CIK-FIA European Championship & Academy Trophy, Genk
Report May 16, 2017
The CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy had a very satisfying start to the season for all its participants at the Genk circuit (BEL). At the same time, the protagonists of the CIK-FIA European KZ2 Championship embarked in force on the conquest of the title with spectacular revelations at the end of the Races. Finally, the second Competition of the CIK-FIA European KZ Championship did not disappoint fans of intense confrontations.
While the weather was not guaranteed in advance, the Genk Competition benefited from excellent conditions that enabled us to experience a very enjoyable sporting weekend with 132 Drivers present.
The KZs continued their epic battles, while the KZ2 season debut rejoiced in a field that brought together a majority of true amateurs who could play a major role at the forefront.
Finally, the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy included 49 young drivers from 12 to 14 years of age, from nearly 40 countries around the world, for the start of a very important season for them.
The Genk circuit has taken advantage of its remarkable facilities and the experience of its team to provide a first class framework for this perfectly organised Competition.
THE DUTCH WIN IN BELGIUM
The battle has been fierce since the launch of the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy. Driving their identical Exprit / Vortex / Bridgestone karts, the 49 Drivers competed in a sporting way throughout the Competition. Even though their race experience was not all at the same level at the start, they were all able to progress incredibly well as the laps went on. The various leaders immediately gave a very steady rhythm to this Competition. The Belgian Xavier Handsaeme first realised the best time of the Qualifying Practice before contending the leadership of the Qualifying Heats with the Dutchman Mike van Vugt. The latter quickly escaped at the front of the Final, while the fight was intense at all levels of the pack. The Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm finally detached himself from his opponents to join his compatriot van Vugt on the podium. Doubly penalized, Oliver Skop Skjellerup of Denmark was demoted and Handsaeme was ranked 3rd ahead of Britain’s Joseph Taylor and United Arab Emirates driver Jamie Day.
The second of the three Competitions of the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy will take place at the beginning of July in France, on the Le Mans circuit.
VIGANO WINS IN KZ2 AGAINST IRLANDO
A Driver from the KSM Schumacher Racing Team, Germany’s Leon Köhler (Tony Kart / Vortex / Bridgestone) dominated the start of the first CIK-FIA European KZ2 Championship. After pole position and then the winner of his four Qualifying Heats, he was undoubtedly a revelation of the weekend. But the Italian Matteo Vigano (Tony Kart / Vortex / Bridgestone), from the Tony Kart Racing Team, succeeded in a superb Final by maintaining the lead position to the end which he had secured from the second lap. Italy’s Alessandro Irlando (Sodi / TM / Bridgestone) of Team CPB Sport, who had followed Köhler from the Heats, gave everything to counter Vigano’s domination. He finished 2nd in front of Riccardo Longhi (Birel ART / TM) – Birel ART Racing – the holder of the fastest lap in the race, who lost 3rd place after a penalty for his front fairing position. This allowed Köhler to recover 3rd position. Martijn Van Leeuwen (Energy / TM / Bridgestone) – Energy Corse – and Tom Leuillet (Sodi / TM / Bridgestone) – Team CPB Sport – completed the top five.
The second of the three Competitions of the CIK-FIA European KZ2 Championship will be held at the beginning of July in France, at the Le Mans circuit.
DE CONTO TAKES THE LEAD IN KZ
The CIK-FIA European KZ Championship has once again fulfilled its promises in terms of intensity and suspense with several theatrical, mechanical or sporting surprises. Simo Puhakka (Kosmic / Vortex / Bridgestone) was again fastest during the Qualifying Practice, but Anthony Abbasse (Sodi / TM / Bridgestone) took the lead in the Qualifying Heats. However, Paolo De Conto (CRG / TM / Bridgestone) was unbeatable in the Final, despite the great performance from the youngster Marijn Kremers (Birel ART / TM / Bridgestone) who achieved his best result by climbing to 2nd place on the podium ahead of Stan Pex (CRG / TM / Bridgestone), 3rd in the Race. Abbasse finished 4th in front of Pedro Hiltbrand Aguilar (Tony Kart / Vortex / Bridgestone), who was entered on a Wild Card.
Paolo De Conto confirmed his position as leader in the provisional standings with 65 points. Stan Pex (42 points) was 2nd in front of Patrik Hajek (36 points). Anthony Abbasse (32 points) returned to 4th and Marijn Kremers (30 points) to 5th. The third of the four Competitions of the CIK-FIA European KZ Championship will take place on the 9th to 11th June in Spain at the Fernando Alonso Circuit.