Ugento, Italy, April 20. -- 15 year-old kart driver, Kevin Lacroix from Saint-Eustache, Quebec was back in Italy for the third round of the Open Master championship held at Salentina, a karting facility near Ugento in Southern Italy. After his ...
Ugento, Italy, April 20. -- 15 year-old kart driver, Kevin Lacroix from Saint-Eustache, Quebec was back in Italy for the third round of the Open Master championship held at Salentina, a karting facility near Ugento in Southern Italy. After his second race, Lacroix admitted he gained invaluable experience in this series where competition is so high. Although he forfeited in the second race after finishing 8th in Saturday's finale, he was very satisfied with his week-end and longs for the start of the season in America.
"It's unbelievable how you can learn from competing in this kind of series, declares Kevin. I work in Italy with the official CRG Holland team and their approach to a racing weekend is totally different from my crew in America, PSL Karting. Furthermore, when I have to fight with guys who have spent a lot more time on the track with the same material, I must take my driving to another level. I realised this weekend I could keep the pace with those guys. "
Fifth place in the rain
Kevin took the track in the rain Friday morning with more than 60 competitors and earned fifth best time. Every outing was successful on a cloudy Friday. Saturday, he got 22nd time in the qualifying session: the track finally dried but his machine was still set for rain. In the Saturday race, Kevin got a tremendous start and reeled in the field. After nine laps, he was in fourth place but was pushed off the track. He finally finished eighth and earned respect from other competitors.
A flat tire changes everything
Lacroix started again in eighth place for the pre-final on Sunday morning. He jumped into 6th place before he made contact with another kart. It caused a puncture and Kevin had to forfeit. In order make the final race on Sunday, he had to go to the last chance race, somewhat a technicality for him.
That left him starting in 34th place for the start of the finale. He quickly passed back markers and was trying to overtake for 19th place when he was contacted by a machine spinning just in front of him and was sidelined again.
"This is the kind of experience I look for in Italy, concludes Kevin. Everything is so intense; overtaking is so hazardous that I must keep my concentration every second. Now, I can work with confidence with my new material and it is getting easier to find the proper setup. I long to be in Pennsylvania for the first round of the Stars series."
The driver and the team
Next race for Kevin Lacroix will be at BeaveRun complex near Pittsburgh on May 8 and 9. Official driver for PSL Racing team, Kevin Lacroix enters the 2004 international Stars of Tomorrow series as a defending champion. He will enter occasionally the Coupe du Quebec series and the Canadian Championships if the date does not conflict with the Stars series. He is currently under contract with SKF Motorsports, Raybestos, Tenneco, Pennzoil, Auto Parts Plus, Uni-Select national network and Lacroix Auto Parts. He is supported by CRG chassis, Maxter engines, Vega tires and Alpine Star. His web site can be visited at www.kevinlacroix.com where more pictures are available.