Category Archives: European Reports

IAME International Open 2018 Report

A fantastic comeback in Belgium! Sun, rain, sun, drizzle …

The drivers of the IAME International Open have seen all the colors on the occasion of one of the flagship events of the 2018 IAME International Series, back to Karting des Fagnes in Mariembourg (Belgium) after three years of absence. Capricious weather conditions that did not cool the Warriors engaged in this great karting party very “international” with 20 countries represented. After cutting the Castelletto asphalt three seasons in a row, it was time for the IAME International Open, previously the X30 Challenge Europa, to return to Wallonia for a pascal week-end in the name of quality and diversity. With twenty nationalities on the grid, the peloton could proudly claim its “international” status, something to delight the organizers of the event: “It’s always very special to set up the Open.

We had the cream of European drivers and it was on the track with very tight sleeves and weather conditions muddled the cards at the outset. In the end, the atmosphere was excellent all weekend, I had feedback from many drivers and stable owners who congratulated us on the quality of the organization. Everything was perfect, except perhaps the weather, rather contrasted, but we are in Belgium, after all! ” After a brief passage of rain on Friday, history to upset the qualifying, the sun was in the game for Saturday before the return of the drops on Sunday morning, and a thinning in the afternoon. Changing conditions that did not prevent sumptuous debates on the track.

X30 Mini: Lecertua pulls out of the game

As is often the case, the X30 Mini (8-12 years old) category has offered a great fair of podiums with several drivers who are candidates for the title of International Open Champion. From Friday, Kimmy Abraham (DimoKart), the Belgian Mini 2017 champion, took pole position in the wet before dominating the three qualifying heats the following day. Race 1, however, saw Estonian Ruben Volt (Dan Holland Racing) take the lead after a fierce duel. Lorens Lecertua (Ravet Racing), discreet on Saturday, was on the podium in front of an unlucky Amaury Meertens (MGR Racing) early in the race. The Race 2 was even more indecisive with a surprise guest, the Luxembourger Maxime FuronCastelain (VDK Racing), who snatched his first success of the weekend against Lecertua and Simon Lacroix (Ravet Racing), author of a solid up from tenth place on the grid. After a course almost without fault, Kimmy Abraham missed his flight to finish at the foot of the podium in front of Volt. After a difficult Race 1, Amaury Meertens was unlucky again, clinging to the tumult of the first turns. With his double-podium (2nd and 3rd), Lorens Lecertua won the international title of the category ahead of Ruben Volt and Maxime Furon-Castelain.

X30 Junior: The flawless of Balota

In the category reserved for drivers aged between 12 and 14, Sam Balota has left only crumbs to opponents from all walks of life (nine nationalities!). Despite the strong opposition displayed by Alessandro Tudisca (Tys Racing) and the Estonians of Aix Racing, Ken Oska Algre and Rimmo Kapadik on Saturday, the Eurokarting boarder took pole position at home. three qualifying heats before transforming the test during the races, first on the wet then on the dry. Tudisca didn’t demerit by climbing on the second step of the final podium in front of Canadian Jason Leung (PDB Racing), third in Race 2, Ken Oskar Algre and Loïs Delbart (3DK), at the foot of the podium in Race 1. Despite a premature abandonment of mechanical trouble during Race 1, Sita Van Meert (P1 Racing), thirteenth overall, received the trophy for the Best Lady of the weekend, ahead of the Dutch Summer Webb (PG Motorsport).

X30 Senior: Van Splunteren as a sovereign

With 67 entrants (for 14 nationalities!), The X30 Senior category (accessible from 14 years old) was the focus of attention this weekend Pascal. At the end of the six qualifying heats (3 for each driver) played on the dry track on Saturday, Frenchman Franck Chappard (VDK) emerged at the top of the hierarchy with two successes, as much as Elie Goldstein (VDK) and Joey Van Splunteren ( Evolution Super-B). The Dutch won Sunday morning in race 1, on a greasy track in front of Chappard and Matteo Raspatelli (RSD Karting) particularly at ease. Note that this race, was interrupted, the red flag, in the first round, following a spectacular collision leaving Rens Van Pelt, a candidate for the podium, on the floor. Fortunately, more fear than harm for the boarder of Eurokarting, back for the second race which saw Corentin Collignon (VDK Racing), returned from the Devil Vauvert, come spice up the debates in front of Van Splunteren and Goldstein, finally disqualified after the arrival. Three weeks after his victory at the IAME Series Benelux, Joey Van Splunteren returned with the honors of the International title before Collignon, Chappard and Vincent Marserou (CBK), who had to whip to return from his distant 41st place qualifying practice.

X30 Master: Peurière with the way

As for the Masters (at least 30 years old), the representatives of Beyond-Quiévrain showed a fine speed in a category where experience often rhymes with passion. Already in the spotlight at the IAME Series Benelux, Wilfried Lecarpentier (RSD Karting) showed himself at the start of the qualifying session against his compatriot François Peurière (Team Peurière), returning to the competition this year and Fabio Kieltyka (RSD Karting). The regional stage had also a lot to do in this fight three which continued during the qualifying heats from where Peurière ended up emerge. Sunday, started in the cold and rain, smiled again to the Frenchman who won in Race 1 in front of a Kieltyka happy to contain the attacks of Lecarpentier. The record holder of victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Karting took revenge that afternoon without succeeding in challenging the second success of Peurière, synonymous with the title. The third step of the podium went to a valiant Alain Bazard (Eurokarting), returned from the Devil Vauvert on a Fabio Kieltyka ending on the kneecaps after a duel of high-fight with Gerard Cavalloni (Jess Kart), the Frenchman finishing in the decor after a high-speed touchscreen of the most spectacular! Peurière and Lecarpentier finished in this order in the final standings in front of Kieltyka, Alain Bazard, best “Veteran” (over 45 years old) of the competition, and Matthieu Bourdon (BREB).

