|“I’d have paid for 2nd (place) before we went,” was how team boss Dan Holland summed up Jack Dex’s performance at Campillos in Spain, last Sunday (14 February). Jack was making his European racing debut in the Rotax Winter Cup, the self-styled ‘ice-breaker’ to the prestigious Euro Max championship. |
After showing impressive pace in pre-race testing, he maintained his early form and was 8th fastest (out of 61) in timed qualifying. From this encouraging start, he convincingly won the first of his three heats. However, a crash in his following race – as he put it: “My fault. I went for a poorly-timed overtake in the wet, on slicks” - saw him trail home in 28th place.
More drama in his third encounter saw him unable to finish higher than 13th place, but it was good enough to avoid the last chance race and qualify for the first of Sunday’s two finals.
Jack describes what happened in the pre-final: “I started from 25th on the grid and found myself in the middle of a massive crash at the first corner, where a spinning kart clipped me. At this point I thought it was game-over because I’d got a bent rear axle. Luckily for me though, the officials stopped the race and decided to re-run it. I ended up finishing fifth in the re-run and was very fast. However because of the tight schedule, we had less than half an hour to fix the kart in readiness for the main final.”
The Dan Holland Racing Racing team worked furiously to replace the bent axle and put fresh tyres on, but sacrificed adjusting the kart to its optimum set-up in order for Jack to take up his position on the third row of the starting grid. This was rather than suffer a penalty for arriving late and having to go from the back.
Picking his way forward from the off, Dex took the lead on lap 3 (of 16) and quickly established a comfortable lead. However, as the race entered its penultimate tour, eventual winner James Greenway managed to catch and pass Jack. In that manoeuvre, Dex briefly dropped to 4th but on the very last lap, nipped through to seal a worthy runner-up spot.
“I think I had a slightly different set up to Greenway, with me being fast at the start and James quicker at the end. Still, it is a fantastic result for me.”
Dan Holland was equally delighted: “For his first time at this level, second was brilliant.”
Jack’s next race will be the opening round of the British Super 1 championship, at PFi on 20/21 March.
In the interim, you can learn more about Jack and his racing career by visiting www.jackdexkarting.com