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Tkart magazine

Editorial | Jonathan Thonon: overturning, on the track, while going at full speed

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05 December 2019

A race like any other, one of the best drivers of the 2000s, the track in Lonato: it just took a few seconds, a space closing up ... and then there was a spectacular accident, with the CRG kart taking off and landing upside down. Fear: a lot of it. Consequences: few. Just a memory that can also become a great story to tell.

Full throttle. As usual. What you see passing by in the peripheral field of your view are just fragments of reality, the focus is on the trail of the one in front of you, or towards the next break away, to be done in the same way as usual, stiffening the muscles in your neck and balancing the force that would like to push you from the other side.


Then, all of a sudden, the unexpected: the kart in front of you turns violently looking into your eyes with a manoeuvre it shouldn’t do. And at that point the details that until then were just patches of colour around you become the main scenario.
When telling it, it never seems to end, but in real time it is only a moment, the time to blink and turn the steering wheel instinctively: Forè in front of you moving more and more to the left, drifting; Cesetti incredibly moving into a space that, when you arrive, is no longer enough. Grass on the wheels and anarchy at the wheel: turn to the right and the kart does not do what you want it to, just the time to scream, choked by a sweaty chin, and the red and white curb becomes a boundary wall. A blow. A jump. Light as a ball bouncing in a mad field. Then that chassis that you were dominating is there, in front of you, upside down at the end of a sequence filmed by a mad director. Your head is still out of control and the only sensible thought is the asphalt that has gone back to normal speed as they carry you at the edge of the track. Breathe, because it comes naturally to you and it's okay because it’s part of the survival instinct. Then everything happens quickly. People who come to see how you are, someone who shouts: "Cut the overalls, cut the overalls" and your lucidity that comes back in a moment: "No you can’t cut them up! They’re the World Championship overalls."
Then comes ice on the knee; a trip to the hospital that is no longer scary; a slab as cold as the plastic of the waiting room chair; 10 days on crutches and then you’re back. On the kart. With the sky still in place and the grass where it should be, out of focus at the edges of your field of vision. While driving towards the super pole. Everything’s fine. Once again... Jonathan Thonon.

A Belgian driver, born in 1986, he was one of the most successful kart drivers in the first decade of the 2000s in the gear classes. Among his many titles, 4 CIK-FIA KZ1 World Cups and the WSK KZ2 World Series stand out in 2010. He raced almost all his career with CRG, except for the last years, when he raced for Praga Karts.

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