James Lodge restarted his SP Tools Australian Kart Championship over the weekend at Bolivar Raceway. Lodge missed the opening round of the series due his Hyundai Excel racing commitments but restarted his championship over the weekend.
James had moved into the premier KZ2 gearbox class and had nearly a field of thirty five drivers to contend with. Lodge re-joining the Shamick Racing/Parolin Australia team was looking to start his weekend well.
Lodge showed good pace in Friday practice and was the first class out the gate Saturday morning. The Shamick Racing supported entry was starting to cut into his laps and was able to make his way into the top ten in an excellent showing. James, on his first outing in the KZ2 category, was mixing it with some of the countries best. Lodge in a scintillating lap was able to put himself on sixth on the grid for the opening two heats.
Lodge was looking forward to the first heat starting off the third row. Unfortunately, The Parolin Australian racer had ended his heat before it began, due to a mechanical failure through no fault of the Shamick Racing team.
James was back on the grid for heat two and he got away this time but dropped down to position eleven off the start. Lodge battled his way back inside the top ten as the heat went on, making his way up to position nine overall. James crossed the line in position nine but due to a post-race infringement dropped down the order to be classified in position eleven.
Due to his DNF and eleventh place finish, James was starting out of position seventeen for the third heat. Lodge once again unfortunately had a poor start, dropping to the rear of the near thirty five kart field. The Shamick Racing supported driver put his head down and started to make his way forward, on track that was hard to overtake on. James made up eight positions and was able to cross the line in position twenty seven overall.
Starting down in position twenty two for heat four Lodge was looking for a good start and that was exactly what he got. The Parolin Australia supported driver moved up six spots on the opening lap and had the eyes on to move forward. KZ2 being one of the hardest class in the challenge threw up multiple curve balls with James dropping down as low as position twenty. Lodge was able to fight back forward to position nineteen and finish there to complete the heats.
Position twenty was the final starting point for James in the final. The Shamick Racing supported entry got a clean get away and was battling inside the top twenty for position. In an unfortunate end to his weekend, Lodge’s weekend ended on lap eighteen resulting in a DNF to complete his weekend.
James’ father Simon spoke post weekend. “It was a sensational start to the weekend qualifying in position six. After this things didn’t go our way but James and the Shamick Racing Parolin guys never gave up. We’re looking forward to a great season of karting and Hyundai Excel racing in 2022”.
Lodge will be back on track this weekend for the Victorian State Championships in the X30 Class.