MENEZES PREPARES FOR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FINALE Western Division JICA champion seeks first national title in Vegas this weekend LAS VEGAS, NV - (October 18) -- After a strong regular season, young karting star Gustavo Menezes was crowned...
MENEZES PREPARES FOR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FINALE
Western Division JICA champion seeks first national title in Vegas this weekend
LAS VEGAS, NV - (October 18) -- After a strong regular season, young karting star Gustavo Menezes was crowned the Snap-on Stars of Karting Junior Intercontinental A (JICA) Western Division champion last month. The Tony Kart USA driver will now attempt to claim the national championship this weekend at the Desert MINI of Las Vegas National Finals - the series finale - on a temporary circuit at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway facility.
The Western Division finale weekend began on a positive note with the now 13 year-old leading all of the drivers in the final practice session on Friday. The rest of the weekend would not go as planned, however. Gustavo started the Saturday Final in ninth, looking to break into the top-five to clinch the Western Division title. After getting shuffled back to 12th at the start, Menezes quickly moved forward to the eighth place spot where he would stay until the checkered flag fell. Following the race, he was moved up one position after his rival championship competitor was removed from the results, thus clinching the Western Division Championship one day early.
Looking to extend his point total, Menezes and his team began Sunday with a clean slate hoping to improve on Saturday's performance. Unfortunately, he and his team were unable to find the extra speed to put him on the podium, finishing the day 10th and using the result as his one drop in the championship.
This past weekend, Menezes joined Tony Kart squad Imparato Motorsport in Italy for the second leg of the Italian Industrial Trophy at Parma. After adjusting to the difficult track and the rubber on the racing surface with two days of practice, Menezes qualified sixth in his group, ninth overall out of 51 drivers. Starting ninth in the first heat, he drove to a sixth place finish and the second fastest lap of the race. In the second heat, he suffered some electrical problems and settled for ninth. This gave him a eighth place starting spot for the final, where he powered his way up to fourth, one of his best finishes thus far overseas.
Now with two wins, two runner-up finishes, and a seventh place result counting toward his point total in the Stars of Karting JICA division, Menezes heads to the series finale leading the overall title chase by 20 points over his closest opponent. The event will take place October 19-21 on a temporary circuit at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he will hope to raise the national championship trophy.