Glastonbury racer Oli Norris made another superb showing in European competition this weekend when he took part in the Industrial Trophy at Parma in Italy. The 15 year-old narrowly missed out on a podium result in his heats and kept his more experience competition honest by staying in the top ten all weekendThe Millfield School student and ADD Motorsports driver started his weekend in good form, ending up less that half a second away from the regular European racers in free-practice. In qualifying Oli was just three-tenths of the second away from pole-position, but in the incredibly tight KF2 class it meant he set the 12th fastest time.
In his first heat he started from eighth place. A fantastic drive over the 15-lap race he moved up to fourth position, narrowly missing out on a podium result and finishing ahead of a six-kart battle. In the second heat he wasn’t quite as lucky and had to settle for ninth place.
In the pre-final he started from ninth place and got a superb start to lie sixth at the end of the first lap. However, on the next lap he was tagged and it dropped him down to 12th position. Oli got his head down and started to fight his way back. He struggled in the middle of the pack and as he crossed the line at the end of 20-laps he was in tenth place.
His starting place for the main final was his finishing position from the previous race. As the lights went out Oli made a solid start and was up to eighth place by the end of lap one. He held the place for a couple of laps before dropping back to 13th. He then made it back up to tenth place and held station there for the majority of the latter-half of the race, soaking up immense pressure in what was an epic mid-field battle.
On the closing stages Oli made a move and took ninth place and held onto it for a solid top-ten result on only his third trip to European soil. The weekend was a strong one for him and it’s something he’d like to try more of.
“It was a really good weekend to be honest,” he said. “I got quicker and quicker as the weekend went on and everyone else on the grid has been in this category all season. It’s definitely a lot different to the UK series’. There is much more grip and everything is a lot quicker.”
“I’m really pleased I was able to qualify as fast as I did and stay with everyone and fight in the races. If I got some more time in the kart and a bit more testing I think I could challenge a lot more. A podium is definitely realistic and I’d like to think a win is too,” he added.
“It’s been a semi-frustrating year for me in the two UK Championships. Although I’ve had some really good results, I’ve also had some really bad luck too. I know that’s part of racing, but it doesn’t make the weekends any easier. This weekend has made up for some of it though, I’d definitely like to do more of it!” He smiled.