Six months after becoming the first Tasmanian to win a round of the Australian Karting Championship, Lochie Dalton has become the first Tasmanian to win it.
The AWC Motorsport Academy driver entered the fifth and final round at Melbourne’s Todd Road having snagged two wins and two podiums to hold a 29-point buffer on rivals Broc Feeney and Joshua Denton.
Dalton finished the KA1 series in style – winning the stage to put his name alongside V8 Supercar champions Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom on the James Courtney Trophy.
“I was pretty surprised,” the 16-year-old said of his success.
“I expected this year to be close to winning it but I didn’t really think about winning until the last round going into it when I was actually leading, so I was pretty happy with that.”
With just 75 points up for grabs in the final round, Dalton took a conservative approach in the heats knowing a crash could ruin his title hopes.
“I didn’t want to crash and throw away the championship,” he said.
“In the last heat I just had to finish third and I’d win the championship, I wouldn’t need to do the final and on the last lap I was in third fairly comfortably and my motor started to blow up.
“I just nursed the kart round on the last lap and finished fourth, so that made it even on points so if I was to DNF and my next rival won, we would have been tied on points.”
But no such misfortune was to befall the St Patrick’s College grade 10 student, with a win in the final booking a ticket to world karting final in Italy’s Lake Garda in a fortnight’s time.
Boasting 400 drivers from across the world, the race will mark an end to Dalton’s season and also the start of a new chapter as he looks to take his career to the next level.
“Next year I’ll be looking to get into a car to race - not a V8 Supercar, but just to get used to adapting to a car and seeing where it goes from there,” he said.
“My ultimate goal would be to have a career as a driver, that’s my goal.”