Lady racer Zara Horn took on the final round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship over the weekend at the Newcastle Kart Club. Zara, running in the TAG 125 class under the Topgun Racing banner, was looking to continue her progress over the 2022 championship.
Horn had a field of 38 drivers to contend with and was ready to get racing! Horn used Friday to get as much practice as possible on her driving and kart setup.
Zara hit the track on Saturday morning for her all-important qualifying session. The Yes Optus sponsored entry quickly worked her way into the top 30 and was looking to get inside the top 20 drivers. Horn was improving as the session went on and was getting her way further up the grid. Zara stopped the clock in position 20 overall where she would start the opening 2 heats.
Heat 1 was the racing starting point for Horn and she was looking to get a clean get away. The Topgun Racing backed entry got a clean get away and was up into position 19 at the close of the opening lap. Zara was up as high as position 17 during the race but was shuffled back in the mid pack battle outside the top 20 drivers. Horn crossed the line in position 24 of heat 1 and looked to the 2nd heat to turn things around.
Horn got another great start in heat 2 and was pushing the top 15 drivers before being putting to the rear of the field on lap 4. Zara pushed hard and recovered for position 29 which had her out of position 28 for heat 3.
Horn had another tough heat race being put to the rear of the field twice in the opening 5 laps. The Clarety and Teaming Works sponsored entry once again put her head down to make her way back into the top 30. Zara crossed the line in position 29 and was looking to Sunday to turn things around.
Position 29 was the starting point for Zara in heat 4 and she was looking to make up positions across the heat. The Yes Optus backed entry got a great start and was up into the top 25 in the early stages. Horn’s bad luck continued once again be out to the back of the 38 kart field. Zara regrouped and got herself back up into the top 30 and crossed the line in position 27.
Position 27 was the starting position for the final and Horn was looking to make her way into the top 20. The Topgun Racing driver got an excellent start and moved up 6 positions on the opening lap of the race. Zara continued to push hard and in the second half of the race was inside the top 20 and as high as position 18. Horn was unfortunately turned around with 4 laps to go where she dropped 4 positions to cross the line in position 22.
Zara spoke post weekend on her championship and final round in Newcastle. “Overall, I’m happy with my progress this year. This was my first year in AKC so I knew there would be a lot to learn. I set a realistic goal of working my way through the back third of the pack in the first half of the year and then finishing in the middle third in the second half of the year.
“In the final of Round 5 I worked my way to 18th before getting turned around with four laps to go, and crossing the line in 22nd. So, I achieved my goal which I’m happy with given this is only my second year in karting and the field is made up of great drivers like Leigh Nicolaou, Zach Heard and the rest of the guys. I achieved my goal, but there’s a lot more in me yet for 2023”.
Horn will be looking to come back bigger and stronger in the 2023 season.