Riley Blaxell is a driver on the rise and is looking to make 2021 his break out season. The Cadet 12 driver took to the third round of the Australian Kart Championship over the weekend looking for a strong result and more points to add to his championship assault. Running under the Sera Driver Development/Erebus Academy banner, young Riley was looking to make a statement from Friday practice.
Blaxell had a strong start to Friday practice, putting himself in position seven straight out of the box. The Karting Addiction Australia Sponsored entry hovered around the top ten all day, putting himself out of the upper 50 % for qualifying Saturday morning. With a tooth ache hurting Riley’s progress on Friday, he was looking forward to Saturday after a tooth removal. Saturday morning hit and Blaxell looked to come out guns blazing. The FA Alonso Kart come out with strong pace and Riley tuned in for the competitive session. The AMV Australia backed entry hovered inside the top ten throughout the session. In the large forty-one kart field young Riley set the ninth fastest time putting himself in a strong position for the opening heats.
Heat one and due to the oversized class, Blaxell was out of position six for the opening heat. The Pace Images sponsored entry made a great start moving up to position five off the start and jumping up to position four by lap three. Young Riley was able to continue his progress forward and move up to second position overall passing James Anagnostiadis and Kobe Mcinerney with only current state champion Lewis Francis ahead of him. The 2wo 7even design stickered entry crossed the line in second place overall with a strong start to his racing weekend.
Blaxell was sky high after heat one but unfortunately got a poor get away in heat two, dropping back to position eleven of the start. The Panther Chains sponsored entry immediately made-up spots jumping back up inside the top ten to ninth overall. Young Riley once again got shuffled back outside the top ten. The Corsa Apparel supported entry looked to finish in eleventh spot when an incident on the last lap resulted in Blaxell dropping a chain and a DNF result.
Due to the opening race results Blaxell was out of position eight for his third heat. Blaxell got another strong start and was able to move up inside the top five throughout the race. The FA Alonso Kart showed great pace with young Riley taking fourth place overall. Heat four had Blaxell seventh at the conclusion of the opening lap but contact with another kart dropped down to position eleven overall. Due to this the AN Racing Kart Engines sponsored entry finished outside the top ten in eleventh overall in his final heat race.
With good pace throughout the weekend Riley was confident of a personal best result in the final. Position eleven was the starting point for Blaxell in the final and with an inside row start, Blaxell was able to get a lighting start and was up to position seven of the start. The Pace Images sponsored entry was pushed wide while battling and was shuffled back to position thirteen with plenty of work to do. With determination and fast pace young Riley worked with three other drivers to make his way up to tenth, with four seconds between him and the top ten drivers. Due to quickening pace and arguing at the front by the last few laps, the FA Alonso Kart driver had closed in on the front battle. Due to the last lap battling Blaxell was able to come home in position seven overall. With a post-race penalty Riley moved up to position six, his best Australian Kart Championship finish of his short career.
Riley’s father Nick noted the great progress of his young son. “Riley struggled with focus on the Friday, but once that tooth was out, he was back in form and showed some great pace across the weekend. We look now to the 4th round with some solid points from Todd Rd and Bolivar in the bag”.
Blaxell will be a force in the championship when it goes to Eastern Lions Kart Club for the next round of the championship.