Fastest lap and 12th in the KZ2 class Final was little consolation for Kiwi karter Marcus Armstrong at his second big European kart meeting in Italy over the weekend.
“Normally I wouldn’t say I was unlucky but this weekend I was,” the 15-year-old works Tony Kart driver said from Lonato in Brescia this morning. “We were second in heat one but seized (the engine) in heat two which immediately put a stop to a clean weekend.
“We started our Pre-Final in 13th and made it up to seventh which meant we started the Final 13th but I stalled on the formation lap – completely my error – and had to start last.”
The fact that he was able to make up 22 positions in 34 laps and set the quickest race in traffic certainly bodes well for the young Christchurch driver heading into the 2016 European season, however.
“It was frustrating,” he said, “but has definitely motivated us for future races.”
Armstrong’s team leader in the Tony Kart team, four-time former world champion Marco Ardigo dominated the meeting and won the Final from another Tony Kart driver, fellow Italian Luca Corberi.
Despite his frustration there is no doubting Armstrong’s speed in his debut year in the 6-speed gearbox/125cc KZ2 karts. The young Kiwi was second quickest behind Ardigo in the third practise session earlier in the week then third quickest in his qualifying session and ninth quickest overall.
He was then second quickest behind Ardigo in his first race heat before being credited with 33rd after the engine seize in heat two then coming back to claim seventh in his third heat.
Armstrong then made it from 13th on the grid to seventh in the first Pre-Final before his forceful drive back through the field in the Final.
The annual Winter Cup meeting is one of Italy’s biggest and most important, with all the key teams entered and over 280 entries this year.
Marcus Armstrong will this year contest the Italy-based WSK Super Master series and Cup meetings, the three-round CIK-FIA European Championships and the single round CIK-FIA World KZ Championship meeting.
Winter Cup meeting Lonato Brescia Italy Feb 17-21 2016
1. Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart/Vortex/Bridgestone)
2. Luca Corberi (Tony Kart/Vortex/Bridgestone)
3. Anthony Abbasse (Sodi/TM/Bridgestone)
12. Marcus Armstrong (Tony Kart/Vortex/Bridgestone)