K1 RaceGear driver, Ryan Norberg, had an amazing weekend at the ROK Cup International Final in Lonato, Italy. This was Norberg’s first ever race competing out of the United States of America, and it was an impressive run for the American.
It did not take Norberg a long time to adjust to the new European circuit and driving styles. In only four sessions on the track, Ryan was only .4 tenths of a second of off the fastest lap. Norberg knew he would be able to compete with the leaders with a couple more chassis adjustments. After Norberg’s last session of practice, he said, “I love driving on South Garda’s karting track. The driving style here is completely different than what I am used to back in the States. I am loving the new challenge of adjusting my driving style, and I am really looking forward to qualifying!”
Ryan was placed in the first group for qualifying. He qualified 13th in his group. After the second group had driven, Norberg was 21st overall only .18 tenths of off the pole setting lap. His fastest lap placed him 11th in group A for all of the heats. After qualifying Norberg stated, “I am not disappointed with my qualifying. The competition here is so close, and I am not that far off of the fastest lap. I know I have more time in my driving. I can’t wait for my first European heat race!”
In heat #1, Norberg had a great start, avoiding a pile up in the first corner. After Ryan passed two more drivers, he started closing in on the leaders. He finished heat #1 in 6th position. In Heat #2, Ryan again had a great start. Norberg quickly closed in on the leaders and started battling for position. After the dust settled, Norberg had won his first International heat. Norberg knew he had speed to win again, but in heat #3 he was involved in an incident in turn one. He could only manage to race back to fifth, while setting the fastest lap of the race. After an impressive three heats Norberg stated, “I am really looking forward to the pre-final. I know I have the speed to win, but I just need to stay out of trouble.”
After the points were calculated, Norberg was set to start pre-final B in the 3rd position. On the start, Norberg managed to move into the 2nd position. Unfortunately, he made contact with another driver, forcing him to slide off of the track. He fell back to the 7th position. By the checked flag Norberg was able to regain two positions and finish 5th. Norberg was set to start the final race in 9th position. In the early laps of the race, Norberg was knocked off of the track and was hit multiple time. He fell all the way back to 21st place. With laps winding down, Norberg started setting fastest laps. He managed to race back into 16th. By the final lap, Norberg caught a group of seven karts and made one more pass before the checked flag. Ryan finished in 15th. After the final Norberg stated, “It is very disappointing knowing you had a chance to win, and having it slip out of your hands. Even though I did not finish where I wanted, it was still an amazing experience. I really want to thank K1 RaceGear, Andre Martins, ROK Cup USA, my mechanic, Armand Convers, Tony Kart, Razor Image, my parents, Team Felon, and everyone who was supporting back in the USA while I was overseas!”