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Ilya Harpas - 2016 Australian Superkart Champion!

screen_shot_2016-12-08_at_10.22.23_pm.pngThe 2016 Australian Superkart Championship concluded in spectacular fashion at Sydney Motorsport Park in November, with Ilya Harpas edging out reigning champion Russell Jamieson to clinch the 2016 Australian Superkart Championship for the 250cc International class.

RedIce Racing and Ilya Harpas would like to thank Your Amigo for their support over the course of the season.












2016 saw the first 3 round series in the sport's history. Rounds 1 and 3 were held at Sydney Motorsport Park, with Round 2 at Phillip Island being the meat in the Sydney Sandwich.

The points structure allowed each competitor to drop their worst 2 heats out of the 12 total heats. This rewarded consistency across the whole year and allowed some wriggle room for the odd bit of bad luck. 

Round 1 -  Sydney Motorsport Park

Ilya started the season strongly; comfortably winning the first heat, with Anton Stevens in second and Russell Jamieson in third. The second heat saw Russell push Ilya for the whole race, but on the last lap, at the last corner, Ilya clashed with a backmarker whilst leading. In the incident, Ilya lost his right rear wheel and crossed the line with 3 wheels! Russell claimed victory, with Ilya coming across the line in second and Gary Pegoraro in third.


Damage from the backmarker incident saw Ilya's water hoses pop off the kart whilst leading the third heat, which allowed Russell to claim victory while Ilya DNFd. Ilya bounced back emphatically to claim a dominant victory in the final heat - claiming the precious extra 5 points for the longer race.

Russell left Sydney leading the championship on 75 points to Ilya's 62, with Marty Latta in third on 54 points.  

Round 2 - Phillip Island

Russell set the pace in Friday practice, and looked to be the man to beat. He took out the first three heats, with Ilya right behind him in second on each occassion. The finishing margins were insanely tight; 0.1 sec, 0.05 sec and 0.08 sec in heats 1 to 3 respectively! Ilya finally got the break in the final heat, beating Russell to the line to take his only win of the weekend. 2014 champion, Gary 'Wizzer' Pegoraro, had a consistent weekend, coming in third in the standings. 

Round 3 - Sydney Motorsport Park

Heading into the final round, Russell lead Ilya 157 points to 138 in the standings. Ilya had to win every race to steal the number 1 plate from Russell, which was a tall order after how close the two competitors had been over the season so far. The drivers also had to contend with extreme temperatures in the high 30s, combined with longer than usual race distances. It was not going to be an easy weekend 

Across qualifying and the first heat, Russell and Ilya were closely matched. Russell pipped Ilya to pole, but Ilya took the advantage early on in the first heat to lead the way. Whilst chasing down Ilya, Russell suffered a rear right tyre deflation - spitting him sideways across the track at 220 km/h through turn 1. Luckily there was no damage to the kart or driver, but Russell chalked up his first DNF of the season. Ilya went on to win the race from Anton Stevens in 2nd, and Jason Smith in 3rd. 

Ilya held off Russell to win heats 2 and 3, with Jason Smith racking up more points to consolidate his 3rd position. 

After dropping the worst two heats for each driver, Ilya had to finish third or higher in the final heat to clinch the championship. Russell's DNF in race 1 tipped the points balance towards Ilya's favour.

The motorsport gods smiled kindly on the red and white #29 machine, as Ilya crossed the line in 2nd - right behind Russell, after an incredibly hard-fought race. 

Ilya punched the air in celebration as he crossed the line, knowing this was enough to walk away with the #1 plate and championship trophy.











Ilya Harpas and Red Ice racing would like to thank Your Amigo for their support across the 2016 season. Special thanks also go out to Wizzer Engines for a great motor, Dave Hepworth for his chassis trickery and tuning and also to Todd Johnson for his #1 mechanicing skills! 

You can read the full 2016 wrap up on Superkarts Australia's Website here