X30 Super Shifter: Piirimagi on its way

In the category of gearbox karts (accessible from 15 years), power and sense of the show often go hand in hand. Poleman, at the beginning of March, as part of the IAME Series Benelux, Christof Huibers (DFK) republished his performance on Friday, before winning the first qualifying heat. It was without counting on a Frédéric Op De Beeck (SFP Racing) in verve for his second campaign at the wheel of a 175cc kart. The Antwerp driver won the second game on Saturday, imitated by an opportunistic Sten Dorian Piirimagi (Eurokarting) in a third race disturbed by a fine rain, in the last two laps. The Estonian, a regular in the IAME categories, had to bow to Huibers and Sam Claes (Mach1) in Race 1 to better gain the upper hand in the second confrontation, just ahead of Op De Beeck and Thierry Delre (Mach1 Motorsport). Fourth in Race 2 after a skirmish with the multiple Belgian champion, Christof Huibers had to settle for the first place in the final standings behind Piirimagi, International Open champion in the wake of his victory in the IAME Series Benelux in early March, but ahead of Frédéric Op of Beeck, Thierry Delré (Mach 1 Motorsport) and Sam Claes who completed a top 5 tinged with black-yellow-red.

Report and Images courtesy of IAME

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Jonny Edgar 2nd at La Conca

Jonny Edgar strengthened his Super Master Series title assault after finishing an impressive 2nd at La Conca. Fighting with Nicklas Nielsen and eventual winner Zane Maloney, the trio put on a great show for the thousands tuned in around the World which went all the way down to the last two laps! The result puts Jonny 2nd in the championship just 16 points behind Hannes Janker.

Edgar confirmed himself as a strong contender for victory right from the off. A 5th in qualifying was followed by a brilliant battle with Nielsen for victory in heat one with Nielsen taking the win by 0.047 seconds! With no Nielsen in Jonny’s second heat, he took victory and ended with a 3rd place in heat three putting him 2nd on then grid for his Pre-Final.

It may have been Nielsen who drew first blood in the heats but in the Pre-Final Jonny fought back taking the win by over two seconds! It had everyone worried, particularly Nielsen who may have started to change his tactics ahead of the final.

Nielsen appeared to have setup himself up to try and break away early in the final. Slightly over defensive driving by Jonny saw a gap open for Nielsen to take the lead and he quickly checked out but with 20 laps on the board there was still a long way to go! The lead gap grew to as high as 1.5 seconds, but Nielsen started to fade in the second half of the race and heading into the final five laps Edgar was right on him!

However, he was not on his own and had the close attentions on Maloney who passed Edgar at the first opportunity. This gave Nielsen some breathing space, but with Edgar sitting patiently behind Maloney they quickly closed the Dane back in which led to an enthralling final two laps!

The race was eventually decided on the penultimate lap. Through the double right hander at turn eight, Maloney made his move on Nielsen. The pair were side by side out of the corner and were joined by Edgar who made it three wide as he drew alongside heading into the fast-right hand sweeper at nine! Unsurprisingly someone would have to take punishment and in this case it was Nielsen who went grass cutting. Back on track Edgar momentarily led but credit to Maloney, into the turn ten chicane he managed to get the run and sweep through. A corner that rarely see’s overtaking and it had unfortunately delayed Edgar leaving him no option but to settle for 2nd.

A brilliant battle and a brilliant result for Edgar. He now sits 2nd in the championship and with two rounds at Sarno, a track he won at last year, he will have his eyes firmly set on that championship win!

Taylor Barnard 4th in OK Junior Final

Taylor Barnard put in another brilliant performance in this year’s Super Master Series as he climbed from 9th to 4th place in the final. After qualifying 16th on Friday Taylor got quicker and quicker over the weekend to eventually put himself 9th on the grid for the final. A good start to the race saw Taylor quickly climb up to 5th place but he had a gap to the leaders which he would do successfully as the race approached it’s halfway point.

Lap eight saw Taylor capitalise on an incident ahead putting him into 3rd with a small gap to the lead pair. There was nothing to choose between the four leaders, Taylor dropped in behind Ralf Aron and lined himself up for a last lap shootout for the podium positions. It all came down to the last corner and as Aron went defensive in 2nd Barnard, in 4th, went for a wide line to get the run on the start-finish straight, but there was no room for Barnard to get through despite his superb exit from the corner.

Instead it would be a 4th place and big points which leaves him 7th in the championship with two rounds at Sarno to go.

 

Disappointment for Josh Irfan in 60 Mini

Far from what Josh would have expected after getting into 4th place early on the final. The new Trofeo Andrea Margutti champion was unfortunately forced off the circuit on lap three dropping him all the way down the field and causing him to pick up a front fairing penalty. A tough result for Josh after the success at Lonato, but he’ll come back fighting next time out!

All British drivers

OK

Chris Lulham – 9th

A race that could have been for Chris. On track he drove a fantastic race climbing up from 11th to 4th place where he missed out on a podium by just one tenth of a second! However a front fairing penalty post-race dropped Chris all the way to 9th. In another case that would be a great result, but I imagine Chris would have been slightly disappointed. However he’s showing great pace ahead of the CIK-FIA season and sits 15th in the championship.

Tom Joyner – 33rd (DNF)

Taken out of the race early on Tom never had the chance to improve on his grid position of 25th. He’s yet to hit any real form since his switch to Sodi but it’s surely only a matter of time before he does.

