MENEZES SCORES BEST FINISH AT WSK INTERNATIONAL SERIES EVENT Tony Kart Junior Racing Team member places eighth at third round in Castelletto, Italy PAVIA, ITALY (April 5, 2009) -- The month of April could be the turning point for American ...
MENEZES SCORES BEST FINISH AT WSK INTERNATIONAL SERIES EVENT
Tony Kart Junior Racing Team member places eighth at third round in Castelletto, Italy
PAVIA, ITALY (April 5, 2009) -- The month of April could be the turning point for American Gustavo Menezes' 2009 European campaign following a career best performance overseas. After a rough start to the season, the Californian has shown that he carries the skills needed to run up front against the best Junior drivers in the world. Contending the third round of the WSK International Series at the 7 Laghi Kart International Circuit in Castelletto di Branduzzo, Italy, the Tony Kart Junior Racing Team pilot went on to produce an eighth place finish in the feature race, score his first championship points in the process.
The weekend began strong for Menezes as during the two free practice days prior to the event, he found himself among the quickest drivers present. Even as more and more rubber was laid down on the circuit, Gustavo and his Tony Kart crew made the necessary adjustments to keep him near the top of the charts. Saturday began with the qualifying session as Menezes was placed in the first of three groups. Though he was sixth in his group, the next two sessions were much quicker and hurt his overall classification. Once the timed sessions were done, he was listed as 17th overall. After the field was split into five groups for the heat races, Menezes would be in Group B and start from row four in each flight.
First up was the battle against Group D and unfortunately the clouds surrounding the circuit opened up with rain covering the circuit. Menezes used the wet conditions to his advantage to gain four spots in the first 12-lap qualifier to finish third. A bad start for Menezes in the second race versus the Group A dropped him back a few spots in the opening laps until he began to charge back forward. Unfortunately, contact in front of him resulted in a blocked track. Collected in the melee, Menezes would lose the spots he gained and eventually finished 11th once he returned to action.
The third heat against Group E was a great battle inside the top-10 with Menezes gaining one spot early at the start of the event. Once he settled in, Gustavo would gain two more positions to finish fourth. The fourth heat - B vs. C - would take place Sunday morning with the conditions just right for Menezes to once again move forward, placing fifth in the final qualifying race. His strong results classified Gustavo seventh overall to start inside row four for the Prefinal.
As he did in the previous wheel-to-wheel action, Menezes would find himself moving up through the field once again. A great start put him up to fifth early on, however, a slight error while trying to overtake fourth cost him three spots in the process as he would go on to finish where he started, seventh overall. Starting the final in the familiar inside row four grid slot, Menezes began the 16-lap race with a ton of confidence. Battling within the lead group, the racing was tight and challenging, however, Menezes charged forward up to the fourth spot. Contact from his rivals would result in a few errors made by Gustavo and he would drop from the top-five. Menezes settled for the eighth position in the final tally, his best result to date in the WSK International Series. With his first championship points earned, in both the Prefinal and Final, Menezes now sits tied for 14th overall.
Menezes will head to Belgium this weekend for the second round of the Belgium Championship, held at the Genk facility, to prepare for the upcoming CIK-FIA KF3 Northern Region Qualification event on April 30-May 3. He will look to earn a transfer spot to compete at the KF3 European Championships in July.