QUINNS QUALITY COMEBACK
The third round of the Rotax Max Euro Challenge provided a challenging situation before a wheel was turned at the German track at Wackersdorf. This was caused by the third round of the CIK-FIA European KFJ Championship also featuring on the same weekend as the Euro Challenge, meaning a choice had to be made at CRG Factory to decide on which event Alex would partake in.
Alex Quinn headed out to Germany to take part in the early testing program before the Euromax weekend. Alex was immediately comfortable with the kart posting promising times straight from the get go. Further improvements were made throughout the week in scorching temperatures approaching 40 degrees!
Into ‘Official Testing’ on the Friday, saw Alex again pop inside the top times throughout the sessions with a 6th and 2nd overall in his two sessions, looking promising ahead of qualifying.
Alex was in the first qualifying group of the day. In an intensely competitive session, the CRG Factory Driver set his best time of the day so far, however ended up only 7th despite being less than 2 tenths off pole. Positions 4th to 8th were separately by less than a tenth in the tight session.
The second session however saw conditions further improve, as the times ended up quicker than in the first qualifying session after a red flag period. This meant Alex was bumped down to the 13th quickest time over in the overall qualifying classification.
The result of qualifying gave Alex starting in 7th position for all his qualifying heats.
The first heat saw Alex maintain position with the leading group setting the fastest lap of the race. On lap 6 however Alex was forced wide, dropping him down the field after losing 8 seconds in the incident, leaving him a disappointing 19th at the flag.
Heat 2 again sadly saw no luck for Alex. Whilst in the leading train of karts battling for position, a driver ran wide bringing some overnight rain water onto the track.
Alex with no time to react was a passenger as it carried him off the circuit and into retirement.
Heat 3 was a race to ensure Alex scored high enough points to try and miss the second chance race. Alex gained two positions in the final heat to finish 5th overall to gain some much needed points.
When the qualifying heat classification was calculated up, sadly Alex had ended up outside the automatic 28 places qualifying for the finals, so Alex would start the ‘Second Chance’ race from 3rd on the grid. Alex would need to finish in the top 6 to qualify for the Pre-Final.
The gamble was made to start the ‘Second Chance’ on a used set of tyres, not brand new ones. The risk paid off as Alex’s pace was good enough to solidify 2nd position at the flag, qualifying for the Pre-Final, where he would start from 30th on the grid.
In order to stay in the championship hunt, Alex had to make up huge amounts of ground in the Pre-Final and Final. The choice was made to put on new rubber for the Pre-Final to aid Alex in his bid to climb the field.
The Pre-Final began with Alex making up a raft of places as he charged through the pack on a brilliant comeback, setting the same times as the leaders even in traffic. By the flag, Alex had gained 22 places to end up P8, giving himself a much needed bag of points and a much better starting position for the Grand Final.
ALEX RECOVERED 22 POSITIONS IN JUST 11 LAPS OF THE PRE-FINAL
The final began with only Alex out of the top 10 runners being on old tyres putting him on the back foot slightly after his heroic comeback through the field, or so it was thought….Alex started off in positive fashion keeping with the leading group and making his way even further up the order. Despite being forced off the track on Lap 7, Alex kept his head down and forced his way back into contention, taking 3rd position with a handful of laps to go after setting his personal best lap of the race. The young CRG Factory driver held the position to the flag finishing 0.8s off the leader in what was a fantastic salvage mission from Alex.
“The young Alex Quinn claimed a great P3 that highlighted again the quality of CRG KT2 chassis and his unquestionable speed, awarding CRG with the fourth podium of the weekend.” – CRG S.P.A
The recovery drive from Alex means that he lies 3rd overall in the RGMMC Rotax Euro Challenge Standings in Junior Max on 227 points, just 6 points shy of the leader with one round remaining at Genk in Belgium, on the 4th September.
Despite missing the final round of the CIK-FIA European Championship at Kristianstad, Sweden, Alex had accumulated enough points in the opening two rounds to still finish 7th overall in the standings. A great achievement considering it was his first season in CIK-FIA competition which had also resulted in a fantastic 2nd position at PF International at Round 2.
Alex will next be competing at the annual Kartmasters Grand Prix, taking place a PF International on 31st July – 2nd August. Alex has a fantastic record at this circuit after taking victories at Super One, the British Open Championship and as a previous Kartmasters Grand Prix winner in his cadet days.
Alex will be competing in the hugely competitive Junior X30 classes with over 40 entrants, Alex will be aiming for the top prize with support from John Davies at Force Engines.
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HEAT 1 - 19TH
HEAT 2 - DNF
HEAT 3 - 5TH
SECOND CHANCE - 2ND
PRE-FINAL - 8TH
FINAL - 3RD