|A traditional preparatory event on season debut, the 14th Winter Cup allowed Nyck De Vries to continue with the development work on his Zanardi-Parilla kart, at the Lonato track, in Northern Italy. A candidate to the podium in the final, unfortunately the Dutch driver suffered mechanical trouble just before the chequered flag.|
The temperature was very low in free and timed practice, but then went up during the weekend, on 21 and 22 February 2009. Nyck De Vries and his team reviewed the different adjustments on the Lonato track, which remains the favourite of major international teams for their private test sessions. "This kind of race is always very instructive", Nyck confirmed. "Although the whole world is there to achieve the best possible results, the Winter Cup is also a good indicator of the rest of a season that has just begun."
100 drivers were on the track and Nyck set the 24th time in timed qualifying. "Honestly, I hoped I could do better. Just like during the first round of the WSK, two weeks ago, we were more effective during the race than in the qualifying phase. We have already planned some new tests, to be held very soon, to understand the situation. In Lonato, perhaps the track was too cold and the tyres did not warm up fast enough."
However, the driver from Chiesa Corse is not the kind of person who easily gives up. He concluded two fantastic qualifying heats and climbed to 3rd and then 6th place. "I fough hard from my 8th place on the starting grid. So I could take fewer risks in the semi-final. In fact, only the first 17 drivers qualify for the final, so you risk losing everything if you are forced to quit. Luckily, my equipment worked perfectly, so much so that I could recover three more places."
After his 5th place on the final starting grid, the De Vries Competition Team felt that Nyck had all the chances to climb on the podium in Lonato. "I made a good start and I found myself in 4th place. But I quickly realised that the equipment was not as effective as in the semifinal. I tried to fight against my competitors and I was still 6th on the last lap, just when the engine stopped." After a quick analysis of the equipment, his team realised that the reed valves had broken, causing the rev decrease, and the end of his race. Nyck knows that this is part of the game and he is ready to take his revenge on 7 March, at the second round of the WSK in Sarno, near Naples.