Cooper Folley head to Emerald Kart Club in his home state of Queensland for the penultimate round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship. Folley running in the oversubscribed Cadet 12 season and was looking to continue his 2022 season where the young driver has had lighting speed and good results.
Folley had qualifying on Friday afternoon after spending the day Friday learning the track and gaining some set up knowledge. Folley hit a hot Emerald Kart Club circuit for qualifying on Friday afternoon. The J & A Kart Tuning powered and sponsored entry was in the top 50% of drivers and quickly made his way into the top ten drivers. Cooper was pushing hard and continued to make his way forward through the field. Folley put in a blistering lap to put him up to position four on the times and this is where he stayed putting him on the front row of the grid for the split heats.
Heat one was the start of Saturday’s racing for Cooper where he was out of position two. Folley was able to take the lead after the opening lap and was right in the battle for the race lead. The Owen Bain Electrical backed entry was swapping places at the front before being shuffled back in outside the top five in the hard racing at the front. Cooper was able to regain momentum and crossed the line in sixth position.
Folley was disappointed after his opening heat and was looking to make his way back into contention in heat two. The Parolin Australia backed entry got a great start and once again took the lead off the start line. Cooper had battles throughout the race with Marco Manson, Hamish Campbell and Lucas Costanzo all wanting their shot in the lead. Folley in smooth calculated driving was able to take his first heat win of the weekend, keeping him right in contention with the front drivers.
Cooper had his final heat race of the day on Saturday in heat three but didn’t get the start he was after. The Shamick Racing sponsored entry dropped down to position five and now had his eyes forward. Folley showed brilliant speed and made his way up into the lead group and even took the lead of the race at stages. Cooper in the shuffling of the front pack crossed the line in fourth spot to finish his final race of Saturday.
Folley returned to the track on Sunday morning looking to make his way back to race victories. Unfortunately, Cooper’s day started on a low with a DNF result in heat four through no fault of the young drivers.
Folley was out of position fourteen and got a great start moving up three spots on the opening lap and pushing the top ten. Unfortunately, Cooper’s bad luck had stayed with him and his final finished on lap two in another DNF result.
Folley’s parents spoke post weekend on their young drivers tough Sunday and outright pace. “We are really happy with how Cooper drove this weekend with a heat win being the highlight. Unfortunately, we had bad luck on Sunday with 2 DNF’s through no fault of Coopers but despite this he stayed positive and determined which made us proud. Big thanks to Emerald Kart Club, the facilities were incredible and they did a fantastic job”.
Folley will be heading to the Newcastle Kart Club to contest the final round of the championship in August.