3rd in Final

The heats proved promising for Dan Ticktum, Aubry Gabriel and Lando Norris to name a few – but race day was to be a forgone conclusion.

The Prefinal promised to be a thrilling chase between Lorandi and Ticktum with Martijn Van Leeuwen and Max Defourny occupying the second row. With suspected carburation problems, Ticktum was very slow pulling away at the start which compromised the right hand side of the grid. Without doubt, and perhaps slightly over eager to capitalise, several drivers who were promoted due to Ticktum’s troubles soon found themselves colliding into each other which ended any chance of a decent result for Mick Betsch, Niko Kari, Lorenzo Travisanutto and Enaam Ahmed. Ticktum’s day was to go from bad to worse when he was collected by another and a trip to the pits was the only option.

During the mêlée, Lorandi was pulling away and never looked back. With the field fairly strung out, a good battle was taking place between Aubry and Daniel Lundgaard with Aubry beautifully outbraking Lundgaard into the first hairpin from a long way back. The battle for 3rd was heating up when Defourny came under attack from David Beckmann and Norris. Credit must be given to Defourny who stood firm under immense pressure from Beckmann while Norris was waiting in the wings. Lorandi went on to win by a commanding margin of 5s from a 2ndplaced Van Leeuwen and almost 10s ahead of 3rd-placed Defourny.

The Final was set with Lorandi and Van Leeuwen occupying the front row with Defourny and Beckmann on row 2. Ticktum, after a dismal Prefinal, would be starting in 27th position and surely would not play any further part in the proceedings. With a painfully slow rolling up lap the field roared towards turn 1 and Lorandi went wheel to wheel with Van Leeuwen.

Neither lifted as Lorandi tore around the outside of turn two to take the lead. The juniors having learnt lessons from the Prefinal kept the opening laps clean and tidy. That was until Parker Thompson tagged Ahmed coming out of the first hairpin, spinning him around which caused a chain reaction that allowed the leaders to pull away.

Lorandi now had a small lead and looked in control but Van Leeuwen was not conceding. Constant carb adjustments and with his head down and elbows tucked in, Van Leeuwen was visually giving it everything he had. As the field settled down, Norris was fighting hard with Defourny and made his move with a dive down the inside on the final corner. Another good battle was developing between Aubry and Toumas Happalainen, who pressed Aubry hard.

With infield fighting, Ticktum clawed his way through his competitors like a raging bull. Despite this fantastic effort from the Brit there surely couldn’t possibly be enough pace or laps left for him to make any further impression? With Norris in his sights, Ticktum displaced his team-mate with purpose and proceeded after 3rdplaced Beckmann.

The laps were ticking down and Ticktum, who set the fastest lap of the race, closed the gap to Beckmann with only two laps to go. Heading towards the first hairpin and Beckmann could sense the hard charger so he went tight to defend. Ticktum dummied right when Beckmann glanced over his shoulder and moved to the centre to take a better line for the hairpin. Immediately, Ticktum darted left as he dived down the inside using all of the tiny space that Beckmann had provided and stole 3rd place! Within half a lap Ticktum had pulled a few kart lengths on Beckmann and that was effectively that.

Lorandi, in stark contrast to Ticktum, had an uneventful race and went on to take a brilliant win that has assured his place in South Garda history.

Karting Magazine April 2013