|Last weekend (18/19 October), the Kartdromo di San Pancrazio on the outskirts of Parma hosted the 38th - and last ever - running of the Industrial Trophy, and Luke Wright put his name in the record books with a superb drive in the final. The demanding and evocative circuit has in the past hosted World and European Championships, and seen the likes of Ayrton Senna, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton (who won the event in 1999) compete there.|
The two-part Industrial Trophy (held over consecutive weekends) traditionally attracts a mix of Europe’s best drivers and local aces, keen to try their hand against the international stars.
During qualifying, Luke was baulked by another driver who appeared to be intent on racing him, rather than going for the fastest possible time. This proved costly for the JRP driver as he could only record the 18th best time.
However, a terrific drive in his first heat saw Luke climb from 9th on the grid to 3rd at the finish. In the following race, he finished 2nd to put his Maranello/Maxter 4th place on the grid for the main final.
As the pack crossed the line, Wright pushed Matteo Vigano forward and ahead of Nikolaj Moller-Madsen into the first corner. As the front-runners approached the chicane that feeds into the corner leading onto the start/finish straight, Andre Hauke pushed Luke off the track. Bringing the kart back on the circuit, he had only dropped one place and was still very much in the hunt.
However, Moller-Madsen repeated Hauke’s move at the same spot – forcing his way into 4th. At the front, Jordon Lennox-Lamb and Vigano tangled sending both onto the grass and the Italian out of the race handing Hauke the lead and Luke 3rd place.
As Luke looked for a way past Moller-Madsen, Marc Moretti joined their battle. In a daring manoeuvre, the Italian slid his kart up to 2nd place, with Luke intelligently following him.
As the race ran to its conclusion, the lead quartet was now nose-to-tail. Hauke re-took the lead from Moretti under braking for the hairpin and held the advantage to the flag, whilst a resurgent Moller-Madsen launched a last-minute bid to wrest 3rd from Luke – only to find the door firmly shut, leaving the Englishman to take a hard-earned place on the rostrum.
“I’m pleased to have taken another top 3 finish. It was nice to finish the last ever Industrials race on a high note. The race was very physical and I had to keep cool and calm throughout. I had a few ‘issues’ (with other drivers) in the race but plugged away.”
This weekend sees Luke aiming for another podium in the final round of the Spanish Open Championship, which he could win. He says, “I’m going to go out there and do what I can. I know it’s going to be a high pressure weekend but that suits me fine. I know what I’ve got to do and will give it my best - we’ll see from there.”
Visit www.lukewrightracing.com - to find out more about Luke’s career.