Jiří Forman in Lonato dogged by his kart's mechanical malfunction

Jiří Forman, with his BIREL kart
- 8. - 11. 5. 2008, Lonáto, Itálie -

On 8 - 11 May, another event of the WSK series took place at the Lonato circuit, Italy. One of the two Czech drivers in the KF3 category, Jiří Forman, of the ČSMS team, participated in this racing event as a driver of the Emilia Kart team, which enjoys the support of the kart manufacturer Birel. The event started on Thursday, with practice sessions. Jirka was doing very well and his results were very promising, as his lap times put him among the top ten driver of the total of 90 participants. The same applies to the first sessions on Friday. In the course of the subsequent sessions, however, mechanical malfunction emerged. And to top it all, the sporting regulations did not allow any corrective measure to be taken (such a modification must be performed at least a week in advance). Young driver Jirka Forman comments on the situation, as follows: 'I was doing very well in the Thursday free practice sessions, and my gap to the leading driver was just two tenths of a second. But on Friday, the problems with the engine emerged and I dropped to half a second behind the leading driver, Brandon Maisan.'

The engine fault also affected the last practice session on Saturday. Although Jirka was driving in an excellent, tactical manner, making full use of the engine's impaired output, he only came 59th in the combined standings of the timed practice. Consequently, he had to start each of the four qualifying sessions from an unfavourable position of the grid. The most appropriate comment on the qualifying was probably provided by Jirka himself. He said: 'I came 59th in the combined standings of the timed practice, with a time of 45:164. The first-placed driver Nyck De Vries clocked a time of 44:598. If I only had been able to improve my time by two tenths of a second, I would have qualified among the top ten drivers. It was a pity. My result put me in group D and, in the qualifying sessions, I had to start from the 12th row of the grid. In the first qualifying session (B-D), I moved up from the 24th place of the starting grid to the 18th place at the finish. In the second one (C-D), I came 18th again, and my prospects slightly improved. In the third session (D-E), however, my kart was hit on Turn 2, and the sprocket cover in my kart broke off. I had to stop in the pits to get it fixed. Despite that, I finished 28th. In the last qualifying session on Sunday, I had to fight hard. I came 21st, which resulted in the 34th position for the additional qualifying. After two laps I was already running ninth and, which is more, I closed the gap to the leading drivers. Unfortunately, several laps later, I got involved in a collision. That is, I attempted to pass two drivers ahead of me, but they forced me out of the track and I dropped down to 19th.' And, this is also Jiří Forman's final result in Lonato, as he missed the "great" finals by a narrow gap once again. A favourable outcome, however, is the fact that Jirka's fine performance attracted the attention of the Birel company's managers, who were attending this racing event. They expressed their great interest in cooperation with Jirka in the next year, namely, in the KF2 category.

The next racing event of the WSK series takes place in more than one month's time, once again in Italy, in Sarno. We believe that fortune will finally smile upon Jirka and his kart will be in a faultless technical condition to allow him to take a top placing among the world's best drivers, as expected. We will keep our fingers crossed for him.



Next Races