|A GREAT SHOW IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE "2007 INTERNATIONAL OPEN MASTERS" AT SARNO. |
A great show with so much sportsmanship in the opening heat of the "2007 International Open Masters", contested on the demanding 1.699 metre "Circuito Internazionale Napoli" at Sarno (Salerno), where we saw a good 248 drivers confront each other, divided into the 4 new International categories of KF1 (36 drivers), KF2 (69 drivers), KF3 (83 drivers) and KZ2 (50 drivers), and coming from 32 countries: Italy, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bolivia, Brazile, Svitzerland, Columbia, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Finland, England, Greece, Hungary, Irleland, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Norway, The Netherlands, Portugal, Argentina, Indonesia, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Slovenia, Thailand, United States.
Now in the 10th year since its inception, the "2007 International Open Masters - FIA Authorised Series", starting from this year, also counts towards the Italian Absolute Karting Championship, and so it started with all the best conditions, confirming it as an international Showcase and a championship at the summit of the Karting landscape.
Amongst other things, on the very eve of the first of the five appointments in the season, the 'ACI-CSAI wanted to show further recognition of this championship by assigning to it the Italian-badged title "Open Masters ACI-CSAI Italian Cup", thereby giving more prestige to the series.
Amongst technical innovations this year, as well as the entrance of the new 125cc “KF Long Life “engines”, it’s worth noting the first use of a single tyre type (Vega) for the KF3 (ex 100 ICA Junior), KF2 (ex 100 ICA) and manual-change KZ2 (ex 125 ICC) categories, while for KF1 (ex Formula A) tyre brand has remained a free choice.
On the other hand the form the whole event takes is unchanged, with a series of ‘shoot outs’ between all the participants in the elimination rounds (at Sarno there were a good 22 heats made and 5 repechage, and the conclusion with 2 finals for each of the 4 categories.
This year the total prize money has also been raised, now standing at 100,000 euro split between the first 15 drivers instead of the first 10 as in the past.
Also an important feature is the setting up of the new Constructors Title, to which Birel, Brm, Crg, Lenzo, Maranello and Tony Kart have adhered to, with points being awarded in each category to the 2 best-placed drivers out of those driving each constructors vehicles.
1. FINAL: BAILLY (B) (KOSMIC/VORTEX/DUNLOP)
2. FINAL: CATT (GB) (TONY KART/VORTEX/VEGA)
The first KF1 final was the only race to take place on completely dry asphalt. The uncertain weather, which between a few brief glimpses of the sun and much rain and cold had characterised the whole weekend, ‘saved’ this first race of the afternoon. The victory in race 1 went to the Belgian Benjamin Bailly (Kosmic/Vortex/Dunlop) who in the last 5 laps had dominated the Englishman Gary Catt (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega). Third place went to Antonio Piccioni (Tony Kart/Vortex/Dunlop), in front of Michael K Christensen (Gillard) and Sauro Cesetti (Birel). Forè (Maranello) starting in 17th position finished the race 8th.
In race two, it was instead Gary Catt who imposed himself on a wet track, preceding the excellent German Marco Wittmann (Birel/Tm/Vega) who’d come up from 12th position at the start. Placed 3rd was the Frenchman Nathanael Berthon (Dodikart/Parilla/Vega), in front of the Dane Nikolaj Bollingtoft (Kosmic). Forè ended up sixth, Cesetti seventh.
Championship after the first round: 1 Catt (GB) 45 points; 2 Bailly (B) 26; 3 Wittmann (D) 24; 4 Cesetti (I) 20; 5th Piccioni e Forè 18; 7th Berthon (F) and K Christensen (DK) 16; 9 Antonucci(I) 15; 10 Convers (F) 14.
Constructors rankings: 1 Tony Kart 86 points 2 Birel 57; 3 Maranello 45 4 Crg 34 5 Lenzokart 16.
