Braden Clark returned to the Go Kart Club of Victoria over the weekend for the 36th running of the Panduit City of Melbourne Kart Titles. Clark is having a terrific season to date including club level round wins, open level round wins and a podium at the Victorian Kart Championship earlier in the season.
The Todd Road complex is a place Braden has had success at and the team were looking to replicate that in the KA3 Senior Medium class. Clark hit the track for Saturday morning qualifying and was looking to be right in the battle for top positions. The Australian Go Kart Spares supported entry quickly made his way into the 10 drivers and was setting laps on the edge of the top 5. The session was fast and skilled with multiple current or former state champions racing in the field. Clark finished the 6 minute timed session in position 8 overall where he would start for the opening 2 heats.
The start was going to be crucial down to the opening corner and Braden was able to get a good opening lap in moving up 2 positions. The DSI Engines powered entry made his way into the top 5 and was in the que of the long lead pack. Clark swapped positions as the race went on, just dropping outside the top 5 in a hectic race. Braden was only 2 and half seconds off the race win crossing the line in position 7 in a competitive race.
Clark was looking once again to get a positive start to the race and did so by staying inside the top 10. The Eastern Lions Kart Club member was racing around the edge of the top 5 in another close hard fought heat. Braden was shuffled back outside the top 10 in the back end of the race in some close racing. Clark was able to make his way back into the top 10 and crossed the line in position 10 by races end.
Position 8 was the starting position for Clark on Sunday morning where he looked to continue his hard weekend of racing. Braden got a clean get away and moved up a spot in the early laps of the race. The Australian Go Kart Spares supported entry was racing on the edge of the top 5 and was once again showing he was giving his all trying to stay with the front group. Clark finished the race only 4 seconds from the race lead in position 7 overall.
The 17 lap final was going to be a close run affair and Braden was on the inside of the fourth row. The DSI Engines powered entry dropped down to position 8 on the opening few laps but was right in the battle pack, near the front and inside the top 10. Clark drove his heart out in the final and was in a battle pack from position 5 all the way through to position 9. In another consistent and hard fought result, Braden crossed the line in position 8 in the championship deciding final.
Braden’s father Graham spoke post weekend on his son’s weekend of racing. “We had so much fun with friends and colleagues that it didn’t seem to matter that we didn’t reach the high levels we’ve previously achieved at this event. We were fast in the end as we made progress with our new equipment, and this will stand us in good stead for future events. Thanks go to all our family and friends for support and understanding, all the team at Eastern Lions Kart Club, Bob at Australian Go Kart Spares and Dean from DSI for your dedication and technical assistance”.
Clark will be another driving with a busy finish to the 2022 season.