The X30 Super and X30 Super Shifter classes both contested hugely competitive grids of 30+ drivers in each category with the French drivers dominating the Super class in particular.
Vincent Fraisse takes emotional win in X30 Super
The French driver won the IAME International Final back in 2015 in what was a hugely popular victory around the Le Mans circuit. Back in X30 Super for another year many wouldn’t have put Fraisse in contention early on with the Sodi driver qualifying down in 16th place. The early contenders looked to be Adrien Renaudin (FRA), Thomas Ricci (FRA), Kevin Breysse (FRA), Milan Petelet (FRA) and Ulysse De Pauw (BEL) who finished qualifying in that order.
De Pauw was the driver to stay the most consistent in the heats taking three wins out of four and with it pole position for the Pre-Final. Breysse and Ricci both kept a clean pair of heels in the heats to rank 2nd and 3rd but for Renaudin there was problems with one bad result after his win and two 5th place finishes put him down in 8th. By this point Fraisse had made slight progress despite a DNF in one heats and would go off p12 for the Pre-Final.
The Pre-Final put on some more great close racing and although it confirmed De Pauw the favourite it also proved that he was far from comfortable with the top four separated by just over one second at the flag. A new face to the front was the ever I proving Corentin Collignon (FRA) who took the lead heading into the final couple of laps but De Pauw was quick to come back through in what was an entertaining end to the race. Collignon finished 3rd behind Renaudin with Antony Cout (FRA) 4th. Fraisse had continued his progress through the field to finish 6th and fell just short of Ricci’s fastest lap of the race.
It then all came down to the final and with his progress already impressive over the weekend Fraisse was quick to make even more in the opening two laps of the final. He was quick to get himself into 2nd place in what was a fairly hectic start with everyone going for World Finals glory. His country men Renaudin was the leader at this stage but six laps in he took the lead before the first time which led to he and Renaudin trading places. Ten laps in and Fraisse was down in 3rd with De Pauw the new leader, Breysse was in 2nd as the top three found themselves clear from the rest of the pack.
Fraisse then started his fight to get back into the lead with a move on Breysse at turn one on lap 15. The move for the lead then followed on lap 17, De Pauw appeared to defend down the back straight but left enough space for Fraisse to make his move who immediately began to defend with just four laps now remaining. Breysse then followed shortly afterwards and with Fraisse looking to quick to catch he settled for 2nd and defended to the flag.
Out front Fraisse took an emotional victory on home soil. It’s his second IAME International Final title in two different classes and it received a tremendous reception around the circuit. Completing the podium were Breysse and De Pauw with Petelet 4th and Yann Bouvier (FRA) 5th. Renaudin who looked the favourite early on unfortunately didn’t finish after an incident on the last lap.
1st Vincent Fraisse (FRA)
2nd Kevin Breysse (FRA)
3rd Ulysse de Pauw (BEL)
4th Milan Petelet (FRA)
5th Yann Bouvier (FRA)
12th Max Jeanne (GBR)
25th Jack Graham (GBR)
26th Oliver Greetham (GBR)
28th Euan Wilson (GBR)
33rd Harry Torpy (GBR)
Gerard Cebrian Ariza holds on to take dramatic victory in Super Shifter
Given the Spaniard had qualified down in 6th place on Thursday he wouldn’t have gone down as the immediate first choice to take victory but over the weekend his win was thoroughly deserved.
In qualifying Tom Bale (UAE) took pole position from Alessandro Pellizzari (ITA) with Roy Bakker (NED), Thierry Delre (BEL) and Christof Huibers rounding out the top five. As the heats progressed Pellizzari seemed to look the favourite for the event taking three wins and an 11th in heat four despite a ten second penalty. Bale took the heat four victory but pole in the Pre-Final was Pellizzari’s with Bakker, Delre and Cebrian Ariza completed the second row. Tom Bale would start from p7.
The Pre-Final was where the weekend was really turned on it’s head from the leaders point of view. The race itself saw Bakker get a brilliant start out front and the Dutch driver escaped from the rest of the pack before being hunted down by Pellizzari. The Italian then went for an ambitious move at the end of the back straight which saw Bakker off the circuit and Pellizzari receiving a ten second penalty dropping him to 10th. Things got worse for Bakker too who also received a penalty for a jump start and his ten second penalty dropped him to 14th. If Pellizzari had just followed Bakker round to the flag, he would’ve taken the win regardless.
So all of that drama both at the end of the race and post-race left Huibers the race winner from Delre, Bale, Cebrian Ariza and Mickey Slotman (NED).
From the outside of row two Cebrian Ariza made a fantastic start taking just two laps to work his way through to the lead of the race. Keeping him close for company was Bale and it wasn’t long before the pair had escaped leaving Delre to lead a growing queue for 3rd. As the race progressed Bale never quite seemed to be able to pass Cebrian Ariza no matter what he tried whilst behind Delre was now 3rd with John Norris (IRL) 4th.
Going onto the last lap Cebrian Ariza seemed to be in a position where he could defend comfortably but behind Bale had other ideas. Going into the last corner we caught a glimpse on the live stream of Bale charging into turn one in an attempt to pass the Spaniard which resulted in Bale making contact with the race leader and drooping to 4th place. Cebrian Ariza meanwhile was able to hold on to the lead put now had a kart which had a Nassau panel hanging off and changing through the gears looked to be difficult as well as getting the thing round in one piece. For any Cebrian Ariza fan it was a heart in mouth moment but thankfully the CRG driver was able to limp home to still take a comfortable victory over Delre. Slotman inherited 3rd after Norris was penalised for a jump start which also kept Bale in 4th and moved Yohan Sousa (POR) into the top five.
1st Gerard Cebrian Ariza (ESP)
2nd Thierry Delre (BEL)
3rd Mickey Slotman (NED)
4th Tom Bale (UAE)
5th Yohan Sousa (POR)
14th Fraser Rose (GBR)
18th Barrie Pullinger (GBR)
26th Scott Allen (GBR)