Karpenko Proves Too Strong

The Northern Territory Open Sprintcar Title opener at Darwin’s Roller Door Services NT Northline Speedway last night resulted in local Chace Karpenko continuing his winning ways and take out the preliminary feature race.

Over a distance of 20 laps, the preliminary feature race saw Karpenko, who had showed his class to take out last Saturday night’s Pope 65 Bob Ekins Memorial and started last night’s preliminary feature race from the outside of the front row, managed to come out on top in an early battle with pole sitter and fellow local Jason McIver, to lead the entire distance and score back-to-back wins.

For Karpenko, he became the first driver to win successive nights of this year’s iFind Pipes ‘N’ Cables Chariots of Thunder.

Following two third-place finishes in the previous two Chariots of Thunder nights, South Australian Glen Sutherland showed great place to finish in the runner-up spot at the fall of the chequered flag. After a tough start to this year’s Chariots of Thunder, Sutherland is showing consistent form at the pointy-end of the field.

Last Friday night’s Darwin Title winner, Western Australian Lee Nash, completed the podium in third. Nash was able to drive around having a severely damaged outside top wing board, which occurred from an earlier crash, to charge home in third.

After crashing out in his opening heat race, local Ben Atkinson was able to recover in style aboard the Xtreme Motorsport team car to finish one spot shy of the podium in fourth. Apart from being able to complete the night following the team repairing the car, Atkinson’s result was made that even more impressive due to the fact that he had started from deep in the field: position 18.

Local Danny Porter came home in fifth place ahead of Kyle Caunt (NSW), Mitch Wormall (WA), local Simon Spitzbarth (the highest placed 360 competitor), Rusty Hickman (Vic) and another local Troy David in 10th. The remainder of the finishes were a last-place starting Ben Ellement (WA), along with locals Steven Ling, Chris Harrison, David Ling and Mark Robinson.

The hard-luck story of the preliminary feature race was without a doubt local Jason McIver. McIver, who has been a model of consistency throughout the Chariots of Thunder so far, had qualified on pole position and battled early for the lead with fellow front-row starter Karpenko. However, while placed strongly in second, McIver, in the latter stages of the race, had his front wing dislodge, but he fought on in order to maintain his second place running. Shortly after a late restart, McIver spun out in turn two, which was due to a rear brake caliper locking up.

Local Caleb Gotts joined the upside-down club in the closing stages of the preliminary feature race, when he crashed out in between turns three and four. This consequently set up a late restart with only four laps to go.

McIver and Gotts joined Nick Halkitis, Jason Gebert, Daniel Taylor and Keith Phelps on the infield as retirements.

Earlier in the night, the heat-race wins were claimed by Karpenko, Nash, Gebert and McIver. In the KSA Courier hot laps / qualifying, Atkinson topped the time sheets with a best lap of 13.000 seconds.

To say that the opening heat race was action-packed would be an understatement. Before a lap had been completed, Atkinson and Gebert crashed out in turn one together, while soon after the restart for that accident, Ellement rolled over in spectacular fashion in turns three and four. All three drivers emerged OK and were able to take their place in the preliminary feature race. Atkinson and Gebert made it out for the next round of heat races, which saw Gebert pick up the win, while Ellement was forced to miss the second round of heat races but managed to make it out for the preliminary feature race.

In the support classes, Sam Borlini (Wingless Sprints) and Jacob Belcher (AMCA Nationals) came out on top in their feature races respectively. The Keenquip Racegear Championship saw Borlini down the NSW-based duo of Nathan Dicker and Troy Carey, while Belcher came out on top ahead of Dale Roberts in second and Peter Harding in third.

The fourth and final round of the iFind Pipes ‘N’ Cables Chariots of Thunder is to be fought out tonight at Roller Door Services NT Northline Speedway with the running of the Northern Territory Open Sprintcar Title. The support classes are going to consist of Wingless Sprints (NT Open Championship), AMCA Nationals (Northern Territory Title Night 2) and Junior Sedans.



Gates Open: 4:30pm
Racing from: 6pm


Adults: $20
Family: $40 (2 Adults and 2 Children between 12 and 15 years)
Children under 12: FREE
Concession Holders: $5

Food and beverages:

Northline Speedway has two full-time track canteens and two vendors on each race night. Two bar facilities available in turn one and in the member’s bar on each race night.
BYO: It is permitted, but strictly NO GLASS. Full bar facilities are available at track.

Track address:

Hidden Valley Motorsports Complex, Hidden Valley Rd, Hidden Valley, NT 0822

For more information about Darwin’s Roller Door Services NT Northline Speedway, visit their website: www.darwinspeedway.com.au. You can LIKE them on Facebook by searching Northline Speedway or find them on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat by searching Northline Speedway.


Open Sprintcars:

ACT 2 Ben Atkinson
6 Troy David
WA 7 Lee Nash
9 Danny Porter
NSW 9 Kyle Caunt
14 David Ling
18 Jason Gebert
SA 20 Glen Sutherland
22 Keith Phelps
32 Steven Ling
Vic 40 Rusty Hickman
43 Simon Spitzbarth
WA 44 Ben Ellement
55 Nick Halkitis
65 Jason McIver
77 Daniel Taylor
81 Chace Karpenko
83 Mark Robinson
84 Chris Harrison
88 Caleb Gotts
WA 97 Mitch Wormall

Wingless Sprints:

4 Sean Tiedeman
NSW 4 Jason Davis
11 Jarrod Garraway
14 Sam Borlini
15 Eric Metcalfe
18 Josh Norman
NSW 45 Troy Carey
NSW 54 Craig Skene
77 Kyle Wiseman
NSW 91 Nathan Dicker

AMCA Nationals:

9 Dale Roberts
10 Dave Munro
26 Janet Belcher
27 Jacob Belcher
33 Jim Keane
39 Brendan Kenna
41 Maria Panasewyecz
42 Jeffery Tiedeman
Qld 66 Gavin Wooton
81 Peter Harding

Junior Sedans:

15 Zack Grimshaw
25 Xavier Gotts
27 Aleisha Grimshaw
34 Nicholas Dennis
43 Brodee Everett
45 Daniel Dennis
WA 46 Tia Wormall
65 Isaiah Strong
84 Nathan Downs
88 Lance Carew