Mixed Fortunes for Hamilton on USA Return
Christchurch driver Matthew Hamilton was quick but unlucky at the first two rounds of this year's Fikse Wheels SuperKarts USA Pro Tour series in Arizona over the weekend (Photo: On Track Promotions - otp.ca)
There were mixed fortunes over the weekend for Kiwi kart ace Matt Hamilton on his return to SuperKarts USA’s Fikse Wheels 2015 Pro Tour in Arizona.
After finishing third in the S4 Masters class in his full SKUSA series debut last year the multi-time New Zealand champion from Christchurch stepped up to the premier S1 Stock Moto class this year with the Northern California-based Aluminos team.
Hamilton showed impressive speed in qualifying – fourth overall at the first round of the 2015 series on Saturday and second overall at the second of the two double-header rounds on Sunday – but struggled to find passing spots on Saturday and had to work his way forward in both the second heat and Final on Sunday after copping a technical DQ in the first heat with a broken rear bumper.
He still came away with a decent points haul – after a 4-6-8 run on Saturday and a dnf-5-5 card on Sunday – but didn’t get the chance to turn his single lap qualifying pace into podiums.
“The bottom line,” Hamilton said from California this morning, “was that it was a tough track to pass on. We weren’t in bad shape on Saturday, qualifying fourth, but had bad heat races to start sixth for the main. Then we got driven over at the first corner and had to drive with damage the rest of the race.
“Sunday was similar in that after qualifying second the rear bumper broke in the first heat so we spent all day recovering from last.
“We were fast in the Sunday main, starting seventh but working up to fifth in the group that was fighting for second so the speed is there.”
The driver who dominated the S1 Stock Moto class was European professional Rick Dreezen, who poled both rounds and won all six races.
The Belgian Birel driver didn’t have it all his own way, losing out at the start to the likes of two-time S1 class champion Fritz Leesmann and Bill Musgrave, but always managed to be in front when the chequered flag was about to drop.
Hamilton will be back in the US for the Fikse Wheels Pro Tour rounds 3 & 4 double-header in Indianapolis in July, then the annual SuperNationals meeting in Las Vegas in November.