Article By: KARTCOM
Photo By: KSP
After an extremely encouraging season start, Max Defourny expected a lot from the first round of the European KF Junior Karting Championship, held on the circuit of Alcaniz (Spain). Sixth at the end of the qualifying heats, this talented driver from Luxembourg was legitimately seeking an excellent result - or even a podium - in the final. Unfortunately bad luck conspired again against him and Max also suffered the consequences of sporting regulations ill suited to meet the challenges of such an important international event.
Technically, physically and mentally, Max Defourny was perfectly prepared to face the difficult European KF Junior Championship, the class where most of today's car race champions have figured prominently during their karting career.
By working diligently during free practice to learn the numerous specific features of the fast and long (1,670 metres) circuit of Alcaniz, in Spain, Max completed an excellent timed-qualifying session behind the wheel of his Kosmic-TM. "Together with Alain Boumal, who is in charge with technical support, and with my engine mechanic Frédéric Dettings from GKS, we found an excellent set-up. A seventh time out of 80 drivers was a great result and, most importantly, I knew I would start from the second inside line in all the heats", Max commented.
Disillusion after Hope
As expected, the qualifying heats were hard fought. As for Max, he did more than just resisting and put up a faultless performance by raking respectively 5th, 2nd, 5th, 2nd, and 3rd in his five long heats. His race strategy proved to be effective and Max moved up to sixth place overall. In the pre-final, he made an excellent start and reached the third place. He quickly overtook the driver who preceded him, but the latter collided with him a few meters later. Max lost some precious positions when he went off his path, but most of all, his tie rod was damaged.
Max Defourny's kart no longer responded as the driver expected and he slid down the standings, so much so that his hopes to enter the final evaporated. It was a terrible disappointment. "The new sporting regulations adopted by the CIK are ill suited to a European Championship. A system of two different pre-finals where drivers need to finish in the first 17 positions seems to rely too much on random chance. Max showed some great performances, but he could not enter the final because of another driver, and of these regulations", Alain Boumal commented. "Already during a recent meeting of the WSK Euro Series, where this regulation issue emerged, Max experienced an identical situation because a driver braked too late during a start. At this international level, our partners invest quite a lot of money and it is not normal to experience situations like these".
Though Max Defourny will soon regain his usual determination thanks to his strength of character, it was a pity to miss a possible top 5, or even a better result, in this round of the European Championship...