The annual GoKart Challenge program has been run and won for 2020. Marist College Ashgrove has been lucky enough to retain the Interschool Trophy from last year allowing us to be back to back winners. The day is divided into three main sessions for the day; Practise, Qualifying and Racing. Each GoKart team consists of 5 drivers who all take turns within the sessions. The middle qualifying session separates the student drivers into the five races at the end of the day. The laps are accurately timed with transponders so that the fastest qualifying times for each driver and school goes in the first fastest race with the following four races run after the preceding one.
There was a total of five schools competing on the day which amounted to 12 karts running all day. The Year 10 Red Bull inspired GoKart won the day with notable 1st places in their respective races to Eli Nichols, Jack Donaldson and Henry Knight. Harry Masel and Archie Ryan achieving a third and ninth, respectively. Eli Nichols also achieved the fastest lap of the day during the races at a blistering 43.610 secs. Coincidently, the day before was the running of the 2020 Bathurst race where the Red Bull team car of Triple Eight Race Engineering won the day also. This must have been an omen for our Challenge Day.
The Year 9 Kart experienced some technical issues throughout the day which caused them to miss some qualifying sessions; however, they were able to achieve a very respectable 4th place for the day. Notably, for the Year 9 team was Fergus Duff who could be seen in a cloud of dust, carving up the field passing everyone in the earlier practice and qualifying sessions. He would have been very close to the fastest lap of the day also. Jack Haddad was very close to the front of his race achieving a 2nd with the fastest time for the Year 9 team at 43.858 secs. Harry Condon and Harry Thomson achieved a 3rd and 4th respectively with Fergus and Hunter James finishing 8th and 6th respectively.
Each driver of the winning Year 10 Team received a Samsung tablet from our Major Sponsors of the day who were Onguard Safety Training. We thank Bruce Lewis and business partner Craig Heufel for their ongoing sponsorship of this event and look forward to their continued support in 2021. Safety on the day and leading up to it is of paramount importance and as such all Marist College Ashgrove students complete the Automotive Safety Module as part of their induction. In addition to this, driver training, racing etiquette and competence is taught. All PPE and procedures are enforced by staff to minimise the risk of injury on the day. https://www.onguardsafety.com.au/
This special event cannot run without the support, dedication and help from many people. In addition to our Sponsors, a very special thanks must be given to Mr Matthew Dempsey for his efforts with the year-long program, I could not do it without him. To all of our Year 9 and Year 10 Boarding students involved for conducting themselves in a professional manner throughout the program. To Sr Liz Dangerfield who accompanies us each year to the event to be on hand for any minor injuries that may occur across the five schools. We are always happy to say that her day is usually quite boring with limited patients due to the safety regulations in place. Thanks must also go to Mr Peter McLoughlin and Mr James Couper for their support of the event. Mr Peter Gaiter and Mr Doug Buchan who were essential track officials throughout the whole day. Josh Booth (Year 12 student) for his photography on the day. Lewis Morgan (Year 12 student) and his father Chris Morgan who were on the spot mechanics and officials throughout the day also. Mel Noonan Creative for the professional photography on the day. To all of the teachers and students from the following schools; Sandgate District State High School, Mueller College, Bray Park State High School and Hemmant Flexible Learning Centre. And lastly, to Angela and Brett Formosa from the Ipswich City Dirt Kart Club who host the event each year with unlimited support, we thank you!
The whole event was a tremendous success and we look forward to doing it all again next year where we hope to achieve a "threepeat"