Mach1 Motorsport and their drivers Nicolai Hagenaes (KFJ) and John Norris (KF) travelled to the WSK Euro Series’ final in Belgian Genk and aimed for top ten positions. Unfortunately, in the end the team came out under their value after diversified races.
Nicolai Hagenaes met strong competition at the juniors again. 73 drivers from 21 nations had come to Belgium and were able to impress due to an incredible power density. During qualifying, the entire field was only separated by a few tenths of seconds. Nicolai placed on 48th position with his Mach1 Kart and was very optimistic regarding the following four Heats. Unfortunately, a couple of fights in midfield caused him to lose important positions. By achieving 9th place during the last Heat, he was still able to prove his possibilities and achieved entering the pre-final. “Our clear goal is entering the finals”, team leader Martin Hetschel highlighted in the evening. Two accidents during the pre-final caused his hopes to fade away though. At the finish line, he was only on 22nd position despite his fast lap times and had to go home early. “That was really bad luck. After a quarrel during the start, he was on a good way. Then another accident followed though. What a pity, this could have been a great final. Our chassis has worked very well under these summerlike conditions as well”, said Martin Hetschel in the evening.
John Norris experienced a mixed weekend in the strongly manned KF class. He had to fight with unpredictable losses of performance again and again and therefore wasn’t able to prove his talents the way he usually does. After problems during qualifying, he started into the Heats from 7th starting row respectively. Despite a complete falling out during the first Heat, he achieved a promising 24th starting position for the pre-final and set a course by achieving 5th and 9th places during the Heats. During the pre-final, he was then able to fight his way forward to 17th position, but had no chance of actively influencing the racing events. During the final, he only reached 24th place in the end. “Just like with Nicolai, more would have been possible here. During his last two Heats, John was able to show where we could have gone. Now we unfortunately don’t have countable results. We’ll now have to sort out the problems until the next race”, Martin Hetschel summed up the events.
The duo will be travelling to their next race in two weeks. The first race of the CIK-FIA KFJ & KF European Kart Championship will be taking place in Spanish Alcaniz. Martin Hetschel is already looking forward to starting in Spain: “I hope we’ll be able to tie in with our successful EM-weekend in Wackersdorf. The competition is comparable to the one in Genk. Our material’s performance should work well, we can’t influence the further racing events though.”
Last weekend, Mach1-Kart factory driver John Norris started at the WSK Final Cup in Italian Castelletto Di Branduzzo and was able to satisfy in the strongly manned KF2 class. In the end, he lacked the necessary ounce of luck though. The team additionally started at the KTWB in Wackersdorf and achieved two daily victories.
The WSK Final Cup marked an international top event in the racing calendar at the end of the season once again. Mach1-Kart was represented in the KF2 and managed to stand their ground against the strong international competition. At his debut in World Series Karting, factory driver John Norris was able to drive as fast as the top drivers from the beginning and highlighted his performance by sensationally coming in third during qualifying. “Everything’s going perfectly so far. Our material is on a very competitive basis and I’m excited to see how we’ll do in the Heats”, said John confidently.
In addition to great ninth and fourth places during the Heats, Norris unfortunately also had to register a falling out after an accident, which made him fall back to eleventh place in the overall list of rankings. In the turmoil of midfield, he then fell back a couple of positions during the starting phase again and only made it out of the first lap on 25th place. Until crossing the finish line John managed to fight his way forward again though and came in 17th. The finale began much better then; the Irishman had gone up to 11th place after only a couple of laps and was heading for the top ten. But towards the middle of the race his engine power decreased considerably and he had to forfeit the race five laps before the end. Despite the disappointment regarding the premature falling out, in the end the joy about the great performance despite such strong competition prevailed: “In the WSK everyone drives very tough, but fair. The level of performance is correspondingly high and one cannot afford to make mistakes. I’m all the more glad that we were able to drive in the forefront. Unfortunately the technical defect prevented us from achieving a countable result in the end.” Team leader Martin Hetschel was also able to draw a positive conclusion: “I think we can be very content with our first WSK-performance. We did a good job and managed to impress on an international scale once again. Our chassis worked perfectly under high grip-conditions and we belonged to the fastest drivers throughout the races.”
At the same time the finale of the Kart-Trophy White-Blue in Wackersdorf paralleled the WSK Final Cup. There, Toni Greif (KZ2) and Simon Wagner (Rotax DD2) started in Mach1-Karts. Greif, who finished the ADAC Kart Masters-season on fifth place, achieved the daily victory in the shifter kart field consisting of 25 men by coming in first and second. Simon Wagner also experienced a successful weekend. The youngster started with the Mach1 Rotax DD2 Grand Final-chassis and achieved a daily victory as well.
In a few days, the German chassis manufacturer will already be travelling to their next race in Belgium. The finale of the German Kart Championship will be taking place there and John Norris still has the chance to achieve the vice championship title at the highest German Kart rating.