Rural Rochester driver Thomas Hughes was looking to make a strong start to the Australian Kart Championship at the opening round in QLD. Hughes a former state champion running in the highly competitive KZ2 class is looking to take out his first Australian Kart Championship.
Qualifying was a hot pace and Hughes while being ultra competitive in the class and only 0.446 off pole position Hughes qualified outside the top ten in fourteenth spot with plenty of work to do in the heat races to gain time.
Hughes started out of position fourteen got away to a clean start and with some hard fast racing manage to stay inside the top fifteen. With a fews positional swaps throughout the race Hughes was able to stay in position fourteen gaining more track time and more setup idea trying to move forward in position for the rest of the weekend.
Hughes out of position fourteen again got away cleanly and was able to maintain his position of the start. As things settled down Hughes dropped a spot to position fifteen and was able to maintain that to the finish. After the race there was multiple post race penalties raising Hughes to a classified position twelve gaining positions on his heat 1 finish.
Heat 3 came around and Hughes was again out of position fourteen and got away cleanly dropping back to position fifteen in the process. Hughes was able to show increasing pace making moves for position fourteen and then a few laps later for position thirteen. Hughes was able to hold that position till the finish line but was again the big benefit of post race penalties being classified in position ten his first top ten in the KZ2 class in the championship.
Heat 4 was unfortunately where Hughes opening round championship assault fell apart and come to an abrupt end. Hughes starting out of position eleven jumped away well but dropped a spot to position twelve. Hughes then got back into position looking to challenge for a top ten finish before an engine failure caused a DNF result and leaving him unable to compete in the final for the weekend.
Hughes happy with his movement forward throughout the heats was disappointed with the way he end his weekend.
“Its a disappointing way to finish the weekend” said Hughes. “We had moved forward through the heats and was just looking to start to challenge the guys inside the top ten but unfortunately thats motor sport and today wasn’t our day”. Hughes will next be at the race track at the second round of the Australian Kart Championship in Newcastle.