Braden Clark was the runner up in the Victorian Kart Championship in 2021 out of the Oakleigh Go Kart Club and was looking to go one better in 2022.
Clark was back racing in the KA3 Senior Medium category at the Eastern Lions Kart Club over the weekend. Clark, in a field of twenty five karters, had a weekend of tough and fast racing. Clark had excellent pace on Friday practice and showed he was going to be right in the battle for pole position!
The Australian Go Kart Spares backed entry was able to go straight up in the top group and looked a live chance for pole position! Braden was able to set a lap time just five thousandths of second off pole position and in second spot to start on the front row of the grid. Clark who is an ambassador for the Shaka Project for mental health was wrapped and now looking to heat one to try start his racing well!
Clark was starting on the outside of the front row and was going to have to work hard to get into a nice spot at turn one. The DSI Engines powered and backed entry settled into third spot at the end of lap one but dropped to fourth and now had work to do. Braden dropped as low as fifth spot but had his head down and then made a spot back up for position four. Clark then made his way back into the top three on the second last lap and came home with third spot overall!
Braden was able to get in a much cleaner opening few laps settling into third spot right behind the two lead drivers. The Shaka Project ambassador was in a three way fight for the lead and was setting fastest laps of the race showing his pace and determination! In a close battle with only four tenths of a second separating the top three drivers, Clark was able to come away with third spot to round out his Saturday racing!
Clark was excited for the Sunday finals and was starting out of position three for the third heat. The Australian Go Kart Spares backed entry was right in the thick of the battle early settling into fourth spot. Braden did an amazing job to make his way up back as high second spot and was continuing to battle hard at the front. Unfortunately, while battling hard at the front of the field, Clark was involved in an incident dropping him outside the top ten. Braden was able to recover for eleventh spot hurting his final chances.
Due to Braden’s final heat result he was starting out of position four for the final. The DSI Engines powered entry dropped back to position six off the start but quickly made his way back up to fifth. Clark did a brilliant job to run inside the top five all race. Just when Clark looked like he was on for fifth place an incident occurred between two drivers in front of him, resulting in him getting up on the podium in third sport overall.
Braden’s father Graham spoke post weekend on his son’s weekend. “We missed out on pole position by five thousand of a second, was second fastest in heat one, fastest in heat two, fourth fastest in heat three and second fastest in the final. To overcome a few challenges, be so consistently fast and finish third in the final out of twenty five quality drivers is a very proud achievement”.
Clark will be a driver continually shaking up the 2022 karting season!