Contemplative Ortona, located right at the Adriatic Sea, was the location of the final races of the CIK-FIA KF & KFJ European Kart Championship last weekend. All in all, 120 participants from more than 32 nations started at these races, among them Mach1 Motorsport. Both drivers John Norris and Nicolai Hagenaes achieved entering the finals due to great performances.
The race on the 1.600m long track could hardly have been more thrilling. Strong sunshine and high grip conditions demanded a lot of drivers and materials. This was no problem for Irishman John Norris and his Mach1 Chassis though. After a lot of bad luck at the first race in Alcaniz, Norris wanted to end the weekend with a good result this time. By achieving 23rd position during qualifying, he already showed a good start and was able to establish himself in the front field during the heats. By driving off the track a little twice he lost a couple of positions though, but was able to demonstrate his possibilities with a 5th and a 9th place and ended up on the overall 25th position.
The pre-final started excitingly: John was involved in a collision at the start and fell back to the end of the field. Due to a courageous performance he was then able to fight his way forward again and was able to achieve entering the finals as 14th driver. “What a race”, rejoiced Norris at the finish line. He started into the final accordingly highly motivated and was able to gain a couple of positions once more. At the finish line, Norris was on the excellent 17th place. “I have attacked very strongly during the first laps, which is why my tires got too hot and I had to slow down a bit”, Norris explained afterwards.
Junior Nicolai Hagenaes experienced ups and downs. During qualifying and the heats, the Norwegian didn’t seem to find his rhythm and stayed far behind his own expectations by ending up on 53rd place. But there was no sign of surrender: “I will attack fully during the pre-final – my goal is entering the final.” No sooner said than done! Nicolai drove an incredible race and fought his way forward up to 14th place. Thereby, he entered the junior final and was accordingly happy. “Everything fell into place at the right time. Everything went perfectly and I’m very happy to have now entered the big final race.” But this came to an end much sooner than he’d hoped for. During a spectacular starting phase, Nicolai was involved in an accident and had to end the race prematurely.
“That was really annoying”, said team leader Martin Hetschel afterwards. “Despite this, we can be very content though. The conditions were tough and the fields were very close together. No error was permitted. We have done a really great job here. Our Chassis has worked perfectly even under these high grip conditions”, continued Hetschel.
The next big performance of the Chassis manufacturer from Brackenheim will take place on the first weekend of August. Mach1 Kart will be equipping a 6-hour-long distance race in Kerpen then.