Jeff Reed Conquers 125 cc Class with Consistency


Jeff Reed has won the 125 cc championship twice before. He had won the championship by being fast, but more often he had been fast and lost the title. His first title had been a nerve wracking affair, breaking down he had to stand on the pit wall and hope results broke his way. He did not want that to happen again.

Jeff Reed (Stockman Superkarts Stockman-Honda)He had plenty of rivals too. Gary Haywood was going to be fast at home, Paul Campbell had turned a corner and could match Reed for pace. Tim Philp seemed to have inherited Reed former role as the man who would lose the championship through bad luck and Tony Lappas had potentially the fastest kart in the class with its SKE chassis and BRC engine combination.

"I want to thank all the 125 cc competitors and congratulate Garry and Tony on their speed," said Reed. "This weekend was just about staying on the black stuff."

Qualifying sent everyone a message. Gary Haywood in the Water Tunnel Car Wash supported factory Bakker X4 had done the same thing Russell Jamieson had in qualifying and had a gap, 1.7 seconds, on the field. They were now racing for second, or so it seemed. Reed knew that finishing races was everything. Race 1 saw Haywood slow dramatically with an engine problem and Reed chased after Philp and Campbell. Third was more points. In the wet of Sunday morning Reed battled with Lee Vella in what became the fight for third, but the exhaust was broken. With the help of the Coach Design 250 International team the exhaust was welded. Race 3 became a pack battle between eight 125s. It was an amazing sight. Reed finished fourth. Reed had a 13 point lead. If he finished the final race in any position at all he was the champ. So Reed raced the final three second off the pace in the company again of Lee Vella and finished fifth. He had not won a single race in 2013 but he was eight points clear.

Tony Lappas (Wizzer Engines/Superkarts Evolution SKE-BRC)Tony Lappas had nothing to lose. Entering Phillip Island he was 24 points behind Reed. He may as well go for wins. Lappas has a unique kart in the 125 cc class, a single cylinder BRC engine mated to one of Carlo Chermaz' distinctive Superkart Evolutions chassis. With an aerodynamic and horsepower advantage its a kart that loves the bigger circuits. While not setting a representative lap in qualifying, once Sunday started he had bridged the gap to Garry Haywood's pace, although he would have a few spins over the weekend. In the wet he chased hard into the top ten outright positions, along with Paul Campbell and the 250 Nationals of Dale Williams and Jason Akermanis. In race three Lappas and Haywood finally went head-to-head and raced a second faster than their rivals and had a brilliant dice and Haywood finally pulled a five second gap. In the final race they fought again and Lappas claimed the win. Lappas' pace saw him come in over the top of everyone except Reed. Before the final race he was fourth in the title but ended up second.

"I want to thank Gary Pegoraro and Carlo Chermaz and Dave Hepworth for all their help," said Lappas. "I also want to thank Les and Luke May for their help with tyres and a helmet. I hope we put on a good show and the round win I want to dedicate to my daughters."

Tim Philp (Floth Sustainable Building Consultants Avoig-Honda)Early in the weekend Tim Philp in the Floth Sustainable Building Consultants Avoig-Honda developed into the championship threat. A desperate victory in race 1, coming from behind to pip Paul Campbell by a nosecone, put him just five points behind Reed. The bleed hole was stripped in race 2. Philp held his hand over the hole, trying to keep the water inside his engine but with a lap to go he parked it before the RS125 Honda overheated. Race 3 saw Philp spin off track at MG Corner trying to avoid the parked 250 National of Jason Akermanis and flew across the wet grass and astro turf. He kept the engine running and rejoined but finished a distant sixth in the most competitive 125 cc race of the weekend. Winning the best of the rest fight in race 4 saw him collect third place.

Garry Haywood (Water Tunnell Car Wash Bakker-Honda)Garry Haywood could only be disappointed with fourth. At the start of the weekend he had the pace to blast past Reed and claim the title. Races three and four went to that plan, but a mystery electrical problem in race 1 which saw the kart go back to Melbourne overnight and then a fuel line came off in race 2 brought an end to the challenge from the factory Bakker-Honda.

Similarly Paul Campbell brought the Redback Racepaint Avoig-Honda into title contention with a pair of second places, but a fifth place in race 3 behind Reed did him no favours. A DNF in the final was the coup de grâce.

The Linra Properties team filled sixth and seventh, Drene Jamieson's superior weekend in Sydney keeping his son Lindsay from overtaking him in the points. Russell Jamieson's uncle and cousin were plagued with electrical problems on Friday in their distinctive laydown versions of the Stockman MR2 design. The karts needed rebuilds of the electrical systems three times between them. But once the racing began their situation improved markedly. Drene finished every race and Lindsay had a highly competitive third in race 3 in the big pack race and fourth in the final after race long fight with Tim Philp.

Lindsay Jamieson (Linra Properties Stockman-Honda) and Paul Campbell (Redback Racepaint Avoig-Honda)Phil Silcock recorded his fastest ever laps of Phillip Island in the Rockpress Stockman-Honda and he finished every race and claimed eighth in the championship and held off the closing L & J Custom Kitchens & Joinery Avoig-Honda of Lee Vella by a single point. Vella did not have the best of beginnings to the weekend, but came home strongly, and finished fourth for the round.

Phillip Island round points:
Tony Lappas 75, Jeff Reed 59, Tim Philp 50, Lee Vella 46, Paul Campbell 45, Lindsay Jamieson 44, Drene Jamieson 44, Garry Haywood 42, Phil Silcock 38

Championship points:
Jeff Reed 130, Tony Lappas 122, Tim Philp 111, Garry Haywood 108, Paul Campbell 101, Drene Jamieson 76, Lindsay Jamieson 70, Phil Silcock 68, Lee Vella 67, Anthony Cristallo 37, Mehmet Sinani 30, Brad Stebbing 25