|At Göteborg, Nyck De Vries drove the race that everybody expected from him at this very important season event. From the very start, he|
was determined to conquer the first place and he reached the lead of
the race four laps before the arrival, after a superb fight. Unfortunately, he had to content himself with the lower step of the
podium after a heavy penalty. But in Sweden, the Dutch driver reached his fundamental objective: qualifying for the final of the European KF3 Championship. While pilots from the Western region battled in Spain and those from the Central region fought in Italy, pilots from the North of Europe (Belgium, Scandinavia, Holland…) gathered in Sweden, at Göteborg, on 11, 12 and 13 July. On the same circuit where a certain Michaël Schumacher became European Karting Champion more than 20 years ago.
Nyck started the qualifying race for the European Championship with a 16th place, out of 68, after timed practice. “I hoped I could set a better time, but I am not concerned”, the Dutch driver commented. “With four qualifying heats and two finals, I knew that the race would be long”. After adding a few finishing touches to his Zanardi-XTR, Nyck De Vries’ performance was spotless in all the heats and he even managed to win once, after starting from the fourth row.
Back in 4th position in the starting grid in Race 1, the driver from De Vries Compétition lost a few positions in the hustle at the start, but then began a long series of passes. 8th at the end of the first lap, he was already second eight laps later! “I really felt at ease on the Göteborg circuit. It is a very technical track, but there is plenty of room for overtaking, so I took advantage of it”.
Finnish pilot Karttunen gained a remarkable advantage from the very beginning of the race and won ahead of Nyck who hoped, however, he could turn Race 2 to his advantage. “I set the best lap in Race 1 and I decided to try to win the second race”. The fast Dutch driver quickly showed his full potential. Third after the first lap, he had the best over Belgian pilot Picariello in the 6th lap and then went after Karttunen. The fight between these two pilots was intense, but Nyck finally found the best trajectory at four laps from arrival thanks to his fighting spirit, and crossed the finishing line as the winner. Unfortunately, at the end of the race, officials inflicted him a 10-second penalty for “violation of the start procedure”. “Honestly I do not think I made a big mistake at the
start”, Nyck stressed, a bit disillusioned. “I was in the first external row, I respected the 50 km/h maximum limit and they cannot say I benefited from that because I was only third after the first lap”.
In conclusion, Nyck De Vries lost his victory on the green carpet and finished 4th after the sum of the two finals. “Although I am a bit disappointed by the result, I am still optimistic. At Göteborg, performances were as good as expected, the team made a great job, the equipment was very competitive and I think I raced well during the weekend. Eight weeks before the final of the European Championship, this is very encouraging.” The final will be held in France, at
Varennes sur Allier, from 5 to 7 September 2008. Keep an
eye on Nyck.
Watch the website: www.nyckdevries.nl