Gustavo Menezes Winter Cup in Italy summary

MENEZES PLACES TENTH AT WINTER CUP IN ITALY Solid weekend effort at South Garda circuit leads to best result of short season LONATO, ITALY (February 22, 2009) -- Now that he has a full year of racing in Europe under his belt, 14-year old ...

MENEZES PLACES TENTH AT WINTER CUP IN ITALY

Solid weekend effort at South Garda circuit leads to best result of short season

LONATO, ITALY (February 22, 2009) -- Now that he has a full year of racing in Europe under his belt, 14-year old American karter Gustavo Menezes is looking to turn this elevated level of experience into solid results throughout the 2009 season. A tough start to his Euro campaign at the WSK International Series opener can now be put in the past thanks to his recent performance at the 14th annual Winter Cup at the South Garda Karting circuit in Lonato, Italy. The race is considered to be the first big event of the karting season and the KF3 entry list boasted 100 drivers competing for the prestigious victory. Menezes enjoyed a strong outing, recording a tenth place finish when the final checkered fell.

In the official timed qualifying session on Friday, Menezes was placed in the second group where he laid down a 44.494-second lap time. It was stand as the fourth best time in his group and 10th overall. For the heat races, he was placed in Group E and started from the second row in each moto. Following qualifying, Menezes gridded fourth in the Group D vs. Group E flight and worked with fellow a Tony Kart Junior Racing Team member to run to second place.

On Saturday, Menezes would contend his second and final heat race, the E vs. F battle. After starting third, Menezes ran with the leader for most of the 10-lap contest to finish a comfortable fourth. His two results from the heats placed him fourth in the final classification of the DEF Group, which put him outside row two in the group's semi-final. In the 14-lap race, Menezes ran with the lead group, which was made up of seven drivers. Unfortunately, his Vortex engine experienced overheating issues and slowed its performance. Menezes eventually finished seventh, which still transferred him to the main event.

Combining the ABC group with Menezes' DEF group for the feature, the young American would start inside row seven. From there, he gained two positions in the opening lap and fought hard to work himself up to the tenth position in the 28-lap event.

Following the event, Menezes joined the rest of Tony Kart's young stars to complete a full training course with Quadra Sports in Italy. The course took place near Tony Kart's headquarters in Prevalle and involved both members of the Tony Kart Racing Team and its satellite teams. Gustavo was one of 15 karters to take the training course that spanned three days, covering sessions at the gym and some outdoor fitness exercises. The drivers were also given tutelage in public relations, marketing, and media skills.

"The experience was awesome," commented Menezes. "Everyday we did about four hours of tough working out and then followed that with two hours of PR sessions. The workouts were very tough on the body, but the PR sessions worked our minds on how to be more professional off-track and how to address the media. It was great to be part of the Quadra Sport program."

Next on the schedule for Menezes will be a return trip to Italy for the second round of the WSK International Series at the Sarno circuit in Napoli on March 5-8. With the recent success at the Winter Cup, Menezes will look to carry his momentum into Sarno and record his best WSK finish yet.

-credit: gustavomenezes.com

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Series Kart
Drivers Gustavo Menezes