After what could be described as a volatile season for Keagan Masters in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, he once again demonstrated his tenacity and flexibility in the final race of the series.
The Formula 1 Gran Premio D’Italia, held at Monza, Italy, from 1 to 3 September, started off well for Masters, with him maintaining P1 or P2 for most of the session, and finishing in P5. “My car was in tip-top shape, and I felt confident throughout the practice laps. What made it more pleasing was that this is the home stomping ground of my European team Ombra.”
Masters explains that during the qualifying sessions, he was making good lap times with his first set of tires, but unfortunately, after changing to the second set of tires there were issues with track traffic and stringent grid penalties imposed by the officials. “Most of the drivers in the top ten places were penalised with five positions, after being accused of infringing track limitations during the practice session. This had a seriously detrimental effect on our grid positions, and I entered the race in P21. However, I knew I had it in me to make up some of those positions and finish strong.”
“It’s not uncommon for track penalties to be enforced and this can be very demotivating for drivers, especially when they are pushing so hard. However, Keagan showed great maturity and determination, characteristics that we aim to instill in all our drivers. Ultimately, the ability to take a negative situation and turn it around to your benefit is not only an inherent personality attribute but is also reinforced by the support of the team and family,” says Mpho Elijah Gumbi, who heads up ICAN Management, the South African management company mentoring and supporting Masters overseas.
Masters gained five positions in the first two corners by driving strategically and intentionally. Disappointingly, as he was entering the third corner, Jorge Lorenzo struck his car, spinning him around. “I found myself in the last position. Fortunately, the safety car was close by, and I re-entered the back of the pack safely and with an increased desire to make up positions. I quickly fought my way through from 32nd to 26th place and after some huge battles, finished the race in P10.”
“This is the attitude that personifies professional drivers. Keagan not only overcame these challenges but finished the race in a very enviable position. This season has been a huge learning curve for him, and he is now well prepared for whatever the 2024 season throws at him,” says Gumbi.
At the end of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Masters has an overall tenth position in the standings, and he is the third fastest rookie.
“There’s no time for resting on my laurels, though; I am committed and looking forward to two guest races with my team. The first is the Carrera Cup at Monza on the weekend of 16 September, and the possibility of a second one at the Monza Circuit in October. Not only do these guest races allow me to give something back to my team, but they will keep my skills honed and provide me with additional, valuable experience,” says Masters.
Published by: Allyson Koekhoven
Picture Caption: After what could be described as a volatile season for Keagan Masters in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, he once again demonstrated his tenacity and flexibility in the final race of the series.
Photography by: Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup
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