James Lodge returned to the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship last weekend at the penultimate round of the championship. Lodge made the long trek to the sunshine state taking his place in the premier KZ2 gearbox class.
James has been making steady progress across the season with his pace and his quest to get to the front of the grid. Lodge was once again running under the Parolin Australia and Shamick Racing banner and was ready to put his best foot forward.
Lodge hit the track Saturday morning for his timed qualifying session. James had used Friday to get himself up to speed and getting his set up strong. The Parolin Australia karter quickly put himself into the top thirty and then made his way into the top twenty five. With nearly forty karts and super competitive times, James was in a tough battle in the star studded class. Lodge finished qualifying by setting the twenty second fastest time, while only being four tenths off pole position!
Saturday morning was where Lodge’s racing started and he was looking to make his way forward. The Shamick Racking karter got a clean get away settling into position twenty three at the end of lap one. James then put his head down and quickly made his way into the top twenty. Lodge was setting great pace and blistering his way through the field making his way into the top fifteen. The Parolin driver was able to make his way into position thirteen by the finishing flag in a great recovery!
Lodge hit the track for second heat and was moving up a few spots in the early laps and looked to charge through the field once again. James’ race unfortunately came to an end on lap five, where he pulled off the track with a DNF result.
Lodge was out of position twenty eight for the third heat and got a clean start settling into position inside the thirty. The Parolin Australia karter was making his way forward but struggled for track position unlike heat one. James crossed the line in position twenty seven but was classified in position twenty nine due to a post-race infringement.
Sunday came around and James was looking to make his way forward from position twenty eight in heat four and the final. Lodge had a blistering start and by lap five was up into the top twenty and on the march forward. The Shamick Racing karter continued his progress forward and was showing excellent speed. James continued to race hard and made his way even further up the field and into the top fifteen by the back end of the race. Lodge put in another brilliant heat crossing the line in twelfth position moving up sixteen spots across the heat!
Position twenty two was the starting position for the final for James and he had the eyes on to make his way up the field. A poor start hurt Lodge’s chances, dropping back to position twenty nine on the opening lap. The Parolin Australia driver went to work and started to make his way forward across the final. In a nice recovery, Lodge was able to make up five spots from lap one and cross the line in a credible position twenty four overall.
James father Simon spoke post weekend on his son’s weekend of racing. “It was an up and down weekend. James showed his true pace in heat one and heat four but the start in the final really hurt us. We’ll continue to work hard and come back stronger at the next one”.
Lodge will be back for the final round of the championship at the Newcastle Kart Club next month.