Tag rally super

Some of the State's best drivers converged on Manning Valley Raceway for one of the most grueling TAG Super Series rounds in recent years.

The race format was always going to be tough and included an eight minute qualifying session followed by 2x12 lap heats, 15 lap pre-final and 20 lap final.

As qualifying got under way, the intensity of the race meeting was immediately evident. In each of the five main divisions, less than 0.5 seconds was all that separated the majority of the field. 

It was a precursor for things to come as the closeness of the field and the quality of drivers competing made passing nearly impossible. Any driver who made even the smallest of mistakes often got "freight trained" - a term used when two or more drivers make a simultaneous pass.

As the heats and respective pre-finals rolled by, high humidity coupled with the roughness of the high speed back section of the track started to take their toll. 

Prior to the commencement of the finals, drivers across the pit area were commenting on how physical the track was. Sore necks and backs were common as the drivers bodies were being pounded across the back of section of track.

In all classes, the race pace of the respective finals was staggering. In some cases, the finals looked more like a qualifying session with scorching times being continually rolled off throughout the 20 lap journey.

There was no margin for error and very little between the majority of competitors.

In nearly every division, half race distance saw some drivers beginning to struggle with fatigue. While some dropped off the pack, others slowed but still managed to hold station.

In the TAG 125 - Heavy final, a battle weary Alex Taylor desperately struggled to hold onto fourth with up to seven angry karts all nose to tail behind him. It was a similar scenario that was repeated across every class.

The eventual winners would be Reagan Angel (TAG 125 - Light), Matthew Endres (TAG 125 - Heavy), Matthew Kenneth (TAG-R 125 - Light), Michael Osmond (TAG-R 125 - Heavy) and Shane Tate (TAG -R125 - Super Heavy). In the JMax junior support class, Kyle Angel emerged the eventual winner.

This year was the last of a three year deal for the Manning Valley Kart Club to host a round of the TAG Super Series.

With that in mind, series manager Phil Warder said he would be surprised if the series didn't return.

"Truth is, we love coming to this place. The Manning Valley track is a great venue, the club management are fantastic to work with and the hospitality shown by the locals is second to none. That said, I cannot make any announcements yet, but I would be very surprised if a new deal wasn't done for us to return," Mr Warder said.

The series now heads to Lithgow round two on March 29.

TAG 125 (Light): 1st Reagan Angel; 2nd Gus Flynn; 3rd David Boyd.

TAG 125 (Heavy): 1st Matthew Endres; 2nd Ben Ritchie; 3rd Aron Thornhill.

Tag 125 Restricted (Light): 1st Matthew Kenneth; 2nd Kyle Sandona; 3rd Paul Monaghan.

TAG 125 Restricted (Heavy): 1st Michael Osmond; 2nd Michael Lawrence; 3rd Kris Bail.

TAG 125 Restricted (Super Heavy): 1st Shane Tate; 2nd David Robison; 3rd Lee Gardiner.

JMax (Junior Support Class): 1st Kyle Angel; 2nd Adam Borger; 3rd Matthew Gearing.

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