Ashton Cattach took to the second round of the Victorian Metro Series at the Eastern Lions Kart Club over the weekend. Cattach, in only his third meeting since moving up from the junior ranks was up against a competitive KA3 Senior Light field. Ashton had a former national champion, current state champion and many strong Australian Kart Championship contenders to deal with and was in for a tough but exciting weekend.
Saturday practice was crucial to Cattach getting as much track time in his Tony Kart, getting the best window for Sunday morning qualifying. Ashton was able to set times inside the top ten in Saturday afternoon practice and the excitement was building towards qualifying on Sunday morning. Ashton hit the track for qualifying in his Luscombe Automotive sponsored entry, but bad luck struck the newly graduate senior driver. An unfortunate spark plug failure on the opening lap of qualifying meant Ashton didn’t set a time and was starting the opening heat of the rear of the grid in position eighteen overall.
With disappointment there from qualifying, Cattach and the team put all their energy to heat one. Cattach was starting off the rear of the grid and was looking to get a clean get away. The Ringwood Kart Centre sponsored entry achieved a great start, moving up three spots and had his head down to make up more positions. With the heat races only being seven laps, Ashton only had limited laps to get his Tony Kart up the field and continued to push. With pace as fast as the leading drivers, Cattach was able to move up to position twelve by the finish making up six spots from his starting position, in a good fight back from an unlucky qualifying session.
Due to his heat two finishing position Cattach was out of position thirteen and was looking to continue his drive forward. The Luscombe Automotive backed entry achieved another strong start, making his way up into the top ten off the start. Ashton showed great pace and was up into position eight by lap three, looking extremely dangerous. Just when the Ringwood Kart Centre sponsored entry was looking on for another strong result, he was taken out in an incident and put to the rear of the field. Due to this, Cattach came home in position seventeen making up one more spot once he rejoined the track. This resulted in the Tony Kart racer starting out of position sixteen for the final.
After a disappointing second heat the team was desperate to have a good result, looking to show Ashton’s true race pace. The Ringwood Kart Centre had another smooth start, jumping up to position thirteen of the start. Cattach put the head down immediately, looking to pass some karts and put in a good showing. By lap four the Luscombe Automotive backed entry was into the top ten, making up six spots in the opening four laps. With the longer final, the Tony Kart driver was able to close in on the battle in front and made his way up two more spots into position eight. In a close finish Ashton came home in position eight, just behind seventh spot in a massive final race fight back.
Ashton noted post-race he had some difficulties but he was happy with his final. “Unfortunately, I had some bad luck but I was really happy with my pace all day – which was front field pace. My comeback for the final was uplifting but would have been even better if I had another lap or 2”.
Cin Cattach, Ashton’s mother was proud of her sons positive attitude and determination after a tough start to the day. “Ashton drove really well and stayed positive and determined. His pace was right up there with the leaders all day but due to some bad luck and not qualifying – he had a tough job to try to get through a big strong field of 18 from the very back and with only 2 heats of 7 laps to do it”.
Cattach will race at his local club day next before taking on the Australian Kart Championship at the Eastern Lions Kart Club next month.