Lacroix gained valuable experience Pista Azzura, Jesolo, Italy, July 20. -- 15 year-old karting champion from St-Eustache Quebec, Kevin Lacroix completed the fourth and final round of the Italian Open Master championship last weekend,...
Lacroix gained valuable experience
Pista Azzura, Jesolo, Italy, July 20. -- 15 year-old karting champion from St-Eustache Quebec, Kevin Lacroix completed the fourth and final round of the Italian Open Master championship last weekend, finishing in 17th place in the final heat. No less than 52 drivers were entered in this final round, the smallest grid in the series. Lacroix completes with honors this international championship that gave him the chance to develop the level of preparation of his machine as well as his driving skills. Although the results seem ordinary, experts will compare performances to better analyze the coming of age of this young and talented driver.
"I ran all weekend within 4/10th of a second behind the leaders, claimed the young man. In the qualifying sessions, I was barely 3/10th off the pole and we had trouble with our chassis. Even with that pace, I was not in the Top Ten since competition is so high in that series. Plus the fact that other drivers have spent two or three years on those tracks in the same category. I learned more here than a full year racing in the United States. I feel a lot stronger every time I come back to the Stars series. I'm very happy with my results here even if it is not obvious when you finish 17th overall."
Qualifying for the final heat
If to show his progression in the last months, Kevin lapped to 15th and 13th place in both qualifying heats. That was enough to give him a birth directly on the final grid: "We had some trouble finding the proper setup for our machine, he continued. Engineers tried to solve the problem even on the factory machines. So, I felt happy to go directly to the finale with a kart was not 100 %."
Very strong in the final
Starting from 14th row on the final grid, Kevin climbed a long way back from 27th place to 13th overall, his master driving prevailing over his ailing machine: "Then I was literally pushed off the track by an opponent I just passed and who was trying to take the inside in a dangerous move. That set me back to 21st place, but I had time to overtake four more positions before the checkered flag. I think Top Ten was possible if the incident had not occurred."
For Lacroix, this was probably the last race with a direct drive machine: "It's very difficult, he said, because you pay a big price if you loose your rhythm. And contacts are frequent. I prefer shifters (kart) because your driving style is more important. After all, real racing with real cars is never with an automatic transmission!"
Next race: North Carolina
Kevin will head back to North Carolina next week after light testing for the third round of the Stars of Tomorrow Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway on July 30, 31 and August 1st. He was on the podium (3rd) last time in New Castle, Indiana.