Josh Irfan takes Winter Cup podium

February 18, 2019

Karting

Josh made a happy return to the famous Winter Cup, held at the South Garda Karting circuit after taking a podium finish in the Mini ROK class. After appearing at the 23rd running of the event in 2018, where Josh finished 13th, he qualified on pole position for the 2019 final after winning all his heats before eventually claiming a podium. Although Josh was slightly disappointed to not walk away with the first-place trophy to finish 3rd out of 54 of the World’s best was yet another result to be proud of. 

The weekend started perfectly with Josh taking pole position in qualifying. In a very close session Josh was able to beat Italian driver Valerio Rinicella and teammate Adam Hideg (HUN) by less than one tenth of a second. It left Josh in a perfect place going into the three heats.

In the heats that followed Josh would go on to take all three victories with heat two being a particularly close battle where Josh beat Rashid Al Dhaheri (UAE) to the flag by 0.020 seconds! The Winter Cup has become one of Karting most famous races over the years and to win all three heats in this manner is unnatural to the event making Josh’s performances even more impressive.

Before going into the final there was one more hurdle Josh would have to cross in the shape of a ‘Super Heat’ which would help form the grid for the Finals. Like he had done in all of his heats Josh made a great start to the final leading the first four laps despite some pressure. However, it was at that point Josh was challenged for the first time being quickly passed by both Al Dhaheri and Dion Gowda (SNP).

Josh quickly worked his way back through to 2nd on lap six before taking the lead on lap seven. But his lead would be short lived after Alex Powell (JAM) passed Josh just a few corners later which saw him drop to 4th place in one hit. His attempts to go straight back into 3rd unfortunately led him to fall back from the lead pair and become involved in a furious four-way fight for 3rd.  

Josh found himself down in 6th for the majority of the final third of the race, but he never gave up and fought back to 4th place on the final lap of the race before being promoted to 3rd post-race. It was a shame that one moment in the race cost Josh the chance at victory, but it just goes to show how tough the racing is at the Winter Cup and how there often needs to be a bit of luck involved to win these major events.

Josh will be back at Lonato this weekend for round two of the WSK Super Master Series where he currently sits 8th in the championship.