For Harry Thompson, Callum Bradshaw, Fin Kenneally and Dexter Patterson they would unfortunately watching from the side-lines after all being involved in incidents in their Pre-Finals. Thompson and Bradshaw collided early on Pre-Final A which saw them both go into the barriers and Kenneally and Patterson were both involved in a red flag incident at the start of Pre-Final B but were both okay.

Tom Joyner

OK Junior

Alex Dunne (IRL) – 13th

Alex Dunne continues to make vast improvements in the class and was just two seconds away from a top ten finish. He showed pace quick enough to run with the leaders and is looking in good shape with the CIK-FIA season approaching fast.

Kai Askey – 28th

Unfortunately taken out ten laps in, Kai had moved from 18th to 12th with a top ten on the cards before he was punted at turn three ending his race.

Kai Askey

Zak O’Sullivan – 29th

A win in Pre-Final B put Zak on the front row for the Final, but he was pushed off at turn one dropping all the way down to 20th! His race would go from bad to worse halfway in when he was forced to retire. However, good points over the weekend still leaves him 6th in the championship.

Both Matthew Rees and Jamie Day failed to qualify for the final. Rees came very close missing out by just three laps as he continues to improve on his debut season with Day a bit further down the field in 26th.

Zak O’Sullivan

Written by Chris McCarthy

Images courtesy of Sportinphoto

 

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Edgar and Bradshaw in top ten at Adria

Both Jonny Edgar and Callum Bradshaw got their WSK Super Master Series campaigns off to a good start with top ten finishes in the final. Out front there was a brilliant result for Hannes Janker on the new Kart Republic chassis who took the win ahead of another Kart Republic chassis in the hands of Lorenzo Travisanutto. The ever competitive Tonykart chassis in the hands of Nicklas Nielsen was unable to hold on to the pair in 3rd.

Let’s start by rewinding back to where it all began on Friday evening in qualifying which was dominated by Marijn Kremers. On slicks in the wet he was closely pursued by CRG teammates Pedro Hiltbrand and Callum Bradshaw with Janker down in 12th.

So in qualifying it was Birel-ART on top, but Tonykart started to turn up the gears in the heats in the hands of David Vidales who took three wins out of three to score maximum points. Janker started to show the Kart Republic chassis was looking like a race winning contender as he moved up to 2nd and Dexter Patterson did well to recover from 26th in qualifying with some fantastic performances in the heats.

Pre-Final A threw up a couple of surprise results with Tonykart’s Noah Milell disqualified for being underweight and Andrea Rosso not finishing the race from 5th on the grid. Out front there were no real surprises with Travisanutto taking the win from Vidales and Roman Stanek. As for Pre-Final B it was Janker who took the win from Nielsen in a close run race. Behind it was a whole nine seconds before we would see Glenn van Berlo cross the line with Jonny Edgar setting himself up nicely for the Final finishing 4th.

The first few laps of the final saw Travisanutto take the lead before Vidales took his turn. A lengthy lead from Vidales came to an end on lap ten and that would pretty much be where Vidales’ battle for a podium position stopped. From this point on we found ourselves with Janker leading Travisanutto and Nielsen. The trio split themselves apart by around one second and the immense consistency from all three meant that was the last lead change we’d see and that’s how the final would finish.

The Brits

Jonny Edgar

The Forza Racing driver was once again impressive at Adria showing fantastic pace all weekend. Edgar’s weekend got off to a good start with 4th in qualifying and if not for one bad heat he would have classified a lot higher than 10th after the heats. He was the sole Brit in Pre-Final B and picked up 4th, which put him 8th on the grid for the Final. It was perhaps that bad heat which cost Edgar a top 5 finish, but he still put in a good performance in the final to finish 8th.

Callum Bradshaw

The weekend may have ended well for Callum but overall the first round of the WSK Super Master Series was a very frustrating one. Callum had the pace all weekend to get an overall podium after a very strong qualifying but he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time on more than one occasion giving him work to do on Finals day. Callum really did put a shift in especially come the final and was able to walk away with 9th place and a strong haul of points leaving the Adria circuit.

Tom Joyner

Tom Joyner started his life at Sodi with 15th in the Final. It’s a change he’s made over from Zanardi with Dino Chiesa now parting company to run his new Kart Republic project. Tom seemed to settle in pretty well overall and looked quick at times, but I think he’ll be aiming for a lot higher than 15th as the season progresses. That said, he was the highest placed driver on a Sodi chassis in the class…

Dexter Patterson

We never really got to saw what Dexter Patterson was capable of in the finals at Adria with a DNF topping off what was a seriously frustrating day. Before that he had been on fire classifying 3rd after the heats but the Forza Racing driver hit all sorted of problems on Sunday and only completed four laps of the final. Definitely one to forget for the young Scot!

Written by Chris McCarthy

 

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O’Sullivan and Barnard impress at Super Master Series opener

There were mixed fortunes for the British drivers in the OK Junior class at the WSK Super Master Series opener, but two drivers who had a particularly strong result in the final were Zak O’Sullivan and Taylor Barnard. The pair both managed top five finishes, with Barnard actually finishing 2nd on track before a bumper penalty pushed him down to 5th place.

The weekend started badly for all British drivers with Harry Thompson the highest placed in 20th! In tricky conditions Dario Isidoro Vezzaro was the surprise package taking pole position from two title contenders in Dilano Van’t Hoff and WSK Champions Cup winner, Paul Aron.  Vezzaro was flawless in the heats winning every single one of his races in traitorous conditions to take pole for his Pre-Final. Classified in 2nd was Aron with Thompson putting on a good display to turn around a tough qualifying into 3rd place after the heats.

