Great Start for Douglas in Sarno

Fast-rising young Kiwi karter Jacob Douglas has had a great start to his second 2019 FIA Karting Academy Trophy Series round in Italy, setting the second quickest lap time in qualifying early this (Sat) morning (NZ time).

Jacob Douglas in the pits with mentor Matt Hamilton (pic – Fast Company/Umberto Fraenkel-Sportinphoto)

His best time – of 1:01.620 – at the Sarno track near Naples, was just 0.030 of a second shy of the pole time of 1.01.590 set by Italy-based Singaporean driver Christian Ho and means that Douglas will get to start two of his three heat races from pole position.

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The winner of the first round of this year’s FIA Academy Trophy Series, Robert De Haan from the Netherlands qualified fourth with a best time of 1.01.741.

Douglas was quick from the get-go on Friday, setting the sixth quickest lap time in his first practice session then the 10th in the second and the fifth quickest time in the third.

He and fellow Kiwi mentor Matt Hamilton then dialled in his kart for his qualifying session and, speaking from the track immediately after qualifying, the 13-year-old from Christchurch said that it all pretty much went to plan.


Jacob Douglas (pic – Fast Company/Umberto Fraenkel-Sportinphoto)

“After the heats Matt and I discussed qualifying and we both agreed we had the pace for pole, so we put together a strategy. Getting a tow is really important here so after getting everything dialled in I tucked in behind one of the other quick guys and ended up with a time good enough for P2 which we were both pretty happy with.”

Multi-time NZ champion, and successful international, Matt Hamilton, agreed, though cautioned that it was early days yet.

“Track position is really important on these big tracks and it doesn’t always go your way. However, because Jacob had been on the pace from the start of the day we had more time to fine tune the kart.”

The other Kiwi karter competing at the meeting, 16-year-old Matthew Payne from Auckland, has also had a good start at the second (and final) round of the 2019 FIA European Championship – KZ2, twice setting times in the top 10 in his practice heats and qualifying 33rd (out of a field of 65).


Matthew Payne (pic – Fast Company/Umberto Fraenkel-Sportinphoto)