Riley Blaxell headed to the final two rounds of the Premier State Cup over the weekend with one aim and one aim only, to be the New South Wales State Champion in Cadet 12.
Blaxell came away with a commanding lead when it came to points out of the opening round and was looking to take home his maiden state championship, and the coveted blue-plate title. Blaxell running out of the Tom Williamson Motorsport stable for the weekend showed strong pace on Friday and looked on song for Saturday morning qualifying.
In wet and slippery conditions Blaxell drove out on circuit to try and get his supported FA Alonso Kart up as far on the starting grid as possible. The Pace Images backed entry went straight to the top of the times and was in a battle for pole position with state champion Lewis Cordato and championship rival Hamish Campbell. In a dominant display in low grip conditions, Blaxell took pole position for the second round by a massive eight tenths of a second. This allowed Riley to grab crucial championship points over his rivals.
Heat one came around and Riley was looking to gain top points and gap his rivals. In nothing short of domination, the AMV Australia backed entry led away off pole position and took the win by over ten seconds. Riley made a huge statement for the rest of the weekend, once again taking maximum points.
Heat two and Blaxell wasn’t able to get the start he did in heat one slotting into second spot behind championship rival Campbell. The Panther Kart Chains backed entry stalked the back of the race leader all race long but had Cordato close in. Whilst looking to pass for the lead, Blaxell instead dropped a spot to Cordato on lap seven resulting in third place overall with more strong championship points.
The final came around and Riley once again slotted right in behind Campbell off the start with the battle reigniting from heat two. The Karting Addiction Australia sponsored driver stalked the back of the race leader but knew he had to also play the championship game and couldn’t afford a DNF result. Blaxell set the fastest lap in the race and in a close and calculated drive, he came away with second overall for the round and more valuable strong points to his championship assault.
Blaxell was out of position two to start his first heat on Sunday due to his finishing position on Saturday. Riley settled into third spot in the first few laps behind Campbell and James Cittolin. On lap three the Tom Williamson Motorsport supported driver went from third spot to the lead in a championship defining move. From there on Blaxell did not look back, taking the win in a huge moment for his championship assault.
Heat two came around and the FA Alonso Kart supported driver was able to take the lead off the start and once again not look back. Riley stretched away from Lewis Cordato in second place to take the victory by over four seconds, getting closer and closer to that Premier State Cup!
Cordato was able to get the jump on Blaxell in heat three and take the lead. The Pace Images sponsored driver stalked the back of the state champion applying pressure to the race leader while once again thinking about his championship. In close and fast racing, Cordato was able to take heat three with young Riley finishing second and effectively wrapping up the title. The young driver came across the line full of joy and excitement and now could go for victory in the final.
Blaxell had a tough opening lap dropping back to third spot behind his rivals Campbell and Cordato. The AMV Australia backed entry battled with the top two drivers all race long. When Riley was looking to come home in position three, a back marker incident fell the way of the state champion in waiting and he was able to come home with another second-place podium finish. Due to his results Blaxell was the newly crowned Cadet 12 New South Wales State Champion.
Riley’s father Nick couldn’t have been prouder of his young driver. “Riley approached the weekend with confidence knowing the weather would be wet, and he also had a clear idea of what he needed to do and when. We couldn’t be prouder of him; he races hard but fair and he deserves this after the dedication and hard work”.
Young Riley was also able to take out the Premier State Cup Junior Champion and was proud to be on the trophy with other great drivers. “It’s a great feeling to win my first blue plate and I’m proud to have received the Premier State Cup Junior Champion trophy and have my name on there with the likes of Cody Gillis”.
Borders permitting Blaxell will finish his season taking place in the final round of the Australian Kart Championship in South Australia next weekend.