CIK-FIA European Championship & Academy Trophy, Genk
Preview May 9, 2017
This is a particularly interesting event in Genk, Belgium, with the opening of the CIK-FIA European KZ2 Championship and the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy. It will also be the second time the protagonists of the CIK-FIA European KZ Championship have met who have already started an incredibly tight Competition.
“The Home of Champions”, the Horensbergdam Circuit at Genk (BEL), is a must-see when it comes to high level karting. The very technical course of 1360m is in an eminent place in the history of the discipline. With 141 Drivers scheduled for 10th-14th May 2017 in all three categories of the programme, the stage proves very consistent for a leading Competition. The new Race format adopted by the CIK-FIA this year reinforces the importance of the Qualifying Heats, enabling direct qualification for the Final. It should be noted that the three categories will use tyres from a single manufacturer, Bridgestone, which is no longer as common in 2017.
INCREDIBLY INTENSE COMPETITION IN KZ
Defending World Champion Paolo De Conto (CRG / TM / Bridgestone) took the lead of the CIK-FIA European KZ Championship after the first Competition in front of Patrik Hajek (Kosmic / Vortex / Bridgestone) and Stan Pex (CRG / TM / Bridgestone), with Bas Lammers (Sodi / TM / Bridgestone) and Jérémy Iglesias (Formula K / TM / Bridgestone) completing the provisional top five. But Anthony Abbasse (Sodi / TM / Bridgestone) and Simo Puhakka (Kosmic / Vortex / Bridgestone) have strong motivation to move up the standings after the incident that eliminated them in Sarno. With KZ being more competitive than ever this year, the show promises to be exciting to follow in Belgium.
A PLACE FOR ENTHUSIASTS IN KZ2
Organised this season over three Competitions, the CIK-FIA European KZ2 Championship will make its debut at Genk with 67 Drivers, an increase in numbers compared to previous years. Italy is the country best represented with 15 Drivers, including Matteo Vigano and Alessio Piccini, both on Tony Kart / Vortex / Bridgestone, Alessandro Irlando (Sodi / TM / Bridgestone) and Francesco Celenta (Praga / TM / Bridgestone). On equal standing with 11 Drivers are France and Sweden: Alexander Dahlberg (BirelART / TM / Bridgestone) and Emil Skäras (Tony Kart / Vortex / Bridgestone), as well as Tom Leuillet (Sodi / TM / Bridgestone), Nicolas Gonzales (Maranello / TM / Bridgestone) and Hubert Petit (Sodi / TM / Bridgestone) will be some of the defenders. Among the potential favourites are Germany’s Alexander Schmitz (CRG / Vortex / Bridgestone), United Arab Emirates driver Sean Babington (Energy / TM / Bridgestone), as well as Dylan Davies (DR / Modena Engines / Bridgestone) and Martijn Van Leeuwen (Energy / TM / Bridgestone), both of the Netherlands. But this competition presents real opportunities to shine for many talented Amateur Drivers and this is where the interest of the KZ2 category lies.
51 YOUNG TALENTS FOR THE 2017 CIK-FIA KARTING ACADEMY TROPHY
The CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy is a one-of-a-kind competition to challenge the world’s best hopefuls on an equal footing. This year, the 12-to-14-year-old Drivers will be driving their one-design Exprit karts and Vortex engines from the OK-Junior class, equipped with Bridgestone tyres.
Among the 51 entries of the 2017 edition from 39 nations of the five continents, for the first time there are six women, including the Colombian Valeria Vargas Garcia who is supported by the FIA “Women in the Motor Sport” Commission. Chile, Colombia, Kuwait, Morocco and Peru are among the new countries attracted by this category. Genk will be the first of the three Competitions on the calendar.