Former Australian Kart Championship round winner and current state champion Reece Cohen took on the opening round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship at the Go Kart Club of Victoria.
Cohen has changed chassis over the off season and has jumped aboard a Parolin entry while continuing his partnership with Top Gun Racing. The team struggled in Thursday and Friday practice and was looking to make gains going into qualifying.
Cohen hit the track with thirty five other hungry KZ2 races looking to put his best foot forward. The team had improved the kart from Friday practice and was only around four tenths of the pole position lap. Reece tried as hard as he could but due to his height he was struggling compared to a lot of the smaller drivers in his field. While only being four tenths of pole position, Cohen could only set the twenty second best time of the session leaving him with plenty of work to do in the heats.
Reece was going to have to use all his race experience and that is exactly what he did in the hear one start. By the time he had made his way down to turn one the Top Gun Racing driver had moved up seven spots! Cohen continued to push hard and due to some incidents around him, moved up more spots and pushed the top ten. In a dramatic and awesome turn around from qualifying, Cohen crossed the line in position eleven!
The team were looking to continue the good start to the racing weekend. Cohen had another blistering start in heat two moving up to position eight by the first corner. The Top Gun Racing driver dropped back a few spots but was always battling on the edge of the top ten. Reece and the team were still looking for overall pace but his driving was keeping him right in the battle and moving him up the field. Cohen was able to come home just outside the top ten in position eleven.
Due to his opening two heat results and many incidents around him, Cohen was starting a lot further up the grid. The Top Gun Racing driver burst into the top five by the end of the opening lap and was going great guns. The Paroling kart was working well with Cohen staying right up near the front of the field. Reece did drop one spot as the race went on but put in his best performance of the weekend coming home in position six overall in a great Saturday recovery!
Sunday morning came around and Cohen was out of position seven for his final heat and was looking to once again move forward. The Top Gun Racing driver moved up to sixth in the opening lap but had a seat bolt come loose, making the kart hard to drive. Reece did the best he could but didn’t have the pace he had in the previous races and went down the order to cross the line in position fifteen overall.
The team regrouped, repaired the kart and now looked to the final to turn things around. Starting off the fourth row of the grid inside the top ten was a good starting spot for Cohen who was looking to finish on a high. The Top Gun Racing driver moved up to sixth in the early stages and was giving it his all to come home with the best result possible. The team didn’t quite have the package to fight hard in the top ten. Reece gave it everything he had coming home in position twelve in the final and left the opening round in position eleven on the championship points!
Reece’s dad Darren spoke post weekend. “I think this weekend showed his age in his driving. Unfortunately, his height is playing a role and making his setup harder to be in the window then others. His driving and decisions were very impressive. Turning twenty this year he is turning into a wiser and more mature driver”.
Cohen will be back at the next round at Bolivar looking to move up the championship points!