Jace Matthews went into the final round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship leading both X30 and KA3 Senior. Matthews had been the dominant driver in the X30 ranks taking out three of the four round wins and adding a Victorian Kart Championship as well.
While Matthews hadn’t won a round in the KA3 Senior class, the defending champion had been super consistent and was on top of the points going into Newcastle. Matthews hit the track for KA3 Senior in qualifying and was trying to get as far up the grid as possible. In a field of 36 drivers Matthews was able to put himself in 3rd spot on the grid, right behind his championship rival Alex Ninovic.
Jace didn’t quite have the pace he was looking for in the all important heat races but he was still able to run in the top 5 and keep his championship aspirations alive. Ninovic his rival was off pole position for the final, with Matthews out of position number 4.
Jace was able to put in a storming opening lap of the final to take the lead and throw his hat in the ring for the title. The intensity was high as Matthew’s lead for the opening 5 laps with his championship rival right behind him. In a heart breaking incident, Jace came together with his championship rival dropping him out of contention in the final and for the championship. Matthews, defiant as any, brought his CXR Race Engines machine home and clinched 2nd position in the KA3 Senior championship!
Matthews hit the track for X30 and knew qualifying was going to be a huge part of his weekend. Jace was able to nail his hot laps and put himself on pole position.
Matthew’s had a championship defining day on Saturday taking out 2 heat wins and 2nd in the other. Jace was able to take out the 4th and final heat having him off pole position for the final race of the season. Matthew’s was in a tough battle with Troy Farley Race Engine’s Jackson Sousin-Harlow and Rush Performances Gianmarco Pradel. Jace drove on gamely and was able to come home on the podium in 3rd spot overall.
After 5 rounds including 3 victories, a podium and a top 5, Matthew’s was crowned the 2022 X30 SP Tools Australian Kart Champion!
Jace spoke post weekend on his 2 title chases and his up coming race in Italy at the world championships. “We went into the weekend with a chance to win 2 Australian titles. X30 has always been my target as it has some of the best drivers in the country and the competition is so close. To win this title was a great feeling.
“Unfortunately, in KA3 we did not have the pace we were hoping for but still to be leading the final showed that we worked hard to get more speed – unfortunately did not turn out the way we had hoped. But 2 Australian titles in two years and 2nd in two highlights the effort out team puts in and without all their support none of this is possible.
“In 2 weeks I head over to the OK world championships in Italy with the factory Kart Republic team. Will give it our best and make Australia proud.”
Matthews will be a driver making his presence felt on the world stage in Italy in a fortnights time.