Auckland karter Josh Richmond finished a hard-won sixth in the Iame X30 class Final on his return to the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship presented by Castrol Edge (AKC) at Bolivar in South Australia over the weekend.
It was a good result for the talented North Shore-based teenager, the first of a number of resident Kiwi karters to head back across the Tasman to compete in the wake of Governments in both countries easing their strict COVID-19 travel bans under the so-called trans-Tasman ‘bubble.’
Richmond, 17, and in his final year at Auckland’s Westlake Boys’ High School, had a tough start to his weekend, qualifying 18th out of a field of 39 in the popular Iame X30 Senior class which saw him start his first two heats in his allocated Group C from P12 on the grid.
P12 turned into P14 at the finish line in the first heat after Richmond was caught up in a crash at Turn 1 on the opening lap but from that point on the young Kiwi re-found his Aussie mojo and moved forward every other time he was out on track.
In the second heat he finished 8th after a good solid drive, giving him a P10 start – and P9 finish – in his third heat.
By the time Heat 4 came around and Richmond was getting used, both to the Bolivar track as well as the new FA Kart and different tyre to what he uses at home, he again started from P10 but this time worked his way up to P6 at the finish line.
That gave him P11 on the gird for the 25-lap class Final in which the young Kiwi put in another strong run to again end up in P6 when the chequered flag came out
“So yes, he said on Sunday evening, “it was a fairly solid way to finish the weekend. Big thanks to Tom Williamson Motorsport and CC race engines for the package they put together for me.”
The weekend’s round at Bolivar in South Australia was the third of five but the first that resident Kiwi karters could realistically travel to and from.
Assuming the trans-Tasman bubble remains open Josh Richmond – and a number of other Kiwis no doubt – will return for the 4th round at Seymour (Puckapunyal) Victoria in late June (25-27th) and the final at Newcastle, NSW, at the end of August (27-29th).