Ronan McKenzie12 year old Ronan McKenzie has finished his debut in the first round of the Easykart European Junior 100cc Series in eighth place overall, at Jesolo, Italy on 20th March 2011.

McKenzie, the reigning Easykart UK Cadet 60cc Champion and the current leader of this year’s Easykart UK Junior 100cc Championship, is in his second year of an option contract with Italian Kart Manufacturing giant Birel on their International Easykart Driver Program for talented drivers. Birel’s Easykart European Series comprises of two rounds – the first in Italy and the second in Poland. Each round has two finals on race day, and of the four total races across the two rounds the best three results will count to decide the Series Champion.

In his first international race only two weeks after his stunning Easykart UK 100cc Junior Championship debut, McKenzie had mixed success in the double round after qualifying in sixth position. In his first 10-lap heat McKenzie started fourth on the grid and was up into third on the first corner after overtaking Benedetti, but he reclaimed the position on the second lap. The race settled down and McKenzie remained in fourth until the chequered flag, finishing behind Italians Benedetti, Orsini and the winner, fellow Easykart Driver Program member Drudi. After the race Orsini was given a ten second penalty for jumping the start which gave McKenzie third place.

McKenzie suffered a disappointment in the second heat where contact on the first lap caused a tyre puncture, forcing him to retire from the race on lap three, but recovered in the first Final race, going from grid eighth to third within four laps of the twenty lap race, eventually finishing in fifth giving him 11 series points.

Another disappointment followed in the second Final race, where starting in fifth on the grid McKenzie was hit from behind in the first corner launching him off the track and onto the grass, where another three karts were also pushed off. McKenzie, now in last place, jumped out of his kart and dragged it back onto the track, then he got back in and set about closing the ten second gap to the back of the field. In what was undoubtedly the most spirited drive of the day, McKenzie had the race of his life catching the pack and during the 20-lap race overtaking seven karts one by one to finish in fourteenth place. After the race Benedetti was penalised 20 laps for contact with fellow Italian Lazzari which gave McKenzie another place, to finish in thirteenth place – which still earned McKenzie 3 series points.

The Easykart European Series standings after the first round sees McKenzie in eighth place. “I am happy with the kart and my driving, it is disappointing to have a DNF in the heat and being taken off in the second Final, but I think I came back well. The next round in Poland is at a track I’ve raced before, and with some good results I am still in with a shot at the title,” said McKenzie after the event.

The second round of the Easykart European Series will be at the Stary Kisielin track in Poland on 17th July and McKenzie’s next UK race will be at Teesside Autodrome in Middlesboro on 1st May.

Ronan McKenzie is competing in the following events in 2011:

Easykart UK Junior 100cc Championship
Easykart International European Junior 100cc Championship
Easykart International Junior 100cc World Finals
Easykart UK “E” Plate Open Championship

For more information about Ronan McKenzie please visit www.ronanmckenzie.com

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