Ashton Ardley was a young driver making a name for himself before the Covid enforced break! Ashton was making his way further up the grid every time he hit the circuit. Before the young drivers three-month break, he had a breakthrough performance at the Eastern Lions Kart Club Championship round, putting his Formula K on pole position and taking a few heat wins.
Ardley after the long Covid break was back racing in the KA4 Junior Light class with nearly twenty karts in his field ready to do battle over the weekend.
Qualifying was the first time Ashton had hit the track with no Saturday practice, meaning a quick driver break in was required. Ardley’s Pro Karting powered kart was fast straight out of the box and he was into the battle for the top five. The Formula K karter made his way inside the top three looking quick and in the battle for pole position in the large field. Ashton set the third fastest time of the session out of nineteen drivers, putting him on the inside of the second row for the heats.
Heat one and Ardley got a great launch and jumped straight into second, behind pole sitter Benjamin Munro. The Pro Karting powered driver ran in second place for a majority of the race but was in a battle for the final podium spot with Francisco Morales. After a hard-fought battle Ardley settled for a strong position three, continuing his strong start to the weekend.
Ardley unfortunately didn’t get the start he was after, getting bumped on the formation lap and getting a three second penalty for leaving the tram tracks at the start of the race. Due to the bump the Formula K karter dropped back down over ten positions and had plenty of work to do. Ashton fought his way back through the field into the top ten. With stronger pace and slick passes, Ardley crossed the line in position eight but was classified in position ten due to his three second penalty.
Ardley’s misfortune continued in heat three, with a power issue noticeable of the start. The Formula K karter was losing up to ten kilometers on the straight and due to this dropped positions throughout the race. Through strong corner speed and determination, Ardley was able to hold onto position eight, a great result due to the circumstances.
After a change of spark plug and carby jet adjustments the team head out for the final hoping for a strong result. Unfortunately, the bad luck of heat two and three had stuck with Ashton and his engine issues continuing. Ardley wasn’t able to start the race due to his lack of power and in a disappointing end to the weekend, came away with position eleven overall.
Ashtons talked post final of the mixed day. “There were a couple of positives to the day. I set my fastest ever lap at Eastern Lions Kart Club on the YDS tyres and my outright pace was up there with the fastest. We will investigate the problems with the engine, complete some more track testing and be back bigger and better at the next event”.
Ardley will now look to his next race meet to bounce back!