It was an excellent kick off event for two young Canadian’s drivers as Parker Thompson and Lance Stroll proudly represented the Canadian flag on the podium in La Conca, Italy. Competing in the first round of the 2013 WSK Master Series, the first major event of the European karting season, both Thompson and Stroll were making their debut in their respective classes.
For Thompson, it was his first race with the Energy Corse factory team in the KF Junior (formerly KF3) division, after many years of Rotax competition in North America. For Stroll and his Chiesa Corse/Zanardi outfit, he moved up to the KF division, formerly KF2, putting him against the best efforts of factory race teams and drivers in the highest single-speed category.
Thompson’s weekend started off with a disappointing 26th place qualifying effort on Friday. But working hard throughout the heat races, Thompson first scored a second-place result in his first heat, before finishing fifth, seventh and eighth, ranking him sixth overall in the 61 strong KFJ category.
Starting third for his pre final, Thompson would advance to second at the finish, placing him on the outside of row two for his first KFJ Final. After slotting into second on the start, Thompson would battle with the leaders throughout the sixteen-lap final. Falling as low as fifth, Thompson would cross the finish line in fourth, with a penalty to the third place finisher moving Thompson onto the podium in his debut and a great kickstart to the season for the Alberta native.
In the KF division, Stroll was able to post a time quick enough in qualifying to make it to the Super Pole, however he was unable to advance any higher than tenth. Staying out of trouble in his three heat races, Stroll would earn two fourths and a sixth, to rank sixth overall out of 48 and an easy advance to Sunday’s main events.
Stroll kicked off Sunday’s events with a run to fourth in the pre final, and like Thompson would start the main event from outside of row two. The Quebecer would slot into third as the lights went out to start the Final. Staying in the top-five through the 20-lap race, Stroll would move into third with two laps to go and hold on to stand on the podium in his 2013 season opener.
The two drivers proudly represented Canada on the podium in Italy, and have for sure shown a sign of good things to come in 2013 for both drivers.
Also competing in Italy, Devlin Defrancesco would fall victim to an opening lap accident in his KFJ pre final, forcing him to the sidelines and would not qualify for the Main Final, while Zachary Claman De Melo finished thirteenth in his KF debut for the CRG Factory Team. Both drivers showed plenty of speed this weekend and will be looking to rebound at their next race, The WSK Euro Series opener, back at La Conca.
Content by: CKN / Photo by: KSP