However, Pre-Final A would see a complete disaster for Thompson after he was taken out by Vezzaro resulting in a penalty for the Argentine. He wasn’t the only one hitting bad luck with Matthew Rees also in the wars on the first lap! But as the Ricky Flynn pair up front hit problems, Luca Griggs put in what could have been his best performance in WSK racing finishing an impressive 2nd place! Since joining the Lennox Racing Team he has had a real turn of pace and passed ten drivers on his way to a second row start for the final.

Out front Gabriele Mini took the win with Zak O’Sullivan pulling in a good result for the RFM team with 3rd place.

Pre-Final B was won by Kirill Smal fairly comfortably and Taylor Barnard in just his second race in the OK Junior class proved the Champions Cup was no fluke with 2nd place. An impressive turn around after qualifying 47th on Friday! Once again present at the front, Gabriel Bortoleto completed the top three.

As the 16 lap final got underway Barnard made his intentions clear as he immediately challenged Smal for the lead. This followed with a great fight for the lead between the two afore mentioned drivers along with Mini. All took turns to lead before Barnard eventually settled in what could be described as a comfortable 3rd with the two leaders just ahead. Approaching the final lap the top three were pretty much together once again and late into the last lap Smal made his lunge on Mini for the lead of the race!

There was contact and from the camera angle it looked far from the cleanest of moves and it saw Mini pushed wide and Barnard inherit 2nd. Into the Bridgestone hairpin Smal was now being forced to defend with Barnard furiously attacking but there were simply not enough opportunities left for Barnard to pass Smal who took the win. As Barnard received a front fairing penalty Mini took 2nd from Aron in 3rd and Bortoleto’s penalty boosted O’Sullivan up to 4th and Barnard back up to 5th.

A brilliant race to start the OK Junior class with what looks set to be a difficult championship to predict.

The Brits

Zak O’Sullivan

Zak O’Sullivan continues to improve and impress in 2018 and if this kind of form stays with him over the rest of the WSK Super Master Series he’ll be certainly be a title contender for European and World Championships this year. Currently 5th in the standings a strong overall finish in WSK could be on the cards too!

Taylor Barnard

It’s still hard to believe that this time last year, Taylor Barnard was being considered the favourite for the IAME Cadet title and now he is being looked at as the one to watch for this years European and World Junior titles. He’s still hugely inexperienced in the class, but it’s not evident when watching the young driver. After that performance, it’s clear why Dino Chiesa had to have him in his new team!

Luca Griggs

It was certainly one of Luca’s best weekends in WSK racing as he proved what he was really made of with that 2nd in Pre-Final A. Luca actually qualified down in 28th and had mixed fortunes in the heats with 4th in his second heat the stand out performance. The 2nd place in Pre-Final A was certainly his highlight of the weekend and he was able to match the likes of Aron in the final for pace.

Kai Askey

Kai had his best weekend in WSK racing with 18th in the final. He started the weekend with a decent qualifying session finishing 24th but also suffered his fair share of bad luck throughout the heats. Out in Pre-Final B Kai was probably involved in the most entertaining battle on track for 9th place which he rounded off in 12th. As for the Final after avoiding what could have been a race ending incident Kai went on to gain five places and finish 18th.

Alex Dunne

Alex had a difficult start to his Super Master Series campaign. Down in 41st after qualifying he found himself in the wars throughout all of his heats making the task of making the final very difficult. But you have to give the Irish man credit, he put in an impressive performance to gain ten places in his Pre-Final and finish 23rd. It didn’t take him into the Final but considering he set times good enough to be in the top three, it’s probably the best he could’ve managed!

Jamie Day

Jamie was immediately on the back foot at Adria after qualifying 69th place. Now with a lot of work to do each heat was crucial and some decent performances moved Day up to 50th in the points after the heats. In the Pre-Final he didn’t make the progress he would’ve hoped for and took the flag in 23rd.

Harry Thompson

As mentioned already, Harry looked on track for a good result until he was taken out by Vezzaro in the Pre-Final. His 20th in qualifying soon became a 3rd after the heats, but that DNF in the Pre-Final leaves him down in 15th in the championship and 79 points off the leader.

Matthew Rees

Seemingly recovered from his illness at last weekends Champions Cup, Matthew Rees was finally able to give us a first taste of his capabilities in the OK Junior class. The initial signs were very promising with Matthew qualifying 31st of the 82 entries and his 5th in the final heat was even more impressive! It’s a shame he was unable to get through the first lap of his Pre-Final but the early signs are positive.

Written by Chris McCarthy

Images courtesy of Sportinphoto

 

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Podiums for Edgar and Kenneally at Le Mans

Jonny Edgar (GBR) and Fin Kenneally (GBR) took podiums at the CIK-FIA European Championship third round as it made it’s way to the World famous Le Mans Kart Circuit. For Edgar it has helped him take the championship lead heading into Alaharma (FIN), whilst for Kenneally it’s finally points on the board!

Dennis Hauger © KSP Reportages

Edgar takes championship lead from Thompson

In all honesty this could have been a win for Edgar, if not for an interrupted race. He looked the quickest and was in 3rd heading into the final few laps, but when the race was neutralised to clear up an incident it left just a one lap shootout making it almost impossible for Edgar to win. The heats had gone well for Edgar too, he had qualified on the front row for the final before dropping back to 6th on at the start. Edgar then made his way through the field to eventually run 3rd and close in on the leaders and just as he looked set to take the lead the yellow flags emerged. On the last lap 2nd place Hadrien David (FRA) (4th in the championship) went defensive leaving Edgar no choice but to settle for 2nd.

