ART Grand Prix Karting enjoyed an extremely positive time in the CIK-FIA European Championship round held last weekend at Wackersdorf. British driver Ben Barnicoat, supported by the Racing Steps Foundation, put together a sensational weekend, as he provided the team with a spectacular performance despite the tough weather conditions of the German venue.
After having ended up with the third fastest lap of the day in the KF2 class, Barnicoat saw all his lap times be deleted due to a technical infringement: "In post-qualifying scrutineering - told Armando Filini - the Stewards questioned the legality of the engine's gasket, which protruded more than allowed. Even though the detail did not give Ben any kind of advantage, they assessed us a penalty. The Stewards confirmed that Barnicoat didn't have any advantage, and decided not to disqualify him from the event".
The race weekend for the British racer became suddenly much tougher after having moved from third to 122nd. Barnicoat took-off from the back in all three races and still had all the Steward's eyes on him, as they were focused in preventing him from doing unfair maneuvers in the attempt to come back fast.
"Ben has been perfect - continued Filini - and despite racing absolutely clean, he made it back to 5th place in the first final after starting in 22nd . In the second final he moved quickly into the lead. After a few minutes, an intermittent rainfall started to hit the track while everybody was out with slick tires. While he was still out front by a wide margin, Ben spun and fell down to third before recovering back to second when the checkered flag fell. It's been a great result and a fair reward for the performance level shown over the weekend, in addition to the fact that he's currently sitting in third place in the European Championship's standings.”
The Karting Division of ART Grand Prix also welcomed the great performance put together by Charles Leclerc. The Monaco-based driver cruised to a brilliant win in the first final in front of Max Verstappen. Unfortunately, at the start of the second, he was forced to pass through a dirt part of the track to avoid a chaotic situation and that dirtied his tires. That small incident heavily conditioned his race as he was back in 18th by the end of lap 2. Leclerc recovered up to the 8th place, and scored some valuable points that enabled him to stand as the runner-up in the KF2 European Championship's standings.
In the KZ1 class, the dreams of glory for Ben Hanley ended in the pre-final due to a sticky throttle that caused an harsh off-track exit. The British driver's chassis was damaged and in the little time available, the Team's staff tried to do their best to limit the damage. After having taken-off last, Hanley managed to fight back to 15 in the Final.