Armstrong amped for world karting championship this weekend

| Photographer Credit: Tony Kart

Kiwi Marcus Armstrong is buzzing ahead of this weekend’s CIK-FIA KF class World Karting Championship meeting in Italy.

The 15-year-old from Christchurch is one of 66 drivers from around the world entered in the class at the combined KF/KF-Junior meeting at the La Conca kart track in Italy’s far south.

“I’m very much looking forward to the weekend,” the multi-time New Zealand kart champion said from the circuit today (Tuesday). “La Conca is the toughest circuit on the calendar. The grip level is fantastic and it will reward the fastest drivers because it’s so difficult to optimise the grip.”

Armstrong, who is seeded eighth on the strength of an impressive debut year on the European kart circuit this year, will be up against no fewer than three former world karting champions this weekend – Brit Tom Joyner (2013), Frenchman Arnaud Kozlinski (2009) and Italian Davide Fore (1998, 2000, 2004 & 2006), as well as recently crowned CIK-FIA European champion Ben Hanley from Great Britain.

Hanley is top seed with Joyner second and Richard Verschoor, from the Netherlands, third.

Having only recently turned 15 Armstrong is bracketed with fellow young guns Verschoor, Juan Correa from the United States and Alexander Vartanyan from Russia in the pre-race publicity.

The young Kiwi joined the works Tony Kart team at the start of the year for a full-on assault on the the four-round WSK series in Italy, the three-round CIK-FIA European Championships, and the single-round World Championship meeting this weekend.

He proved quick straight away, finishing a close second to Tony Kart teammate Nicklas Nielsen in only his third meeting (the Winter Cup at Lonato del Garda) in February then finished second in the Pre-Final and fourth in the Final at the final round of the WSK Master Series at Sarno in April.

He then went on to finish a hard-won 19th at the opening round of the European CIK-FIA championship in Portugal in May, got as high as sixth in the Pre-Final at the second round in Great Britain before a clash with another driver put him back to 23rd in the Final, then came back from a big crash on the Saturday to win the final round in Sweden from Verschoor and Joyner.

Armstrong’s plan this weekend is to ‘aim for the top’ but he is also realistic about his chances.

“The worlds will always be tough and in order to have a top three, you must have a faultless weekend,” he said. ” Nicklas and I showed good pace at the official test last week which is promising but as always nothing is guaranteed at this race because anything can happen.

“Ultimately, speed won’t be a factor. It will be who is in the right place at the right time. Also the weather is looking threatening which will be a big game changer!

“I’m very much looking forward to the race weekend though and I’m sure it will be great for the spectators too!

Armstrong’s entry this weekend is the first in a senior CIK-FIA World Karting Championship title class since Auckland brothers Wade and Mitchell Cunningham over 10 years ago. In 2003 Wade Cunningham won the CIK-FIA World Karting Championship title at Sarno (near Naples), Italy, and he remains the only New Zealander to have won a world karting title.

Related Stories

Join in the conversation!