International Karting Insight: April 2011

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So it’s the start of a new season again and after a few weeks off I finally started driving again and testing for the season ahead.

This month I did two tests, one at La Conca and one at Lonato and I also drove in the Winter Cup which was also held in Lonato.

This year I have changed category. With all the professional drivers now racing in KZ I had to start driving in KZ and getting used to that class again. The tests I did in La Conca and Lonato were OK, my speed seemed good in the dry compared to my team mates Ardigo and Dreezen who both drove in KZ in 2010 but in the rain I still need to find time compared to them, but I hope with time in the kart in the rain I will improve. The technique in the wet and dry is very different to the way you would drive in a non-geared kart especially with the four wheel brakes just on a pedal rather than having a rear brake with your foot and a front brake by hand.

So after the tests I had a race too: the Winter Cup at Lonato. The Winter Cup is always usually our first race of the season and I always enjoy the race. Although it’s always very cold at that time of year it’s good to get back in a kart and also see all the drivers with their new teams and
seeing who’s changed categories. The tests during the week of the race were good for me and again my pace compared to Marco and Rick was OK.

I didn’t really do a good job in qualifying though and although I was only two tenths off pole I was still 20th overall so as you can imagine it was very close between us all in the top 20. The heats were quite good. I made a bad start in the first heat but then came back through to 10th and then I had another 10th and a 7th in the next two heats and my speed was similar to the leaders in all the races. I found the racing again much different to racing in KF. You have to anticipate everything early so you can change into the right gear and not lose time and the gears in each corner can vary if you’re alone or behind someone else, it’s just one of the many things I need to get used to. After my heat results I would start 14th for the prefinal but just before we drove in the prefinal it rained and the track was greasy, half of us decided to go on slicks

with the other half choosing wets. I chose wets and in the beginning I went from 14th to 3rd but the water on the track disappeared and by around halfway the people on slicks were the ones at the front. The big problem was that all the people on wets completely destroyed their rain
tyres by driving the rest of the race in the dry with wet tyres. This became a massiveproblem when it began raining again between the prefinal and the final and all of us that used the wet tyres in the prefinal had to use the same tyres and for most of us the tyres were like slicks whereas the people at the front who had used slicks now had a brand new set of wets for the final. Halfway through the race I had a problem with the fuel pump and had to retire but I was a lot slower than the leaders anyway due to the tyre situation. The weather had ruined the race really but I was still quite satisfied with how the week had gone and I now have a better idea of the things I need to improve in race conditions to be at the front.

So that’s it for this month. Next month I will be very busy as at the end of February I have a race in the WSK Master Series at La Conca and then in March I have the first round of the WSK Euro Series at Sarno then i will be heading to PF for the first round of the Super One Series to help the young driver I look after in Super Cadet there and then finally the week after to Castelletto to the second round of the WSK Master Series. It’s going to be a hectic month!