© KSP Reportages

Behind the incident that need clearing up involved championship leader Harry Thompson (GBR). The non-finish means he has now slipped to 3rd and can afford no mistakes at the remaining two rounds if he is to win the championship. Christopher Lulham (GBR) drove an outstanding race to drive from 32nd to 9th! If he’d had those final few laps under racing conditions that could have easily been a lot higher. There wasn’t such good luck for Dexter Patterson (GBR) and Zak O’Sullivan (GBR) who both hit problems during the race leaving them well down the order.

Up front the ever-improving O’Neill Muth (GER) (2nd in the championship) led his Chiesa Corse teammate home to make it a Zanardi one-two with Genis Civico (SPA) and Jack Doohan (AUS) just missing out on the podium.

Click here to see full results

Click here to see the current championship standings

© KSP Reportages

Kenneally back on the podium!

The reigning Junior Champion, Fin Kenneally (GBR), finally made it back to where he belongs in the Senior class with a podium at Le Mans. The race was a very close one at the front with Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA), Dennis Hauger (NOR), Sami Taoufik (MAR) and Fin all battling for the lead up until the dying stages of the race. An unsuccessful attempt by Hauger to take the lead from Travisanutto eventually saw him past by Taoufik and Kenneally and a frustrated Hauger made a move on Kenneally at the last corner to re-take 3rd but was awarded a penalty for it post-race which reversed the positions. For Kenneally this is his first points of the season in what has been a frustrating 2017 season. The move away from Ricky Flynn Motorsport did not initially work but now with Baby Race things seem to be coming together at last as he moves up to 14th in the championship.

Further back, Oliver Hodgson (GBR) and Callum Bradshaw (GBR) made it three Brits in the top ten. This is Hodgson’s first appearance to the series this year and I imagine it was used as preparation for the IAME International Final and CIK-FIA World Championship at PFI in September. Nevertheless, he drove an impressive gaining 14 places to finish 9th! For Bradshaw after a difficult to the European Championship he returned to the track where he is the reigning X30 Junior Vice World Champion to finish 10th which he was disappointed by given his wins and 2nd place finishes in the heats.

© KSP Reportages

Tom Joyner (GBR) turned things around after a bad set of heats to gain 15 places to finish 14th place! There was no sign of Clement Novalak (GBR), the Tony Kart Racing Driver is in the hunt for this year’s title so it was a surprise not to see the Brit there. Archie Tillett (GBR) was also new to this year’s entry list and always looking to struggle with weight he was not able to turn things round from a bad qualifying to make the final.

Up front you have to give credit to Travisanutto who took his first win of the season to move up to 3rd in the championship. A chasing Taoufik now has his season back on track after a disappointing second round and runs 2nd overall whilst Hauger has broken into the top ten. Still leading the series despite not making the final is David Vidales (ESP) with Theo Pourchaire (FRA) 2nd.

Click here to see full results

Click here to see the current championship standings

Lorenzo Travisanutto © KSP Reportages

Joseph Taylor 5th in the standings

The big story emerging from the Academy class this weekend was the disqualification of Alex Simmonds (GBR). After qualifying pole, Alex had a decent set of heats which put him 7th on the grid. From there he drove a fantastic race pulling off some brilliant moves to take a well-deserved 3rd place. But it would all come to nothing with Simmonds disqualified for ‘intentionally replacing the front fairing’ leaving him with no points leaving Le Mans. It was a disappointing end to what had been a brilliant race, but Alex will no doubt be racing for pride at Alaharma.

Joseph Taylor (GBR) had a pretty good weekend which didn’t have the best ending in the final. He qualified 4th and was 8th after the heats but a tough race saw him drop down the field where he eventually was able to finish 11th after post-race penalties to a handful of drivers ahead. It’s far from a disaster, but not the result he want of wanted for his championship, that said he still sits 5th overall with a chance of a top three finish overall.

© KSP Reportages

Winning up front was Xavier Handsaeme (BEL) who will be hard to catch at Alaharma next weekend. French driver Sami Maguetounif (FRA) went well on home soil to finish 2nd and move up to 3rd in the standings. Oliver Skov Skjellerup (DNK) was 3rd and is now 7th overall whilst sitting 2nd in the standings after a good first round is Tijmen van der Helm (NLD).

Click here to see full results

Click here to see the current championship standings

Xavier Handsaeme © KSP Reportages

Paolo Ippolito takes victory in KZ2

Paolo Ippolito (ITA) won from pole position in the KZ2 class to setup a close end to the championship with the Italian just five points behind German Leon Kohler (GER). The Tony Kart driver had a good race himself moving forward three to finish 4th place. Rounding out the podium were Rokas Baciuska (LTU) and Alessandro Pelizzari (ITA) who are now 5th and 3rd in the championship respectively. Scoring no points in the final was championship leader Matteo Vigano (ITA) who now drops to 4th making it just 7 points between the top four heading into the last round at Kristianstad.

Hannah Lang (GBR) and Oliver Gemmill (GBR) flew the flag for the Brits but unfortunately weren’t able to qualify for the final it what was a super competitive class. Over 60 drivers entered including some factory teams and in the end Hannah and Oliver were 54th and 63rd respectively.

Click here to see full results

Click here to see the current championship standings

KZ2 Podium © KSP Reportages

Written by Chris McCarthy

Images courtesy of KSP

 

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DONINGTON PARK 4TH JUNE 2017

DE BRABANDER CAPITALISES AS FAVOURITES FAIL

Belgian star Yannick De Brabander took overall honours at the opening rounds of this year’s championship when expected favourites Peter Elkmann and reigning European Superkart champion Adam Kout struck trouble.

