|The Spanish Open Championship title-fight is now down to a two-way affair, following last weekend’s race at Campillos (28/29 September) - with Luke Wright now believing that he has a good chance of snatching the trophy from Jose Cautela’s grasp.|
In testing conditions - that ranged from dry to torrential rain - Luke took the fight to the talented Portuguese. In the close Qualifying session, the JRP driver posted the 3rd fastest time – (just two one thousandths of a second behind the 2nd-placed driver, Kevin Ceccon also on a Maranello kart). Luke then took a 3rd and 4th in the following two heats, promptly earning himself P2 on the grid for the first final.
“The start was a bit hectic. Ceccon (on pole position) slowed down and everyone bunched up as we went into the first corner. I cut across and several bends later took the lead,” Luke explained. “Ceccon, Dani Simon and I got away from the rest of the pack. I was pulling away from the others, but as the race progressed Cautela had come through into 2nd and was catching me. He was very, very fast and took the lead. Towards the end of the race I was catching him, and had we had a few more laps, I probably would’ve caught him.”
Luke and the team were still pleased and encouraged by his strong performance and return to the podium.
“Mark (Berryman, the JRP team boss) complimented me on my good start and for taking the lead. We weren’t quite fast enough to hang on to it, but we did what we could - which is fair enough.”
Luke revealed his straightforward plan for the second points-scoring final. “Go for the lead and drive away.” This mirrored Cautela’s – who did exactly that. “I was chasing Jose, but my tyres went off. Ceccon came through and we had a bit of a battle. This allowed Mario Farnbacher to close whilst Kevin and I fought for 2nd.”
With Luke fighting both a forward and rearguard action, something had to give. “Kevin put in a great move and this gave him the room he needed to edge away. Farnbacher tried overtaking me – I’d found a good line on the outside of a corner - and Mario went for the inside. I had better drive out of the bend and held onto the position. He then put a move on me at the chicane, but he overshot the apex and from there I held it to the line. It was a good last lap effort that didn’t come off – thankfully.”
He added, “It was a really good weekend. The two podiums have moved me into second place in the Championship now, with one round remaining. Cautela hasn’t put it beyond reach, despite his two wins. We’ll have to see what we can do at the last round at Zuera - but we’ve closed the gap and with a little bit of luck, it could come off quite nicely.”
Visit www.lukewrightracing.com - to follow Luke’s fortunes throughout the rest of the 2008 season