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Race Report - Pista Salentina

Campionato Italiano ACI Kart

The Italian ACI Karting Championship returned to competition this weekend at the Pista Salentina International Karting Circuit near Ugento in Puglia, south of Italy. Friday proved to be a significant day for Lorenzo Patrese as he secured his first X30 Junior pole position at a circuit he had not seen before.

Saturday did not begin well for Lorenzo as he dropped to 6th position in the first heat, and no matter how hard he tried he just did not have the speed in his kart to challenge those ahead. He could not make any progress and ended in that position and would start the second heat of the day hoping for a better result.

At the end of the first lap of heat 2 Lorenzo was 6th but his speed couldn’t allow him to progress further than 5th. Many question marks over mechanical troubles on Lorenzo’s kart made the team change a lot of parts during the night.

Lorenzo started from 5th on the grid for the first race on Sunday morning and immediately made up a position at the first corner only to be demoted again before the end of the first lap. Never giving up, Lorenzo fought back and regained the position but already a gap had built up to those ahead. While pulling away from Ferdinando D’Auria behind he could not make up the gap to those ahead and so finished in 5th position. 

A broken carburettor was found to be the cause of a problem with Lorenzo’s kart and it was changed before the final race of the day. Starting from pole position Lorenzo set a hot pace, crossing the line 0.8s ahead of the field at the end of lap 1 but Edoardo Ludovico Villa and Francesco Pulito, pace-setters in the first race of the day, closed in then went ahead. Lorenzo certainly was not settling for 3rd position though and was pushing hard, but by the end of the race 3rd was a good result after the difficulties earlier in the weekend.

So after five challenging rounds the Italian championship ended and saw victory go to Francesco Pulito. Lorenzo, with this good final result, gained a good 6th place overall.