AUSTRALIANS SHOW PROMISE AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The Kosmic Racing Australia team battled with the world’s best at the CIK-FIA World Karting Championship at Macau across the weekend.
As the first Australian team to contest the event in almost 20 years, it was very much a learning experience for the entire team, from Team Principal Peter Galvin through to the drivers of Cian Fothergill, Matthew Waters and Josh Smith, who was competing in the Asia Pacific KF3 Championship, and everyone in between.
The highlight for the team came during Saturday’s first of the weekend’s four main races when Fothergill charged his way from his 22nd starting position to record a ninth place finish. He then backed this up with a 12th placing in Saturday’s second encounter.
Determined to achieve more top ten results on karting’s biggest stage, Fothergill was confident of a strong performance during Sunday’s pair of races but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
The Gladstone driver suffered engine dramas during both qualifying and the two races, which led him to eventually failing to finish both 21-lap encounters.
“Saturday was definitely the highlight for me, to be able to run inside the top ten in a field that has so much talent in it was a huge justification of how good the talent in Australia really is,” said Fothergill.
“We’ve pretty much been behind the eight-ball all weekend as it’s our first ‘fly away’ event as a team and some things didn’t go as planned. But we learn from that and move on.
“On Sunday, qualifying was nowhere near where I had hoped and my engine wasn’t performing like it should have been. In the end it was an issue with the engine that forced me out of the race.
“It was a great experience to drive on the softer, special Bridgestone tyres. They were like nothing I’d ever experienced.
“I’d like to thank everyone from my home town of Gladstone and the Australian karting community who helped me get over here. The support has been amazing and a huge thanks to the team partners, especially the Australian Motor Sport Foundation and OMP.”
Like Fothergill, after showing some good speed early in the weekend Waters’ final day was plagued with engine dramas which eventually forced him out of the final race.
“At the start of the weekend, the Kosmic kart was working well but I was struggling a bit with engine power. Then it all turned pear shaped on Sunday,” said Waters.
“The racing over here was a great experience, it’s just a shame it finished the way that it did. The racing was good, hard and a lot of fun. I’m hoping that I can get more opportunities in the future to race overseas.”
Contested alongside the KF1 World Championship event was the Asia Pacific KF3 Championship that Smith was contesting.
During the qualifying heats Smith ran well inside the top five before finishing fourth in the pre-final to start the final from the outside of the second row. Unfortunately, his engine misfired at the start of the final, and then a subsequent turn one incident, dropped him down to outside the top ten. Showing true determination the Townsville driver fought back to finish seventh.
“I fouled a plug off the start line which dropped me down a few spots, then I got caught up in turn one. From there I put that behind me and fought back to get up there,” said Smith.
“Overall the experience was amazing, I learnt heaps about the kart set-up, engine tuning and racecraft for this type of racing.”
British driver Tom Joyner won all four KF1 races contested across the weekend, but it was Italian Flavio Camponeschi’s consistency over the two-event championship that earned him the 2012 World Karting Championship crown.
Sahara Force India Academy driver Jehan Daruvala won the Asia Pacific KF3 Championship, passing Japanese driver Sato Marino on the final lap.