Susilo Learns the Job of Driver Heady rain on Friday, intermittent showers on Saturday and rough skirmishes on Sunday: Kevin Susilo defini- tely had a chance to improve his race experience in varied, though not always apparent conditions, on the...
Susilo Learns the Job of Driver
Heady rain on Friday, intermittent showers on Saturday and rough skirmishes on Sunday: Kevin Susilo defini- tely had a chance to improve his race experience in varied, though not always apparent conditions, on the long track of Sarno. The WSK offered this young Indonesian driver a "muscular" training for the job of kart driver. But that fact that he is always friendly and relaxed at the stands does not mean that Kevin is easily taken in on the track. His driving touch has already been noticed by the connoisseurs... Though Kevin Susilo is a quiet and smiling boy, he is always focussed and pays attention to everything around him that could help him to improve. Indeed, he praised the DR Racing team manager for his support. "Danilo is a very good teacher" said Kevin. "We are doing a lot of tests and he is always giving me some good advice to improve, both for settings and driving".
And he definitely learnt a lot at Sarno, during the 2nd meeting of the 2009 WSK. First of all, Naples international circuit has an unusual track, 1700 m long, with a long straight stretch where aspiration phenomena play an important role, just like high-speed braking. Then the weather seriously complicated the equipment tune up.
Friday's free practice, hit by torrential rain, forced our young driver to focus harder on finding the right lines. Kevin learnt fast and his times improved throughout the day. Saturday morning's timed qualifying became more difficult after a sudden change in track conditions. Kevin pulled through well with his wet weather tyres and set an encouraging 32nd time, out of 66 drivers in KF3.
The sky cleared and the track dried up thanks to a strong wind when the qualifying heats started. In the 1st heat, it turned out the Kevin's kart settings were not suitable for the track conditions. DR Racing started to work and made some adjustments, especially at the seat. The chassis became operational for the second heat, but this time it was the carburettor that did not work well. Perhaps Kevin still lacks the experience to make his own adjustments in race.
On Sunday morning, the sun finally appeared and Kevin had "everything in order". Starting again from the 7th row, he did everything he could to gain a few places in the third heat. Though he was driving with the same determination in the last heat, he was hit and finished only 15th. He was therefore forced to go through the repechage heat. It all started well: in 9th place at the start, Kevin was quickly 4th. But then things began to go wrong. The DR Racing driver was caught in the braking frenzy at the end of the straight stretch and sent out of track by some other drivers. After losing 25 places, all his qualifying hopes were gone.
But Kevin draws a positive lesson from his weekend : "Of course I am disappointed I missed the final phases, I had the equipment and I felt fine. But I learnt a lot about wet weather driving and I improved on the dry on Sunday. I am very determined for next race, the Trofeo Margutti, for which I have set an objective: to reach the top 20!"
-credit: kevin susilo