Dubai: UAE Karting DD2 champion Pier Packenham-Walsh in the spotlight
2014-2015 UAE DD2 Champion talks about his second title in two years
Mum, Dad and the family atmosphere in the UAE Sodi Racing team are winning ingredients
Piers Pakenham-Walsh won his second DD2 title in as many years when he clinched the 2014-2015 UAE Rotax DD2 Championship in the final round of the series.
Now that the dust has settled Pakenham-Walsh, who was bred UAE karting circles, spoke about his title winning year.
How does it feel to be 2014-2015 UAE DD2 Champion?
Piers Pakenham-Walsh: I’m really happy to have been able to win the UAE DD2 championship again this year to make it a second consecutive title, it really hasn’t been easy though, the level of competition has seen a huge step up since last year and it has only meant that everyone has had to work harder.
What was the highlight of your year in DD2?
PPW: Of course winning the championship has to be considered one of the highlights of the year, however I would also say that winning the first round of the season was a big boost for me, it showed the pace that we had and what we could do with it and really stated our intentions for the rest of the season.
What was the low point?
PPW: Overall I think I’ve had a really good season and identifying a low point isn’t easy, although I would have to say that being taken out of the lead on the last lap of the [non-championship] O-Plate race in Dubai was probably one moment that I could pick out that was unfortunate for me.
Talk us through that final race day where you clinched the title against the odds…
PPW: It was hot – very, very hot! I went into the weekend feeling nervous of course knowing what was at stake but also positive knowing we still had a shot at taking the title. The racing was spread out over two days and we had a good run of heats which put us up to start on P2 for the Pre-Final race, which saw me finish third. Starting third in the Final, I got into second and had a good race long battle with Sanad and Abdullah Al Rawahi whilst Sean Babington edged out a lead. Starting the last lap however, Sean had a mechanical issue which forced him to drop back significantly, which meant I then took the race win and the championship title. It was unbelievable!
Who do you need to thank for the success you had?
PPW: I always have to thank my Mum and Dad, they always support me fully and of course fund my racing career so I really couldn’t do it without them. Really want to thank Sodi Kart Middle East for doing a fantastic job this year and providing me with some fantastic equipment, the whole team have been a great support all year and namely I’d like to thank Nicolas Fargeas for everything he has done with overseeing the team, David Terrien for all the advice and guidance on and off track and George Gibbons for all the help with setup both on race days and during testing and practice.
What does it feel like to be part of the Sodi Racing UAE setup?
PPW: Since the first day of signing with them I’ve loved being a part of the Sodi team, there’s always been such a great atmosphere and Nicolas [Fargeas] has done a fantastic job of instilling a real family-like vibe amongst all the drivers and associated family members, as well as with all of the team members.
How important was their role in winning the title?
PPW: They’ve played a very important role this year, the support from them and their close links with the Sodi Kart Factory in France has really helped me to get the most out of the kart. As I said before the whole team including my fellow team mates have all been a great support and as important as it is to make sure mechanical support is on point, morale support also plays a big part in success.