Elliott Cleary took to the final round of the Australian Kart Championship over the weekend looking to finish his season in style. Elliott has had a break out season in 2021 taking podium results in the Australian Kart Championship, Rotax Pro Tour and New South Wales Premier State Cup just to name a few.
Cleary, running out of the Tom Williamson Motorsport stable, showed strong pace on Friday setting the fourth fastest time to end the day. A good set up and in tune driver had the team looking to Saturday morning qualifying to start the event strong. Cleary hit the track just after none o’clock Saturday morning and was determined to start his weekend in strong fashion. Elliott immediately put himself inside the top ten and was in the battle for the all important pole position. The KA2 class was once again racing with extreme intensity and fast pace with the top ten drivers only separated by just over two tenths. Cleary threw everything in his arsenal at qualifying, setting the fifth fastest time.
After leaving it all out on the track Elliott was starting off the inside of the third row of the grid. Heat one was upon the team and they were looking for a clean and effective start to his racing. Cleary achieved a clean get away and slotted into position six off the start, right behind the top five drivers. Elliott stayed in position six for the first half of the race before making a move for fifth on lap six. When a top five result looked to be on the cards, Elliott got wide and loose on the final lap dropping back to position seven to round out heat one.
A little bit of disappointment followed from heat one so Elliott was looking to bounce back in heat number two. Clearly had a rough start to of the race, dropping back to position seven at the end of the opening lap. With a bumpy few opening laps and down in tenth, young Elliott had to put his head down and dig deep. In a strong fightback from a poor start, Cleary was able to make his way back up the order by race end coming home in position seven once again.
After a couple of tough starts, Elliott was determined to make a positive start in heat three to try and make his racing easier. Cleary got a lighting start and jumped up to fourth by the end of the opening lap. In an impressive drive Elliott stalked the top three finishing only three tenths behind second and third in an improved position four. With an exciting finishing to Saturday, the team looked to Sunday!
Finals day came around and was looking to get his day started in the best possible fashion in heat four. Elliott got a clean start settling in sixth at completion of lap one. Set up changes had been made by the team between heat three and four in an attempt to improve kart pace. Due to these changes in set up, the kart had gone backwards in pace making it hard for Cleary in his race. Dropping down as low as position eleven, Elliot was able to drive his way back into the top ten coming home in position nine overall.
The final had arrived and the Tom Williamson Motorsport stable driver was starting out of position seven. After a start line incident, Elliott was down in eleventh position outside of the top ten. Like a true champion, Cleary put his head down and drove like a karter possessed back up through the field. In an amazing fight back, Elliott was able to come home in fifth overall, setting the fastest lap of the race by over two tenths in a remarkable fightback!
Elliott and his dad Smiley spoke post-race of the highs and lows of the final round of the Australian Kart Championship. “I know Elliott had higher expectations on himself for the weekend but I’m so proud of him, I thought he was brilliant in the final”. Smiley told.
Elliott spoke of the learnings he took out of the weekend. “I qualified position five and finished there, which is a good result but not quite what I had my heart set on. I know where I stuffed up so we learn and move on”.
This was Elliott’s first attempt at the Australian Kart Championship and will be a driver to watch in 2022. Elliott and his family would like to thank all of their sponsors Peppermintblue music publishing, Barney Martin hair, Smith Fuetrill Accounts, Dawn promotions, Our friends agency, Executor tours, Night Grooves entertainment and Perfect Havoc records UK.