Pearce on the podium
KARTING: ST ALBANS race ace Patrick Pearce made a return to the European Karting scene recently grabbing a podium place in the first round of the Rotax European Championships held in Salbris, France. Pearce is now driving full time for the Dutch outfit VZ
KARTING: ST ALBANS race ace Patrick Pearce made a return to the European Karting scene recently grabbing a podium place in the first round of the Rotax European Championships held in Salbris, France.
Pearce is now driving full time for the Dutch outfit VZ Racing after being approached by the team earlier this year. The St Albans racer finished third at this track in the same championship in the last race of last season bidding farewell to his Italian team PCR.
Throughout the whole weekend the track boasted hard wet racing conditions meaning it was hard to find a good set up.
For qualifying Pearce posted the sixth fastest time meaning he would start the three heats in this position. For two of the heats Patrick finished in the top five but for the third heat he was lying fourth when with four corners to go, the battery terminal broke so he recorded a non-finish. This meant he would start 11th for the Pre-Final which had 34 drivers from all over Europe and America.
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For the Pre-Final Patrick made the perfect start and ended up finishing third which set him up great for the Grand Final.
The final approached mid-afternoon and the track was half dry and half wet. The whole field was on wet tyres so tyre pressures were going to play a big part in strategy and finishing position.
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Pearce and his mechanic opted for high pressures as it was important to pull away from the large field. At the lights Pearce held his position and by the end of lap two was into the lead. He went on to improve his lead to two seconds by the half way stage. Also at this point the tyres were starting to drop off which meant Denmark's Andreas Jensen and Belgium's Christophe Adams drew closer to Patrick now meaning he would have to defend his lead. The two forced Pearce into a mistake and overtook. The pair then pulled away but the ex-world number six managed to drive a safe race and bring home the Maddox brand chassis in third position. Jensen went on to win from Adams with Pearce in touching distance and the rest of the field far behind.
"This has been the perfect start to the year as we now have a great amount of points for the championship," Pearce said afterwards.
"I know that we are a lot faster than Andreas and Christophe in the dry so this is good for the rest of the season. The new team has supported me well since I joined from the boss right through to the catering staff so I am also happy for them.
"I dedicate this podium to my parents who have given a lot up in the past for me to be in this position driving full time. I would also like to thank my mechanic 'Lucky' Leki and my sponsors Paper Planet, Bennetts, Transloader Services and RUN HC.