Cooper Stapleton had his first run at the Eastern Lions Kart Club over the weekend since joining the KA4 Junior Light ranks. Stapleton was looking to gain more experience and more mileage is his PCR Junior package before important meetings over the next few months.
In a field of seventeen drivers, Cooper was looking to start his weekend strong and get as close to pole position as possible. Stapleton under his A1 Engines Motorsport power hit the track Sunday morning and was ready to put his best foot forward. Cooper immediately made his way into the top ten and then into the top five pushing hard for pole position. Stapleton was throwing everything in his race craft at the session and was one of the main chances in the field. In a great display, in just his third junior meeting and first time at the track as a junior, Cooper qualified in position three on the inside of the front row.
Stapleton was on the inside of the second row to start heat one and was looking to get a good start. The Brighton Alpine backed entry was then in a fast and thick battle dropping back to position four in the mid stages. In a mega move and overtake, Cooper was able to pass two karts in the one move and go back up into second spot. Stapleton held on for position two in a great start to his racing weekend.
Stapleton was looking to keep the good start to the day rolling in heat two once again starting out of position three. The R&D Signage Solutions backed entry didn’t get the start he had in heat one, dropping back to position five at the end of the opening lap. Cooper stayed there in the first half of the race before making a move for position four on lap four. Stapleton tried to close in on the lead three but had to settle for fourth position.
Cooper’s points from the opening two heats had him out of position three for third heat and looking to bounce back from heat two. The Harrison Steele Salon backed entry jumped to position two off the start and stalked race leader Joanne Ciconte. Stapleton dropped back to position three as Benjamin Munro went past. Cooper didn’t quite have enough pace to match the two race leaders coming home in position three, around a second behind the two race leaders.
The team made a few kart changes going into the final and Cooper was determined to be in the battle for the race win. The Connect Sport Australia backed entry got his best start of the weekend jumping into position two by turn one and into the lead by turn two. Stapleton led the field on the opening lap but was once again in a tough battle with Munro and Ciconte. Cooper drove his heart out and was right behind the top two all-race long in an improved display. The top three drivers in the field were separated by half a second at the line with Stapleton coming home in position three in the final and third overall for the day.
Cooper was wrapped with the day after not going in with high expectations. “I was really excited with my first ever podium since moving up to Juniors. l hope l can achieve many more in the future”.
Stapleton will be back behind the wheel in two weeks at the opening round of the Australian Kart Championship at Todd Road.