A fourth-consecutive weekend of racing, the third at Vereeniging Kart Circuit, saw Diego Antunes showing his skill in wet conditions this past weekend (May 20-21) in Round 2 of the MSA National Karting Championship.
Competing in the Bambino class, Antunes looked in good form throughout Friday's practice sessions which were all completed in dry conditions. All weather forecasts indicated that Saturday would see heavy rain. Still, Saturday morning's Bambino qualifying session continued in dry conditions, with Antunes setting the third-fastest time.
Although dark clouds gathered ahead of the day's opening race, conditions remained dry for the first eight-lap heat. Antunes found himself in the battle for the runner-up podium positions until the closing stages. He had to take evasive action to prevent being collected in an incident ahead of him. This resulted in him slotting in behind his rivals to finish in sixth place.
Intermittent showers arrived during the lunch break resulting in the second Bambino heat run in wet conditions. Antunes took full advantage of his front-row start to build a comfortable advantage over the rest of the field to take a lights-to-flag win, despite a nail-biting moment on the final lap. A dominant display also saw him consistently being quicker lap-by-lap than his rivals. By Heat 3, the circuit was dry and bathed in sunshine and Antunes looked to be the favourite to take the Round 2 overall win from his pole position on the grid. Caught up in an opening lap incident, Antunes fell back into the clutches of the midpack. Despite fighting his way back to podium contention, he fell just short and lost out. A superb performance throughout the day saw him record 92 points to finish as the runner-up.
"We had a superb weekend despite some misfortunes," said Rui Antunes, Diego's father. "Our pace was good throughout, and it was unfortunate about the incidents as we could've finished the day on top. There are a lot of positives to take forward from this weekend, especially in Heat 2. At the end, we pushed a little harder than what was needed at the time and fortunately, this didn't cost Diego. Diego would like to thank everyone who made this weekend possible."
After a busy month, Antunes will have a small break in his 2022 campaign. His next outing will be at Formula-K Kart Circuit as part of the Gauteng Kart Championships on June 3-4.
Published by: Motorsport Fanatix
Picture Caption: Diego Antunes
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