Armstrong Confident Ahead of Euro Rotax Round

press release 15 July 2014

After a breakthrough heat win at the second round in Italy in late May, Christchurch-based Kiwi karter Marcus Armstrong is looking for a podium finish at the third round of this year's Rotax Max Euro Challenge series in Spain this weekend.

"I want to improve on last time, definitely," the talented 13-year-old said before he left for testing at the Zuera track north-west of Barcelona last week. "Ideally a podium, if not a win."

Top New Zealand karter Marcus Armstrong, seen here contesting the second round of the 2014 Rotax Max Euro Challenge in Italy in May
Above: Top New Zealand karter Marcus Armstrong, seen here contesting the second round of the 2014 Rotax Max Euro Challenge in Italy in May
pic - Fast Company/RGMMC

The reigning New Zealand Rotax Junior class champion, and again leader of the Junior class in the local Rotax Max Challenge series, certainly has the pace, having been quick but ultimately unlucky at both Euro series rounds he has contested so far.

At the first, at Genk in Belgium, in April, he set the 10th quickest time in his qualifying practice group, ranking him 20th out of the 70-strong field, before carding fourth, fifth and sixth placings in the heats.

Because he was taken out and failed to finish the Pre-Final Armstrong had to start the Final from the back of the grid but in one of the drives of the meeting worked his way from P31 at the start to 17th place at the flag.

He was even quicker at the second round in Italy, topping his groups (J1 in practice and Group B in qualifying) and maintained his front-running form into the heat races, finishing eighth in the first and runner-up in the second before winning the third.

That saw him ranked third out of the 57-strong field and after winning the five lap warm-up race ahead of the Pre-Final he started that race from P3 only to be hit from behind ('mongreled' is the word he used) and forced to again fight back from the back of the field to 17th place - where he started the Final.

He then had another storming drive forward, greeting the chequered flag this time in eighth place.

Armstrong is quick to share the credit for his impressive performances so far this year with his British-based team, Dan Holland Racing. 

"They're like a well-oiled machine" he says, "always on top of everything and really I don't think I would be performing so well if I was with another team. I'm going to have new gear for this round, so we are going to be well-prepared and the team have a lot of experience at the circuit we are going to be racing at.

"I know the karts will be good, the engines will be good, the rest will be up to me."

Before he flew out from Christchurch Armstrong had just returned from Dunedin where he was part of this year's Elite Motorsport Academy intake. He says he was impressed by the content of the week-long course and believes things he learned at it will also help him this weekend.

"Particularly in terms of nutrition and mental skills, I definitely think they will help my performance."

After contesting this weekend's Euro Seriesround  Armstrong will be back home in Christchurch on the 23rd with his next big meeting here the fifth round of the Rotax Max Challenge New Zealand at Hastings over the August 16/17 weekend.

2014 Rotax Max Euro (Kart) Challenge
Points after Rnd 2 of 4

Rotax Junior
1. Thomas Priening (Aut/Team TKP) 178 points
2. Richard Verschoor (Nld/Team TKP 166
3. Dean MacDonald (GBR/Strawberry Racing) 164
4. Max Timmermans (Bel/Dan Holland Racing) 155
5. Alex Quinn (GBR/Coles Racing) 148
6. Leonard Hoogenboom (Nld/Dan Holland Racing) 133
15. Marcus Armstrong (NZL/Dan Holland Racing) 103

2014 Rotax Max Euro Challenge
Rnd 1: April 02-06 Genk Belgium
Rnd 2: May 26-June 01 Castelletto Italy
Rnd 3: July 14-20 Zuera Spain
Rnd 4: Sept 01-07 Salbris France


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