Marcus misses out on lifting the NSK trophy by 2 points
National Series Karting, round #3/3, Varennes–sur-Allier, 10-11 September 2016
The first half of the NSK championship went perfectly well for Marcus Amand with a series of three consecutive wins in Angerville’s prefinal and final and Salbris’ prefinal. Unfortunately, the last round only brought disappointment and Marcus had to make do with the runner-up spot in the championship.
Friday was a hot sunny day with 8 sessions of trials. Everything was going according to plan and Marcus was getting familiar with the circuit with various set ups. His lap times were on the top three in the Minime category which was quite satisfactory.
Early Saturday morning, in an amazing sunny weather the warm up was quickly over and done with and everyone in the team PB kart seemed to be in great form. Based upon the previous laptimes the qualifying session would be once again electrifying without a doubt. The pole sitter was changing rapidly lap by lap. Marcus got a fabulous lap in his penultimate run but it wasn't enough. Masson, Vayron and Gazeau got ahead of him. For some reason Marcus stopped pushing even harder on his last lap. It was a very costly mistake. Being fourth on the starting grid could be very tricky.
For the first heat Marcus got a terrible start. It seemed like the karts were coming left, right and centre and he was overtaken by loads and fell down the order to the 9th place. Obviously there was a significant gap to the leaders. The first six were tightly together lead by Masson. However the leader changed during every single lap. Marcus started to climb up as well. He put the hammer down on the 6th lap and managed to overtake four drivers in one go. During the following lap Marcus overtook Cabirou and kept the lead until the end. Not a bad run considering where he started off.
During the second heat the start was spot on and he managed to keep his fourth place. After the first lap he had already got to the second place respectfully. On lap two he took the first position. Cabirou was hot on his heels and led the race for two laps but Marcus took it back for the remaining two laps and crossed the chequered flag first, just 0,058 before Cabirou.
Heat number three was late in the afternoon and start of it wasn't the greatest for Marcus. He fell back in fifth position, but recovered quickly enough and was ready to attack. By smart moves on lap four he had gained his number one position and was followed very closely by Masson, Vayron and Cabirou. For the remaining of the race it was a tight-fitting between Marcus and Cabirou. It was Marcus who drew the short straw and had to settle for the second place after Cabirou. The overall standings after the heats were the following: Marcus, Cabirou, Vayron and Costet. It was a long day so good grub and power "nap" would be in the cards for everyone in the team.
On Sunday morning, Marcus didn't get his act together at the start of the prefinal. Having left from the pole he quickly found himself in 9th. From the 5th lap onwards Marcus had it all figured out and was constantly putting up the best lap times one after another. The gap to the top contenders diminished and by lap 9 he was right behind Cabirou. He made a pass and during the following lap he repeated the same manoeuvre on Costet. However during the last lap in the last chicane Costet found a way through, forcing Marcus out of his way. Costet became third just before the French-Finnish driver. Masson was the winner followed by Gazeau. It left a lot to be desired for the final in the afternoon.
The final was full of suspense. Who was going to take the victory home and who would qualify to enter Team
Photos by KSP