Sam Brabham tackled one of the biggest challenges yet of his first Senior Rotax Max season by making his MSA Kartmasters 2012 debut at PF International on Sunday, August 5. Despite battling through mechanical difficulties, the soon-to-be 18 year-old clearly underlined his potential with consistently strong performances against the massive 34-kart entry of the UKís karting elite.
The Henley karter started on promising form from the outset, clocking-in 12th fastest in Sunday morning practice. Although Sam was unable to carry that momentum into qualifying he made the most of starting from 27th on the grid for Heat 1. Recovering well from a push wide early-on that left him at the back of the pack, he worked his way up to finish 22nd while lapping quicker than the second and third place finishers.
Going one better in Heat 2 by finishing 21st, hopes were high for another strong run in Heat 3 but an intermittent loss of power forced retirement on the warm-up lap. Determined to make a recovery drive from 31st on the grid for the Pre-Final, Sam was progressing well through the mid-field when a carburettor issue resulted in another non-finish.
Bouncing back for the Final, an outstanding opening lap propelled the Henley college student from 30th to 21st place while some inspired passing manoeuvres promoted him to 17th place by the end of lap 10. Just as he was closing on the battle for 12th, Samís hopes of breaking into the top 10 were dashed when he again experienced intermittent loss of power and had to nurse his kart home to finish 22nd.
Sam commented: ďMy first MSA Kartmasters event was a great and valuable experience. Iíve always wanted to race this event and I can come away from my debut knowing Iíve made a big step forward in progress.
ďI managed to show good pace from the outset and running in the top 12 in practice gave me confidence heading into the heats, itís just a shame we didnít get to finish two of the races but mechanical issues can happen.
ďI went into the Final fully focused, knowing I had nothing to lose. I think I delivered one of my best performances so far and I was in with a chance of a top 12 finish. That would have been a mega achievement and although that didnít work out Iíve shown my improved pace and potential.Ē