Dixon Frustrated In Italian Open Event


Kent karting star James Dixon suffered a frustrating weekend at the Jesolo circuit in the third round of the Italian Open Masters Championship, claiming just a handful of points with a twelfth place finish.

The 17-year-old Candy Carriers backed racer started his weekend incredibly well with some impressive pace in the free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, with his intention of claiming as many points as possible over the meeting looking promising.

In the opening heat, James charged from the fifth row and picked up a fantastic sixth place, showing his rivals that he was looking for top class results. In the second heat he was forced to work hard when he was unable to get into the pack from the outside row at the start and dropped back a handful of places, eventually having to settle for eleventh.

In the last heat he was tagged by another racer and after rejoining had to settle for crossing the line a lap down.

In the first of the two finals James and the JRP Racing team took a gamble on staying on the used tyres from the early part of the weekend. A great drive up to 13th from 23rd place in the early part of the race meant that he was on course for a good points finish. However, he lost grip over the second half of the race and the worn tyres eventually cried enough, with one of them puncturing with just five laps left to run, forcing him into retirement.

A fresh set of rubber for the second final should have given James a great chance of breaking into the top ten. However, when the team bolted the new tyres onto the Maranello Kart chassis, he found that he suddenly had to fight for grip all around the circuit.

A superb run from 22nd place on the grid allowed him to quickly move up into 15th position, but he was still struggling with an ill-handling kart and as the chequered flag fell after 24 laps he had managed to work his way into 12th place, picking up just five points from the weekend.

A disappointed James was left frustrated by his on-track result, but confident that he can bounce back at the next round after his early weekend speed.

"We had plenty of pace in the early part of the weekend and it looked like we were in for a good event," he said. "As soon as the team put the new tyres on the kart though, the handling just went. I was fighting understeer everywhere and it made the kart really bad," he added.

"I've got some positives to bring away from the weekend, though. Our pace through free practice and the sixth place finish in the heats proved that we're there and I'm quite confident that I can get a couple of good results when we move onto the next round of the WSK series in two weeks time.

James will be back in action in the European championship at the French circuit of Salbris at the beginning of June.

Harvey Holds Italian Open Lead Despite Hard Weekend


Bassingham based karting star, Jack Harvey, managed to maintain his lead in the Italian Open Master Championship, despite failing to score a single point at the Jesolo circuit this weekend.

The factory Maranello Kart racer went into the latest round of the hotly contested KF3 category with a healthy 23 point lead at the top of the standings. His aim for the weekend was to extend that with a pair of solid points finishes. However, a series of incidents in the heats meant that he was unable to make the cut for the finals on Sunday.

In three of the four heats the reigning Junior British Champion was shunted off the circuit by other drivers, forcing him to retire on each occasion. Such was his pace though, he scored a superb victory in the fourth heat, proving to his rivals that his pace was still there.

Unfortunately for Jack, a single heat result was not enough to make it into the two finals and he had to take to the grid for the last chance race, to try and make the back of the grid on Sunday.

It was not meant to be. The 14-year-old was once again tagged by another racer at the start and was unable to get into the top three, crossing the line in fifth place.

However, his championship rivals failed to take advantage of Jack's miserable weekend and, as he left the circuit on Sunday evening, his lead at the top of the points had only been reduced to 15, with two rounds of the series now left to run.

An upbeat Jack was left wondering what should have been, after having the pace to run right at the front all weekend, as well as concentrating on the task ahead over the next two rounds.

"Obviously it's been a disappointing weekend for me," he said. "But it is part of racing. Occasionally you have a bad weekend. We've had a great run so far this year to be leading the championship, picking up the results we have already."

"There are plenty of positives to come out of the weekend too. We were definitely quick enough to have challenged for the win on Sunday, as qualifying and the last heat proved."

"We made some improvements to the kart and the engine over the weekend too. The team worked brilliantly to get the kart sorted between the heats. So, I'm confident that we can go into the last two rounds and get back onto the podium and fight all the way to the end for the title," he added.

Jack now has a two week break before he heads to the French circuit at Salbris for the penultimate round of the WSK European series, where he currently lies fourth in the standings.

Dixon Claims Top Ten Points Haul In Ugento


Sittingbourne kart racer James Dixon grabbed two top-ten finishes and another handful of points in the latest round of the KF2 class of the Winning Series of Karting Championship, at the Italian circuit of Ugento this weekend. (May 12/13).

The 17-year-old Candy Carriers backed driver set a time less than half a second away from pole position in qualifying. However, the KF2 pace was so tight that this still left James 15th on the grid, as he struggled to find a perfect set-up on his JRP Racing run Maranello Kart.

"The times were incredibly tight," said James. "If I had been just a tenth of a second faster I'd have been fifth quickest in qualifying. It is so close right the way through the field," he added.

