Andrew Thompson Australia's FKS Oran Park summary

Thompson maintains KartStars lead 11 August, 2003 - Fuchs Silkolene karter Andrew Thompson continued his charge towards the 2003 Ford KartStars Series crown last weekend at Sydney's Oran Park finish on the podium for the fourth time ...

Thompson maintains KartStars lead

11 August, 2003 - Fuchs Silkolene karter Andrew Thompson continued his charge towards the 2003 Ford KartStars Series crown last weekend at Sydney's Oran Park finish on the podium for the fourth time in succession.

After his worst qualifying effort thus far in the series, down in 14th position Thompson was nothing short of methodical in his approach to the rest of the weekend in the toughest fought karting series in Australia.

One by one he picked up spots while battling with a mysterious chassis problem in the opening two heats recording an 11th and 5th place finish in each.

"We changed every setting there is on the front end and some of the rear end to try and get some more speed out of the kart but there was not one area that could be pinpointed for a problem," Thompson said at the completion of the opening day.

A changed of engine for the third heat also brought about more pace for Thompson which now meant that he had been chasing chassis set up when it turned out the engine was the source of the lack of pace.

With the engine pace found Thompson charged through to finish third in the final heat race and with some further tuning of the chassis he recorded a third placed finish in the Pre-Final also.

"The kart was better but nowhere near perfect, we are now back to the start of the weekend chasing a perfect chassis set up," commented Thompson after the Pre-Final.

Starting from position three in the 25-lap Final Thompson found his way into the lead on the opening lap ahead of fellow Championship contender Troy Woolston. The duo was closely followed by Blake Mills and Ben Guest making it a four-way battle for the round victory.

Showing great composure and maturity Thompson battled with an understeer problem throughout the final to regain the race lead on lap 16.

But as the race wore on he was able to match the pace of the leaders but unable to mount a challenge and bided his time until an opportunity for a pass came his way, and it did.

On the last lap the pair in front of him made contact and ran wide allowing Thompson into second behind Woolston. Mills was third ahead of Guest and Karl Wilson. "I knew I had good pace but didn't have the corner speed to stay at the front of the pack. It was a really tough race, one of the toughest I've ever been in," said Thompson after the Final.

His second place finish has sealed a Top 2 finish in the Series and remains the overall points lead on 389 points ahead of Woolston on 362 but with drivers having the ability to drop their worst rounds points the Series victory will go down to the wire at the final round in South Australia on September 20/21.

-atr-

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