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FIA Karting European Championship KZ and KZ2 rd 1, Zuera: heats – The leaders are Van Walstijn (KZ) and Slater (KZ2)
Mattia Livraghi
15 April 2023

[translated with Google]

The activity on the track continues for the first round of the FIA Karting European Championship for KZ and KZ2 at the Zuera International Circuit. After the first day of Friday, in which the qualifying and the first elimination heats took place, all the remaining heats for both categories present in the race took place on Saturday: KZ and KZ2. The starting grids for Sunday's Super Heat were therefore decided.

KZ: A masterful Senna Van Walstijn takes the lead

Tyres: LeCont

  • When Senna Van Walstijn (Sodikart – Sodi – TM Kart) says that the Zuera track is one of his favourites, you have to believe him. After winning the first heat thanks to a three-position comeback, the Sodikart team driver collects two second places in the two remaining heats and expresses all his maturity to obtain the leadership in the general classification. Always composed and concrete, the young Dutchman is sure of his abilities as well as of the material available and ready to start from pole in tomorrow's Super Heat.

  • Tom Leuillet (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex) also demonstrates his solidity, second overall. Compared to the potential staged on the flying lap, Friday's poleman seems to struggle in the tussle of the first two heats, but he defends himself with cunning and aggressiveness to secure two fourth places. The reigning KZ2 European champion shines brighter again in the last heat, winning it in great style and confirming himself among the favorites for tomorrow's day, which will start next to Van Walstijn in the front row of the Super Heat.

  • Even Danilo Albanese (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME) reaffirms his role as the absolute protagonist on his first appearance in the premier class. After signing a second place and a victory in the first two heats thanks to exemplary performances, the KR Motorsport team standard bearer concludes a more agitated last heat in seventh position, but maintains his third overall position.

  • Yesterday he gave the impression of being particularly disappointed with his qualifying despite him still being close to the top ten and today he made it clear why. Jeremy Iglesias (CRG – CRG – TM Kart) recovers eight positions in the first heat to take third place, complete with a fast lap, and remains at the top with a fifth place and another third in the following two heats. The 2020 world champion thus hoists himself into fourth place in the general standings and is certainly among the pretenders for the final podium.

  • Emilien Denner (Sodikart – Sodi – TM Kart) is also making a comeback, always in the top five and third in the second heat. The winner of the 2019 FIA Karting International Super Cup KZ2 seems to lack a bit of speed compared to the best, but the young Frenchman performs excellently in the various stages of the race and takes the fifth overall position his own.

  • Even the 2021 European champion and team manager of the Birel ART Racing Team, Riccardo Longhi (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart), sixth, Stan Pex (SP Motorspot – KR – TM Kart), seventh, recovers several positions compared to qualifying. and the reigning European vice-champion Matteo Viganò (Leclerc by Lennox Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart), eighth.

  • On the other hand, Lorenzo Camplese (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex) loses ground compared to qualifying. After immediately losing positions in the first lap of the first heat following a slight contact with Leuillet, who arrived long in braking, the 2021 world runner-up appears less incisive than in timed qualifying and, also thanks to some excited heat, slips to ninth place in the general standings.

  • Lorenzo Travisanutto (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM Kart) makes his way in the intense tussles of the heats, completing the absolute top ten and gaining 13 positions compared to qualifying. The winner of the 2021 FIA Karting International Super Cup KZ2 as well as two-time OK world champion precedes Paolo Ippolito (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME), 11th.

  • The reigning European champion is forced to retire in the first heat following an accident at the beginning of the first lap, but he doesn't get discouraged and reveals his competitiveness in the following two heats: first he recovers 18 positions to cross the finish line in tenth place and then recovers another six to take fourth place, setting the fastest lap in both cases. Tomorrow the KR Motorsport team driver will be expected among the main players.

  • The overall top 15 is completed by Giuseppe Palomba (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart), 12th and delayed by a five-second penalty in the second heat due to an early start, the winner of last year's FIA Karting World Cup KZ2 Arthur Carbonnel (CRG– CRG – TM Kart), 13th and slowed down by a five second penalty in the first heat due to the nose in an incorrect position, an excellent Kristijan Habulin (TB Racing Team – TB Kart – TM Kart), 14th, and Pedro Hiltbrand (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart), 15th.

  • After gaining eight positions in the first heat to grab sixth place, the 2021 European runner-up seems even more fit in the second heat, but is forced to leave the scene in the sixth lap, while he is in fourth place close to the first. due to engine failure. The Birel ART Racing team standard bearer then made an extraordinary comeback of 16 positions in the last heat, thanks to which he collects a 13th place and makes his intentions clear for tomorrow.

  • They give encouraging signs, but the reigning world champion Viktor Gustavsson (CRG – CRG – TM Kart), 17th, was also hindered by some hitches, the 2015 world champion Jorrit Pex (SP Motorsport – KR – TM Kart), 18th °, Francesco Celenta (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM Kart), 20th, the 2021 OK world vice-champion Luigi Coluccio (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex), 21st, the 2018 KZ2 European champion Adrien Renaudin ( DR – DR – Modena Engines), 26th, Jean Luyet (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex), 28th, and David Trefilov (Maranello SRP Factory Team – Maranello – TM Kart), 31st.


