Cooper Stapleton has had a busy season to date. Stapleton has raced in multiple states, multiple series and had multiple good results. This took the Brighton Alpine sponsored entry to the Victorian State titles over the weekend. After running up the front at state and national level Cooper was looking for a strong weekend in the highly competitive Cadet 12 field.
Stapleton hit the track for qualifying up against multiple state champions and national champions looking for a strong start to the weekend. With a nervous start to the session with a last-minute issue causing the A1 Engines Motorsport powered driver to be late to the grid. Stapleton hit the the track and immediately putting himself in the top five and aiming for pole position. Stapleton showed increased pace and landed himself in fourth position overall on the outside of the second row. With a strong qualifying position and mixed weather conditions Cooper was looking to heat one to start his racing weekend strong.
Heat one was undertaking in dry conditions and the start was going to be crucial for Stapleton. The R&D Signage Solutions driver didn’t get the start he was after, getting shuffled back to position seven of the start. With fast and consistent pace Cooper worked his way as high as position five in a tough battle for position. The A1 Engines Motorsport powered driver came across the line in position six overall with encouraging signs being shown. Young Cooper’s lap times matched those of second position showing he had good pace.
The rain came just before heat 2, resulting in tough conditions for all drivers. Stapleton got a great start jumping up to third at the end of the opening lap. The Pro Floor sponsored entry set multiple fastest laps, making his way into the lead of the race by lap seven. Young Cooper showed great calm driving to stay out in front and open margin on the rest of the field. In what was a champion drive the A1 Engines Motorsport powered karter took out the second heat, putting himself of the front row for heat three.
Just before going out for heat three there was a sprinkle of rain with the team deciding to dial some more grip into Cooper’s kart. Once out on track the rain stopped leaving a dry track for the race. Stapleton unfortunately got ran wide of the start and dropped back to position four at the end of the opening lap. The Harrison Steele Salon backed entry raced hard in the top five all race long but lacked a bit of pace due to his over gripped kart. Cooper came home with another strong finish in fifth position.
The rain came in large amount overnight and due to this Sunday’s heat four was canceled and Cooper was straight into his twenty-one-lap final. After a heat win in the wet the day before confidence was high. Stapleton unfortunately was involved in an opening lap incident dropping the young driver back to fifth at the end of the opening lap. The Connect Sport Australia sponsored entry unfortunately lacked grip throughout the final and was in a battle for fifth, sixth and seventh. Stapleton looking as though he would finish sixth overall got pipped on the line to finish seventh overall in the championship final.
Young Cooper spoke of his weekend post-race. “Overall I think it was a pretty good weekend after a nervous start waiting for my kart to arrive for qualifying. l learnt a lot about setup and racecraft in tricky conditions. It was nice to get a win along the way but I was disappointed not to be able to challenge for the Blue Plate in the Final. l am feeling confident looking forward to AKC at Bolivar in a few weeks’ time”.
Stapleton will next hit the track for the Australian Kart Championship at Bolivar.