Cooper Stapleton returned to Victorian Go Kart Racing circuit over the weekend. Cooper had been on a long break between races due to the latest Covid outbreak putting a stop to racing. Stapleton didn’t attend Saturday practice and it was also his first time on the hard compound tyres since January!
Cooper looked to Sunday morning qualifying to restart his karting season. With over twenty karters in the highly competitive Cadet 12 field, Stapleton new qualifying was going to be crucial as he needed to be as far up the grid as possible. The A1 Engines Motorsport sponsored and powered driver hit the track and was straight into the top ten, looking to make his way up the field. Cooper put himself in the top five battle as the session went on, improving his starting positions for the heats. The Brighton Alpine backed entry did a stellar job after no practice on Saturday, qualifying in fourth position and putting himself on the outside of the second row.
Heat one was upon Cooper but a lap one incident put the Cadet 12 front runner back in the field and in position twelve at the completion of lap one. By lap two the Pro Floor and Harrison Steele Salon backed entry was back in the top ten and on a march forward through the field. In a fast and slick recovery, Cooper was able to cross the line in position six. This was a great damage limitation race result after a poor start.
Cooper looked to heat two where he was looking to stay out of trouble off the start. The R&D Signage Solutions entry achieved a much better get away and settled into position four in the early stages. Stapleton was able to make a move on lap four to put himself in third position and was now going in chase of Jack Jenkins in second place. Cooper used all his A1 Engines Motorsport power but couldn’t close the margin enough coming home in position three overall.
Stapleton was once again out of fourth in heat three and stayed there in the first few laps. The Brighton Alpine backed entry made a move on Aston Hill for third spot and quickly moved into second on lap four. In his best result of the day so far, Cooper was able to come home in second position with confidence higher going into the final.
Stapleton new a clean get away was going to be crucial in challenge for victory in the final. Unfortunately, his halt for the win ended off the start, getting shuffled back and being in sixth spot at the end of lap one. The Pro Floor and Harrison Steele Salon entry showed great determination and was back into the top three by half race distance looking to continue his charge. Stapleton new the win was out of contention but had his head chasing Aston Hill for that second spot. In a stellar recovery drive the R&D Signage Solutions backed entry came across the line in second spot coming second overall for the day.
Cooper’s father Troy spoke post-race of the great result due to the circumstances they faced. “Considering Cooper hadn’t driven on hard tyres since January and had no practice on Saturday it was a good result to come away with position two. He has grown so much in the last seven months and it was a battle to make him fit in the kart. We’re now looking forward to the last round of the Australian Kart Championship in Monarto”.