With round three of the DPE Victorian Country Series getting underway, the halfway mark of the championship saw Mathew Basso and his team venture to Warrnambool commencing their assault on the KA3 Junior Light and Heavy classes once again. The weekend wasn’t without tension however, as the rapidly changing weather challenged both driver and mechanic to get their kart set ups within their operating window.
Practice got underway, Mat displaying yet again his speed isn’t limited to a single circuit. In both classes, Basso was able to charge to the top of the timing charts. With qualifying looking positive, Basso strutted to pole position in the KA3 Junior Heavy class by a handy 0.114, however, had to settle for P2 in KA3 Junior Light behind South Australian fast charger, Noah Enright.
As the wet weather began to beat down on the undulating Warrnambool circuit, the heats commenced. Mat yet again exhibited the dominance that has hallmarked his 2023 season to date, clean sweeping his KA3 Junior Heavy heats with his largest winning margin being just under 10 seconds!
KA3 Junior Light was a closer set of affairs, Basso putting together a solid drive in heat one to take a strong second place, before realising the timing transponder wasn’t on the kart – resulting in a Did Not Start (DNS). Mat channelled his frustrations from heat one, putting together a string of masterful drives, responding from the back of the grid starting position with a masterful drive to P3 in the second heat before taking an emphatic victory in heat 3, that saw him charge his way to the top of the field after starting in seventh.
The finals ensued, with dry weather making a popular appearance at last – the team at MBR were confident with their dry-running pace. Lights out and Mat was able to hold the lead, head down early to extend his margin to second place. After a long 16-lap final, Basso emerged yet again on top – winning by an extravagant 10-second gap to trample the rest of the KA3 Junior Heavy opposition.
Despite the setbacks earlier in the weekend, Mat’s remarkable speed through the rest of his heats set the stage for a blockbuster Light finale. As the flag dropped, 18 screaming karts charged into the opening chicane with Mat getting an excellent start, jumping from 10th to fourth in the first lap alone. As the top four jostled for position, Basso quickly found himself moving into the lead as his predecessor, Noah Enright, made a mistake whilst out front. Like round two, Enright and Basso duelled it out for the class spoils. As the two charged into turn one the Enright kart locked up in the corner entry, with Mat taking evasive action to avoid a collision by steering wide onto the grass – resulting in him dropping out of the top 5. Mat put the pedal to the metal in his remaining laps to cross the line in P4 but then suffered a yellow flag penalty which dropped him back to P6, deflated with the result for what looked to be the race of the weekend.
Despite the final in KA3 Junior Light, Mathew was optimistic in his post-race comments. “Taking the win in KA3 Heavy was great but I really wanted to do well in the Light Class, it wasn’t to be. I had some great races; it was a little unfortunate how the final went but that’s racing.”
Thanks to Melbourne Kart Centre, 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, BODIE’Z Protein Water, Raceline Motorsports Racewear, New Balance and MotiV8 Training.
Photo Credit: Darren Isaac
PR Credit: Ayrton Creagh