Despite making a promising start in his first event of 2013, Italian-bound Muizzuddin Musyaffa Abdul Gafar was unlucky to finish a disappointing 14th at the season-opener of the WSK Master Series following an incident in the all-important final race yesterday. Held at La Conca Track in Muro Leccese last weekend, Muizzuddin, or just Muizz among friends, was among the front-runners in the opening heats on Friday and Saturday and looked primed for a podium finish in the Mini 60 category for karters below 13 years old.
“It was truly unfortunate… Muizz was one of the frontrunners during all the weekend; recording a first, a 2nd and a 3rd in the heats on Friday and Saturday. But, these things happened in motor racing,” Muizz’s Malaysian manager Zainuddin Radzi said.
Providing details of the event, Zainuddin, who runs Prima Motorsports, said: “Muizz started the pre-final race in the second row; but made a small mistake to finish in sixth place to start the race from the third row.
“He gained a position during the second lap to move up to fifth and was challenging for a top three finish. But, in his charge to the front, he was involved in a three-car contact in Lap 3 and immediately dropped to 19. Muizz fought back and eventually had to settle for 14th place in the eight-lap contest. Naturally Muizz is very disappointed. He was very determined to at least finish among the top three and among the podium. In fact, he had personally declared that he wanted to finish all his races this year on the podium,” added Zainuddin, who took charge of Muizz karting programme since 2009. The entire Gamoto Team is also disappointed. But, they are very happy with the overall performance of Muizz throughout the weekend as Muizz had proven that he was among the fastest in the field. Muizz had also vowed to bounce back in the next race,” he added.
Now in his second season in Italy, Muizz, who lives in Sicily with his mother to race full time with Gamoto Racing Team, competes in the WSK Masters Series, the WSK Euro Series, the Italian ROK Championship, the CSAI Italian National Karting Series as well as selected regional championships.
His next race would be the opening leg of a four-round WSK Euro Series which would be held at the same La Conca Track on March 3. His top priority this season will be the five-round CSAI Italian National Championship, which is regarded as the most competitive karting series in the world; featuring top young drivers from all over the globe and opening in April.
In his first full season for the prestigious Italian Championship last year, the young Malaysian finished 11th overall from a field of 56 karters. His performance caught the eye of CRG, which has now put him as their factory driver for the 2103 season.
Muizz, who is also receiving support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports this year, managed to win two regional meets at Puglia Regional Championship and Sicily Champion Cup in June to pen his name as the first Malaysian to win go-kart races on European grounds.
He was also named as the Rookie Cup champion after finishing third overall at the 2012 ROK Italian Cup in September.
words & pix: Gamoto Racing