Armstrong takes on the world this weekend
Christchurch karter Marcus Armstrong takes the next – big – step in his four-wheel career this weekend at the World Karting Championship meeting at Essay in north-western France.
The 14-year-old was invited by the Kosmic team to compete in the KF Junior class at this year’s world championship meeting, a first for a New Zealand driver, and the first time a Kiwi has competed at the annual World Karting Championship event since the Cunningham brothers Wade and Mitch, Wade winning the Senior title at Sarno in Italy in 2003.
Armstrong, the reigning New Zealand Rotax Junior class champion and winner, last year, of the Junior class in the New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge Series, appeared on the Kosmic team’s radar contesting this year’s Rotax Max Euro Challenge and justified their faith in him last weekend by finishing fourth in class at the DKM German Kart Championship meeting.
This weekend he is one of 170 drivers from 34 countries chasing a world title with close to 100 in the KF Junior class alone and is well aware of the task ahead of him.
“As always, I aim high, but anything can happen, particularly at a one-off race for the World Championship.”
Heading into the event karting commentators in Europe are looking to this year’s European championships for a form guide with young British driver Enaam Ahmed (FA Kart-Vortex-Vega) the favourite and competition expected to come from Mick Junior (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega) from Germany and American Devlin Defrancesco (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega).
Getting used to the extra power and in particular grip of a KF Junior class kart is the biggest difference Armstrong has faced so far but as he said of the Germany championship meeting; ‘ it took me a few sessions to adjust to the grip level which was completely different to anything I had done before, but I improved throughout the weekend and finished fourth out of 45 against a lot of the big names/race favourites for the worlds.”
In the KF Senior class the drivers expected to vie for the 2014 world title are Callum Illot (Zanardi-Parilla-Dunlop) from Great Britain, Nicklas Nielsen (Kosmic-Vortex-Dunlop) from Denmark, and Pole Karol Basz (Tony Kart-Vortex-Dunlop).