The official CRG racing team was the undisputed protagonist of the 2022 FIA KZ Karting World Championship, allowing Viktor Gustavsson to become KZ World Champion and Jeremy Iglesias to finish in third place. The world championship of the highest class of shifter karts was held on the French circuit of Le Mans, in a weekend (from 1 to 4 September) with variable weather conditions that greatly affected the refinement of the set-up by the various teams present. The qualifiers, heats and the final took place on the edge of a knife, returning very similar race paces for the leading drivers. This is precisely why the starting position and the pace held in the race were decisive on the final result, rather than the ability to achieve the best overall performance in terms of lap time. This was, lap chart in hand, the difference between the two CRG drivers: Gustavsson, at the wheel of a CRG KT2, took advantage of a fast start to take the lead. midway through the first lap (with a decisive overtaking of Simo Puhakka) and stay in the lead until the chequered flag; while Iglesias, in a CRG Road Rebel (moreover, in an improved version that made its debut on the occasion of the world championship), albeit slightly faster in absolute terms (he scored the “best lap” of the final 49 ”733, 0.115 seconds faster than Gustavsson), was unable to close the gap with his teammate. And although the two therefore showed a substantially similar pace, the choices in terms of body, set-up, weight balance and engine delivery were diametrically opposed.
In this TKART article, thanks to the photographic contributions and information "stolen" from the track immediately after the final by its guests on the French track, analyses all the peculiarities and differences between two of the kart shifters on the podium of the KZ world championship and will try to reply to the questions that many fans often ask themselves: what characterises a world champion kart? How are the set-ups of the world-winning kart studied (and why)? Read on.
Let's start from the "basics", or rather from the choice of the chassis by the two drivers. A decision made on the basis of several elements: the track conditions, the weather (variable throughout the weekend with mixed conditions between dry and wet, even if the final took place in favourable conditions with high temperatures and dry asphalt), the feelings of the driver ... In any case, whatever the reason that led Gustavsson and Iglesias to make their choice, we know for sure that many of the differences, in terms of set-up and components used, depend on the bodies fielded by the two drivers and that we will analyse in this article. Viktor Gustavsson, the Swedish driver who arrived first at the finish line, for the final, among the bodies that the CRG team had prepared for the race (KT2 and Road Rebel) opted for the KT2 characterized by 30 mm diameter chrome-molybdenum steel tubes. It is interesting to underline how the Swedish driver selected a body that tends to be “soft” and which, for this reason, is more used in the single-speed classes. In contrast, therefore, with respect to the classic logic that pushes the choice of more rigid chassis because they are more suitable for the Shifter classes (such as KZ), Gustavsson, however showed that he was absolutely at ease among the bends of the French circuit just behind the wheel of a structurally less rigid body. Jeremy Iglesias, the other CRG team driver and 3rd at the chequered flag, instead selected (for dry conditions) the more classic (and historically winning) Road Rebel body (which TKART analysed in a dedicated “Under review”), made of 32 mm diameter chromium-molybdenum steel tubes, more tenacious than the KT2 and therefore ideally more suited to ensuring the necessary grip when dealing with the powerful KZ shifter engines.
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