Race Report: Ardigo takes his 3rd World Championship
Qualifying: Camponeschi on pole in KZ at Sarno
Bas Lammers (Formula K / Parilla) opened the show in KZ in the first qualifying session of the World Championship at Sarno with a lap of 1:06.129s ahead of Anthony Abbasse (Sodi / TM) and Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart / Vortex ). Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart / Vortex) responded with 1:05.853s, and Paolo De Conto (Birel / TM) took third behind Ardigo. Camponeschi did even better – 1:05.676s – 0.037s ahead of Ardigo, then Lammers took third by 0.167s, followed by Jorrit Pex (CRG / TM), Roberto Toninelli (Tony Kart / Parilla) in 5th, Mirko Torsellini (Birel / TM) 6th, Jonathan Thonon (Praga / Parilla) 7th and De Conto 8th.
Rick Dreezen (Zanardi / Parilla) upped the pace in the second session two minutes from the end followed by Felice Tiene (CRG / Maxter). But the big names had not yet shown their full potential. Dreezen was the first to go under 1:05s. The clock showed that the session was ending. Dreezen improved to 1:05.889s, Douglas Lundberg (Intrepid / TM) was second ahead of Kristijan Habulin, Tiene and Ben Hanley (ART GP / TM). There was a big disappointment for Arnaud Kozlinski (Intrepid / TM), apparently plagued by a problem, who was 12th and 0.451s from Dreezen.
Therefore Camponeschi is starting from pole, followed by Ardigo and Lammers, Dreezen 4th, Lundberg 5th, Pex 6th, Toninelli 7th, Torsellini 8th, Thonon 9th and De Conto 10th.
Heat 1: Ardigò ahead of Camponeschi
Tony Kart took the top two places in the first of the three heats of the KZ World Championship at Sarno. With only two heats per driver, it was important not to lose an opportunity to win a place in the final. Ardigo got a head start on his teammate Camponeschi. Douglas Lundberg (Intrepid / TM) was installed in 3rd position ahead of Dreezen and Habulin. Dreezen went on the attack on the fourth lap to take 3rd place. De Conto and later Torsellini passed Lundberg who finished 7th ahead of Davide Fore (CRG / Maxter) and a French trio, Anthony Abbasse (Sodi / TM) 9th, Jérémy Iglesias (Lenzo / LKE) 10th and Kozlinski 11th, a gain of six places for these last two. At the end Ardigo won against Camponeschi, with the fastest lap, Dreezen 3rd, De Conto 4th and Habulin 5th.
Heat 2: A second win for Ardigo
There was a second heat win for Ardigo, dominating from start to finish and setting the fastest lap. Fore and Tiene crashed at the end of the straight. Initially 2nd, Lundberg was overtaken by Bas Lammers (Formula K / Parilla). On lap 6, Lammers retired, apparently with a blown engine at full load. Torsellini took 2nd place, but Lundberg managed to pass in the last corners and took 2nd at the flag. Pex finished 4th ahead of Habulin, Iglesias, Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG / Maxter) and Patrik Hajek (Praga / Parilla).
Heat 3: Dreezen takes the last heat
The last heat was lively in KZ, with Pex who captured the 1st place at the expense of Camponeschi on the second lap, when Toninelli and De Conto crashed and gave up. The first lap saw Lammers pass Dreezen and Thonon. Dreezen threatened Camponeschi while Pex got away.
Hanley was back in the lead group and successively attacked Abbasse, who was previously 6th, and Lammers. Meanwhile, Kozlinski came back with consistency. Dreezen came dangerously close to Pex and passed with two laps to go under heavy braking. Camponeschi came back strongly too, he was the fastest on the track and took 2nd place under braking on the last lap. Hanley was unleashed on the last lap, he finished fourth ahead of Tiene, Lammers 6th and Abbasse 7th, Thonon 8th, Hajek 9th and Kozlinski 10th with seven places gained over qualifying.
Prefinal: Ardigo still in front in the prefinal
Ardigo made a good start as polesitter ahead of Dreezen who started better than Camponeschi and took 2nd position. Abbasse was safe when the lights went out and ended up 4th. Hanley only traveled a few metres.
Camponeschi attacked Dreezen on the 2nd lap and Abbasse followed through to 3rd place. Kozlinski was back strongly in 8th position ahead of Lennox-Lamb and Thonon. Lammers did not seem to be in great shape in 17th place. Dreezen returned to Abbasse, which didn’t French please the French driver. De Conto and Thonon were back into the top 10 ahead of Kozlinski.
Ardigo led by 6/10 from Camponeschi with Dreezen behind. Pex put pressure on Abbasse. Lennox-Lamb took Hajek for 7th position. Kozlinski set the fastest time on the 8th lap. Camponeschi closed on his teammate late in the race, but the positions didn’t change and the Tony Kart Boys did the double with Ardigo the winner. Dreezen finished 3rd, Abbasse 4th, and Pex 5th. De Conto returned to 8th, and Thonon finished 10th ahead of Kozlinski.
Final: Ardigo is World Champion!
The Tony Kart team started brilliantly with Ardigo ahead of Camponeschi, followed a moment back by Abbasse because of a missed start from Dreezen. Mirko Torsellini sneaked into 3rd position ahead of De Conto and Pex. Abbasse was relegated to 10th. De Conto passed Torsellini and started on Camponeschi while Kozlinski was already in 6th.
De Conto crept in between the Tony Karts on the third lap. Lammers was 15th and Thonon 19th. The battle began at the front when De Conto passed Ardigo on lap 5. The gaps were minimal in the top 10 for now and Ardigo took over the controls on the 7th of 18 laps. Dreezen was running in 5th ahead of Pex, Kozlinski 7th, Hajek 8th, Abbasse 9th and Tiene 10th. Starting last, Hanley had come back to 18th position at high speed.
Lammers moved into the top ten by passing Tiene. Ardigo gradually moved away from the threat of De Conto from halfway onwards, including setting the fastest lap. There was also a battle for 4th position between Torsellini and Dreezen while Camponeschi put pressure on De Conto. Camponeschi attacked De Conto who lost out a lot in the maneuver, letting Dreezen and Torsellini past. Ardigo benefited from the deal to increase his lead to 1.5s from his teammate.
The final laps didn’t bring major changes, and Ardigo won the race by 1.5s and became World Champion for the third time, his first in KZ. Camponeschi was second ahead of Dreezen, Torsellini was 4th, De Conto 5th, Kozlinski 6th by 0.3s. Hajek was 7th, Pex 8th, Thonon 9th and Abbasse completed the top 10.