Diary from Australia’s World Under 18 drivers – Sunday
Australian drivers have faired well during the opening round of the World Under 18 Championship and Academy Trophy at Braga in Portugal.
Joseph Mawson finished as the best Australian driver with a sensational seventh place finish in the Under 18 final, while Jacob Parsons failed to finish following an early incident.
James Abela was the big mover in the opening final of the Academy Trophy charging his way from 28th on the grid to eighth, which finished as seventh when a fellow competitor was excluded. He backed this up with another eigth place finish in the final.
WHAT THE DRIVERS HAD TO SAY…
Joseph Mawson – World Under 18 Championship #49
Warm Up – 5th
“We put new tyres on for the warm as a majority of the field did and we went up a tooth on the gearing. I was in traffic for half the session. The Kart was awesome but I think the gearing hurt our lap time abit.”
Heat 4 – 2nd
“I started off 3rd got a good start and got into 2nd by turn 1 then got into first at the hairpin on the first lap. From then I led the whole race pulling a slight gap some laps. I backed off on the straight on the last lap and let the guy behind me pass me to finish 2nd so I would start the pre-final 3rd which is a safe position and normally gets you into 2nd by turn 1.”
Prefinal 1 – 2nd
“I started 3rd got to 2nd at the start then got shoved back to 3rd at turn 2 then back to 2nd at turn 3 and caught the leader and got within 2 karts then see sawed with him from 2 -5 karts all race. I did not want to risk the race with a move, because we had a decent gap to the rest. I finished 2nd which is good for the grid position for the final and I know where he is strong and weak for final.”
Prefinal 2 – DNF
“I got a great start and avoided all the carnage at turn 1-2-3 then into turn 4 a I got hit into another driver making it 3 wide coming out of the corner and one of them turn across and ran over the top of me bending my steering badly then enough to be drivable and not effecting my lap time too much. I passed a fair few people to be in 15th by the lap 3 after starting from 32th. Unfortunately the ignition on the engine blew up so I was sidelined. If I had of finished 10th I would have started the final of pole but motor racing can be cruel I guess.”
Final – 7th
“Started 16th got a bad start and got stuck in crashes with nowhere to go. I was 14th after the first lap working my way through then I was in 9th and my throttle jammed so I went back to 11th partly fixing the throttle problem, but the throttle was jamming on abit so I was riding the brake every corner from 12 laps left. I worked around the problem to finish 8th by the finish. Disappointing end but we are 5th in the championship now, 26 points behind the points leader and three points behind 2nd in the championship.”
James Abela – Academy Trophy #101
“After putting in a good time during warm-up I was confident going into the first final, but to go from 28th to 8th was great.
In the second final I finished 8th, which could have been better but I ran out of brakes towards the end of the race. Overall, it has been a great weekend and I can’t wait for round two.”