CIK-FIA European Championship & WSK Night Edition,Adria International Raceway (Italy)
Bad luck in European Championship's Pre-Final Strong performance with P7 in WSK Night Race
With two high-class competitions at the Adria International Raceway in Italy, the young kart driver Niklas Krütten had a full program on his agenda. Changing weather conditions made the second round of the CIK-FIA European Championship into a true rollercoaster ride with the early retirement for the young driver from Trier in the Pre-Final. Only a week after, the 13-year-old took part in the WSK Night Edition at the same track as a preparation for the CIK-FIA World Championship taking place in Bahrain in November, and finishing the Final with a great Top-10 result.
CIK-FIA European Championship, 3rd – 5th June 2016It was not the weekend the young talented driver Niklas Krütten had hoped for. At the second round of the CIK-FIA European Championship, Niklas was forced to retire after an unfaulty accident in the Pre-Final.
The weekend started promising indeed. Niklas put in the second fastest time in the OK-Junior Class during the last free practice on Friday. But there was one thing after another on Saturday. With changing weather, the conditions for the over 150 participants from 34 nations were very difficult. In addition, Niklas had the worst part of starting in the first qualification group when the 1.302m long track was lacking grip following heavy rain. He set the 12th fastest time, meaning 42nd overall in the rankings and P17 on the grid for the pre-races.
Despite the consistent bad weather, Niklas managed to finish in 11 and 9 in the first two heats. He was blocked many times in the other two races and only managed a P40 in the overall rankings, but showing great sped with lap times in the top running.
He showed his ambition in warm-up on Sunday with the ninth overall best time. In the pre-final, the young racer managed to make-up eight positions in only four laps, looking in a promising position for a Top-10 result. However, a slower competitor drove into his kart when he tried to overtake him and forced Niklas into a spin. Niklas was unable to make-up the positions and the gap to the front runners, following the pushing and re-starting of his kart.
“We were way behind our full potential this weekend”, said Niklas after the European round. „We could have easily run in the Top-10 looking at our speed. But the weather and the bad qualifying didn´t help. It is difficult to overtake on this track. It is like a gamble having to start from far behind working your way up the field through the slow drivers. It is frustrating, because we worked so hard for a good result.”
WSK Night Edition, 10th – 11th June 2016Almost half of the field for the European Championship round competed at the WSK Night Edition race one week later at the Adria Raceway. The traditional and high-class entered Night Race served as the perfect preparation for the World Championship in Bahrain in November later this year. And Niklas bounced back with great impact.
It was a totally new experience to drive in the dark for the young driver. Enduring rain showers and changing track conditions didn´t make it easy for the 120 starters from 12 nations. But the 13-year-old proofed already during free practice, that he was one of the guys to look out for. Niklas demonstrated his outstanding form with great lap time and finished in tenth place in Qualifying for the OK Junior.
After the positions fifth, seventh and 11 in the pre-runs, Niklas secured a great eighth overall place. The 13-year-old started from P9 into the Pre-Final and was able to show a great performance against his older participants. He was fully motivated for the Night Race Final on Saturday evening. Following a good start, he lost a few positions, but had climbed up the ladder up into P7 by the end of the race.
“With the disappointing weekend of the European round, it was great to be able to show my potential once again”, said Niklas after the Night Edition. “I do like this track and with the good results, I can make my peace with this track and look ahead with great pleasure. Big thank you goes to my team Ricky Flynn Motorsport for their great support.”
The third round of the CIK-FIA European Championship will take place at the Autódromo Internacional Algarve in Portimao (Portugal) from 22nd until 26th June 2016.