IAME International Final 2016 Preview – Part One

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Click here to read Part Two of the Preview

So here it is, next week one of the biggest kart events in the World will take to the Le Mans circuit for a week of practice and racing which will all boil down to one race to decide the World Champions in the five classes; X30 Junior, X30 Senior, X30 Super, X30 Master and X30 Super Shifter.

As in 2015 the grids are absolutely humongous and picking a winner will be as likely as Pascal Wehrlein winning the next Grand Prix. Basically it’s going to be almost impossible given the strength in the numbers in each class, the Juniors and Seniors to be exact! But as ever on Karting magazine I’ll give it a go and wait to be proven wrong come the 16th October.

In total 60 British drivers are heading to the event which is a remarkable turnout considering it was a ‘qualification only’ event at the start of the year…

In part one we will be previewing the Junior class. The senior class preview will follow tomorrow night with all other classes coming up on Friday!

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Juniors

Looking through the 126 drivers on the entry list I’ve narrowed down five drivers who I feel will be the biggest challengers to the British drivers. In my opinion as a whole the Juniors is the toughest entry so picking just five was very tough!

Adam Eteki

He won the X30 Challenge Europa earlier in the year and always been a front runner in Rotax events in the last few years. On home soil I’m expecting Adam Eteki to be right at the sharp end next weekend and be challenging for at least a podium. I think he has the speed, race craft and after that win earlier in the year, confidence to go on and become a World champion next weekend.

Adam Eteki
Adam Eteki

Victor Martins

Another French man who has had a sensational year. It started with 2nd at the X30 Challenge Europa before Victor went on to finish 3rd in the CIK-FIA OKJ European Championship. After a terrible start to the season Victor won the last two rounds of the ultra competitive championship and only missed out on the title by three points! He is certainly one to watch out for.

Victor Martins
Victor Martins

Thomas Mialane

Another French driver who Callum Bradshaw and Oliver Clarke will be very familiar with. Thomas represented France in this years CIK Academy and was unlucky to only finish 8th. After standing on the podium at round one despite impressive pace his season fell apart at round two. It’s Thomas’ first year out of Cadets so although I see him as one to watch, I fear a win may be too much to ask for.

Thomas Mialane
Thomas Mialane

Alejandro Lahoz Lopez

Alejandro made a name for himself in the CIK Academy last year when he finished 3rd in the championship. The Spaniard made the move to race OKJ in Europe this year and has had a fairly solid year by all accounts. Le Mans is a track he goes well at and he’ll feel very much at home when jumping in the seat of an X30!

Alejandro Lahoz Lopez
Alejandro Lahoz Lopez

Kilian Meyer

Kilian has spent this year racing in the Rotax Max Euro Challenge and X30 Euro Series. After missing round one he was never quite able to string a good set of results together in the Rotax class, but showed flashes of brilliance at Salbris. In the X30 championship he had a much better season finishing 3rd overall. The Spanish driver could be a surprise package this weekend.

Kilian Meyer
Kilian Meyer

The Brits

There are 29 Brits entered for the World Finals in total and at least half of those are podium contenders on their day. As Vice Champion you’d have to say Callum Bradshaw is a favourite, but Oliver York has beaten him on a number of occasions this year. Chris Lulham is the X30 Euro Series Champion and Louie Westover and Ben Wooldridge are both race winners in that series themselves.

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Chris Lulham

Oliver Clarke has had good European experience in the CIK Academy this year and I’ve been impressed with Owen Byatt’s performances in the UK. Morgan Porter has established himself one of the best in the class and two surprise results could come from the BKC Racing drivers, Dexter Patterson and Jac Maybin.

I hope the drivers I didn’t mention go out and prove me wrong!

Morgan Porter
Morgan Porter

Click here to see to all the Brits entered into the Junior class

Written by Chris McCarthy

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