CIK-FIA Asia-Pacific KF1 Champs, Macau
Daiki Sasaka (Birel-Parilla) certainly hit the jackpot today here in Macau, China – the Las Vegas of the East. In the end he was a worthy Asia-Pacific KF1 champion, but he did benefit from a slice of luck which the many Macau casino gamblers would envy.
Belgian Yannick De Brabander (Parolin-TM) had easily won the pre-Final and was in a big lead on lap 15 of the Final when he suffered ignition failure and came to a halt.
Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex) had been in an equally ‘safe’ 2nd place until Sasaki began to close in. Shortly after De Brabander’s misfortune, the Japanese went into the lead but Camponeschi, in a move which drew a Driving Standards flag, got back in front. But Sasaki was not to be denied and re-took the lead which he held to the finish. Worse for the Italian, Camponeschi’s motor siezed with less than 2 laps to go. Great Britain’s Jordan Lennox-Lamb (CRG-Maxter) had been 4th in all 3 Heats and the Pre-Final and had settled for 4th in the Final, until the misfortune of the two others elevated him to 2nd place.
Spaniard Pedro Hiltbrand (Kosmic-Vortex) who had his own bad luck when his kart burst into flames on Saturday, had been battling through from the back row of the grid and it was no more than he deserved to take the final podium place.
Daiki Sasaki explained his lucky victory. ‘I never gave up even when I was a long way behind the other two. I overtook Camponeschi but also never gave up when he crashed past me again. Of course, Yannick had very bad luck but I was having a good drive. With my CIK-FIA World Karting Championship podium in Suzuka, this has been a good finish to the season. I am happy’ he concluded in something of an understatement!
Jordan Lennox-Lamb also acknowledged his good fortune but explained ‘we have not had the pace of several of the others and this has been a good weekend of teamwork to get this result. I would have been satisfied with 4th again!’
Yannick De Brabander had a philosophical view of his bad luck. He said with a rueful smile ‘I guess I was not intended to win a CIK-FIA championship this year’.