Dion prepared for intense Algarve double-header
Karting prodigy Dion Gowda has been preparing for back-to-back weekends of racing at the RGMMC Champions of the Future Series and the FIA Karting World Championships, both held in Portimao, Portugal. The 12-year-old will compete in the two major events across 29 October – 1 November, and 5 – 8 November weekends respectively, as he looks to build on a strong debut junior karting season.
Round 2 of RGMMC Champions of the Future comes to the Algarve following a successful first event in Zuera, Spain, where over 170 drivers fought closely in three categories over the weekend. In the second round at the end of October 2020, Dion hopes to build on promising form shown in the Heats at the last event, including P2 and P5 finishes. Competing in the OK Junior category, Dion aims to make his mark in Qualifying, 4 Heat races, a Pre-Final and Final.
The following weekend, 5-8 November, the Ricky Flynn Motorsports driver returns to the Kartodromo Internacional Do Algarve, this time to compete in the FIA Karting World Championship for OK and OK Junior drivers. Off the back of some impressive qualifying results in Round 3 of the FIA European Championships in Wackersdorf in September, Dion hopes to fight for positions on the front row in the World Champs.
So far in 2020, Dion has had a positive season, albeit with a couple of knock-backs forcing him to bounce back stronger. Back in February, the Indian driver impressed at the WSK Super Masters as the only driver in his team to graduate from the Qualifying Heats, and placed himself in fourth in the Pre-Final. Following a red flag to racing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dion was not back on track until mid-July, where he achieved a personal best of 10th overall in the WSK Euro Series season opener, a testament to his 'off-season part 2' approach'.
Dion’s best result, however, came in Zuera, Spain at Round 1 of the FIA European Championship. The young driver was able secure both his maiden pole position and race win, as well as third, fourth, sixth and seventh place finishes on one weekend. Round 2 of the same Championship saw Dion come away empty handed, following a tough Qualifying session that left him in a poor position for the race. A week later however, he was back on form, with a strong top-10 finish in the second final at the WSK Euro Series Finals.
In order to prepare for the upcoming RGMMC Champions of the Future Series and the FIA Karting World Championships, Dion flew out to Portugal for six weeks of intensive training with Kokoro Performance coach Harrison Scott. This included extensive testing at the Portimao circuit, as well as physical fitness training and simulator work. Additionally, Dion has been continuing his school work remotely, as well as taking time to relax and wind-down through paddle-boarding and games of golf.
Looking ahead to the upcoming races, Dion said:
We've been doing a lot of training and testing, alongside my education too which is important. I've done a lot of laps now [at Portimao], working on all the details with Kokoro Performance, trying new things, et cetera. It's great that we've mostly had the track to ourselves.
I don't really have any expectations, but obviously I would like to grab a win, or a podium finish. As usual, we're going to go into each weekend just focusing on self-improvement, pushing for more and developing where I can. It should be fun!
RGMMC Champions of the Future, Round 2, will take place 29 October – 1 November 2020 at the Kartodromo Internacional Do Algarve, Portugal. The FIA Karting World Championship Final will take place 5–8 November 2020 at the Kartodromo Internacional Do Algarve, Portugal.
Photography by LRN Photo ©. Dion Gowda is supported by Strawberry Star Group, Ricky Flynn Motorsport, Kokoro Performance and Minus 273.