Article By: Race Tech Development
Photo By: Deutshe Kart Mastierchaft
April 15, 2013 - Fresh off a strong WSK Masters event in Sarno, Italy, Parker Thompson would waste very little time getting to the next event in Ampfing, Germany as he would contest in the opening round of the German DKM program. Pleased with his results in Italy, Thompson would travel to Germany hoping to further advance his position up the running order and did so by taking his first career European karting victory.
With very little time between events, Thompson would trade in his driving gloves for a pair of working gloves as he would dawn an apron and work with his team prepping equipment. Since joining the Energy Corse squad, Thompson has shown great consistency running inside the top-ten and it was only a matter of time before the young gun stood on the top step of the podium.
"I was excited to head to Germany," explained Thompson. "I knew we had a fast kart and looking at the entry list, the competition proved to be second to none. Several teams and drivers from the WSK program would be in attendance as well as the local Germans, who would look to utilize their home track advantage throughout the weekend. I knew that if I was on my game and had a little luck on my side, I could be on the podium and possibly win this event."
As one of fifty drivers in the KFJ category, Thompson would start the weekend behind the eight ball, as his Energy team would arrive for testing on Friday morning. With most teams and drivers on track throughout the week, the Canadian pilot would need to work hard and provide the necessary feedback to ensure his package was quick by the end of the only test day he would be involved in. Throw in the fact that there would be only four on track sessions with two of them in wet conditions, Thompson would be forced to learn a tricky configuration and get on pace in very little time.
Returning to the track on Saturday morning, the Energy Corse team had decided to change the material of Thompson's chassis to better suit the conditions and track. Hoping to try his new ride in the morning warm-up session, Thompson and the rest of the KFJ field would be forced to remain in the paddock as heavy rains moved into the area. With no track time available before Saturday's qualifying effort, Thompson would enter the qualifying session without turning a lap on his freshly prepared chassis.
Thompson continued, "Having Friday night to sleep on the track and run it through my head, I was confident that the speed and times would be there on Saturday. Also, when morning warm-up was cancelled, I was still highly confident in my mechanic and team. When it comes down to it, they are the best in the business and all I would need to worry about was being on top of my game."
Pushing hard throughout the session, Thompson would be able to post the fifth quickest circuit. Happy with the result, the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals podium finisher knew that there was still room for improvement in both his driving and chassis setup.
Heat one would be a sign of things to come for Thompson as he would advance forward from his starting position through the opening complex of corners to come out second. Pacing himself and stalking the leader, Thompson made a bid for the lead with four laps remaining as he pulled an excellent passing maneuver that allowed him to gap his rivals. Turning some very fast laps in the final four circuits, Thompson would take the heat one victory, his first heat race win since joining the Energy squad. Heat two would be a little unlucky for the Canadian pilot as he was shuffled back to sixth on the opening lap. Showing his never-give-up attitude, Parker would march his way forward to the second position before the checkered flag would fly.
With first and second place results through the heat races, Thompson would see himself line up on the outside of row one for the start of the first final. With two finals each weekend awarding the same points for each, consistency and good results would be the name of the game.
With a disastrous start in final one, Thompson would find himself in the eighth position at the close of lap one. Again forced to come forward throughout the race, Thompson would manage to position himself in the third spot. With the first and second place drivers checking out from the field, a third place result would be all that was in the cards for final one.
"With the leaders checked out from the field, I really concentrated on managing my tires," explained Thompson. "With the outside row at a huge disadvantage at this track, I knew a third place result and inside row two starting position would be my best chance for victory in final two."
Looking for redemption for his horrible start in final one, Thompson quickly went to work and slipped into the lead before the exit of corner one. Giving himself just enough of a gap to focus forward, the eventual race winner was able to consistently stretch his lead until he had and maintained a comfortable margin.
Driving a smart final two and pushing when he needed to, Thompson would go on to take his first career European victory and will look to carry his momentum into future events.
Parker would like to thank his current supporters and partners: Energy Corse Factory, GFR Engines, TM Racing, Tillotson Carbs, Racing Against Cancer, Panigada Transport, Tillett Racing Seats, RLV, Douglas Wheels, Newline Racing Products, Bell Racing Helmets, Sparco, CanadianKartingNews.com and Sylvan Lake RV.
For more information on Parker Thompson including partnership opportunities, please visit him online at www.ParkerThompsonRacing.com or Parker Thompson Racing on Facebook and Twitter @parkertracing.
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