 

In the opening qualifying session Elkmann dipped below the lap record to set the quickest time of 1m 26.493s on his final lap and take provisional pole position. Kout was lapping consistently but was 0.745s behind the flying German with a 1m 27.238s. Dan Clark was the quickest British driver on 1m 28.673s marginally ahead of Jason Dredge. De Brabander started the session cautiously before making a pit stop for adjustments. He improved to record a 1m 28.781s. Rounding out the top six was Andreas Jost with a 1m 29.150s set on his final lap. Liam Morley had a nightmare when an airbox pressure sensor was sucked into the engine and smashed a rotary valve. He only managed one flying lap of 1m 29.435s for eighth quickest. Jordie Ford found the perfect set-up on his Anderson DEA to take 11th overall and the quickest of the monos with a 1m 30.965s just inside the lap record.

The second session saw Elkmann again dip under the lap record but his time wasn’t as fast as earlier in the day. Kout closed the gap when he went marginally quicker on 1m 27.123s. De Brabander lopped a second of his previous best to secure third place on the grid with 1m27.679s. Clark held on to the top Brit slot by improving his time to 1m 28.530s with Dredge unable to go quicker but taking a place on row three. Jost had a slight improvement with a 1m 28.962s to complete the top six. Morley sat out the session but retained his eighth spot on the grid ahead of Hulme and Kinsey. In the Mono Cylinder Cup Jordie Ford couldn’t improve on his earlier time but was clear of Jack Layton who posted a 1m 31.648s after trying a different strategy. Paul Platt leapfrogged Gavin Bennett to take third in class, the latter struggling a bit with braking issues into the tight hairpins.

Elkmann made the most of pole position in race 1 but De Brabander was looking up the inside as they headed down to Redgate and got ahead of Kout. Clark made a shocking start from row 2 and lost ground. At the end of the opening lap Elkmann led by nearly a second with Brabander holding off Kout. Jost was up to fourth spot with Morley leading Dredge and Clark. Elkmann increased his lead on the next lap but then Kout closed in as they completed three laps. Morley and Clark got past Jost who then had the throttle stick open and went off at Coppice. Dredge lost a top six place when the PVP motor seized on lap 5. Elkmann’s tyres started to work better and he put in a string of quick laps to increase his lead. At the end of lap seven Kout slowed as he crossed the line and then the gearbox locked up leaving two black line on the track and spinning him off onto the grass, fortunately without hitting anything. This gave Elkmann a lead of just under six seconds over De Brabander who was a similar distance ahead of Morley and Clark who were scrapping for third place. Elkmann set a new lap record on lap 9 but as he exited the Melbourne Hairpin on the next lap he dramatically slowed and stopped at the entrance to the pit lane, thumping the steering wheel in frustration. The coil had failed and his race was over. This put De Brabander in the lead by 6.8s with Clark now ahead of Morley in the scrap for second place. Over the closing laps, De Brabander eased his pace and was being caught by the battling Brits. At the flag, he squeezed home by 1.841s. Morley set his best lap of the race on the penultimate lap as he moved past Clark for second place and just failed to catch the Belgian driver with Clark third only 0.55s behind. Hulme finished an excellent fourth after a race long dice with Maasmann. In the Mono Cup, Ford was in a class of his own. He pulled clear of his rivals and set a new lap record at half distance. Bennett chased the flying Aussie but was nearly twenty seconds behind at the flag. Platt struggled with a down on power Gas Gas and had to settle for third in class.

Race One (13 laps)

1 Yannick De Brabander (MS Kart VM)

2 Liam Morley (Anderson DEA)

3 Daniel Clark (Anderson VM)

4 Carl Hulme (Anderson VM)

5 Marcel Maasmann (Anderson VM)

6 Vesa Lehtinen (MS Kart VM)

Record Lap Peter Elkmann (Anderson VM) 1m 26.282s (103.78mph)

 

Because of his gearbox problem in the earlier race, Kout had to fit his spare engine for race 2. He wasn’t expecting great things as it was older and potentially slower. But that didn’t stop him taking the fight to Elkmann. With concerns over rebuilt engines and the lack of warming up time due to the noise curfew, the start was delayed by about 5 minutes. Kout led through Redgate for the first time but Elkmann was soon ahead. The German led at the end of the opening lap but he had Kout and De Brabander hot on his heels. Jost held fourth spot after outbraking Clark into Goddards with Morley sixth. Elkmann eked out a small lead over Kout but it stabilised at 0.8s. De Brabander couldn’t maintain the pace of the pair ahead and he gradually lost ground so that by half distance he was six seconds behind. Jost continued to keep the Brits at bay with Morley now ahead of Clark. Dredge had been holding seventh place but a gearbox problem brought him into the pits at the end of lap 6. Kout broke the lap record on lap 8 and closed the gap, but Elkmann responded and two laps later he set a new benchmark fractionally quicker. Elkmann reeled off the remaining laps to take the win by 8.773s as Kout slowed on the final lap. De Brabander took it easy when the leaders disappeared up the road and came home in third spot. Jost couldn’t hang on to fourth place when he started experiencing brake problems. He ran wide at the Melbourne Hairpin on lap 7 which let Morley through and then made a mess of the Fogarty Esses two laps later that allowed Clark past.  Morley looked to be heading for fourth but a problem with the cush drive let Clark ahead with two laps to go. In the Mono Cup, Jordie Ford led the first two laps, but a popped reed valve in the DEA put him out. Bennett took over, however a broken exhaust brought him into the pits at the end of lap 10 and into retirement. This handed the win to Platt, the last unlapped runner. Layton just held of James at the flag by 0.269s

Race Two (13 laps)

