VICTORY FOR WILL STEVENS IN JAPAN 27 May 2007./Will Stevens, the leading young British karter, took victory in the CIK FIA Asia Pacific KF2 championship race in Suzuka today on his first visit to the kart track at the Formula 1 circuit...
VICTORY FOR WILL STEVENS IN JAPAN
27 May 2007./Will Stevens, the leading young British karter, took victory in the CIK FIA Asia Pacific KF2 championship race in Suzuka today on his first visit to the kart track at the Formula 1 circuit in Japan.
15-year-old Stevens was on top form throughout the weekend with a top three time in the sessions leading up to today's final. Stevens was the quickest karter in the untimed practice session on the first day, but torrential rain cut short track time the following day. A dry, fine forecast for the remainder of the weekend led many of the teams to opt for minimal running including Stevens and his Tonykart team. In the early part of the weekend it was Stevens' team mate, Antonio da Costa who was the biggest threat to the Oxshott racer, but he soon had the measure of his Portugese rival.
It was Giacomo Petrono, a 25 year old Italian karter who was the only karter quicker than Stevens, taking pole for the race after a tough fight with Stevens in the pre-final, but it was by the narrowest of margin with only 0.2 seconds separating the leading pair.
At the start of the final race Petrono stayed ahead of Stevens, but as the laps counted down Stevens challenged his rival and at half distance of the 24 lap race the British karter swept into the lead and was able to pull away from the rest of the field, building up a lead of 1.78 seconds over the second placed Petrono by the chequered flag
Stevens said after the race, "It's been a great weekend for me. Tonykart and Vortex worked hard throughout the weekend to improve the setup and engine performance so that we had a race winning kart, and I would like to thank them for all their efforts. I really enjoyed driving here as the track suited my driving style with its long straights, which gave close racing and the ability to slipstream.
"We were always one of the front runners this weekend so I'm pleased with our performance. It was a tough field of karters, so to have beaten this quality of field in one of the few FIA events this season, is really good. We each only had one set of tyres for the final races so I had to conserve these as well as aiming for the win, but we were able to do that. Overall, it was an excellent weekend and I'm really happy to have won my first, highly prestigious, FIA event."
Stevens' busy 2007 karting season continues in two weeks time with the fourth round of the Italian Open Masters, which takes place at Pista South Garda in Lonato, Italy from 8-10 June.
-credit: Alison Hill