A ninth and third place in the two heats on Saturday showed that he was on the pace with the rest of the front-runners in the build up to the two points-scoring finals on Sunday.

After starting eighth in the first final James was able to make up a single place over the course of 16-lap race to come home seventh, giving him the same spot on the grid for the grand final.

More improvements on the kart by the team meant that by the time he lined up for the final time James was able to push as soon as the lights went green, making up two places and taking 5th place, bringing his points total for the weekend to 15.

Although it wasn't the podium result that he had wanted prior to the weekend, James was happy with his pace over the course of the meeting and is hoping that he can carry his speed into the next round of the Italian Open Championship next weekend.

"We got faster as the weekend went on and in the final I set the third fastest lap-time, so the pace was there," said James. "I hope that we can go another step forward at Jesolo. I just want to score as many points as possible next weekend as I'm currently 23rd in the standings and want to move myself as far up the table as I can."

James will take to the circuit on Friday for testing before qualifying and racing gets underway on Saturday.

Garner Steps Back Into Winners Circle At Brands Hatch


Bracknell based motorcycle racer, Luke Garner, stepped back onto the top step of the podium with another victory in the rookie class of the BMCRC Clubman Mini-twin championship at Brands Hatch in Kent at the weekend.

The win for the 22-year-old Pharos Communications backed rider was also his first ride after a massive accident at the previous round at Cadwell Park late last month, which put him in hospital with concussion, forcing him to miss the four races at the Lincolnshire venue.

A low on confidence Garner struggled to get to terms with the Kent circuit and the set-up of his Suzuki SV650. However, in qualifying he managed to take seventh overall and third in class for the first of four races.

A poor start in the first race on Saturday meant that he had to settle for fifth in class by the time he reached the chequered flag, although, he was happy to have set faster lap times than the riders in front of him.

A gear selection problem in the early stages of race two also hampered his progress and a seventh place finish would mean that he had his work cut out on Sunday.

Incredibly wet conditions in race three on Sunday morning gave Luke the chance he was waiting for. A fantastic start allowed him to move up to fourth place from 12th on the grid at the first corner. As the rain began to fall more heavily he was able to move up into second place overall and first rookie and continued to reel off the laps to record his second victory of the season.

In the fourth race it was Luke's lack of racing experience that caused him to miss out on another trophy as he tripped over a back-marker on the final lap.

"I'm so pleased to have taken another victory, especially after the accident at Cadwell," he said. "I was incredibly disappointed when I dropped back in the first two races on Saturday. But, I just went for it in the rain on Sunday morning and my lines just seemed to come good on every lap."

"I was disappointed to miss out on another visit to the podium when I mis-judged what the back-marker was going to do in the final race, though. I had almost lost the front end on the penultimate lap and had decided to wait until the exit of the corner before I passed him."

"Unfortunately he ran wide and baulked me. It meant that two other rookie class riders were able to dive up the inside of us both and I had to settle for fourth instead of second. It's definitely something I've learnt this weekend!" he added.

"This weekend was definitely the best way to come back from the crash and I will be hoping to carry on collecting the silverware when the championship goes to Pembrey in Wales for the next round," he added.

Harvey Takes Points Finish In Italy


Reigning British Junior karting champion, Jack Harvey, grabbed two top ten finishes to keep his fight for the KF3 class of the Winning Series of Karting European championship on track at the latest round of the series in Ugento, Italy this weekend.

The Lincoln Minster School pupil struggled for power all weekend and was unable to make a visit to the podium in the two point-scoring finals. However, some superb driving from the 14-year-old allowed him to bring home more points to narrow the gap in the table, as some of his rivals failed to score over the weekend.

"We had a small problem on the kart at the start of the weekend, but the team managed to sort that out fairly quickly," said Jack. "But I was generally down on power compared to the rest of the front runners all weekend."

In the first final Jack got tapped off the circuit at the start and dropped down to 17th place. A great drive allowed him to run as high as eighth, but he was then tagged by another racer who had spun and was forced to run wide, dropping to his eventual finishing place of tenth.

In the second race, he got a superb start and ran as high as third in the early laps. However, his lack of power meant that after the first five laps he was unable to stay with the leaders and came under increasing pressure from the chasing pack. While driving hard to keep his place he made a couple of small mistakes and had to settle for sixth place at the flag.

"It's definitely been the hardest weekend we've had so far this year," said Jack. "But we came away with more points and some of the guys that were ahead of me in the championship failed to score at all. I'm still fourth, but I've narrowed the gap to the guys ahead of me and I'll be aiming to step back onto the podium again at the next round," he added.

Jack has just a one week break before he has to fly back out to Italy to defend his lead in the Italian Open championship at Jesolo