International Karting Insight: Jan 2009

1
Gary leading team mate Marco Ardigo

Hi, this month I haven’t been that busy. I had only one race and that was the final round of the WSK European Series at Sarno. It was the first time I’d raced at Sarno in KF since 2007 in the Italian championship. I entered the race in 4th position in the championship but I was some way off the first 3 as I’d had a bad couple of rounds already in the series. I flew to Italy with Ben Cooper, Luke Varley and Chris Lock as I have done with most of the rounds this year so the travelling generally isn’t too much of a pain. During the week at Sarno the tests went ok but I wasn’t quite fast enough but I felt that if we put together everything we’d learnt during the tests then we wouldn’t be far away. Sarno is quite a difficult track to find a good solution with the chassis and engine, you have such a long straight so the sprocket you use there is very small but it also has a very slow section so its also very important you can exit that section well too. On to Saturday morning then, I had problems in the warm up but in qualifying I qualified 3rd but only a few hundredths off the pole time. This however didn’t mean so much as the first 12 from qualifying all go into a superpole session where you get a free set of new tyres just to use in superpole and have another 10 minutes to set another time and that decides the top 12 to start on the grid for the first heat. In superpole I had a disaster and broke the engine so didn’t really set a time when the tire was at its best and only ended up 8th. During the heats I wasn’t quite fast enough again and had a 7th, a 4th and a 5th and was also missing 2-3 tenths to de vries and convers who were the fastest. After my results it meant starting 5th for the pre final so I was still a position where if we could find a solution then I could get a good result. In the first final it didn’t really go my way, I wasn’t fast enough but still really should’ve finished 3rd but it was a real battle and a couple of times I got caught up in incidents with others and finally arrived 7th. The next final was also similar, a big crash at the start left me in 7th but a long way from the first 6. I caught groman and passed him but was too far behind the others and couldn’t catch them and 6th was my finishing position. For the championship it meant my final position was 4th which obviously isn’t the result I was hoping for. I have had 2 bad rounds but my pace in Sarno just wasn’t good enough so it was a difficult meeting for me.

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So now my next race is the beginning of July and its the first round of the WSK World Series in Portiamo, Portugal. This will be the first of a 3 round championship with the other 2 rounds being in the USA and the final one in Egypt. This championship is our most important of the year and its like our world championship now that we don’t do the one race world championship as we have in the past. My aim of course is to be at the front and fight to win this championship so a good result in Portiamo is vital. I’ll let you know how it goes next month.