Marco Ardigò arrives at the Le Mans World Cup with the ranks of the defending champion.
We know the amazing value of Marco and of Tony Kart Racing as well. They sharpened their weapons – intended as a development of the products – to their best in view of this World Championship. The structure of the Le Mans track adapts well to the power of their Vortex RVZ engines. The World Championship in a single race, as we know, is very much like a lottery as it is competed in a single race, where even a single event can affect the outcome. Additionally, it is a ruthless race because it does not allow for a second chance. Hence, you can show up with all the best intentions and training, but then your opponent surprises you with a “special” engine, maybe just for that race, which nullifies all predictions and sweeps the competition. This time, however, there do not seem to be many surprises and for Ardigò and Tony Kart repeating the title won in Sarno seems to be a challenge within reach.
Everything goes according to plan. Ardigò wins a heat and is unreachable on a wet track, a factor which cannot be neglected in a weekend characterized by very uncertain weather conditions. But let us get to the second heat, on Saturday September 12th at 2:54 pm
. The asphalt is wet since it rained shortly before. Ardigò drives the warm-up lap of the race which sees group B competing against group C. All karts are mounting tires for a dry track, yet the asphalt is insidious. Ardigò first gets to its starting spot, the pole position, stops, but then he thinks again. For safety reasons it is better to allow everyone to make another lap. The race director allows the extra lap, yet he does not see it as Ardigò and writes on his notebook that vehicle no. 51 has interrupted the starting procedure.
The motorsport marshals take that notebook, read it and turn it into a penalty that on Saturday night becomes not simply a cold shower but rather an icy one for the defending world champion. All that the leader Tony Kart can do is to take the hit, which means starting from the 17th spot in the Pre-final. From that moment Ardigò stages a missed masterpiece. In the Pre-final he recovers seven positions, thus starting from the 10th position in the Finals. Furthermore, on the last race of the weekend, the one that counts, the one that delivers the world title, Marco is a whirlwind, he flies (the best lap of more than one tenth faster than that of the winner testifies to this), and even gets to enter the fight for the victory of the last lap which, however, he concludes in third place.
Before, unfortunately, another penalty imposed at the end of the race due to the front nose out of position takes that result away too.