After a tremendous 2023 season to date, Mathew Basso and his team ventured to Cobden to contest their last races of the year – the final round of the 2023 Victorian Country Series. Having already dominated the Victorian State Championships and the Victorian Golden Power Series; Basso had the opportunity to do the seemingly impossible – win both the Victorian Country Series’ KA3 Junior Light and Heavy titles, taking out the treble of major trophies in the State.
A year of seemingly endless growth spurts took its toll at the start of qualifying for KA3 Junior Light, with Team MBR struggling to get the kart balance right. Despite qualifying a dismal 10th, Basso didn’t let the height and weight factors impede him as he continued to strive for championship glory against title rival, Noah Enright – charging from 10th to claim a couple of thirds and fourths! Basso’s relentless consistency and fierce race craft paid their dividends, securing him a P3 start for the final.
Lights out and we’re underway, Enright slotting into the lead, Basso going off like a firecracker to take second! As the laps wound down Mathew didn’t appear to have the speed of Enright out-front, duelling with Aiden Schweikert and Hudson Hughes till the very end. Crossing the line, Basso missed out on the podium by a mere 0.300 of a second, 0.400 separating second to fourth! More importantly though, the #18 machine did everything necessary to secure the overall and what would be his first championship of the day!
It was a different tale in the KA3 Junior Heavy category, Basso maintaining usual form by putting the Mathew Basso Racing kart on the front row in P2 alongside Levi Jones, with a whisker being an appropriate metaphor to describe the 0.056/s separating the top two. With the small margins splitting the top three, it was all to play for in the heats; Basso once again drawing from his experience to net a handful of second places, before being unceremoniously shunted off in heat 3 and penalised when rejoining the track – last place. Despite his hot run of form in the heats, the team was sceptical of their starting position for the final as a result of the third heat.
Lining up out of third, Basso held the fort into turn one, emerging in third place as the field jostled to find their way in the pack. The hours the team had put into honing Mat’s race smarts became apparent right from the get-go, Basso playing the long game as he bided his time before passing for P2. Basso tightened the screws as he put pressure on the kart out-front, however, a slightly slower last lap saw Mathew settling for second place. Despite the trying weekend, Mathew was able to finish the final race of the series with a podium, securing his second championship for the day!
Both driver and pit crew were ecstatic with the result, a reflection of diligent teamwork, acute consistency, and unrivalled talent. Mathew was humble as always in victory, thanking the countless people who supported him throughout the series. “Winning the Victorian Country Series in both the Light and Heavy classes is just the best feeling. This weekend didn’t go exactly to plan, but we bagged enough points throughout the entire series to build enough of a buffer to make it easier in the end. I won the Country Series back in 2022, and to do it again this year in two classes is a fantastic feeling. I really want to thank my team for all their support, James Sera for all his guidance and positivity throughout the year and of course my family whom none of this could have been possible without their love and support”.
As always, Mathew and the team would like to thank: James Sera, Castrol Racing, UNIT Clothing, NGK Spark Plugs, SP Tools, MEARTH Electric Scooters, Atlas Neck Braces, Oakley Australia, GANT Karting Gloves, Platinum Potions, Ethika, PREPD Hydration, Albek Luggage, SAKA Water, 808 Dude, Raceline Motorsports Racewear, New Balance and MotiV8 Training for all their support throughout 2023.
Let’s bring on 2024!