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ROWLAND AND FUJINAMI IN THEIR ELEMENT

ROWLAND AND FUJINAMI IN THEIR ELEMENT

CIK-FIA World Cup for Super KF and Asia-Pacific KF2 Championship

It was in a well and truly soaked event that had to compete the participants in the CIK-FIA World Cup for Super KF and in the CIK-FIA Asia-Pacific KF2 Championship, held at Suzuka (JPN) on 23 May 2010.

Although it was not quite like the downpour which flooded the circuit and forced the Officials to cancel one of the finals in 1998, the rain that fell this year over Suzuka made the Drivers’ task particularly tricky. With treacherous pools of water on the inside of some corners, flows of water leading to aquaplaning, reduced visibility and water infiltrated into the engines, Drivers and karts were severely tested!

In these difficult conditions, Britain’s Oliver Rowland (Zanardi-Parilla-Bridgestone) proved to be in his element. Often penalised by a small excess weight on dry tracks, the protégé of the F1 McLaren team seized this opportunity to stand out under circumstances which for once were in his favour. Sixth after the qualifying heats run the day before in the sunshine, Rowland needed only two laps in the prefinal to work his way up to the lead and go on to land a first place synonymous of pole-position for the final – in which the Briton carried off a victory that no one was able to dispute with him. Very rapidly isolated in front of the field, he constantly extended his lead over those behind him until the chequered flag, achieving the fastest lap time of the race in the process.

Amongst his opponents was his team-mate, who is now also sponsored by McLaren. Although his small size is far from being an advantage for races on a wet track, the Dutchman Nyck De Vries (Zanardi-Parilla-B’stone) has again displayed all his talent. Second for a long time, he began to have a misfiring engine due to his air box full of water, so near the finish he was compelled to give in to the Japanese Champion, Shota Kiyohara (Tony Kart-Vortex-B’stone). And in spite of a complete 360° spin which made him lose a few seconds only De Vries managed at the last minute to keep his third place ahead of the Japanese Hironobu Yasuda (CRG-Maxter-B’stone).

Behind those who were equipped with Dunlop tyres in practice and the qualifying heats on the Saturday, Drivers using Bridgestone rubber in the KF2 category emerged again in the Sunday rain. Winner of the prefinal in spite of having taken the start only in 11th place, Japan’s Kiyoto Fujinami (CRG-Maxter-B’stone) achieved the feat of winning the final of the Asia-Pacific Championship despite an 8-second penalty for over-speeding during the start phase. Informed of this sanction by Race Direction, Fujinami was thus never able to let up his effort because in Karting teams do not signal to their Drivers the gaps between competitors. As concentrated as he was determined, Fujinami eventually crossed the finish line with a lead of nearly 12 seconds – i.e. 4 more than was necessary – over the Italian Ignazio D’Agosto (Tony Kart-Vortex-Dunlop). The fast female Driver from Denmark Michelle Gatting (CRG-Maxter-Dunlop) completed the podium of this Asia-Pacific Championship while another girl, the Indonesian Alexandra Asmasoetra (FA Kart-Vortex-Dunlop), also made it to the final Top 10.

Link to results:http://www.cikfia.com/News2010/Suzuka.htm

Link to photos:http://www.cikfia.com/News2010/Suzuka/Karting_images_Suzuka_2010.html


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