Thursday, 21 September 2017

SPEEDWAY KARTS

Last weekend at Ballarat’s Redline Raceway in Victoria delivered not one, but two Australian Speedway Kart Titles for Jason Loft, who proved unbeatable in both the Standards and the Outlaws class.

Remarkably, these were Loft’s maiden Australian Title victories, with his previous best Australian Title results being a runner-up finish in Standards at Waikerie’s Sunline Speedway (SA) in the 2015 running of the event and Also a third-place finish in the Outlaws class at last season’s running of the event at Tamworth’s Oakburn Park Speedway (NSW).

Qualifying in pole position for the Standards Australian Title-deciding feature race on Sunday, thanks to winning each of his four heat races, the 46-year-old racer led from start to finish and scored a commanding victory, along with his maiden Australian Title crown. However, it didn’t take long for him to improve on this major career achievement.

Mirroring his heat results in the Outlaws class, Loft once again controlled the pace in the feature race, going flag to flag from his pole position start to claim his second Australian Title victory of the night and successfully clean sweeping both classes in the process.

Also contesting in the Modifieds class, whose Australian Title-deciding feature race took place in between the Standards and the Outlaws, it was a busy weekend for Loft. Lining up fourth for the feature race, he showed solid speed, but was not quite able to pip eventual winner Brad Cunneen for the lead, and as such he was forced to settle for the runner-up spot.

“To finally breakthrough for my first Australian Title is both a huge achievement and relief, but something I’ll never forget,” expressed Victoria-based Loft, who was sharing a kart with junior racer Riley Amato (an Australian Title winner in the Junior Standards with his dad, Simon, spinning the spanners) in the Standards class throughout the weekend.

“Running three classes is a lot of work, so to have been able to achieve these amazing results is a huge reward for the team and our sponsors as a whole and a real testament to their efforts.”

Photo: InAction Photos

Having initially joined Speedway Karts over 15 years ago, after a stint in BMX racing in his teenage years, Loft possessed talent from the outset, contesting the inaugural Australian Title at Laang Speedway back in 2000, where he ended up finishing second.

Returning to the track in 2014-15 season following a 14-year hiatus, Loft has steadily improved throughout the past three seasons, but has certainly come into his own in 2016-17 season, having previously won the Queensland Title, in conjunction with the Des Carsburg Memorial, over two nights at Maryborough Speedway, along with the South Australian Title in the Outlaws class. In the Modifieds class, Loft managed to finish runner-up in this season’s South Australian Title.

After finishing second in the Victorian Title in all three classes the weekend before last, Loft completed a lot of engine work during the week leading up to the Australian Title weekend, with his speed improving drastically, as evident in his stellar results. Also receiving the Michael Beetham Memorial Award, thanks to winning the Outlaws Australian Title, Loft’s victory was his ninth feature-race win of the season in the Outlaws class.

For his next event, Loft is gearing up to contest the Ironman 55 event at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway on the Saturday of May 6, followed by the All Powers Nationals on May 19 and 20 at Mildura’s Olympic Park Speedway.

Loft is proudly supported by the following 2016-17 sponsors: Lightning Karts (the Burford Family), Pro Karting (Grant Lindstrom) and Ultimate Karting Geelong (Andrew Purcell). Special thanks go to Donovan Meaney and Adam Grey (team-mates), Simon and Riley Amato, Jayne (wife), Joshua and Raena (kids), and the entire Melbourne Speedway Kart Club, led by president Michael Van Ginneken.

Photo: InAction Photos

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