George brothers Jai and Riley competed in their maiden state championships over the weekend at the Oakleigh Go Kart Club.
Young Jai competing in the Cadet 9 class has had a strong start to the season with Golden Power Series round wins and a podium finish at the opening round of Victorian Metro Karting Series. Riley competing in the competitive KA3 Senior Medium class has been running around the top five at most of his open meetings this year.
Knowing the mountain they had to climb, both brothers were excited for the weekend. Young Jai unfortunately didn’t have the start to the weekend he wanted, not setting a time in qualifying. Due to a petrol cap mechanical issue the cadet 9 driver came in after just one lap putting himself of the rear of the field for the heats. Riley had a strong start to his weekend coming home in the top five and a close qualifying session. Riley in his Paul’s Pantry IGA Ringwood East sponsored kart was only two tenths of pole position coming home fifth overall, setting up a good battle and strong form for the KA3 Senior Medium driver.
Out of position eleven and rear of field for the opening heat Jai had a tough task in wet conditions trying to make up ground. Against some more experience drivers the cadet 9 driver raced beyond his experience, keeping his kart on track and moving up to position seven overall. Riley took to the track for his opening heat and also had a tough task in the wet conditions. The KA3 Senior Medium driver dropped back a few spots in the race but finished inside the top ten in position eight overall. Both drivers with top ten finishes looking for improvement.
Heat two and in drier conditions young Jai battled outside the top ten for positions. Due to his qualifying mechanical fault the cadet 9 driver struggled to make positions in the second heat. Young George crossed the line in position twelve overall. Riley had a stronger showing in heat two in the drier conditions. The Paul’s Pantry IGA Ringwood East sponsored kart was battling on the edge of the top five setting lap times to match the top five. The KA3 Senior Medium driver came home in position six overall with strong points towards the final. Young Jai come home with another top ten finish in heat three. George moved forward in position and improved lap times from the previous race in encouraging signs. The Cadet 9 driver come home in position ten overall with improvement coming into Sunday’s racing. Riley came home with another top ten finish just on the edge of the top five. The KA3 Senior Medium driver came home in position seven overall with great pace and confidence building into Sunday racing.
The heavens opened up overnight and heavy rain drenched the Oakleigh kart circuit. Due to the heavy rain and partially flooded track, there was a delay to race start and heat four was cancelled with only finals now left to run.
Young Jai in finished his weekend on a strong note coming home with a top ten finish in his very first state title. The Cadet 9 driver moved up positions in the final, coming home with a fantastic eighth position overall.
Riley also finished inside the top ten in his final just on the edge of the top five. The Harcourts Choice Croydon sponsored entry moved up positions from his starting spot and came home with an exciting sixth position overall.
The George brothers’ mother Sharie spoke of how proud she was of her drivers. “I’m extremely proud of both boys this weekend. The boys have never raced at a state championship before and both improved and tried so hard all weekend”.
Both brothers are expected to hit the track this weekend at the next round of the Victorian Country Series.