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Thompson has steep learning curve on way to WSK victory

Red Deer’s kart racing phenom, Parker Thompson, set the bar pretty high in his first race with his new team, Energycourse.

He became the first Canadian to ever podium in the WSK Master Series in Muro Leccese, Italy.

The week was a tough one for Thompson as he had to learn a lot of new things, including a new chassis, new tires and a new engine. As well it was his first time on the track.

“It was hard for me to adapt to all these new variables,” said Thompson.

“We qualified in 26th on Friday, which was pretty disappointing.

“There was a 70 car field, I wanted more than that.”

This meant he went into his first heat at the back of the pack, but moved his way up and finished second in the first heat.

He followed that up with a fifth place finish in the second heat, a seventh in the third heat and an eighth in the fourth heat.

Because of these results he went into the pre-final in third place and moved up into second at the end of the race.

But because there were two pre-finals he was slotted in the fourth spot for the final.

“We were on the outside because we were an even number and that was tough being on the outside, but we made it through the first corner,” said Thompson.

“From there we picked our way up into a podium position and finished third.”

He said his new team was pretty happy with the 14-year-old Thompson.

“Coming into the weekend there was a lot of pressure,” said Thompson.

“A lot of people saw I got third at the grand finals and now coming in to a new team, moving to Italy. They expect you to do well and if you don’t do well there is pressure.”

With the win at the start of the season Thompson said it also helps his team plan and know what they have to work with going into other races.

He hopes he can only get better, adapting more and more every race.

“Even on a good weekend third is really good,” said Thompson.

“So having the rough weekend at the start and pulling through at the end was very good.

“Our definite goal is going for championships and wins now.”

Thompson came back to Canada last week to do a couple of exams and to see family, but he flew back to Italy Sunday night and on Tuesday he will get in a kart and start testing for a race in Italy the next weekend.

He has races set every single weekend for the next two months.

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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