James Lodge made the trip interstate for the Newcastle City Cup / Australian Kart Championship shakedown event. Lodge who is running in the premier KZ2 six speed gearbox class for the first time in season 2022, was looking to continue his improvements and preparation for the final round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship.
James was once again running under the Parolin Australia team and he was looking to put his best results forward! Lodge spent the day utilising Friday practice to get himself and his Parolin kart up to speed. James hit the track for qualifying on Saturday morning against a field of twelve national level driver talents. The Shamick Racing sponsored driver immediately put himself in the top ten and he was pushing the top five drivers in the session. Lodge did a brilliant job to make his way into the top five and right in the battle for pole position in a tight session of qualifying. Lodge was able to put himself third on the grid, only nine hundredths of a second off pole position!
The excitement had built for Lodge starting off the inside of the second row for the opening heat of the weekend. The Parolin Australia entry was able to get a brilliant getaway and make his way into second position by the first corner. James was doing everything he could to go with race leader Jack Childs out at the front of the field. Lodge put in his best race result since joining the KZ2 field with a second position in heat one!
Position three was once again the starting spot for heat number two where Lodge slotted into third spot behind Childs and current SP Tools Australian Kart Championship leader Joshua Fife. James had his Parolin kart in the window and was able to hold down third position in the opening half of the race. Lodge continued his good racing and crossed the line in third position overall which had him off the front row for the third heat on Sunday morning.
Lodge was excited to be having his first front row start and was looking to get away cleanly into turn one. The Shamick Racing entry got a clean get away but unfortunately dropped back down to position four on the opening lap of the race. James was fighting his hardest inside the top five but dropped back to fifth spot in the second half of the race. Lodge was able to come through and grab another strong top five finish.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Lodge’s racing weekend ended after the third heat with an injury ruling him out for the rest of the weekend.
James’ father Simon spoke post weekend on his son’s results. “It’s really disappointing to have our weekend end like this. James was putting in his best weekend in the KZ2 by far mixing it up with Jack and Josh at the front of the field. The main thing is that James is ok and we look forward to coming back to Newcastle for the final round of AKC”.
Lodge will be back on the Newcastle Kart Club circuit in a few weeks for the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship decider!