On a dry track after the rain of the morning, the 177 participants in the Belgian Kart Grand Prix were able to take part in their Qualifying Practice on the Genk circuit on Friday, 7th September, at the end of the afternoon. Pole position for the FIA Karting World Championship – KZ was secured by Fabian Federer, while Matteo Vigano set the fastest time of the FIA Karting International Super Cup – KZ2, a very significant performance for the rest of the Competition. In the FIA Karting Academy Trophy, Callejas Gomez took the lead over Taponen.
Superbly highlighted, the Genk (BEL) venue testifies to the will of the organisers to put on an extraordinary event. Everything has been thought through to the last detail so that the competitors enjoy themselves and the spectators get the most out of the show. The whole event gives a very flattering impression of Karting.
Although wet tyres were de rigueur for the first official Free Practice sessions on Friday morning, sun and wind quickly dried the track at Genk, allowing the competitors to make two runs on slicks before launching the assault on Qualifying. The temperature was by then above 20°. The Genk track is known for its great sensitivity to weather conditions, with constant changes that are not always easy to anticipate. The settings, both for the chassis and the carburation for the gearbox karts, chosen at the last moment are often decisive for performance.
Vigano in pole position for KZ2
The 105 Drivers of the FIA Karting International Super Cup – KZ2 were divided into four groups for Qualifying Practice of the utmost importance. Matteo Vigano (ITA) achieved a superb performance by achieving pole position in the first session with a time of 52”411, a lead of 0.244” on Alexander Schmitz (DEU), the fastest of the third session. Three Drivers from the first session followed very closely in the top five: Emil Skaras (SWE), Maximilian Paul (DEU) and Jean Nomblot (FRA). European Champion Adrien Renaudin (FRA) finished 6th. There was an unpleasant surprise for Riccardo Longhi (ITA), 4th fastest of the 2nd session, who was 26th overall.
Callejas Gomez dominates Academy Qualifying
Kobe Pauwels (BEL) was fastest in the first Qualifying session of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy, but Isidro Callejas Gomez (ESP) led the second session with a time of 55”819, which gave him the pole position against Tuuka Taponen (FIN). Guilherme A. De Figueiredo (BRA) finished 3rd ahead of the leader in the standings Jose Maria Navalon Boya Trophy (ESP) and Joshua Coertze (ZAF), while Joshua Rattican (GBR) completed the top five.
Federer fastest in KZ
The competition was very close between the professionals of the FIA Karting World Championship – KZ. The sole Qualifying Practice session ended with a twist when a kart lost water from its cooling system on the track. Fabian Federer (ITA) held the pole position with 52”392 before going off the track. Marijn Kremers (NLD) was credited with the 2nd fastest time by one-tenth of a second, followed by Patrik Hajek (CZE), Simo Puhakka (FIN) and Anthony Abbasse (FRA). Well placed on the list of favourites, Jorrit Pex (NLD) could do no better than 11th and Paolo De Conto (ITA) dropped to 17th after his mechanical problem.