1 Peter Elkmann (Anderson VM)

2 Adam Kout (MS Kart DEA)

3 Yannick De Brabander (MS Kart VM)

4 Daniel Clark (Anderson VM)

5 Liam Morley (Anderson DEA)

6 Andreas Jost (Anderson VM)

Record Lap Elkmann 1m 26.257s (103.81mph)

 

CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship Points (after 2 rounds)

1 Yannick De Brabander      41pts

2 Liam Morley                     31

3 Daniel Clark                    29

4 Peter Elkmann                 26

5 Carl Hulme                     21

6 Adam Kout                      20

 

CIK-FIA Superkart Mono Cylinder Cup Points (after 2 rounds)

1 Paul Platt                        41pts

2 Jordan Ford                     34

3 Gavin Bennett                 33

4 Jack Layton                     31

5 Gareth James                  26

6 Don Kennedy                  24

Written by Gary James

Images courtesy of Nick Purdie

 

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BNL Karting Series Round 1 Report

The first of three rounds had finally arrived and as tradition Genk in Belgium would be the location where the 2017 BNL Karting Series would officially get underway. As ever on track would be the Micro Max, Mini Max, Junior Max, Senior Max and DD2/DD2 Masters classes.

With the Vega tyres a hit at the kick off they would be in for the season which saw a change to the prizes. Rather than Grand Final tickets the drivers would now be competing for a fully funded trip to the US Open. The prize included:

Inscription fee US Open 2017 Las Vegas – Rio Hotel
Practice tyres (2 sets)
Tyres for the event
Chassis + place in the paddock/tent
Overnight stay during the event
Gala evening
Transfer from the airport to the hotel

So pretty much all you needed bar flights and expenses. Price wise it’s probably more than what you get with the Grand Finals and this would be given to the winner in each class.

The US Open this year consists of two rounds with the first round taking place in June at New Jersey and round two (where the BNL champions will go) in Las Vegas at the end of October. The event itself caters for all the Max and Shifter classe and in the unique location of a converted car park in Las Vegas half the battle is who can learn the track the quickest!

Overall it’s a unique experience which is on every kart racers bucket list. To race in the city that never sleeps under the lights of various hotels and casinos!

Micro Max

Despite a grid of six drivers the racing in Micro Max was fantastic to watch all weekend. However, despite all the close racing the driver who seemed to emerge as the most dominant was Senna Versluijs. He took pole position on Saturday morning with the field covered by just half a second.

Senna won the opening final of the weekend with Douwe Dedecker 1.8 seconds back in 2nd with Mitchell van Dijk in 3rd. Lewis Moulaert finished 4th with fastest lap. Final two was a slightly different story. In terms of the end result it was Versluijs who once again took victory by just under two seconds but behind an incident saw the two drivers due to finish 2nd and 3rd out of the race. They were Tom Braeken and Dedecker and their incident allowed

Moulaert to finish 2nd with Amaury Meertens picking up 3rd and fastest lap.

Heading into day two and it was Senna Versluijs who took pole in qualifying once again this time by just 0.156 seconds on his last lap of the session! The day’s first final was the closest of the weekend with Versluijs in battle with Dedecker and Moulaert. The three could hardly be separated and they were joined by Braeken until he unfortunately came off with three laps to go. Up ahead and despite substantial pressure Versluijs was somehow still able to hold on by just 0.079 seconds ahead of Dedecker with Moulaert just 0.179 seconds back in 3rd with fastest lap.

In the final race of the weekend for once there was no Versluijs at the front which opened the door for Dedecker or Moulaert to take a victory. After a battle which lasted the entire race it would come down to a drag race to the line where Dedecker was just able to hold on. It was no disaster for Versluijs who still finished 3rd and leads the championship.

Mini Max

There were 11 drivers entered into the Mini Max class but in terms of the win there was only ever two drivers who were in contention and they were Kris Haanen and Kai Rillaerts. Behind there was a similarly close battle for 3rd between Milan Coppens, Max Stemerdink and Thomas Martens.

After taking pole in qualifying on day one, Haanen led the first final of the weekend from the front but was being closely hassled by Martens who had passed Donny Hoedt. Six laps in and Martens took the lead with the pair stretching clear helped by a huge battle behind. Haanen seemed to be comfortable behind Martens and waited for the last lap where Martens unsurprisingly started defending. This allowed fastest driver on track Rillaerts to catch, but up ahead and out of the last corner Haanen pulled of a perfect switch back move to steal victory from Martens!

Final two saw Rillaerts and Haanen going head to head, with Haanen using the same tactics and seemingly waiting for the last lap. But unlike Martens, Rillaerts was not phased by the challenges of Haanen and held on to take victory with Coppens in 3rd.

Kai Rillaerts

Day two and it was Haanen once again quickest in qualifying with the first final arguably being his most comfortable win of the weekend. He cruised to a comfortable victory helped by a huge battle behind which was won by Hoedt who was recovering after a poor first day. Rillaerts was 3rd with fastest lap.

Final two was almost like watching a repeat from day one with Rillaerts and Haanen going toe to toe. Having had a win and two thirds, Rillaerts needed to beat Haanen and that was reflected in his performance as he gave Haanen no chance to get close taking victory with Hoedt an impressive 3rd. That left Haanen as championship leader just four points ahead of Rillaerts, Coppens is 20 points back in 3rd.

Kris Haanen

Junior Max

The Junior Max class brought a full grid and arguably the most drama of the weekend. No matter what happened it seemed to be Luca Leistra and Ilian Bruynseels who would find themselves at the front, but that changed dramatically come the end of the weekend.

