|At 15 years of age, Nyck De Vries has written the finest chapter of his CV by winning the CIK-FIA World Championship contested this week-end on the Spanish track of Zuera. Already established into the McLaren fold, the young Dutchman just pipped Britain’s Jordan Chamberlain on the very last lap of the Final. The Dane Nikolaj Moller Madsen completed the podium. |
The majority of the observers had placed him at the top of their list of favourites to win the CIK-FIA World Championship at Zuera. But a world championship is a test like no other during which the pressure never ceases to build right up to the climax of the week-end. However, chasing the peak attainment of his 15 years, Nyck De Vries (Zanardi-Parilla) reached his goal in taking the lead… just a few hundred yards from the finish ! Third at the end of the first lap the Dutchman subsequently passed the Dane Moller Madsen (Energy-TM), then little by little narrowed the gap between himself and the leader Jordan Chamberlain (Tony Kart-TM). After risking an incredible passing move on the very last lap, Nyck then went on to take victory after a battle of the highest order. « What an incredible feeling ! », he smiled. « I was closing only very slowly on Jordan. Then at the start of the last lap, I said to myself that this braking manouevre would probably be my very last chance to be world champion. I decided to make my move some way back… and that was how it went ! »
The smile on the face of Nyck De Vries in the press conference – where the McLaren F1 protege announced that he wanted to contest another season at the highest level of karting in 2011 – contrasted with the disappointment of Jordan Chamberlain. « Second in the World Championship, this is a good result », explained the, 18 years old Welshman who was KF2 European Champion in 2009. « But after having started on pole position and having dominated almost the whole of the Final, inevitably I am disappointed… In a straight line I was falling back, but I said to myself that Nyck was too far away to launch an attack. And then, all of a sudden, it happened ! I found myself in the dust, just off the track, and then all I could do was defend my second place again Nikolaj. But well down to Nyck for his race ! »
Crowned KF2 European Champion last July, Nikolaj Moller Madsen believed right up to the end that he might be able to benefit from the dice between the two leaders. But finally, the 17 years old Dane had to be satisfied with the lowest step of the podium. « Having to start 24th on the Pre-Final grid, this is already a super result », reckoned Nikolaj. « I climbed up to 6th place in the Pre-Final, then I made a superb start. I was 2nd, but then Nyck passed me in the same place as he passed Jordan a little later and in the same manner. Following that, I was able to maintain my rhythm and I hoped to benefit from the scrap in front. It didn’t happen… but no matter ! After my European Title this was another good result to add to my prize list ! »
The battle between the three leaders inevitably drew everybody’s attention. The more so since, behind them, the Japanese Yu Kanamaru (Tony Kart-Vortex) was on his own in 4th place ahead of the Dane Max Klinkby-Silver (Tony Kart-Vortex) and the Englishman Chris Lock (Tony Kart-Vortex). Benefiting from a penalty assessed on his Belgian team mate Yannick de Brabander for non-observance of the correct starting procedure, the Ferrari Academy Driver Brandon Maisano (Intrepid-TM) recovered to 7th place in front of the Belgian Sébastien Bailly (Kosmic-Vortex), the Italian Stefano Cucco (Birel-Parilla) and Yannick de Brabander, who completed the top ten.
Although he started on the front row of the Pre-Final, the Swede Joël Johansson (Energy-TM) saw all his hopes fly away following mechanical problems during this race which determines the starting grid for the Final. No more success either for British driver Luke Varley (Tony Kart-Vortex), who on Friday set the fastest time in the rain affected qualifying practice, and who started 5th on the grid for the Final… before going out of the race. His compatriot Ben Hanley (Maranello-Maranello), 3rd in the 2009 World Championship, had also gone out in the Pre-Final (engine failure) and then also went out of the Final (a collision on the first turn) whereas the former runner-up in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship could well have had a part to play in this Championship.
« This World Championship has crowned a promising young talent, blessed with an incredible audacity », reflected a delighted Monsieur Nicolas Deschaux, the President of the CIK-FIA. « The presence of an enthusiastic public, the Eurosport TV cameras and an entry of 118 drivers proved once more that Karting is at one and the same time a popular hobby and a discipline of the highest level. Finally I pay tribute to the important work of the organiser and officials of the Spanish Federation which has permitted such a worthy outcome to this world ranking event. »