[translated with Google]
More than eight months after the KZ-KZ2 world championship last season, the protagonists of the categories with the gearbox re-ignite the engines in Genk for the first of the two rounds of the FIA Karting European Championship. 33 drivers present themselves at the start of the European championship in the premier class of karting, while 89 standard bearers are ready to compete for the title in KZ2. The 54 youngsters participating in the first of the three rounds of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy also join them.
The usual qualifying took place on Friday, and then continued with the first qualifying heats, which will end on Saturday afternoon for the categories with the gearbox and on Sunday morning for the Academy.
KZ: Amazing Emilien Denner
- That Emilien Denner (Sodikart – Sodi – TM Racing) was fast was out of the question, but that she could sign the pole position at the first round of the European championship and trim more than a tenth and a half to the direct rival was still not very predictable. The standard bearer of the Sodikart team is the best interpreter of the Genk circuit and prints a 50.511.
- The second position is the prerogative of an excellent Francesco Celenta (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM Racing), capable of returning to the top of the standings following a somewhat troubled FIA 2021 season.
- Matteo Viganò (Leclerc by Lennox Racing – Birel ART – TM Racing) is really fond of the Genk track. After winning a round of the KZ2 European championship in 2016, another round of the KZ2 European championship in 2017 and the FIA Karting International Super Cup KZ2 in 2018, the Italian driver confirms his special feeling with the Belgian track and gains third place.
- At his absolute debut in the gearbox category, reigning OK world champion Tuukka Taponen (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex) amazes with his fourth place. The young Finn is seven thousandths ahead of his teammate and compatriot Simo Puhakka (Tony Kart – Tony Kart Racing Team – Vortex), who reaffirms his competitiveness with the fifth best time.
- Convincing qualifications also for Paolo Ippolito (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME), sixth after winning the bronze medal in the European championship last year, and for the reigning world champion Noah Milell (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex), seventh.
- Current European KZ2 runner-up and runner-up in last year’s FIA Karting International Super Cup KZ2, Senna Van Walstijn (Sodikart – Sodi – TM Racing) makes his debut in the premier class and immediately takes center stage with eighth place. The debut of Lorenzo Travisanutto (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM Racing) is also promising, tenth after having triumphed, as a rookie, in last year’s FIA Karting International Super Cup KZ2. Between the two rookies is the 2015 world champion Jorrit Pex (SP Motorsport – KR – TM Racing), who returns to the international scene after taking the third step of the podium at the world championship last year.
- Qualifying slightly below expectations for reigning European champion Riccardo Longhi (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Racing), 12th, reigning European vice-champion Pedro Hiltbrand (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Racing), 16 °, the 2020 world champion Jeremy Iglesias (CRG Racing Team – CRG – TM Racing), 17th, the 2020 European champion and 2019 world champion Marijn Kremers (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Racing), 20 ° in his first qualifying of the season on the European stage, and the reigning world vice-champion Lorenzo Camplese (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex), 23rd.
- Adrien Renaudin (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex) signs the tenth best time, but is canceled because he does not respect the track limits and thus finds himself 14th.
KZ2: David Trefilov sets the pace
- After taking the third step of the podium at last year’s FIA Karting International Super Cup, David Trefilov (Maranello SRP Factory Team – Maranello – TM Racing) is confirmed as a protagonist. The Maranello SRP Factory Team rider made the difference in group 2, printing a 50.812 and winning the absolute pole position. Although KZ2 has accustomed us to very narrow gaps, especially on the flying lap, Trefilov beats an excellent Dominik Reuters (AP-Racing – Birel ART – TM Racing) by more than two tenths, second in the group and fifth in the general classification. 21 thousandths from the standard bearer of the AP-Racing team is Robert Kindervater (Birel ART Racing KSW – Birel ART – TM Racing), who takes another Birel to the top of the standings with third place in the group and ninth overall.
