Under challenging weather of heavy rain and temperatures as low as 8 degrees Celcius, Malaysian karting sensation Muizzuddin Musyaffa Abdul Gafar struggled at the opening round of the World Series Karting (WSK) Champions Cup at La Conca yesterday (1 February), finishing in 23rd place amongst 54 drivers in the KF Junior category.
Gathering the best karters aged between 13 and 15 years old for the class, the wet weather affected many other drivers as well including Russian Artem Petrov and Fei Ye Yi of China, who along Muizzuddin took the top three places at the preceding Vega Winter Invitational Cup at Adria Racing Circuit two weeks ago.
While Petrov failed to qualify for the finals, Ye Yi finished 17th in a field of 34 drivers in a contest that was topped by Christian Lundgaard. The Danish karter used his aggressive driving style to maximum effectiveness, finishing seven seconds ahead Brazilian Felipe Drugovich with American Logan Sargeant completed the podium.
“Muizz was clearly affected by the wet weather conditions. He has no feeling on the wet. He skidded a lot in the wet. Clearly, it is something that Muizz would need to work hard especially with the upcoming Round 2 next weekend in expected to be a wet affair again at La Conca,” says Salvatore Gotti, who is Gamoto Racing team manager.
According to Gotti, the young Malaysian performed well in the dry as reflected by his commendable performance in qualifying where he finished eighth overall with a time of 47.938 seconds around the 1,250-meters track and a mere 0.211 second behind Lundgaard, who was also the top qualifier.
“Competing in the rain is always unpredictable especially in the KF category as the engine is more sensitive as compared to the 60 mini class. Even Muizz was struck with disaster after he failed to start in Heat 1 because the machine would not start.
“He took 7th in Heat 2 and another 7th in Heat 3. In Heat 4, Muizz finished 14th on the time sheet. That was when the rain was at its worst. Muizz is naturally disappointed with his results; but in truth, it was not too bad.
“It is a good learning experience for him. He starts a new category this season and this is only his second race for the year. But, looking at his time in practice, he clearly had the pace to match the front runners, who are generally competing in the second and third seasons.
“We are already making our post-mortem for the race and aim to bounce back at Round 2 this weekend. Hopefully, the weather will be different,” Gotti added.
Round 2 and the final round of the WSK Champions Cup will be contested at the same La Conca International Circuit.
MUIZZUDDIN’S 2015 RESULTS SO FAR
VEGA WINTER INTERNATIONAL – January 13 – 3rd place
WSK CHAMPIONS CUP – Round 1: 1 February 2015 (La Conca, Italy) – 23rd position
Words & Photos: Muizzracing