New Zealand’s Chris Kernohan has surprised everyone by winning the 2018 Webbcrete Australasian Junior Sedan Championship, going through the heats and final undefeated.
To begin the night, the six New Zealand racers had an opportunity to test out the new track with some hot laps, before they had an all Team New Zealand race. This would be another interesting battle, with a number of drivers battling it out for position. Chris Kernohan would fail to finish with some mechanical dramas, but would redeem this later in the night. Samuel Ashton would drive a brilliant race to defeat Jayden Fraser and Alana Buckthought.
When it came to the Australasian Championship heats, some brilliant racing was witnessed. Luke Malcolm would claim the first heat of the night in style, before New Zealand would get their first heat win against the Aussies in the hands of Chris Kernohan. Geraldton’s Bradley Short would then win the third heat of the night.
Come round two of the heat racing, Jorj Park and Zac Minshull would add their names to the winners list, while Kerohan would once again win his heat, defeating Bradley Short.
Kalgoorlie’s Dylan Parkes would win the seventh heat of the night, ahead of Jackson Derrick and Blake Webb who returned after a hit with the concrete wall in Esperance last weekend. Chris Kernohan would win heat eight, gaining the maximum 108 points and earning himself pole position for the twenty lap A Main. Jorj Park would also win his second heat of the night, claiming the lucky last of the evening.
With sixteen automatic qualifiers going straight into the A Main, a field of nine were to start the B Main. Jade McKeagg would display amazing sportsmanship, giving up her car for Kiwi Alana Buckthought to drive, after her car expired. With four to transfer to the A Main, a number of drivers fought hard to move through to the next final. Taj Vanzetti drove a brilliant race to take the win ahead of Samuel Ashton, Alec Vanzetti and Mitchell Baker who narrowly defeat Alana Buckthought to move through to the A Main.
Come the twenty lap A Main, a stellar field of twenty of the best racers assembled into a four wide salute for the crowd, which looked simply awesome (a video will be posted to the JSRA Facebook Page). Chris Kernohan and Dylan Parkes would start from the front row, which was a fitting, as Kernohan was driving one of the Parkes Racing cars.
As the race got underway, the first to retire would be Jackson Derrick who went no where from the start and failed to complete a lap. Bradley Short would spin in turns three and four, which would bring on the yellow lights and a complete restart.
When the race restarted, a number of drivers were desperate to get to the front. Some contact would be made throughout the field, with a couple of cars hitting the back straight concrete wall, but bouncing off and resuming battle. For Ryan Marshall, this would signal the end of his Trans Tasman racing, suffering steering damage to the Swift Racing Daihatsu Charade. Joshua Ahead would soon retire from the event as well.
Out in front, Chris Kernohan had already opened a sizeable margin ahead of Zac Minshull, while Blake Webb, Luke Malcolm and Jorj Park raced hard for the minor places. Bradley Short after being sent to the rear of the field started to charge back through and in no time, was back in the top 10. A restart would be called when Jorj Park and Dylan Parkes would make contact on the front straight, which saw Dylan Parkes sent to the rear of the field.
Hayden Mortimer and Dylan Parkes would both retire soon after the race resumed. The battle for third continued with Blake Webb and Jorj Park fighting hard, as Luke Malcolm started to fall off the pace with dramas onboard his Mitsubishi Lancer. Bradley Short also started to by into the battle for third, with the three drivers racing within close proximity. This would soon end in tears, with contact down the back straight resulting in some damage to the front end of Blake Webb’s Daihatsu Charade, which saw him make contact with Bradley Short.
The red lights would come on, with concerns over Bradley Short and a possible injury. Luckily it was later confirmed that there was no major injury, which was great to hear. At this point, the race would be declared after 10 laps, which gave Chris Kernohan, the well deserved victory in his last race on Australian soil. Zac Minshull drove a brilliant race to finish second ahead of Jorj Park, Jayden Fraser and Corey Ameduri.
A big thank you must go to Jason Shannan Webb from Webbcrete for their much valued sponsorship of this weekend, along with the entire JSRA Committee who have worked overtime to ensure the last two weekends were a success.
Attention for the JSRA will now turn to Round 6 of the JSRA Country Super Series, which heads to Southern Forest Machinery Raceway, Manjimup on Saturday April 7th.
Junior Sedan A Main: 1. 92M Chris Kernohan, 2. W7 Zac Minshull, 3. W74 Jorj Park, 4. 92R Jayden Fraser, 5. W83 Corey Ameduri, 6. W343 Tanika Webb, 7. W84 Beau Oldfield, 8. W3 Bronty Fraser, 9. W120 Alec Vanzetti, 10. W121 Taj Vanzetti, 11. W9 Mitchell Baker, 12. 23R Samuel Ashton DNF: W27 Jackson Derrick, 15H Ryan Marshall, W119 Joshua Ahearn, W18 Hayden Moritmer, W23 Dylan Parkes, W22 Luke Malcolm, W108 Blake Webb, W19 Bradley Short
A big thank you to the following sponsors for making this weekend possible:
Torque Wear Australia
Whale Plumbing & Gas
Barry & Vickie Rochford
Supercheap Auto Morley
Supercheap Auto Belmont
Supercheap Auto Gosnells
Derrick’s Auto Ag