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TKART magazine Editorial | Charles Leclerc as a rookie in the shifter class (at 15 years of age) he won the Winter Cup… With a fever!
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Mattia Livraghi
24 May 2022

Among the classes of international karting there is one that represents the arrival point in the career of a professional kart driver: KZ. First it was called Formula C, then KZ1, but the name matters little, the essence is that we are talking about the top class, in which super experts race, even at 20-30 years of age. People who have practically nothing more to learn and who by profession demolish the new recruits, the rookies, until these, based on many overtakings and after a lot of competitions, cut their teeth and enter by right, in turn, in this small circle of drivers who are referred to as "the senators". But every now and then, to tell the truth, very rarely, particular rookies appear on the karting scene capable of overturning this practice. As in 2013, when in the opening round of the season, the Winter Cup at the South Garda Karting in Lonato, a teenager from Monte carlo showed up who, despite being physically KO, decided that certain habits ... Were not his cup of tea.


It is 17 February 2013 and it is cold, as it should be on a winter Sunday when you are near Brescia, precisely at South Garda Karting in Lonato, for the Winter Cup. KZ was not scheduled for that weekend, so all the top drivers of the premier class poured into KZ2, which had something like 70 entrants. Among these, names that have marked or would go on to mark the history of karting: Davide Forè, Marco Ardigò, Paolo De Conto, Arnaud Kozlinski, Bas Lammers, Anthony Abbasse, Ben Hanley, Patrik Hajek, Roberto Toninelli, Fabian Federer, Yannick de Brabander, Flavio Camponeschi and Rick Dreezen, just to name a few in no particular order. However, there was also a boy from Monte carlo born in 1997. His name is Charles Leclerc and he had already made himself known globally for his excellent results (above all by winning the 2011 CIK-FIA World Cup in KF3, the junior class of single speed karts at that time) in the other classes in which he competed. After a 2012 in KF2 (the year in which the now famous long-distance bickering with Max Verstappen occured, which we talk about in the article "Editorial - Leclerc vs Verstappen: the true story of the first clash in the days of karting"), his manager and Charles's team manager decided that the time had come for him to gain experience with "the seniors", in KZ and KZ2.

From Monte Carlo, born in 1997, a Scuderia Ferrari driver. He raced for several years in karting, achieving excellent results, including a world title in KF3. Before joining F1, he also won the GP3 Series in 2016 and the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2017.

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