Fothergill Fast in Suzuka
AKA press release
Queensland driver Cian Fothergill showed great speed during his international kart racing debut before a mechanical failure ended his campaign prior to the final of the Asia Pacific KF2 Championship at Suzuka in Japan on the weekend.
Fothergill (right, CIK-KSP pic), who earned his place at the prestigious event by winning the 2010 CIK Stars of Karting Pro Light KF1 title, impressed many high credentialed teams with the event running alongside the final round of the World Karting Championship.
The 22 year-old Gladstone driver was on the pace right as soon as he arrived with good speed in practice in both wet and dry conditions despite some language barriers with his team.
Racing a familiar Kosmic chassis, it looked as though he was set to qualify right up the pointy end of the 31-kart field setting fastest sectors early in the lap before slightly dropping a wheel off the circuit meaning he had to settle for 13th fastest.
From there Fothergill continued his good display in the three heats but was having trouble getting used to the much slower starts overseas which was seeing him drop back a little in each race. Despite this he recovered well to card heat results of sixth, eighth and third setting the fastest lap of the race on two of those three occasions.
“The starts over here (Japan) are much slower than back home, probably about half the pace so that took some getting used to as did the international driving style, they’re not afraid to block you on the straights or dive back down the inside after you pass them,” explained Fothergill.
“Suzuka is a great track, it’s tough and very fast just like the competition I was racing against.”
This set the three-time Australian Champion up to start the pre-final from position ten and after a solid slow start contact from behind forced the Aussie back in the pack before passing karts at will to recover to cross the line in eighth earning a start from row four for the all-important winner-takes-all final.
Unfortunately this is where everything quickly came to a grinding holt with Fothergill’s kart starting to go out on track for the pre-race presentations but when it was time to start for the race the starter motor simply decided not to work, the fail reducing him to a spectator before the green light.
“This really was an awesome experience, I learnt so much and while it was great to show good pace I’m disappointed I couldn’t start the final but that’s the way racing goes, you can’t do anything about a starter motor packing up,” said Fothergill
“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and for everything the Kosmic Factory Team has done for me, they have been a pleasure to work with.”
“I also really need to thank everyone that has helped make this trip possible including Garry from Eastern Creek Karts, Remo from Remo Racing and Kosmic, everyone at TrackSa, MG Engines, Peter Galvin for all his help and of course my family for their support – none of it would be possible without any of them.”
In the end the victory went to Japanese FA Kart driver Arata Saeki who started back in 14th with Birel racer Max Klingby-Silver (Birel/BMB/Vega) second and Italian Tony Kart pilot Damiano Floravanti rounding out the podium.