BLOKARTS: Despite breaking an axle during the 100km marathon at the 2013 Australian Blokart Open at Yeppoon, CQ Blokart Club president and competitor Darren Bianchi dominated the race to take out the overall national endurance title for the third year running.

"Last year I blew a tyre and this year I broke an axle while racing. Luckily I had a spare on board and I fixed it on sight, and still won...it was very stressful," Yeppoon's Bianchi said.

In the marathon, competitors were seated in the blokarts for around two and a half hours, and raced on a 10km lap course, which headed north of the Mercure Resort, and back towards Yeppoon.

"It's a hard run, and it definitely takes its toll," Bianchi said.

A total of 68 competitors from across the country and from New Zealand, took part in the three days of racing.

At 74, local pharmacist Cliff Daley was the oldest competitor, while Jerome Henwood was the youngest at nine years old, and both were trying the sport for the first time.

Kiwi Paul Beckett aka Mr Blokart, the designer of the blokart, was also in action, nabbing a second place in the short-course super-heavyweight performance division.

The short-course racing kicked off the regatta on Saturday and Sunday when each class had to complete 11 rounds on a rough beach, pitted by the rough ocean conditions and strong winds, Bianchi explained.

Host club Central Queensland was the biggest in Australia and covered a large expanse, so it was no surprise when CQ competitors featured a great deal in the short-course results.

Mackay's John Ray scored a coup when he defeated Kiwi John Nicolson, who had performed extremely well at last year's World Championships in the US, to claim the heavyweight performance class.

It was an all-local affair in the super-heavyweight production class, with Yeppoon's Daryl Skinner taking out first place, ahead of Nev Michell and Russell George.

Competitors would now turn their focus to preparing for next year's World Blokart Championships, at Lake Walyungup where an estimated 90-strong contingent would represent Australia.

RESULTS

100km Marathon: Overall winner Darren Bianchi (Yeppoon)

Short Course Performance winners: Heavyweight 1 John Ray (Mackay); Middleweight Hayden Ingall (Far North Qld); Lightweight Blake Smith-Jung (Mky); Super-Heavyweight Gavin Statham (Mky).

Short Course Production winners: Super-Heavyweight Daryl Skinner; Heavyweight Colin Skinner (Yeppoon); Middleweight Brendan Dempster (Mky); Lightweight Brin Wooding (Airlie Beach).



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