Kristiansand (Sweden), July 27 (IANS) Kush Maini ended the final round of the CIK-FIA European Karting Championship eighth overall here after qualifying 51st out of 75.
The 14-year-old from Bengaluru scythed his way through the field during the four rounds of heats and the pre-final to qualify fifth for the final where he finished eighth in a competition that had over a 100 participants of 32 nationalities on Sunday.
Kush, who came into the championship in high spirits after winning his appeal which had earlier excluded him from the results in the first round at Portimao, showed great pace through the practice sessions which saw him consistently running in the top 10.
However, Kush endured a dreadful qualifying where an incident with a kart coupled with a lack of open space saw him qualify 15th in his group and 51st overall.
This meant that Kush started 21st for each of his four heats. However, he battled his way up the order to finish ninth in the first heat, and third in the second, only to be excluded after the front bumper of his kart fell off during an incident involving another competitor besides a trip over the curbs.
In the third heat, Kush gained 20 positions en route to a win. The fourth and final heat saw Kush make up a further 11 positions on a fully dry track which brought his tally of positions gained to a remarkable 60 karts in one day’s worth of racing.
Thus, Kush started his pre-final in 14th place and picked his way through the field to fifth place, gaining nine more positions that ensured his first top 10 start for the weekend in the final.
In the final, Kush managed to gain two more positions to finish eighth overall in the round and a commendable 10th overall in the championship.
Kush said: “After such a disastrous qualifying session, things were always going to be difficult. That being said I am extremely satisfied with the way I drove. I always managed to gain positions and I’m especially happy with my win in my third heat and also my overtaking in general.
“I would like to thank my team, Forza Racing, who made some brilliant strategic calls and got the setup spot on when the conditions were difficult. Though the final result may not have been our ideal target, we can all walk away from the weekend satisfied with our performance.”