KZ2: Lessons of consistency by Freddie Slater

Tyres: LeCont

  • It is really true that Freddie Slater (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart) has very little of the rookie. In addition to confirming his competitiveness, the 2020 OKJ world champion expresses disarming lucidity in managing the various stages of the race as well as his vehicle. Strengthened by two victories and three second places, the young Englishman takes the reins of the general classification and tomorrow he will start from pole in Super Heat A.

  • Daniel Vasile (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart) proves to be equally constant, recovering 11 positions compared to qualifying to complete a Birel ART double in the absolute ranking. Always able to finish, the Romanian driver will start from pole in tomorrow's Super Heat B thanks to two victories, two second places and a third. Vasile is even able to beat Slater in their last heat of the day, so it will be interesting to watch the two teammates face-to-face in the final.

  • Alex Powell (Prema Racing – KR – IAME) also showcased his skills, third overall. After being demoted from sixth to 11th in his first heat by a five-second penalty due to an incorrectly positioned nose, Friday's poleman racked up three consecutive victories and showed self-confidence. Despite ending the day with a sixth place in a more agitated final heat, the Mercedes protégé as well as reigning European OK runner-up will join Slater in the front row of Super Heat A. It will be curious to see another challenge between two exceptional rookies.

  • The fourth place in the general classification is the prerogative of an excellent Jean Nomblot (CPB Sport – Sodi – TM Kart), who reiterates his leading role and skilfully juggles the various tussles of the heats. The CPB Sport team standard bearer boasts a victory, a second place and a third place among his best results, which will allow him to start next to Vasile in Super Heat B.

  • Matteo Spirgel (CPB Sport – Sodi – TM Kart) also performs excellently during the heats, who stands out with a victory and a second place. The young Frenchman makes him fifth overall and makes clear his determination in view of tomorrow.

  • The path of Kean Nakamura Berta (Prema Racing – KR – IAME) is more eventful, but equally remarkable. After having lost the third place obtained in both of his first two heats due to a series of penalties, the reigning OK European champion and 2021 OKJ world champion does not give up and takes two consecutive victories. With the fastest lap in four heats and third place in his last heat, the Alpine Academy rider finds himself sixth overall and is one of the favorites for tomorrow.

  • He is a candidate for the final podium, but Tomass Stolcermanis (Energy Corse – Energy – TM Kart) needs to perfect his starts, just like Nakamura. Despite the efforts made to observe his opponents from the grandstand to learn even when he is not driving, the Latvian rookie pays for a series of complicated sprints from the first box on the grid and always loses positions in the first meters of the heats. However, the Energy Corse rider finished all his heats in the top four, also thanks to a series of breathtaking overtakes on the outside, and collected two third places to secure seventh place in the general standings.

  • The performances of Daniel Macia (DPK Racing – KR – IAME) are surprising, as he gains eight positions compared to qualifying to climb into eighth place overall. The Spanish rider proves to be extremely fast and tomorrow he will certainly have his say.

  • Cristian Bertuca (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart) slips into ninth overall position. After being demoted from first place to seventh in his first heat by a five-second penalty due to a jump start, the reigning FIA Karting World Cup runner-up makes the same mistake in his third heat, in which he also goes off the track due to a mistake committed while leading the race. Nonetheless, the young Italian keeps calm and collects three victories in the other three heats, which bodes well for tomorrow.

  • Even the path of Alessio Piccini (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart) is promising, tenth in the general classification and with two second places strong, as is that of Jorge Pescador (Club Kalikart – KalìKart – TM Kart) and Maxim Rehm ( Leclerc by Lennox Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart), respectively 11th and 12th.

  • The standard-bearer and fresh team manager of the Kalì Kart racing team is slowed down by a contact in his fourth heat, the only one that finishes outside the top three, while the rookie of the Leclerc by Lennox Racing team is delayed by a five-second penalty due to the nose in the wrong position in heat B-C, but he shines with a win and a second place among his best results.

  • The absolute top 15 closes thanks to convincing performances by Samuele Leopardi (CM Racing – CRG – Modena Engines), 13th and third in two heats, Brandon Nilsson (CRG – CRG – TM Kart), 14th, and Robert Kindervater (Birel ART Racing KSW – Birel ART – TM Kart).

  • They are authors of noteworthy performances, but are hindered by some hitches Daniel Stell (Dörr Motorsport – KR – IAME), 16th overall, Maximilian Paul (DR – DR – Modena Engines), 17th, Adrian Malheiro (CRG – CRG – TM Kart), 19th, the reigning world champion Matheus Morgatto (Leclerc by Lennox Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart), 22nd, Thomas Imbourg (CPB Sport – Sodi – TM Kart), 26th, Alex Maragliano (Maranello SRP Factory Team – Maranello – TM Kart), 27th, and Luka Sammalisto (SP Motorsport – KR – TM Kart), 35th.

  • The comeback of Genis Civico Espona (Modena Kart – Parolin – TM Kart) deserves a mention, recovering 20 positions compared to qualifying to climb to 20th place in the general standings, also thanks to the third place obtained in his last heat.

Provisional results

©Photo: Sportinphoto

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