Rotax masters Protrain Racing enjoyed a very positive weekend at Super 1 in Rowrah with their drivers achieving superb lap times but suffering more than their fair share of bad luck.
Once again the Formula K showed its adaptability against a highly talented field in very changeable weather conditions, combined with individual skill the drivers were able to react positively and easily to the changing conditions on Saturday with a Protrain Driver in the top four in Timed Practice for each of the groups they contested with the unusual exception of Ed Brand.
Charlie Eastwood took fourth in qualifying 1 with Jack Saffery putting in a superb drive to take second place just edging out team mate Shaun Slavin in qualifying 2. Heat one saw Charlie secure sixth and in an unfortunate heat 2 for Jack he didn’t achieve his potential and came in 17th. The Senior Protrain drivers continued to flex their Rotax muscle in heat three by taking third, fourth, sixth and seventh positions in a superb display of kart driving. With Ed starting in 11th place for the Pre final it was a brilliant drive which saw him come home in third place with Charlie one place ahead in second. Ed had found some pace and was a serious contender for the podium.
What promised to be a great Senior final ended up being action packed for all the wrong reasons, from 3rd place Ed was challenging for second place when his engine seized and later when challenging for the lead Charlie somehow managed to flick up a piece of kerb around 4 inches square which wedged itself between his rear wheel and the bumper, this caused him real issues and it is a testimony to his driving skill that he managed to finish in third place. Shaun and Jack had incidents which left them in 8th and 16th respectively.
Charlie and his Kerb
Mini Max drivers Alex Stott and William Creighton showed their strength right from the start; with both drivers incredibly closely matched it was no surprise to see both drivers taking the same third and eighth positions in qualifying and their respective first heats. Alex’s misfortune started in his second heat when he was excluded following a coming together with another driver, whereas William’s positive weekend continued with a very well deserved second place. The exclusion put Alex into the repercharge where a spin onto the grass ended his weekend. William was also unable to maximise upon his great performance all weekend after a visit to one of Rowrah’s unforgiving kerbs caused a broken chain and an early exit.
Gary Chapman said afterwards "We had great pace all weekend; it was just one of those weekends when the finals don’t reflect your true position over the weekend. How Charlie managed to collect such a large bit of kerb is incredible, had he not done so he could definitely have won. Our drivers on the Formula K showed their pace once again against the best drivers and we know we have the package to win so we move on with great confidence.”
The European team moves onto Kristianstad where senior drivers Charlie Eastwood and Sabedin Berat will be joined by Canadian Champion Jesse Lazare and junior driver Max Aitken will be joined by Austrian Champion Thomas Preining.