Gowda shows fighting spirit at RGMMC Champions of the Future
It wasn’t meant to be at Zuera! The young Ricky Flynn Motorsport driver’s charge through the field in Friday and Saturday’s Qualifying heats was undone by misfortune at the RGMMC Champions of the Future Final.
Solidifying his status as ‘one to watch’ this year in OK Junior karting, Dion Gowda secured a best race finish of 2nd as the RGMMC Champions of the Future season began at the Zuera International Circuit in Zaragoza, Spain.
Despite it being Dion’s first ever visit to the Spanish circuit, he quickly established himself as a front-runner in the weekend’s warm-up and qualifying practice sessions. Moving into official qualifying, the young Indian was unlucky with traffic but still yielded a solid 16th place of 71 drivers, translating to 7th on the grid for Friday’s first two qualifying heats.
In Heats 1 and 2, Dion made short work of the karts in front to finish 5th and 2nd respectively – a great start to his RGMMC title ambitions. Moving into Saturday’s Heats 3 and 4 however, a mix of contact with competitors and hard fighting amongst several very fast drivers saw Dion come home 10th and 14th respectively. However, this action was just a taste of what was to come in Sunday’s Pre-Final and Final race events.
Lining up 10th on the grid for the Pre-Final, rookie Dion was determined to hold his own amongst the more experienced drivers of the field, and it showed. Initially troubling the front-runners of the race in the opening laps, the race evolved into a battle for the Top 10 with Ricky Flynn Motorsport team mates Freddie Slater and Josh Irfan in the mix. Besting these rivals, Dion powered home to finish 5th on track, 1.7s off the winning driver – albeit with a 5s penalty which ultimately demoted him to 10th in the standings.
As the flag dropped for the final event of the day, Dion found himself squeezed between two rivals heading into Turn 1. Unable to avoid contact, Dion was briefly airborne before landing on the outside of the turn with several other karts caught in the melee. Though the damage to Dion’s kart appeared terminal, RFM mechanic Jamie Flynn attempted impromptu repairs ahead of the restart to no avail. It was a spirited effort by all involved to get Dion back in the race, but unfortunately the young driver was unable to take the restart and classified as a non-starter.
Looking back at the weekend, Dion said; “Not the final we deserved! After 5th in the Pre-Final I was really looking forward to a strong Final. Unfortunately we were taken out at the start. Huge thanks to Jamie and the team for trying their best to get e back out there. Incredible team effort! We’ll get them next time…”
Dion returns to Zuera International Circuit for the opening round of the FIA European Karting Championship, 30th July – 2nd August 2020.
Full results at RGMMC | Photography by LRN Photo ©