Racers take grid for Sapphire Coast Kart Club's Sapphire Cup

Having a ball: Junior drivers stop for a quick photo before their first official races in the Sapphire Cup on Saturday. Picture: Jacob McMaster
Having a ball: Junior drivers stop for a quick photo before their first official races in the Sapphire Cup on Saturday. Picture: Jacob McMaster

Officials said strong racing and a great band of supporters made for a successful Sapphire Cup on the weekend. 

“The weekend racing was spectacular and it was very pleasing to see the number of visitors on the spectator’s grandstand,” a spokesman for the club said. 

Last year, seven of the eight divisions were stolen away by visiting racers, but this year the local contingent held its own to retain four of the eight crowns. 

Officials said drivers came from Melbourne, Bairnsdale, Sydney and the ACT to contribute to the “outstandingly success” Momsen Motors Sapphire Cup. 

Drivers raced the reverse course with organisers saying the layout provided a fantastic challenge in both directions with a variety of configurations possible. 

Sapphire racer Max Essai has finished runner-up in his division two years-running, but this year told his dad he was going to win his class. 

His dad said he was racing well and had shaved almost half a second off his lap times since last year, with the young gun following through to take out the cadet 12s from runner-up Joel Munckton also of the Sapphire club, while third went to local racer Clayton Wells.

Sydney’s Kaleb Belak represented the Wollongong club and took honours in the Cadet nine series.

Meanwhile, the club welcomed a number of drivers to compete in the cadet nine provisionals where local racers Zach Munckton and Lawson Creed shone ahead of Lana Aylen. . 

Bairnsdale’s Nigel Laity secured a “fine win” in the Junior KA4 class from runner-up Marty Wright out of the Oakley Club in Melbourne, while local Blake Motbey gave the visitors a run for their money to finish third in the series.

Local racer Sash Stevanovic took out the junior heavy class, relegating Wollongong driver Ryan Mills to second. 

Sapphire Coast Kart Club president Lance Ogier took out the TAG 125 light class from Daryl Belskyj. 

Officials said it was a thrilling finish with Belskyj passing Royce Gay just shy of the finish line to steal the runner-up spot. 

“It is always a great weekend for locals and visitors alike to participate and watch go kart racing at its best,” the spokesman said.

He said officials were delighted with the response to the weekend and plans were already underway for the 2017 edition of the race meet. 

The club provided full canteen facilities across the weekend with a number of visiting racers able to camp on the grounds during the three day race. 

The spokesman said spectators are always welcome at events and even regular club meets and practice sessions. 

The club is always welcoming new volunteers and anyone who can help out or interested karters can call Janelle Loftus on 0473 075 649 or email jlo95784@bigpond.net.au.