Kiwi karter Marcus Armstrong kept his best till last in this year’s WSK Master (kart) Series in Italy, finishing fourth in the KF class Final at the fourth and final round at Sarno on Sunday.
With a series-best second place finish in the Pre-Final earlier in the day giving him P2 on the grid for the Final alongside eventual winner Felice Tiene it was the best result so far of the 14-year-old Christchurch driver’s European campaign and bodes well for his CIK-FIA European championship debut at Portimao in Portugal in a fortnight’s time.
It also catapulted him from 13th to sixth overall in the overall KF class series points standings.
“We definitely had a lot of speed this weekend, which helped,” the former New Zealand champion said from the track.”
Tiene, who drives for the works CRG team, went on to win the Final with Armstrong shuffled back to fourth by his Tony Kart teammates, eventual series’ class winner Nicklas Nielsen from Denmark and Alexander Vartanyan from Russia. But the result could have been very different.
“Yes,” said Armstrong, “I needed to be a little sharper. All in all fourth position was positive, but coming on to the main straight for the Final, Felice and I contacted and that impacted my start dramatically.”
Heading into the round Armstrong was in 13th position in the series points standings with a place in the top ten a definite possibility and the top six an outside chance.
That’s exactly where he ended up though, making up seven places to finish sixth behind teammate Nielsen who won, Nielsen’s arch-rival Karol Basz of Poland, final round winner Felice Tiene, third round winner Alexander Vartanyan from Russia and Italian Leonardo Lorandi.
Over the weekend Armstrong carded a 10-7-8 run through the three free practice sessions, was 12th quickest in qualifying practice, finished 14th in the first heat, ninth in the second and sixth in the third then ran second in the Pre-Final and fourth in the Final.