Armstrong 12th at CIK-FIA Euro (kart) champs opener

Kiwi kart ace Marcus Armstrong has got his 2016 CIK-FIA European KZ Karting Championships campaign off to a good start with a 12th place finish in the Final at the opening round at Essay in northern France on Sunday.

The 15-year-old from Christchurch, who drives for the works Tony Kart team, had an up and down weekend but was reasonably happy with the way it panned out.

“It wasn’t perfect but we can take a lot of positives from it, improving on some vital areas which will help our results in the coming races,” he said on Monday evening. “It started tough as qualifying was half wet, half dry and some people chose slicks and others wets. We chose wets but ultimately it was the wrong call as we ended up 17th. This made everything quite difficult as Essay is a tough circuit to overtake on.”

Despite that Armstrong made up several places in the Pre-Final, which set him up for the Final.

“We started the Pre-Final in 18th and for the first time we managed to make some progress finishing 12th. The Final also started well getting to ninth on the start but I then struggled for outright speed on the new tyre and fell back to 12th in what was a nervous last few laps with my tyre wear.”

The weekend’s meeting was held at the Circuit International D’Aunay at Essay in northern France with Armstrong one of the youngest competitors in the premier 27-strong 6-speed gearbox/125cc KZ category.

Racing-wise the KZ class was dominated by Armstrong’s Tony Kart teammate, three-time former world champion Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega), who won the Final from fellow Italian Flavio Camponeschi (CRG/Parilla/Vega) and Frenchman Jeremy Iglesias (Sodi/TM/Vega)

Armstrong, who this year is based in the UK, now heads to Germany for the first round of the DKM championships this weekend.

KZ class

1. Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega)
2. Flavio Camponeschi (CRG/Parilla/Vega)
3. Jeremy Iglesias (Sodi/TM Racing/Vega)
4. Patrik Hajek (Kosmic/Vortex/Vega)
5. Ben Hanley (Croc Promotions/TM Racing/Vega)
6. Jordan Lennox-Lamb (Birel Art/Parilla/Vega)
12. Marcus Armstrong (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega)

1. Marco Ardigo 49
2. Jeremy Iglesias 38
3. Flavio Camponeschi 33
4. Paolo De Conto 32
5. Jorge Carlos Pescador 31
6. Patrik Hajek 28
7. Jordan Lennox-Lamb 22
8. Rick Dreezen 21
9. Jorrit Pex 16
10. Anthony Abbasse13
11. Simo Puhakka 12
12. Marcus Armstrong 12
13. Jonathan Thonon 10

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