Jake Ristell took on the challenge of a first visit to Monarto at the Australian Kart Championship over the weekend. Ristell competed in the ultra-competitive Cadet 12 class out of his Tony Kart Australia package.
Jake used Friday to get up to speed with one of the hardest circuits in Australian Karting. After a big day of learning and gather information, the team was ready for Saturday morning qualifying. In a large field of over thirty drivers, Jake headed out and tried to get himself in a good position. Ristell under his Baron Engines power was sitting just outside the top twenty on pace in an extremely competitive qualifying session. Jake did a superb job improving his time, setting his personal best time of this weekend. Ristell set his best lap which was enough for position twenty five overall.
The team now looked to the heats where their game plan was to stay out of trouble and keep moving forward to gain good points. Ristell kept his kart on circuit off the start but had dropped back to position twenty seven in the opening lap incidents. The Ironman 4×4 backed entry dropped to position twenty eight before getting in a strong groove and making places back up. In a great second half of heat one, Jake made up four spots crossing the line in position twenty four.
Heat two came around and the Tony Kart Australia driver was looking to make up positions once again. Ristell got a clean get away and settle into position twenty five in the opening few laps. The GTEYE sponsored entry made a move for position twenty four and a few laps later went into position twenty three. In another improved effort Jake crossed the line in twenty third but was classified in position twenty two due to penalties in front of him.
Heat three was another positive start for Ristell jumping up into twenty fourth position at the end of lap one. The Baron Engines powered driver was in a battle on the edge of the top twenty five all race long. Jake was able to cross the line in position twenty four overall with Sunday now the aim for more track gains.
Sunday morning came around and Jake looked to his final heat to make up positions and points on his rivals. The Quality House & Land sponsored entry settled into position twenty five at the end of the opening lap. Ristell was able to go to work and pick up a couple of spots in the first half of the race. The Tony Kart Australia driver picked up another few spots in the back end of the race coming home with his best result of the weekend in position twenty one.
With a positive mind set going into the final after his best heat result of the weekend, Ristell was looking to have another best finish. The Tony Kart Australia driver settled into position twenty five off the start. Jake made two quick passes in the early stages moving up to position twenty three. On lap six and seven another two positions were made up with Jake now up to position twenty one. In the second half of the race Ristell made his final move coming home with another personal best in position twenty in the final! Ristell did get as high as eighteenth, but in the battles dropped back into position twenty in a strong result.
Driver Jake and his father Kristian spoke of the difficulties of a new track, but also the fun they had. “First time at Monarto, I used practice on Friday to learn the circuit and get up to speed in time for qualifying on Saturday morning. Qualified in 25th/32 setting a new PB in the process. It was our strategy for the weekend to stay out of trouble and finish each race due to the points accumulation system affecting starting positions for the final. We had some epic battles particularly in the final within the large mid field pack switching positions every lap I found myself as low down as 25th and as high as 18th, just getting pipped in the last few corners for 20th overall”.
Jake’s dad Kristian spoke of how proud he was of his sons first go at the circuit. “Very proud of Jakes performance this weekend going head to head with the best young drivers in the country at a new circuit for us”.
Jake and Kristian now look to the 2022 season to try and come back bigger and better!