Europe’s biggest and most competitive championship visited PF International on the 20th of June, bringing the World’s best to our doorstep.
CIK European Championships Round 2 for KF & KFJ, PF International 108 drivers from over for 30 nations travelled to the PF International circuit in Grantham for what promised to be a spectacular event. It was Round 2 of the Championship and in what is only a 3 round series, a bad round here could end your title hopes.
57 drivers entered into the KFJ class with four of them British. The Belgian Kenny Roosens came into the meeting the favourite but would have stiff competition from the likes of Alex Quinn and Clement Novalak on home soil.
The Finnish driver Konsta Lappalainen emerged as the early favourite on Friday as he took overall pole for the heats closely followed by the Indonesian, Mortano and the Swede Rasmus Lindh.
The drivers were then split into five different groups with 10 different heats taking place and the points from those were totted up to give us a Pre-Final grid. For that race Lindh would start pole with Novalak and Mortano rounding out the top 3.
22 drivers race weekends were then ended on Sunday morning as they were eliminated via the Second Chance Heat, one of those being the Brit Mario Mills, before we got into the point scoring races.
Unfortunately it was the Pre-Final where Lindh’s weekend fell apart after he retired with four laps to go, which left Mortano to take a comfortable victory from Quinn and Belgian De Pauw who gained 11 places in the process.
De Pauw was the man best away in the Final as he quickly took the lead. With the hope of home success Alex Quinn did not wait around long before he decided it was his turn to take charge but none of them in the end were able to contend with the pace of Presley Mortano who went on to take victory with Quinn following him home. Clement Novalak made it two Brits on the podium, climbing to 3rd and a big shout out has to go to Rasmus Lindh who gained 24 places in the Final to finish 4th, a great recovery after his disastrous Pre-Final. Unfortunately the other Brit, Teddy Wilson, like in Portimao, did not finish the race.
There were 51 drivers entered into the KF class with seven Brits taking part. Richard Verschoor is certainly one of the youngest drivers in this class but that doesn’t seem to have affected him at all as he took pole on Friday with Nielsen (DEN) and Valtanen (FIN) just behind. The top 45 were split by just 1 second! Yes, read that again.
Like the Juniors, the drivers were then split into five groups and put through 10 different heats which formed our Pre-Final and second chance grid. On pole for the Pre-Final would be Brit Ben Hanley with Verschoor and Spaniard Hiltbrand following suit.
The Second Chance Heat on Sunday Morning included three British drivers Hodgson, Tillett and Cuff with thankfully the first two getting safely through. Unfortuantley Cuff with sixteen other drivers would go no further.
The Pre-Final was then won by Hanley who passed Verschoor to do it on the last lap with Hiltbrand following the two home.
After a blistering start from p5 Tom Joyner, egged- on by the home crowd, quickly found himself leading but was challenged by Verschoor in the early stages who also passed pole-man Hanley. In trying to go one place forward instead Verschoor found himself going backwards with Hanley coming through to make it a British one two. The battle then ensued for the lead with the Zanardi and Mad Croc karts being almost impossible to split. Behind the American Juan Correa made excellent progress to 3rd with Verschoor 4th and Nielsen 5th after what had been an average weekend to that point. But up ahead everyone’s attention was on the two leaders and it was Joyner who went on to take what was almost a surprise victory given Hanley’s pace in the heats! In terms on the other Brits; Ben Barnicoat was 14th, Oli Hodgson was 15th with Archie Tillett and Jordan Lennox-Lamb retiring early.