Riley Harrison made the trip from South Australia to the Newcastle Kart Racing Club for the weekends New South Wales Kart Championship. Harrison has had a stellar season in 2022 including 3rd in the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship, victory at round 3 of the series and taking out the Northern Territory state championship. Harrison was up against a field of a near 25 drivers and was ready to do battle!
Harrison used Friday practice to get as much speed and as much of a set up window as possible before Saturday morning qualifying. The Xpert Electrical & Air sponsored entry quickly made his way into the top 10 and was then into the top 5 battling for pole position. Riley was doing a superb job punching out fast lap and had himself right in the battle for pole position. Harrison stopped the clock on the 2nd row in 4th position overall to start his weekend!
Heat 1 was under dry conditions and Riley was looking to try and move his way up the grid. The Kartclass team driver got a clean start and moved into the top 3 on the 2nd lap and chased after the 2 race leaders. Harrison made his way onto the back of the top 2 drivers as it became a 3-way fight for victory in the dying stages of the race. Riley put in a nice performance to settle for 3rd spot and grab some great points to his tally.
The tough conditions were on the track for heat 2 and Riley was able to get a scintillating start jumping from 4th to 1st on the opening lap. The Parolin kart was in the window and Harrison was pulling away from the rest of the pack at the front of the field. Riley was able to put in a brilliant race taking victory in the 2nd heat by a near 4 seconds!
Harrison had himself off pole position for the 3rd and final heat on Saturday. Riley was able to open up margin in the early stages with the young driver showing awesome pace in the wet and wild conditions. Harrison was well clear when he made an uncharacteristic mistake in the early stages, going off at turn 1 and ending his 3rd heat.
Riley was ready to turn things around on Sunday and started his final heat race out of 9th position. The Xpert Electrical & Air backed entry got a terrific start and was chasing hard on the back of the top 5. Harrison did some excellent moves and fast racing to make his way into the top 5 in an excellent recovery drive. In a damage limitation race, Riley crossed the line in 3rd position overall which put him out of 6th spot for the championship decider.
Harrison was ready for the championship decider and got a great start moving into the top 5 on the opening lap. The Kartclass driver was quickly into the top 3 on the 4th lap and chasing after the top 2. Riley made his way into the lead on lap 8 and was then in the battle the New South Wales state championship. Harrison put in a stellar final 10 laps to hold his position and take his 2nd state championship for the 2022 season!
Riley’s father Scott spoke post weekend on his young driver’s 2nd blue plate of the season! “It’s an amazing feeling when you win these big titles. Riley had to do it from back in the field but never gave up and drove like the champion he is. A big thank you to David Sera from Kartclass, Anthony Bartolo from J & A Kart Tuning, Parolin Australia for the kart and Tom Williamson for all of his help and advice over the weekend”.
Harrison will now head back to his home state to take on the South Australian State Championships at the Go Kart Club of South Australia!