2021 is the beginning of a new season and a new class for KA4 Junior Light graduate Ashton Ardley! Ardley who has just come out of the Cadet 12 ranks was looking to make a strong start to Junior Life at the opening round of the Golden Power Series at the Rochester Kart Club.
Ardley began strong in timed practice managing to put himself in the top 50% of the ultra-competitive oversized KA4 Junior Light class. Ardley watched the bottom 50% with keen interest looking to make a strong start to his weekend. Ardley hit the track in Haase chassis but struggled for grip in the qualifying session landing 18th overall, putting himself out of position 10 for his split heat races!
Heat 1 starting out of 10th position Ardley and started well before a sprinkle of rain turned the track slippery. Ardley unfortunately got caught up avoiding a kart on track through no fault of his own putting him back into 19th position with plenty of work to do. To the young karters credit the Pro Karting powered youngster made his way back up the field making up 6 positions to come home in position 13.
Heat 2 Ardley was again out of position 10 and was looking to make up places. Unfortunately due to a mechanical issue (moving axle) Ardley struggled to make any inroads in the top ten. The young charger once again fought on, gamely holding off a closing pack coming home just outside the top 10, in a respectable position 12.
Heat 3 was a start that finally went Ardley’s way, missing an accident in front of him and jumping inside the top 10 into position 8. A full course yellow took up half of the race with a three lap sprint leaving the Pro Karting powered driver chasing more spots. At the end of the seven laps, Ardley came home in his strongest finish for the weekend in position 8 qualifying for the main final starting out of 21.
Final time come round and Ardley had another bit of bad luck going off in the first few corners due to poor visibility. With an aim to finish top 20 Ardley put the head down but unfortunately struck trouble on lap 2 dropping a chain resulting in his final coming to an end. Ardley after mix results was still happy with the weekend. “Overall I didn’t have my best weekend but there were some positive points. I had good luck in heat 3 but bad luck in the final. I am looking forward to my next race in my new Formula K kart and can’t thank Mum and Dad enough for letting me live my dream”.
Ardley will be looking to do the entire Golden Power Series, Metro Series, Eastern Lions Club days, City of Melbourne Titles, Australian Kart Titles and Junior Sprint Classic. 2021 is shaping as a fast and busy year for young Ardley.