Alongside the KF1 world championship, the other highlight of the international racing season was held last weekend in Sarno, located in southern Italy near the town of Naples. On the track were both KZ1, in which Parolin Racing Kart was presented by Aki Rask, and the juniors in KF3 category, with PRK presented by Simone Favaro. Despite the high hopes that our team had for the weekend, it turned out more like a pancake…
Simone was the fastest man on the track all through the Friday testing, but didn’t get it going that right as the racing started. Yet qualifying well on 9th position, a mere tenth of a second off the pole, the luck wasn’t much on his side ever since. Been crashed out by others in 2 of his heats, he was sent down to 22nd row for the pre-final. Even with a broken reed valve, he managed to finish 11th. The hopes for better then vanished in a fraction of time after the lights switched off for the final; a mass crash in the second corner of the first lap not only sent him back to very last place, but also bent the chassis, and at the end of the day Simone finished 21st in his very first European championship finals.
Much happier wasn’t the weekend for Aki either. After extremely difficult Friday, he got himself going a bit better when the official stopwatch came around, qualifying 25th in the 50 driver strong field. Steadily improving, he finished 11th in the first heat, but was then practically devastated, by a driver not-to-be-named-here, after the start of the 2nd qualifying heat. This both sent him to the second chance heat instead of comfortably qualifying for the Sunday finals, and destroyed the chassis as well. These two things combined with today’s regulation of 1 chassis only (using the other one will get the driver penalized by 10 seconds) didn’t promise too much of chances of going through by finishing in top-6, and so it didn’t happen either. After a superb start Aki had no chances, and soon found himself far down the order and then retiring the race.
The minds of everybody involved are empty and the disappointment is huge right now, but just wait and watch, and you’ll see PRK bouncing back bigger, better and faster in 2008!