Let’s start with day one, final one. Leistra led from pole, but after a few corners was passed by Bruynseels who got a terrific start. As the pair continued to trade places, Tehmur Chohan from 7th caught and passed them both but his time at the front was brief and he was soon back to 5th with Clayton Ravenscroft and Hannes Morin both coming past. Out front Leistra had just managed to hold off Bruynseels and Morin, but a penalty from Bruynseels dropped him to 4th promoting Chohan to 3rd.

Luca Leistra

Final two saw lots of good recovery drives from drivers who had poor final one races, but out front it was once again Leistra and Bruynseels who would contest victory. That was after a brief drop down the order for Leistra before he was back hassling Bruynseels with the latter eventually winning. Behind there was a good battle for 3rd between Nick Cuppens, Kobe Pauwels and Jasin Ferati who finished in that order with Lewis Gilbert charging through to take 6th with fastest lap!

Final one on day two was the most dull race in terms of a lead battle with Leistra taking the win from pole going practically unchallenged all race. However, behind it was all going off with drivers shooting up and down the order after a very hectic first lap. Ravenscroft start on the front row and eventually finished 2nd but needed to recover to 6th after a bad first lap. Similarly, Morin had left himself work to do from 7th on the grid but eventually made it to 3rd by the end of the race.

Ilian Bruynseels

The last final of the weekend threw up one of the most bizarre races I have ever seen! After two false starts and crawling around at a slow pace karts started to pack up on drivers with a total of five drivers not taking the start which included Morin, Gilbert, Chohan, Rhys Hunter and Sem van Til! Isaac Smith was another, but he pushed his karts to the pits and managed to start the race from the pits. Problems were rumored to be down to ‘carb settings’ and the general slow pace on the warm up lap with karts practically crawling around.

Once we eventually got going it was Ravenscroft who took the lead not after losing it to Leistra. Lap three saw huge drama with Bruynseels and Leistra taking each other out at turn one and would both go no further. The incident was deemed a racing incident and it opened the door for someone to take the championship lead. Cue, Ravenscroft who went on to win the final and event! Behind also taking advantage of all the incidents was Ferati who was 2nd, Jason Lockwood drove very well for his 3rd as did Kai Hunter who was a hugely impressive 4th!

Celebrations for Ravenscroft

Senior Max

It could be argued that Senior Max brought the most competitive grid with day two qualifying being particularly close! But first we of course had the first day of finals which was all about local driver, Dylan Lahaye.

Dylan may not have qualified on the front row for the first final, but it didn’t take him long to get to the front and once there he cruised off to take a comfortable win of almost three seconds! Joe Turney certainly put in the most impressive performance coming from 10th to 2nd with his KR Sport teammate, Harrison Thomas 3rd. Pole-sitter Myles Apps was caught up in an incident which heavily affected Noah Roovers just two laps from the end.

After all the hard work in final one you had to feel sorry for Turney who was forced down the order on lap two of final two after taking an early lead. It left Lahaye in a pretty comfortable lead and despite challenges from the recovering Apps and in form Jordan Brown-Nutley he managed to hold on to take his second win of the day.

Day two as a similar story in terms of how the races panned out but it was Harrison Thomas he took Lahaye’s position. Thomas hadn’t qualified pole but he passed both Brown-Nutley and Mark Kimber on lap three. Later in the race and it was Lahaye who was surprisingly low down the o0rder in qualifying and he almost caught Thomas who was just able to hold on to take victory with Brown-Nutley 3rd.

The final race of the weekend saw frantic start between the three leaders; Thomas, Lahaye and Brown-Nutley but it was Thomas who emerged as the leader early on. Briefly in 2nd was Kimber but he eventually chose to work with Lahaye in the attempts to chase Thomas down. Despite their best efforts they never quite got there and they battled with just two laps to go, with Lahaye eventually coming out on top. Kimber was 3rd but had a front fairing penalty which promoted Brown-Nutley to 3rd who did good to hold off Apps. The two wins for Thomas leave him just four points behind Lahaye in the championship.

 

DD2 & DD2 Masters

After an opening qualifying session that saw the top eleven drivers covered by less than 0.3 seconds the DD2 category was always going to be close! However, Glenn van Parijs made his victory in final one look easy with Vincent Jewell and Kevin Ludi left fighting for 2nd. They were also joined by Barrie Pullinger but all finished in that order.

Final two was a much closer affair. Having just come up from Senior’s, Jewell took the lead from his teammate van Parijs four laps in with Ludi keeping both tabs on the pair. The three were never to swap places again but were only split by 0.293 seconds across the line showing how close of a race it was!

At the end of the day, Ian Gepts led the Masters category from Tamsin Germain and Euri Hatzistehpanis.

Glenn van Parijs

After a poor first day, Constantin Scholl had found pace overnight and was out to make amends taking pole in qualifying. However, he would be unable to prevent van Parijs from his second win of the weekend despite his best efforts. The two were well clear out front with their nearest challenger Christof Huibers in 3rd. After his transponder packed up in qualifying Ludi did a good job to come from last to 6th and set the fastest lap!

The last final of the weekend saw disaster strike for Jewell who pitted before the race even began with problems. He eventually got them fixed and was able to take the start from the pit-lane. Out front there was no such problems for van Parijs who led Scholl around out front. The pair never really battled but were both being caught hand over fist by a hard charging Joey Alders who just ran out of time in his attack with van Parijs taking three wins and Scholl doing a good recovery job with two 2nd place finishes.

In the Masters class it was Gepts who won the event with Germain 11 points back in 2nd and Christophe Adams 3rd.

Masters Podium

Written by Chris McCarthy

Images courtesy of KartPhoto

 

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BNL Kick Off 2017 Report