Valuable Experience Gained By Team Australia In Italy

KA media 23 February 2015

Australian Karting Champions Liam McLellan, Matthew Waters and Troy Loeskow have gained valuable experience after competing in the 2015 CIK-FIA Winter Cup in Italy across the weekend.

The trio, competing in Europe for the first time in their careers courtesy of their success in the Australian Kart Championship (formerly known as the CIK Stars of Karting Championship), lined up against many of the world’s best driver in the 20th running of the prestigious event.

Following a strong qualifying performance that saw Loeskow post the tenth fastest time, the Australians endured a challenging run through the heat races on Saturday forcing all three to contest the second-chance race on Sunday morning.

Above: Melbourne teenager Liam McLellan on the grid ready to race at the South Garda circuit in Italy

At one stage throughout the race all three drivers were inside the top six and on track to transfer into the final.  However, when Loeskow and Waters came together it dropped Waters out of a transfer place and also dislodged his front fairing.

McLellan crossed the line fourth and Loeskow fifth and appeared to gain a spot on the grid for the final.  However, it was deemed that Loeskow’s front fairing had come adrift in the race which led to him receiving a 30-second penalty and therefore out of the finals race.

As Waters and Loeskow were forced to watch from the sidelines, McLellan moved up nine places in the pre-final to cross the line 23rd, he would move up seven places after the post race penalties were implemented for drivers having their front fairings dislodged.  He was then well placed after the first few corners of the final before he was spun from behind dropping him to 33rd.

Throughout the remainder of the race McLellan showed some good speed aboard his Ricciardo Kart to claw his way back up the order and finish in 21st place.

Above: Bundaberg's Troy Loeskow leading Team Australia teammate Liam McLellan
pic - KSP

“It was a huge experience to have the opportunity to represent Australia here in Italy,” said McLellan.

“I feel as though I learnt a lot throughout the week and had some good speed but just not the luck in some of the races.

“To get through to the final was a good feeling but I know if it wasn’t for being spun on the opening lap a strong finish inside the top 15 was definitely possible.

“I will now take what I learnt here this week back to Australia to continually improve.”

For Loeskow, it was a similar story.

“Qualifying was very good and I was confident going into the heat races but I just didn’t have luck on my side and was involved in a couple of incidents that cause my nosecone to be damaged,” said Losekow.

“I thought I’d made it through the last chance race and it wasn’t until we went to the grid that we found out I received a penalty which was a very disappointing end.

“Overall though, it has been a fantastic experience and I'd like to thank everyone involved in putting this opportunity together and I can’t wait to put what I learnt this weekend into practice back in Australia.”

Also competing this weekend was Queenslanders Brock Plumb and Lachlan Hughes in the KZ2 and Mini Rok classes respectively.  Plumb was eliminated in the opening turn of the second chance race after starting tenth while Hughes claimed eighth in the final of the Mini Rok class.

Above: Gold Coast youngster Lachlan Hughes took an outstanding 8th place in the Mini Rok final
pic - KSP


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