greenwood (QLD) Arrow, 3 Terry Cobb (QLD) Arrow.
National Super Heavy: 1 Aaron Middleton (NSW) Parolin, 2 Pat Rhodes (NSW) Parolin, 3 John Horsbugh (NSW) Parolin.
Clubman Heavy: 1 Daniel Stein (NSW) Arrow, 2 Johnathon Dwyer (NSW) Tony, 3 Joel Allinham (NSW) Azzuro.
Senior National Heavy: 1 Scott Karuso (NSW) Monaco, 2 Aaron Middleton (NSW) Parolin, 3 Johnathon Dwyer (NSW) Azzuro.
Clubman Super Heavy: 1 Wayne Marsh (NSW) Top, 2 Phil Middleton (NSW) Parolin, 3 Pat Rhodes (NSW).