Round 3 of the Club 2000 Championship held at Red Lodge Karting was held on Saturday 4th March. We went in to this event feeling good overall. But once we were there things became tricky. The track was slightly damp when we arrived, we had a choice of slicks or brand new wets.
Despite having over 100 entries again across the classes, this round saw the return of the 3 lap transponder check/warm up. After much deliberation, walking around the pits and seeing what everyone else was running, we decided to go with slicks. The ground was not wet enough for the new wets. The grid was fairly split between those on slicks and those on worn wets (aka ‘inters’).
It took quite a while for the tyres to warm up, but we persevered and Riley ended up 6th fastest with a time of 47.889, nearly 3 seconds off the pace. We had work to do.
On to qualifying, we stuck with the slicks, we watched the seniors to see what they were running and how they were gripping. It was tricky still, but Riley managed to go quicker with a time of 45.998. This was only good enough for 7th overall, but much closer to the pace.
Lining up 5th after the newer Inter class were moved to the back of the mixed grid, at the start Riley found himself boxed in on the inside. This really hampered his start and he found himself at the back of the grid. Needless to say, this seems to spur him on a little bit and with a couple of overtakes worked his way back up to 6th overall, 4th in class. A decent lap time of 43.839 on his last lap was a good sign.
For this heat, Riley lined up 4th on the grid. A first lap incident between 2nd & 3rd saw them drop to the back, but with the 950 Inters coming through Riley remained 4th overall. This would be where he finished, 4th overall close to the inter in front and 2nd in class. A post race penalty saw the winner pick up a disqualification and Riley was promoted to heat winner. First heat win! A decent lap time of 43.398 towards the end of the session as well.
Pole Position! This heat saw Riley with his first pole position, meaning it was for him to dictate the pace on the formation lap. On his second attempt the grid set off. This time, he managed to keep the lead for a lap and a half. Despite being overtaken a couple of times, he came home 3rd in class, 4th overall with a decent lap time of 43.223 towards the end of the race.
In the finals, Riley lined up 2nd on the grid. A first lap incident on the second corner saw him facing the wrong way and dropped all the way back down the grid again. This put him 7 seconds behind the leader. Despite making a place on each of the next two laps, the gap had increased and was now 12 seconds off the lead and 10 seconds behind the next kart. Once again putting in good lap times, he managed to close the gap to the kart in front down to 2 seconds by the end of the finals. One more lap and he would have had another place.
With a 6th overall, and 4th in class once again just missing out on a podium. His best time in the finals was 43.139 which was within half a second of the fastest lap. After a similar result in 2023 Red Lodge Karting Club 2000 Round 2, this was a bit of a disappointing end to what had been hard work all day.
Full race times and results can be found at Red Lodge Club 2000 Round 3 race results (rlc2k) by Alpha Timing.
Thank you as always to our sponsors who help make this happen for us.
The following media was from Sprocket Photography.