26/5 Bad luck strikes again for Mathias in Castelleto

2012 DD2 Euro Challenge Champion retires from race after first lap incident

After the misfortune of the first race in Genk, where Mathias was unable to fight at the front of the field in the Final, due to a pierced radiator, the Bouvin Power team was hoping for better luck at the 7Laghi track in Castelleto, Italy, hosting the second round of 2013 Rotax Euro Challenge.

During Wednesday and Thursday’s Free Practice sessions Mathias and Kobe were struggling with the set-up of their MS Kart. Mathias found his kart very difficult to handle and was off the pace by nearly a second per lap. Things looked a little bit better in Non Qualifying Practice on Friday morning, where Mathias was able to set the third fastest time. But during the afternoon’s Qualifying Session he couldn’t set a good flying lap and finished a low 15th overall.

This meant he would start his 3 Qualification Races from the 4th row of the grid on Saturday.

By Saturday morning however, the track conditions had changed completely as the rain settled in for the entire day. The team were hoping for better performance of the DD2 MS Kart Blue Falcon in the wet and Mathias indeed showed improved pace in the Qualification Heats. He finished P6 and P7 in his first two Heats. A late change in the set-up really got Mathias up to the frontrunners speed in his third Heat, where he finished 4th. He ended the day a solid 8th in the Qualification Ranking.

On Sunday morning the Italian sun was back out and a “green” dry track looked set for a good performance by Mathias who was not giving up hopes of a strong result.
After a few laps into the 13-lap Pre-FInal Mathias was right on the pace of the leaders and he finished an encouraging seventh. He was pleased with the speed and handling of his MS Kart.

Mathias was hoping for a strong start in the 16-Lap Final, and targeting a Top 5 result which was a realistic goal. But very sadly, it all went wrong in the first lap. He got a push in turn 3 which almost forced him into a spin, and having lost momentum another driver hit his MS Kart hard and badly damaged the radiator and steering. Mathias’ engine temperature went up as he tried to make up for the many lost places. He wisely decided to retire from the race to prevent further engine damage, as a good result was no longer possible.

Xen De Ruwe who showed dominant form throughout the event deservedly won the Final in his Formula-K chassis, with Ferenc Kanscar (Kalman-Birel) and Miika Laiho (MPT-Tonykart) completing the Top 3. These 3 drivers are now strongly in the lead of the Championship after 2 Rounds.

So, it was another disappointing Euro Challenge for the Bouvin Power-MS Kart team. Let’s hope luck turns around for the third Round, scheduled on 20-21 July at the UK’s PFI circuit.