Alex Gardner took to round three of the Australian Kart Championship at the Southern Go Kart Club over the weekend, looking to continue his improving championship position. The Queenslander was racing in the ultra-competitive KA4 Junior class, with over thirty karter’s competing in the field. The DPE Kart Superstore sponsored entry was looking for a weekend of high results.
Friday practice was about learning the new track as this was young Alex’s first visit and get his Arrow chassis in the setup window. The Motiv8 Training backed entry showed strong improvement and was looking forward to Friday afternoon qualifying.
Friday afternoon came around and Gardner hit the track looking to start his qualifying well. With hot pace and a competitive field, the Bob Jane Tmart sponsored entry was battling inside the top ten. Young Alex stopped the clock with a time fast enough for ninth position overall in a fantastic showing.
Gardner was out of position nine for the opening race and was looking to continue his positive start to the weekend. Gardner launched of the line and by the end of the opening lap he had put himself inside the top five in fifth position overall. Gardner dropped back to position six on lap two but by lap six was able to make his way up to fourth spot, going in pursuit of the top three drivers. With great pace the Next Level Racing sponsored entry finished in position four, only half a second of the top three drivers showing he can mix it with the best in the country.
Gardner had another smooth get away, jumping up to seventh of the start. Just when more progress was looking to be made, the Foundations Performance and Rehab backed entry dropped a chain on lap two resulting in a DNF.
Position sixteen was the starting point of heat three due to the dropped chain in heat two. Young Alex dropped to position eighteen at the end of lap one but quickly made his way back into the top fifteen. The Todd Gerhardt Realty sponsored driver didn’t stop there, continuing to make up more spots pushing towards the top ten of the field. Alex came home in position eleven overall but due to post race penalties was classified in the top ten in position eight overall.
Due to his points improvement Gardner was out of position ten overall for the pre final. The Arrow kart driver dropped back to thirteenth position off the start and battled on the edge of the top ten all race. The Mr Men Barbers sponsored entry made his way back up to position eleven overall leading into the final.
The Final was full of ups and downs for the DPE Kart Superstore backed entry having an off at the start and backed to last. Alex drove like a karter possessed, making up fifteen spots in the final before more bad luck struck putting Gardner in the gravel and out of the race.
Both Alex and father Lee spoke of the ups and downs of the weekend. “I loved racing at Bolivar and had an awesome weekend with my team” Alex noted. “The highlight was placing 4th place in Heat 1 which is my highest finishing position in an AKC heat so far”. Lee was very happy overall with his sons result. “Alex had a great weekend of racing, there were some ups and downs, but we were so proud of him, he did a phenomenal job and loved the new track”.
Young Gardner looks forward to the next round of the Australian Kart Championship at the Eastern Lions Kart Club.