Declan Matthews made his way to the final round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship at the Newcastle Kart Club. Matthews was once again taking on the TAG 125 class and was looking to take 3rd spot in the championship.
Declan came into the final round behind in the points but was looking to move into the podium positions! Matthews hit the track Saturday morning for his all important qualifying session. The CXR Race Engines powered karter moved into the first half of the field before moving further forward into the top 10. Declan was driving the wheels off his kart but didn’t quite have the pace or set up to challenge for the top spots on the grid. Matthews stopped the clock in position 9 and now looked to the heats to try and move forward.
Matthews hit the track for heat 1 and knew he had to make a clean start to grab crucial points. Declan settled into position 10 in the opening lap before making his way up into position 8 by mid race. Matthews still lacking some of the pace he wanted, crossed the line in position 8 needing more pace out of his package.
Heat 2 was a race that didn’t go the way of the CXR racer dropping out of the race on lap 5. This had Matthews starting out of position 20 for the 3rd heat. Declan knew he had to make up as many spots as possible to keep himself in contention for the weekend. The CXR Race Engines powered driver got an excellent start moving up 3 spots on the opening lap and was into the top 15 by lap 3. Matthews continued his progress making his way into the top 10 by lap 9 and showing excellent pace. Declan crossed the line in position 8, making up 12 positions across the heat race!
Position 14 was the starting spot for Matthews in heat 4 on Sunday morning and he was looking to continue his progress forward. Declan got a lighting start moving up 4 spots on the opening lap and wanting more. The CXR Race engines pilot continued his charge forward and made his way into the top 5 across the race. Matthews crossed the line in position 5, setting the fastest lap of the race on the way!
Matthews had made his way up to position 11 for the final and knew he had the pace to move forward. Declan stayed in position 11 the opening few laps but by the half way point was already up to position 7. The CXR Race Engines powered entry was setting fastest lap and moved his way into the top 5. Matthews in a superb drive crossed the line in position 3 and on the podium.
Unfortunately, Declan received a two place penalty post-race which dropped him back to 5th position overall.
Matthews wasn’t able to clinch 3rd place in the championship and spoke post weekend on his racing. “I was struggling for pace Friday and Saturday making qually and the first of the heat racing a lot harder then I wanted it to be. I was throwing the kitchen sink at the kart each race and we came out in heat 3 with a kart that was fast enough for a podium.
“The next day we were able to start 20th and finish 8th. Was gutted to have 2 drop downs on Sunday causing me to lose out on the podium but that’s racing”.
Matthews will continue his 2022 season and will come back for the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship in 2023!