Ashton Ardley was tackling his second meeting of the year at the Oakleigh Go Kart Club over the weekend at the Victorian Kart Chmapionship. Ardley after a top ten finish at the opening round of the Victorian Metro Series was looking for another strong result. With the hope of another strong result the KA4 Junior Light driver knew he had a much higher mountain to climb against some of the best drivers in the state and country.
After some promising pace in practice Ardley headed out on the circuit for qualifying looking for a promise start to the weekend. Ardley in the early stages hovered outside the top fifteen with improvement needed. Young Ashton made advancements throughout the session moving into the top fifteen on the verge of the top ten. The Formula K kart driver landed in position fourteen overall. An improved effort from practice but the young driver was looking to make more positions.
Heat one was the young drivers first race of the weekend and he was looking to move up positions from his starting point. Ardley unfortunately was involved in an incident of the start putting him to the rear of the field. Ashton started making up positions and fighting back, but unfortunately was meat ball flagged for a mechanical issue. The Formula K driver disappointed with the result due to increasing pace.
Ardley again got on average start in heat two but was able to stay out of trouble and try and make head way in position. In sixteenth position at the end of the opening lap the young driver put his head down and started to chase after the karters ahead of him. The Formula K driver made good progress throughout the heat making up a few spots but still was getting used to the different tyres at the state level. Ashton made his way up to position thirteen overall at the end of heat two and was happy to get back up positions.
Seventeenth position was the starting point for the third heat due to the first race disqualification. Ardley achieved his best get away of the weekend and started making up positions throughout the race. With great pace and smart driving, the Formula K driver made his way up into the top fifteen and was looking to continue on his march forward. Young Ashton came away with thirteenth place overall, making up four places for the race and was in good spirits going into Sunday’s racing.
Heavy rain hit the Oakleigh track all of Saturday night which presented a different track surface on Sunday. Due to the heavy rain and partially flooded track, racing was delayed. The fourth heat of the weekend was scrapped and all races were straight onto their twenty-four-lap final.
Ardley had another great start and was able to move up positions on the opening lap. There was an accident involving other karts on the third lap but Ashton’s had the luck go his way, missing the incident and making up more spots. The Formula K had a fantastic final at times lapping as fast as some of the top five drivers and came home in position eight overall.
Ashtons father Josh was thrilled with his son’s final result. “I’m impressed with Ashton’s resilience and perseverance, and proud of his efforts. He lacks experience and confidence in the soft compound tyres, so he definitely felt more comfortable in the familiar wet tyres, and was able to use some of wet racing experience to good effect”.
Ardley will next hit the open kart racing at the next round of the Golden Power Series at his home track at Eastern Lions Kart Club.