Up against a grid of over 60 drivers from all over the world, Alex took part in his first ever European kart race at a kart track near Malaga in Southern Spain. With the support of the Coles Racing team, Alex got the opportunity to test on the weekend before as this was not only his first European race, but his first time ever to drive a Junior rotax kart.
Hoping to escape the English wind and rain, day one was a typical Spanish sunny day, but unfortunately, this all changed and atrocious wet weather set in for most of the testing schedule.
Alex, however, was able to adapt to the wet conditions and was immediately setting front running times and surprising the regular series drivers and team bosses.
After having had very little dry practice, timed qualifying was difficult and Alex achieved 5th fastest out of his timed qualifying group and when amalgamated with the second group was 15th fastest overall.
In Heat 1 the skies started to darken as the drivers prepared for the race. Starting in 7th place Alex lost a few places at the start to 10th place, but quickly started to regain positions. After a few laps the rain started and Alex forged ahead as if on rails setting the fastest lap and finishing in an amazing 2nd place.
Heats 2 and 3 were both run in wet conditions with rainmaster Quinn achieving a further 2nd place in heat 2. Disaster struck on the formation lap of his 3rd heat when he was shunted off into the gravel by another competitor. Alex had to get out of his kart, drag it back on to the circuit, restart the engine and race to catch up on the pack before the lights went green.
He managed to rejoin in his correct position in time for the start of the race. Alex started this heat from the difficult outside 8th position of the grid and finished in 8th place. The race commentator made mention of Alex as someone he had not heard of in the European karting scene and remarked on him achieving the fastest lap times of all the drivers in all of his particular heats.
Alex had secured enough points to escape the last chance heats where the competition would say goodbye to 28 drivers who would fail to qualify for the main finals.
Alex would start the Pre-Final from the outside of the grid in 6th place. A strong battled ensued and Alex held his ground for the duration of the race and finished an incredible 5th place.
Speaking after the Pre-Final, Alex said that he could have secured 4th place on the closing corners of the race but took a strategic decision to remain in 5th to give him an inside starting advantage for the grand final.
In the Grand Final, despite getting a good start, it quickly became obvious that Alex's kart set up was not just as good as previous and he had to work incredibly hard to stay with the leaders. Alex dropped to 9th overall at the flag and whilst a little disappointed, he could not have imagined when he arrived for his first ever European race that he might achieve a top 10 finish.
Alex had the paddock talking about this newcomer on the European scene and he can hold his head high in representing a field of 18 British drivers on,this, his inaugural European event.
Alex is planning further European events with the next event in Belgium in a couple of months time for the entire Junior Rotax Euro Challenge Championship.
BACK TO NEWS
HEAT 1 - 2ND
HEAT 2 - 2ND
HEAT 3 - 8TH
PRE-FINAL - 5TH
FINAL - 9TH