Frenchman Abbasse Takes Stunning Race of Stars Win
Frenchman Anthony Abbasse has become the fourth winner to etch his name onto a Gold Coast 600 Race of Stars Surfboard after winning the event held on the Gold Coast today.
The SodiKart factory driver was supreme in taking a dominant win this afternoon. He was engaged in an early race battle with Australian Champion Aaron Cameron and after a few exchanges for the lead, Abbasse driving the French built chassis got through, and then started to establish his lead.
Eventually he crossed the line 5.3 seconds in front of BirelART’s Marijn Kremers, who was later penalised two places after a front fairing infringement.
This elevated two-time Race of Stars Champion, Paolo de Conto to second place. The double World Champion put forward an astonishing drive to come from 18th on the grid in his Italian CRG Chassis.
Chris Hays was awarded the Jim Morton Trophy presented by Castrol EDGE as the best placed Australian after his third place finish following Cameron dropping down the order.
Kiwi Ryan Wood became the last driver to be awarded a place on Team Australia for the Rotax Max Grand Final Challenge in Brazil at the end of next month, following the maiden race for Rotax DD2 at the Race of Stars. Wood would finish second in the race after a last lap challenge between he and fellow 15-year-old Jac Preston for the final Australian place in the team.
Preston was the early race leader however Walton got past him and then quickly fell into the clutches of a charging Wood, who started at the rear of the field. Preston threw out a challenge on the last lap to Wood, but overshot the corner and didn’t finish the race, leaving Wood to finish second.
Kris Walton crossed the line first but was awarded third with a front fairing infringement – this handed the win to JC Kart driver Damian Ward, who qualified for DD2 at the World Finals through the Rotax Pro Tour this year.
In the elite Junior category, KA2, South Australian Reuben Goodall took his first ever KA2 win and the first Australian win in the category for DR Kart. He absolutely demolished the field, taking the win by over 10 seconds.
Jonathon Marcusson had his best finish in KA2 as well, coming home in second position, while Victorian Jay Hanson finished in third placing.
In the hotly contested TaG 125 category, Sydney-based JC Kart driver Reece Cohen added another major event win to his CV taking out the win this afternoon. He pushed forward from third on the grid to take the lead at turn two and wasn’t headed from there.
He eventually crossed the line 1.6 seconds ahead of Queenslander FA Kart driver Flynn Jackes who put forward an outstanding drive to come home in second placing. Meantime, Scott Sorensen secured third for the HDR Arrow Karts team.
Sydney-sider Benito Montalbano took a solid win in KA3 Senior which was the race of the day. The lead changed on countless occasions between Montalbano, Oscar Priest and Corey Herbertson. Priest had won every race of the weekend to that point, however succumbed to the treacherous conditions and spun out with a handful of laps remaining. This pushed Herbertson to second, who was chasing down Montalbano and got through to the lead, however Montalbano was too strong, taking the win from Herbertson with Brett Robinson claiming third.
In the corresponding Junior KA3 category, Queensland Praga driver Luke Pink staged a thrilling fight to come from third position to take the win.
Hugh Barter looked set to have the race in his grasp, however Pink hunted him down and made the move late in the race to come home with both the win and the quinella for the Praga Karts Australia outfit. Jonathon Marcusson came through to finish in third position.
Barter made amends in the KA4 Junior Final taking a dominant win. He won by almost 11 seconds while the battle for second went right to the wire.
South Aussie Christian Cowie emerged in second position taking the place over Ethan Feather, making the switch to a Parolin chassis for this weekend.
The youngest drivers at the Race of Stars, Cadet 12 staged a tremendous race. Queenslander Carter Mobbs started on the second row of the grid and pushed his way forward, taking the lead several laps into the race. He was able to maintain the lead throughout the course of the race and took his first surfboard trophy.
West Aussie Joshua Byrne made the trip worthwhile coming home in second position, while New South Welshman Jordan Shalala took third.
Today’s sixth Race of Stars sees the race continue to grow in stature in the international karting world. Seven nations were represented along with every state and territory in Australia.
It is the first official event of race week around the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Virgin Australia Supercars event.
On demand footage from today’s racing is available at www.karting.net.au.