- Forced to miss the 2021 FIA Karting season due to injury, Tom Leuillet (Leclerc by Lennox Racing – Birel ART – TM Racing) returns in style to the international scene. The standard bearer of the Leclerc by Lennox Racing team is by far the fastest in group 4 thanks to a 50.826, but he sees the absolute pole position fade by just 14 thousandths and therefore has to settle for second position. Arvid Lindblad (SP Motorsport – KR – TM Racing) is back after an injury remedied at the beginning of the year, who continues to amaze in his debut season in KZ2. The Red Bull Junior Team rider climbs up to second place in the group and sixth overall, making everyone understand that he can have a say in him even with the gearbox in hand. An amazing Tim Troger (Maranello SRP Factory Team – Maranello – TM Racing) is immediately behind the standard bearer of the SP Motorsport team, third in the group and tenth in the overall standings.
- Markus Kajak (AIX Racing Team – Tony Kart – TM Racing) had already expressed a remarkable speed last year in his rookie season and in 2022 he definitely wants to give further proof of his potential. The standard bearer of the AIX Racing Team begins to do it in the best possible way at the European championship, setting the best time in group 1 in 51,018 and thus earning the third position overall. The young Estonian trimmed just under a tenth to David Liwinski (CPB Sport – Sodi – Tm Racing), who showed a good feeling in the first qualifying session with the CPB Sport team and obtained second place in the group as well as seventh overall. The Polish driver is followed by his teammate Thomas Imbourg (CPB Sport – Sodi – Tm Racing), third in the group and 11th in the overall standings thanks to a convincing performance.
- The driver who imposes himself in group 3 is an excellent Daniel Vasile (DR – DR – Modena Engines), who scores a 51.081 and takes fourth overall position. The driver of the DR team is just half a tenth ahead of Kris Haanen (SP Motorsport – KR – TM Racing), which confirms what good he had shown in the final last season, finishing second in the group and eighth overall. He also qualifies positively for Genis Civico (Modena Kart – Birel ART – TM Engines), third in the group and 12th in the general classification.
- Danilo Albanese (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME) reaffirms its competitiveness with 13th place overall. The Italian driver is ahead of compatriot Alessio Piccini (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Racing), author of a promising performance, and Thomas Cypers (Thomas Cypers – Mach 1 – IAME), able to close the total top 15 with his Mach 1.
- Qualifying slightly below expectations for Giuseppe Palomba (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Racing), second in the 2020 International Super Cup and today 27th in the general classification, and Paavo Tonteri (CRG Racing Team – CRG – TM Racing ), 55 °.
- At his absolute debut in the category with the gearbox, Cristian Bertuca (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Racing) shows himself fast in free practice, but completes only two laps in an unlucky qualifying and thus finds himself 88th overall.
- The reigning European champion Giacomo Pollini is not present in the first round of the championship.
Academy: Second FIA pole position for Guillaume Bouzar
- After taking pole position in the second round of the FIA Karting European Championship OKJ two weeks ago in Zuera, Guillaume Bouzar reaffirms his speed and once again gets the best overall performance thanks to a 54.128 in group 2. The Luxembourg driver is then canceled the time for not respecting the track limits, but his second best time of 54.163 is still enough to keep the pole, by only four thousandths. Bouzar is followed by two other OKJ protagonists: William Go, second in the group and third overall, and Arthur Dorison. Fresh from the podium at the second round of the FIA Karting European Championship OKJ in Zuera, the young Frenchman earns third place in the group and fifth in the overall standings.
- To win in a very tight group 1, with the first five riders enclosed in just over half a tenth, is an exceptional Thibaut Ramaekers. The Belgian bishop expresses his skills on the home circuit and prints a 54.248, which earned him the second overall position. Ramaekers trims 10 thousandths to an excellent Aleksandar Bogunovic, second in the group and fourth total. Just six thousandths behind Bogunovic is Jindrich Pesl, who confirms his competitive position with third place in the group and sixth in the overall standings.
- Joel Pohjola, Luca Houghton, Dinu Sabin Stroescu and Caleb Gafrarar complete the top ten thanks to convincing performances.
- Notable qualification also for the Chiara Battig pink quota, supported by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission. The young Swiss made her 15th overall.
- Unfortunate session, instead, for Lochiel McGregor, who does not complete even a lap.