Hi, this month I will be talking about the first race of the season, the Winter Cup in Lonato. This race is always quite enjoyable, it’s the first of the season every year so it’s good to get back into racing and also it’s a good chance to see drivers in their new classes and new teams. The race at Lonato has always been quite successful for me, even going back to the first time I ever raced in the event with my old team PF International, where I finished 3rd in my first ever Formula A race, and then last year I won the race with Tonykart.
This year is the new homologation for the KF engines so we had tested quite a bit before the race. I arrived on Tuesday evening and started to test on Wednesday. The weather for the test days was very mixed but our pace seemed good in the dry although not fantastic in the rain. Anyway, for qualifying the track was wet. I qualified 10th overall, it wasn’t exactly perfect but the weather forecast for the weekend was fine so I was still confident I could do OK from there. In the first heat on Saturday morning the track was wet but drying, I started 7th and came through to finish 3rd behind Fore and Ardigo. For my next heat the track was dry, I came through to 2nd in this race and set fastest lap and my speed was good. So this meant I would start 3rd for the Pre-Final on Sunday.
I arrived at the track on Sunday and the weather was good. We had a warm up before the Pre-Final and we were still working a lot with the new engine during this but I was fast and things felt good. We started the Pre-Final and I managed to lead after a few corners. I then pulled away but was still not pushing at all as I knew it was important to conserve the tyres for the main final. At halfway I was crossing the finish line and the engine broke. It was disappointing and really meant any chance of winning the final was slim now as I would have to start from the back. In the main final I came through but only managed to finish 15th. The result wasn’t great as I think we had the speed to win in the dry. However we learnt a lot with the new engine during the week and about where we can improve so this for sure will help us for the next races.
The next race will be the first round of the WSK at La Conca in early March, I’ll let you know how it goes.
Gary Catt Tony Kart Team Driver