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December 05, 2012 News
EKN.ca One-on-One: Grand Finals Podium Finisher Scott Campbell

Scott Campbell added another podium finish to his Rotax Grand Finals resume with a second place in his record ninth appearance (Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)
Scott Campbell added another podium finish to his Rotax Grand Finals resume with a second place in his record ninth appearance
(Photo: Gregory Lussier - babelphotos.ca)

The 2012 edition of the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals recently wrapped up in Portugal, and Team Canada once again impressed with a sixth world title and two additional trips to the podium. The editorial staff recently spoke with Scott Campbell, who finished second at the Kartodromo Internacional do Algarve in DD2 Masters in his record ninth Grand Finals appearance.

EKARTINGNEWS.CA: First off, congratulations on your runner-up finish in the DD2 Masters Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Before we get into your podium effort, let begin things by talking about the lead up to the event. How did your prepare for the Grand Finals, and how important was this to your ultimate success?

SCOTT CAMPBELL: I never did much before the race other than playing my soccer and volleyball. I think that my race experience at the Grand Finals makes that difference, plus I was unable to drive a kart after Canadian Nationals.

EKN.CA: Once arriving in Portugal, what were your first impressions of the track and event setup?

CAMPBELL: When we got to the track, my first impression was that this facility was very large with the full race track next to the kart track. Then once at the kart complex and we got to see the track, it seemed to be a very fast track. Rotax always does a great job on setting up a facility for the Grand Finals.

EKN.CA: One of the first things that took place once all the drivers/teams had arrived was the random kart draw. Upon completion and getting your kart, what were your first impressions of your racing steed for the 2012 Grand Finals?

CAMPBELL: My first thought was 'I hope this kart is fast'. Then we got the kart back to the tent and we started to set the kart up to how I thought it would be fast, using the information gained from driving a Haase kart at previous Grand Finals.

EKN.CA: The spec kart utilized by the DD2 Masters class in Portugal was the Italian-made Haase Edox kart. Had you previously-ever driven a Haase kart? What were your initial thoughts about the kart upon getting on track via practice?

CAMPBELL: Like I mentioned, I drove a Haase kart in past Grand Finals, but they have change the specific kart over the year a little. This year, the kart's brakes seemed to be very sensitive. The overall balance of the kart seemed to be good though.

EKN.CA: With four practice runs prior before the lone qualifying session, what did you to focus on, and what were the biggest obstacles to overcome? Did you work with your Team Canada teammates a good deal throughout practice?

CAMPBELL: Team work is the most important thing at the Grand Finals. I did work with Stuart Clark and Luc Sauriol, and it showed on the time sheets, as we all very close to each other. We just needed to tweak the kart to our individual driving styles.

EKN.CA: When qualifying came around, you ended up with the third best time in your group, sixth fastest overall. What were your thoughts on the session and where it put you on the starting grid for the three Heat races?

CAMPBELL: In qualifying I decided to stay with the 36 gear, and was going to work with a couple drivers for the draft, but once on track we got separated, so it was down to me to put some fast laps down by myself. Being sixth fastest with no draft, I knew I would be very fast in the races.

EKN.CA: Ahead of the racing action getting underway, how 'racy' did you feel the 16-turn Kartodromo International do Algarve configuration would be? Would the number of passing zones dictate a certain strategy?

CAMPBELL: We decided to make a gear change to the 37 gear for the first heat race, knowing that I would need the speed on the straights to make a pass if needed. In the tighter infield, the corners were not that easy to make a pass if you did not force the issue, so the easier place to pass was on the straight before turn two.

EKN.CA: You ended up nearly perfect in the Heat races, winning two of three, and finishing fifth in the other. How important was that, and what was the key to this race success?

CAMPBELL: It was really good to have the pace and win two of the heats, but I knew the second heat race was going to be the test against Morgado. At the end of that race, I was able to keep the edge and win that heat race. In the third race it rained, and my kart just did not feel right. I could not get the power down like I wanted to, but knew I needed to be smart and get as little points as possible.

EKN.CA: Continuing your strong run in both the Prefinal and the Final, you finished an impressive second in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Tell us how you ended up on the podium in the Final. Did the race go exactly as you planned?

CAMPBELL: In the Prefinal, the track still was damp after rain overnight. Again the kart was not up to speed, and I had to settle for fourth. Knowing that the track was drying for the Final, I knew I would be quick. Making only a couple little changes like tire pressure, I knew I would be in a position for the win. In the race, it ended up being a four-kart breakaway, and I just sat in third once we all had taken the lead at some point. I noticed that the Great Britain driver was very aggressive, and I did not want to get taken out. Then with three laps left I was ready to make my move, but before I could the British driver made a mistake in front of me in turn five and bogged both of us down, and Morgado got that small breakaway. I made the pass for second on the straight, but did not have enough time to catch Morgado. I ended the race with the fastest lap, only 0.1 slower than my qualifying time.

EKN.CA: What are your thoughts on finishing second in the 2012 DD2 Masters Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals?

CAMPBELL: I am very happy with my second place behind Morgado, even though I knew I had the speed to win. I just did not make the move to the front early enough.

EKN.CA: Thanks for speaking with eKartingNews.ca and its readers. Once again congratulations on a superb second place at the Grand Finals!

CAMPBELL: Thank you for the interview. I would like to thank all of my sponsors for the event: Sofina, ASN Canada, Jim Russell Racing, Canadian Tire, Ron Fellows, Karting Canada, K1 Racegear, Conveyer & Machine, Juicy Autobody, Saskatoon Kart Racers, Endeavor Machining Solutions, Grace Beyer, Marianne Stefanowski, Crossman Graphics and Clunie Consulting. Without everyone's help, this could not have been possible.

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