Team Mathew Basso Racing set their sails as they headed easterly to the Gippsland region for round five of the Golden Power Series. Before they even turned a wheel on the technically tricky circuit, the team had a spanner thrown in the works days before with the shock announcement of Melbourne Kart Centre’s abrupt change in ownership. Scrambling in preparation for the weekend, Team MBR was able to find refuge with the crew at DJM Race Engineering.
As the championship entered the penultimate round, Basso drove determinedly to start the weekend in fine style as he looked to bring an early close to the championship against his competitors. With select rivals clearly trying to impede the blistering Basso, the #18 strung together a lap that saw him in P2, a mere 0.020 behind qualifying antagonist, Chelsea Humphrey.
Fixed on challenging for the lead in the opening corners, Basso and field charged through the notoriously treacherous opening chicane of the Morwell Circuit for their opening heat. Starting on the outside, Basso was shoved to the mid-pack, unable to use his pace to pass, finishing fourth.
Starting on the outside for the second heat yet again proved no better, this time tumbling down to eighth before recovering to cross the line seventh.
Having tuned up both the kart and driver over Saturday evening, Basso returned refreshed as he set to wreak havoc on the KA3 Junior Heavy field. Starting on the inside for heat three out of fifth, Basso quickly disposed of fourth and third to grab the final podium place – matching the front runner’s pace.
With it all still to play for in the final, the Victorian State Champ lined up out of P3, looking to keep his nose clean in the opening laps for what was sure to be a war of attrition.
Lights out and Basso held onto third, in hot pursuit of Garraway with Humphrey out in front – a mere tea towel large enough to cover the top five. As the laps wound down mechanical gremlins appeared to claim the scalp of Humphrey midway through the final. On the charge, Basso had his head down as he began to reel in the #25 of Turner out-front, however with the lack of passing opportunities in the dying laps and with championship points in mind, came across the line safely to take second place. Whilst disappointed to have not taken victory, drama in parc fermé saw the winner-elect disqualified from the running in the final – crowning Basso the eventual winner of the fifth round of the Golden Power Series!
Over the moon after taking yet another walk down victory lane in 2023, Basso commented, “It has been a very emotional week with the sale of Melbourne Kart Centre and the uncertainty of the race team. Thanks to Dylan from DJM Race Engineering for helping me out for the weekend until we can sort something a little more permanent. We came into the weekend with a healthy points lead and I think we came away only losing 40 points to second place in the series, which is great considering everything that we have been through. To grab the win was awesome but it’s the championship that we have our eyes on”.
We would like to thank DJM Race Engineering for picking us up at the last minute. Your help and support during the event was great. We also thank Castrol Racing, UNIT Clothing, NGK Spark Plugs, MEARTH Electric Scooters, Atlas Neck Braces, Oakley Australia, GANT Karting Gloves, Platinum Potions, Ethika, PREPD Hydration, Albek Luggage, SAKA Water, 808 Dude, BODIE’Z Protein Water, Raceline Motorsports Racewear, New Balance and MotiV8 Training.
PR Credit: Ayrton Creagh
Photo Credit: Tim Francis