James Lodge kicked off his Victorian State Race Series over the weekend at Sandown Park Raceway in a bumper field of Hyundai Excel drivers. Lodge who had never been to the circuit, had a large field of thirty-seven drivers to contend with in a hectic weekend of racing. James hit the track for qualifying on Saturday morning and knew it was going to be crucial for his weekend.
Lodge hit the track and had seventeen minutes to get the best out of his package and get him as far up the grid as possible. The Parolin Race Karts backed entry was using the session as valuable time in the car and had himself in the first half of the field. Lodge in a remarkable effort got himself up inside the top five in the session, with a time right in the mix of the front group. An awesome effort from the young driver had him out of position five for the opening race on his Victorian State Race Series debut! The team was wrapped with the result and now were looking to the opening race to continue the good start to James’s weekend.
Lodge was excited for race one and was looking for more strong results. The Ashley Seward backed entry didn’t get the start he was after, dropping down to the edge of the top ten. The opening race was unfortunately only four laps due to incidents but James put his head down. Lodge put in another strong performance finishing inside the top ten in eighth with good pace.
The team tuned the car up for the second race and was looking to push forward, back up near the top five. Lodge had a great start and was on the move early making his way up into position six and right on the edge of the top five. The Greensaver Solar backed entry had his race change complexion when he was spun heading into turn four, dropping him down spots. James in a great recovery was able to stay inside the top ten and come home with position nine. The team were all eyes to the final race and to bring home the strongest result possible!
Lodge was out of position number nine for the final race and was looking to continue his strong weekend inside the top ten. The Parolin Race Karts backed entry got a tremendous start, jumping inside the top five in fifth spot. A safety car then came out and bunched the field right up bringing all racers together. James was shuffled back to the edge of the top ten on the restart but was setting strong times not far off the race leaders. Lodge was able to come home inside the top ten in position nine in a great display of driving all weekend.
James father Simon spoke post weekend of their opening round assault. “It was a great weekend to start the Victorian State Race Series. Overall we’re very happy to finish in the top ten against some very good drivers. We’re looking forward to round 2 at Winton”. Lodge will be running the remainder Victorian State Race Series rounds and will be one of the drivers to watch!