Victorian front runner Cooper Stapleton took to the third round of Australian Kart Championship over the weekend at the Southern Go Kart Club. Stapleton competing in the ultra-competitive oversized cadet 12 class, was looking to grab more solid points to his championship assault. The A1 Engines Motorsport powered and sponsored driver was quick straight out of the box setting the sixth fastest time in practice one and finishing eighth overall for the day.
The Brighton Alpine sponsored entry hit the track for qualifying hoping for a strong start to the weekend. Due to the team under estimating the grip levels Cooper’s kart was out of the set-up window and he struggled to show the pace in practice. Under his A1 Engines Motorsport power, he was able to set a time for sixteenth place overall, a disappointing result with the team, looking to improve in the heats.
Heat one and improvement was looking to be made with Cooper getting an excellent start jumping up to position nine by the end of the first lap. The Pro Floor sponsored entry battled inside the top ten the whole heat and was able to come home in position nine overall improving from his starting spot.
Heat two was another great start moving up to position eight of the start. By lap six Stapleton had made his way inside the top five and was picking off karts at will, making his way forward. By race completion the A1 Engines Motorsport powered driver had made his way up to third spot and had pace enough pace for second place. A strong third spot finish grabbed more points for the cadet 12 ace championship.
Heat three and Cooper was out of position seven due to his finishing position in the opening heat races. The R&D Signage Solutions sponsored entry achieved another clean get away but due to mechanical issue he had dropped spots throughout the heat. Position eleven was a satisfactory finish due to his mechanical issue.
Heat four and with a powerful start Stapleton was able to move his way up to second spot by lap six in a fast battle at the front. The A1 Engines Motorsport powered driver battled hard in the top five for spots and in an extremely close finish came home in position seven.
Position eight was the starting position for the final with a strong start being up to position seven by lap two. Position sixth was Stapleton by lap eight in a group of four karters chasing the top three drivers. The Harrison Steele Salon backed driver had battles while trying to close in on the front group, with five laps to go it was an eight to nine kart train at the front all battling for position. With all the battles, it was a twelve-kart train at the front on the last lap with multiple drivers going three and four wide on different corners. Cooper was in the battle for second, going into the final corner but in dramatic fashion got squeezed wide and finished fifth overall in a great result.
Young Cooper noted the weekend was high and low but, in the end, a great result. “It was a roller coaster of emotions over the weekend with ups and downs but overall l am very happy with my results for the Event. A Podium felt so close at the end. I will keep trying my hardest to get there”.
Coopers father Troy was excited and proud of his son. “It was awesome to see Cooper achieve some more of his racing goals. His first Top Three in an AKC Heat Race and even better was the Top Five in the Final. He is looking forward to achieving more goals at the next Round of AKC at Puckapunyal”.
Stapleton looks to the next round at the Eastern Lions Kart Club hoping for his maiden podium finish.