TOUGH OUTING FOR MENEZES IN FRANCE FOR WSK INTERNATIONAL SERIES EVENT Up and down weekend for Tony Kart Junior Racing Team driver SALBRIS, FRANCE (July 26, 2009) -- Riding high off his recent success at the European Championships in Spain, ...
TOUGH OUTING FOR MENEZES IN FRANCE FOR WSK INTERNATIONAL SERIES EVENT
Up and down weekend for Tony Kart Junior Racing Team driver
SALBRIS, FRANCE (July 26, 2009) -- Riding high off his recent success at the European Championships in Spain, American karting star Gustavo Menezes looked to be locked in for another solid weekend at the fifth round of the WSK International Series. Coming into the event 14th in the KF3 championship standings, the Californian nearly pulled off a victory at the previous round until contact took him out of contention. The weekend at the Circuit de Salbris south of Paris however did not pan out as predicted for the 14-year old.
Testing leading up to Saturday morning's qualifying session was successful with Menezes in the mix among the quick drivers. Though he had improved his qualification techniques in previous rounds, Menezes fastest lap was not what he had hoped for, ending up 24th out of 53 drivers. His result placed him in Group D and starting in the fifth row of each of the four heat races. The first three saw Menezes hold his ground strong. Moving up to eighth in the first heat, Menezes ran seventh after improving his race craft on track. Posting fast laps of the third heat, Menezes was up to fourth until a brake issue cost him positions near the end of the race, dropping him to ninth. His final heat race was the best performance of the qualifying races as he knifed his way up to the fourth position.
When tallying the points from the four events, Menezes' consistency earned him a 13th grid position for the Prefinal. The 14-lap race Sunday afternoon was a tough battle with the tight field. Menezes was on the charge early, working himself up to fifth place until getting hit off the track by another driver on lap 10. He fell back to around 25th position and worked back to 18th, where he would finish outside of the points. Starting in the finishing position for the main event, Menezes would again gain ground on the leaders early as he progressed inside the top-10. A spun kart directly in front of him cost Menezes any chance of a good finish. Once he was pointed the right direction, Menezes was nearly in the last position and began running times similar to those of the leaders, eventually working himself up to the 21st position.
The Tony Kart Junior Racing Team driver will return home to California where he will have roughly a month to prepare for the CIK-FIA KF3 World Cup event in Sarno, Italy on September 3-6. Menezes will spend the time preparing mentally and physically, making contacts with his sponsors and supporters while also taking time to out to be a 14-year old on summer break.