Mathew Basso headed to Ballarat over the weekend with one goal and one goal only, to become the 2022 Victorian Country Series champion.
Basso went into the final round of the championship as the overall leader after taking round victories and multiple podiums. With wet and wild weather predicted for the weekend, Mathew was looking to close out the overall championship.
With the championship deciding round being conducted over 2 days, Basso was into qualifying on Saturday morning and was looking to put himself in a front spot. Mathew very quickly put himself into the top 5 drivers and was putting his best foot forward for pole position. Basso was able to stop the clock on the front row in 2nd spot, behind Australian Kart Championship round winner William Thompson.
Heat 1 was under drying conditions and Mathew was looking to try and grab as many points as he could. Basso settled into position 3 off the start but was able to quickly work his way back into 2nd spot and try and chase after the race leader. Mathew looked on for a solid 2nd position before being unfortunately shuffled back on the final lap! Basso crossed the line in 6th position and was determined to bounce back in the 2nd heat.
The final race on Saturday was heat 2 and Basso was looking to finish his day on a high. Mathew was shuffled back to position 4 on the opening lap but was quick to go to work. Basso made the move for 3rd spot on lap 2 and then went up to 2nd on lap 3. Mathew was showing excellent speed in 2nd spot but had lost ground to the race leader. Basso finished his Saturday on a high with a strong 2nd place and excellent championship points.
Basso had his final heat race on Sunday morning and was looking to be right in the fight for victory. Mathew settled into 3rd spot but then quickly made the move into 2nd spot and had the eyes forward looking for victory. Basso looked on for another strong 2nd place before hitting a wet patch into turn 1 on the final lap, causing an uncharacteristic mistake. Mathew ended up with a DNF result and went into the final with championship on the line.
Mathew had to finish in the top 3 to take home the championship, the young driver was fully focused to take the win. Basso slotted into position 5 at the end of the opening lap and knew he had to dig deep. Mathew was in a battle at the edge of the top 5 before making the moved for 3rd spot on lap 8. Basso was able to hold his nerve from there and come home on the podium in 3rd and become the 2022 Victorian Country Series champion!
Mathew’s father Paul spoke post weekend on the championship triumph. “It has been a long series and we came into the final round with a very narrow lead in the championship standings. We knew what we had to do and who we needed to finish in front of. We had a plan and Mathew executed it perfectly except for a little off-track excursion in heat 3”.
Mathew’s team manager from Melbourne Kart Centre James Sera was wrapped with his young drivers win. “Mathew drove exceptionally well all year and has had all his efforts rewarded in winning the Championship. The team from Melbourne Kart Centre are looking forward to having this young charger in the team again for 2023 and beyond”.
Mathew was full of excitement and relief post weekend to take the title. “I am so excited to have finally won this series. The last time we raced the series was back in 2019 as COVID forced the cancelation of this event in 2020 and 2021 and back in 2019, I came second by the smallest margin in the history of the series so I am over the moon to have finally done it”.
Mathew would like to thank all of his partners that make his racing possible with a special thanks to Melbourne Kart Centre for all their support and guidance throughout 2022. Thanks to Castrol Racing, UNIT Clothing, NGK Spark Plugs, MEARTH Electric Scooters, Atlas Neck Braces, Oakley Australia, Platinum Potions, Mayhem Tools, Ethika, PREPD Hydration, Albek Luggage, SAKA Water, 808 Dude, Secure Max & Co, Bakers Delight, Raceline Motorsports Racewear, New Balance and MotiV8 Training.