Tag Super series set to return

THE TAG Super Series go kart event is likely to return to the area next year.

Manning Go Kart Club had a three year deal to host a round. This concluded after Saturday's racing.

However, series manager Phil Warder said he would be surprised if the series didn't return.

"Truth is, we love coming to this place,'' Mr Warder said.

"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,'' he added.

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

The sixth and final round will be held in Orange.

SOME of the State’s best drivers converged on Manning Valley Raceway for one of the most grueling TAG Super Series go kart rounds in recent years. 

The race format was always going to be tough and included an eight minute qualifying session followed by 2x 12 lap heats, 15 lap pre-final and 20 lap final. 

As qualifying wast underway, 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 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 of 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 a toll. While there were few incidents, many drivers began to physically struggle. A handful of drivers retired from races early but most continued and substantially dropped off the pace. It was a trend that largely continued into the finals. 

Before the start 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 -R 125 - super heavy). In the JMax junior support class, Kyle Angel emerged the eventual winner. 

More photos here

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