TOP TEN FOR SIDEBOTTOM AT WINTER CUP
Australian Champion Reece Sidebottom recorded an impressive top ten finish at the 2016 CIK-FIA Winter Cup in Italy on Sunday.
Competing at the famous event as a reward from Karting Australia for winning the Australian Kart Championship last year, Sidebottom lined up with the Ricciardo Kart team in the OK class at the South Garda circuit in Lonato.
After qualifying 20th Sidebottom endured a learning experience during the heat races with incidents forcing him out of heat two and three. He then started from 31st in the pre-final, the finishing positions of which decided the grid for the final.
During the 17 lap pre-final Sidebottom carved his way up 16 places to cross the line 15th. He continued this form in the final by showing some strong speed to be placed tenth at the chequered flag.
“Racing in Italy was like nothing I have ever done, the top 20 all had the potential to win. The racing was very close but also very rough. To come away with a top ten finish is very pleasing,” said Sidebottom.
“I learnt that to be fast you have to drive a lot harder than at home, and one mistake and you can lose ten positions.
“The hardest thing for me to get used to was how hard you had to push in the first 3-4 laps, white lining and braking really deep!”
Working with the members in the Ricciardo Kart factory team was a whole new experience for Sidebottom.
“It is amazing with all of the team set ups over here. Working with the team was a lot different to racing back home, it took a bit to get used to but in the end we ended up with some good speed and a good result,” said Sidebottom.
“I’d really like to thank Karting Australia, Michael Patrizi, Jason Burns and the entire Riccardo team for the amazing opportunity along with everyone who supported me throughout the weekend.”
Also competing at the event was Sidebottom’s fellow Victorian Oscar Piastri who is based in Europe throughout 2016 competing in all of the major Championships. Piastri crossed the line 11th in the OK-Junior final before one of his competitors received a post-race penalty elevating the Australian to tenth.
Western Australian Jake Klarich enjoyed a strong run in the KZ2 class crossing the line 11th in his pre-final to secure a spot on the grid in the final. However, a post race 10-second penalty for his front fairing being slightly dislodged ended his weekend early.
Queenslander Marcus Flack finished 14th in the B Final in the Mini Rok class.
Victories at the event went to Denmark’s Nicklas Nielsen (OK), Brit Fin Kenneally (OK-Junior), Italian Marco Ardigo (KZ2) and Francesco Pizzi (Mini Rok).