Ashton Ardley has been a driver on the improve throughout the start of the 2021 karting season. Young Ardley has shown great progression and pace in his Golden Power Series and Metro Karting Series campaigns so far this season.
Ashton, who is continuing to learn in his new Formula K chassis, took on the second round of the Golden Power Series over the weekend. The Goulburn Valley Kart Club, a track young Ardley had never been to, was going to need his finest driving over the weekend. Ardley had no starting point for practice one, never racing on the track. The young driver had his head down approach to try and quickly learn the circuit. The Formula K kart was immediately on the pace with kart and driver adapting well to the Goulburn Valley circuit.
Ashton was able to immediately put himself in the top five in position four of the oversized thirty-nine kart KA4 Junior National Light field. Ardley had great confidence going into timed practice where the young charger was again able to improve on his pace. Due to competitive nature of the KA4 Junior Light Ardley just missed the top five in this session in position six with great confidence and excitement going into the all-important qualifying session. Ardley put himself in the upper 50% of the KA4 Junior National Light oversized class. From the outset the Formula K driver was in the battle in the top ten and looking for a strong top five result. The Formula K kart was driving well and the entire top ten was only withing three to fourth tenths off each other, showing the skill level of the field. Young Ashton was around his fastest pace of the weekend setting the eighth fastest time in the six minutes in the thirty-nine-kart field. This will put the young charger out of position four for his opening heats with the pace there to challenge for strong results.
Ardley was out of position four for his opening heat and looking to get away. Unfortunately, the Formula K driver had quite the opposite getting stuck behind one of the leaders who hadn’t seen the yellow light go out. Young Ashton slotted into seventh looking to make up spots after the poor get away. Unfortunately, Ardley’s race went from bad to worse, with a lock up causing him to run into another kart and go off the track. Ashton joined at the rear of the field with steering issues to his Formula K entry. Even with these issues the Formula K driver was able to make his way back up to sixteenth overall. Not the end to the day the team was after but with the approach Sunday was a new day, anything could happen.
The rain poured over night making to a wet start to Sunday’s racing. Ardley unfortunately had another poor start having to go off circuit to miss one of the spinning leaders. Ashton managed to rejoin but had picked up a puncture off the circuit while rejoining the circuit. The Formula K karter showed his will and determination and was able to finish the race coming home in fifteenth position.
Due to the worsening weather conditions the race meeting was forced to conclude with no further racing. Ashton’s father Josh credited his son’s determination on what was a tough weekend. “I was happy with Ashton’s pace and qualifying results, but especially impressed with his persistence and determination to finish both heats with major issues, and make the most of bad situations”.
The next round of the series will be at Ardley’s home track at the Eastern Lions Kart Club.