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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Written by Chris McCarthy
Images courtesy of KSP