Historic win for Kush Maini
Muro Lecce (Italy), Feb 4 : Kush Maini, the 12-year-old from Bangalore, became the first Indian to win a World Masters Series Karting race when he took the top honours in the 60 Mini category at the La Conca International Circuit here.
In an exciting finish Sunday, Maini, who had started third, pipped Spaniard Eliseo Martinez with a fine overtaking move on the last lap.
Running third going into the last corner, Maini, driving for Team Baby Race, made his move after front-running Martinez and Francesco Pagano touched with the latter going off track and the Indian slipping past the Spaniard to win in a tight finish.
Kush was third overall in qualifying out of over 41 entrants who were divided into four groups for the elimination heats to decide the 34 who would race in the Finals.
Kush won two of the heats and was second in the other. It secured him the pole position for the pre-final Race which was run over eight laps of the 1.25 km circuit. Kush struggled a bit for pace and qualified third for the final.
Kush said: "I have been driving Karts from the age of five and started racing at the age of seven. I spent last year racing in Italy which was a great learning experience for me as I also got several podium finishes in many of the races.
"However, WSK is the biggest race for me and to win here is fulfilling the start of a dream to become one of the best drivers. I am now looking forward to the balance three races of the Master Series as well as the two of the Euro Series."
Kush's elder brother Arjun had some Kart issues that prevented him from Qualifying in the front. He had a bad crash on the first Heat and followed it with a top-10 position in the second, and finished 14th in the race.