In 2011, Nyck De Vries will focus mainly on the new KF1 World Championship (5 meetings) and on the WSK Euro Series organised in this same category. But the Dutch karter has also taken the opportunity to make his debut in KZ (125cc gearbox karts) at the Winter Cup. Once again, the Chiesa Corse driver has walked away with top honours.
Rewarded by the FIA and then by the CIK for his World Champion title, as well as by the WSK for his performances in the their international series, Nyck De Vries started the 2011 season with the same motivation, the same determination to win, as well as this thirst for learning that stimulates him to keep improving. "I always wanted to try gearbox karts. Driving is a bit different, they are more powerful, your body is heavily put to the test and there is a gearbox. For me it was an exciting challenge. And it was a new opportunity to fight against the most experienced top-level drivers of current karting".
At the wheel of his Zanardi-Parilla, Nyck De Vries quickly found the right solution to drive in line with the times of the best drivers. In the timed qualifying phase, he set the third best time, at just 11 hundredths of a second from the pole position on the Lonato circuit (Italy). Despite the 35 kg of lead he had to attach to his chassis, his team and De Vries himself did a good job to fine tune his kart set-up. "I hoped I could at least defend my place in the qualifying heats, but I had two difficult starts. The first also ended with a collision, while I finished 7th and 4th in the other two. I was 17th in the start grid of the pre-final, just when it began to rain a bit. We had mounted the rain tyres, but then the rain stopped and I could not do anything against the many drivers who had opted for the slicks. A pity, because I was 8th at the beginning of the race after a good start".
This time on a soaking wet track, Nyck suffered again because of his much damaged tyres during the pre-final. "I was 15th; of course I hoped to do better, but I am very satisfied anyway with how I improved every time I entered the track" Nyck concluded.
Team manager Dino Chiesa's View
"Nyck's programme in KF1 is a priority in 2011, but I'd also be glad to see him again on a gearbox kart this year. What he has been capable of achieving on his first race in this category is impressive. I heard in the paddock that it was something normal, given the many days of tests performed in KZ. Of course Nyck has tried to be as ready as possible, but he is still a long way from the hundreds of driving hours and the experience of most of his opponents".