Ashton Ardley took to the second round of the Victorian Metro Karting Series at the Eastern Lions Kart Club over the weekend. Ardley competing at his second consecutive meeting at the circuit, was looking to continue his strong start to the series. Ashton had a top ten finish at the opening round of the series at the Oakleigh Go Kart Club and looked to build on this over the weekend.
The Formula K pilot got his weekend off to a great start running in the fastest few drivers in Saturday practice. With confidence high after Saturday’s pace Ashton was looking forward to Saturday morning qualifying. With the weather ultra cold and the track having little to no grip, it was going to be a tough session. Ardley hit the track in his Pro Karting powered entry and immediately put himself in the top ten but was unable to replicate his pace of Saturday. With improving pace, the Formula K karter moved his way up to seventh position by the end of timed session, resulting in this being his starting position for heat one.
After a difficult qualifying session under some grip deprived conditions, the team looked to make some changes going into heat one to try and improve Ashton’s position. Ardley unfortunately got a poor start, being hit from behind and dropping back two positions to end the last lap, in position nine. The Formula K driver struggled to make any further in roads due to the short laps in the heat races and the kart set up not quite being in the window. The Pro Karting powered driver continued to push on as hard as he could coming home inside the top ten for heat one in position nine.
With few positions dropped, Ashton was looking to heat two to try and improve forward. Ardley was looking and hoping for a clean get away in heat two but once again was involved in drama, being hit by another karter, causing him to hit the karter in front of him. The Formula K karter emerged from the opening lap incidents and went to work trying to move forward in position. After starting in position eleven, Ashton was able to make his way inside the top ten and continue to push forward with strong racing. The Pro Karting powered driver after making some clean overtakes, had made up three spots by races end and came home in position eight. This was only half a tenth off seventh spot with excitement now leading towards the final.
Ardley had his best and cleanest start of the weekend in the final. He was able to move from position eight up to seventh on the opening lap and was now pushing towards a top five result. The Formula K racer was in a battle outside the top five all race long. With some quick lap times set and some smooth overtakes the Pro Karting powered driver was able to get up as high as sixth place and that’s where he finished the final and the round.
Ashton was happy with the final result and his father Josh spoke of how it was a great improvement from his morning. “We didn’t have the best morning but overall, we were happy with his fight back in the final. He had the pace to be battling up in fourth place so we were happy”.
Ashton now looks to the final round of the series in October at the Go Kart Club of Victoria.