|press release||5 April 2017|
Dylan Drysdale emerged as the best of the eight Kiwi karters who contested the second round of the 2017 Australian Kart Championship in Geelong, south-west of Melbourne, over the weekend.
The former Palmerston North, now Auckland-based young gun qualified ninth and after four top-ten finishes in the heat races worked his way up to fifth place in the X30 class Final.
Above: Dylan Drysdale, racing in X30, was top Kiwi at Geelong (pic - Fast Company/Coopers Photography)
The meeting proved to be a mixed bag for the other seven Kiwi karters however.
Young Emerson Vincent from Pukekohe was the next best finisher, with ninth place in the Cadet 9 class, then came Connor Davison from Hamilton who was 12th in KA4, Ashleigh Stewart from Wellington, 15th in TaG 125, and Aucklanders Liam Sceats and Luke Thompson, 19th and 24th respectively in Cadet 12.
Above: Emerson Vincent set fastest lap of the final in Cadet 9 (pic - Fast Company/Coopers Photography)
Madeline Stewart made the KZ2 Final after qualifying 11th quickest and a best heat result of 12th but failed to finish the Final after stalling at the start.
Kaden Probst struggled to find a suitable kart set-up in the Cadet 12 class, qualifying back in 34th position, had a best heat race finish of 12th but missed out on the cut for the Final in the oversubscribed field by two places.
"Overall, a tough weekend," said Tony Stewart, father of Ashleigh and Madeline. " Ashleigh did a good job in qualifying, with ninth quickest time out of a full field of 30, and had some good heat races but after an accident on Saturday she had damage to her kart for the rest of the weekend therefore lacked some pace.
"Madeline also had a weekend of ups and downs after qualifying 11th and looking promising for a top 10 weekend. Her best result was 13th in heat four after having her best start of the weekend however she had problems getting off the start line in the Final as the kart stalled. It was a shame because she had been sixth fastest in one of the previous races."
Above: Ashleigh Stewart, TaG 125 (pic - Fast Company/Coopers Photography)
After being hit hard by carburettor issues at the first round of the Australian championships at Newcastle in early February, young north Auckland driver Liam Sceats was happy, meanwhile, just to have a kart that ran well in his class, Cadet 12.
The 12-year-old qualified 18th and had a best heat race finish of sixth (in his first heat) only to be punted off the track - on the start/finish straight! - in the fourth heat, putting him back to 21st for the Final from which he worked his way as far up as 17th before crossing the line in 19th place.
Left wondering what might have been meanwhile, was Emerson Vincent. The eight-year-old was quickest in the last Cadet 9 practice session on Friday, qualified seventh and was first across the line in the first heat only to cop a 10 second penalty (which dropped him to seventh place) for a nose cone infringement.
Above: Luke Thompson, Cadet 12 (pic - Fast Company/Coopers Photography)
Undeterred he drove back through the field after taking to the grass to avoid a big turn one pileup in the second heat but a five second penalty for passing under a yellow flag saw him relegated to 10th from fourth.
Nose-cone infringements also saw him relegated in the fourth heat (from third at the line to eighth in the official standings) and the Final (from third back to ninth this time) but the silver lining in the latter race was the fastest lap.