1. FINAL: COZZAGLIO (I) (BIREL-MONZA/TM/VEGA)
2. FINAL: ARDIGO' (I) (TONY KART/VORTEX/VEGA)
After just a couple of laps, the director stopped the race because of the onset of rain while Marco Ardigò (Tony Kart/Vortex) was well in the lead. When race 1 resumed, in the wet, an accident just after the start took several competitors out of the picture. Roberto Toninelli (Intrepid/Tm), maybe struck by Cozzaglio, flew over his new team-mate, Alessandro Manetti, who in his turn shunted the temporary course leader, the German Marcel Jeleniowki (Tony Kart/Vortex). The accident also held back Ardigò, losing him positions, while Manuel Cozzaglio (Birel-Monza/Tm/Vega) found himself well out in front of everybody which gave him a sure win. In second place was the Dutchman Jansen Kevin (First/Tm) leading Martin Frasnelli (Birel/Sgm). Alessandro Piccini (Maranello/Maxter) was the author of a beautiful recovery from 19th to 4th place. Ardigò was placed sixth.
In race 2 it was really Marco Ardigò who showed himself to be the real protagonist by pulling into the lead in the 5th lap after having overtaken Cozzaglio and then clinching the victory. Cozzaglio came in second ahead of the Dutchman Alexander Van Meever (Brm/De Bei). Piccini finished in 4th place, Toninelli in 5th after a comeback from 28th position.
Championship after the first round: 1. Cozzaglio (I) 45 points; 2. Ardigò (I) 35; 3. Piccini (I) 26; Joint 4th Kevin (NL) and Leytens 20; 6. Jeleniowki (D) 19; 7th. Van Meever (NL) and Frasnelli (I) 16; 9. De Luchi (I) 13; 10. Toninelli (I) 11.
Constructors rankings: 1. Birel 70 points; 2. Tony Kart 60; 3. Brm 44; 4. Maranello 42; 5. Crg 29; 6. Lenzokart 15.
1. FINAL: SUVANTO (FIN) (MARANELLO/RTX/VEGA)
2. FINAL: HARVEY (GB) (MARANELLO/XTR/VEGA)
In KF3, in the first final, it was the Finn Petri Suvanto (Maranello/Xtr) who was glued in the lead right until the end of the race. On his tail was Matteo Viganò (Birel/Xtr) maintaining second place up to the finish line in front of the Spaniard Carlos Munòz who had leapt up from 17th position. Amongst the other Italians in the race, Lorenzo Camplese (Tony Kart/Vortex), fnished 11th.
In the second final it was the Englishman Jack Harvey (Maranello/Xtr) who gained the upper hand halfway through the 12 laps of the course to pass under the chequered flag first. Close behind him came the Englishman Jordan Chamberlain (Tony Kart/Vortex) and then the Spaniard Luis Miguel Villalba (Maranello/Tm) who in the first part of the final had struggled to take a lead over Suvanto and then finished fourth. The first of the Italians, Ignazio D'Agosto (Tony Kart/Vortex) was only 12th, in front of Camplese. Kevin Ceccon (Birel/Tm) ended up in 15th.place, Viganò in 17th.
Championship after the first round: 1. Suvanto (FIN) 38 points; 2. Harvey (GB) 34; 3. Chamberlain (GB) 33; 4. Villalba (E) 23; 5. Viganò (I) 20; 6th. Munòz (E) and Binder (A) 18; 7th. Eisenreich (D) 16; 9. Bailly (B) and Thompson 13.
Constructors rankings: 1. Maranello 77 points; 2. Tony Kart 62; 3. Birel 45; 4. Brm 39; 5. Crg 27.
1. FINAL: STEVENS (GB) (TONY KART/VORTEX/VEGA)
2. FINAL: BURKHARD (D) (BIREL/PARILLA/VEGA)
In the first KF2 final, during the first part it was Flavio Camponeschi (FA Kart/Vortex) who led, but in the 8th of 15 laps he was forced to retire. The Englishman Will Stevens (Tony Kart/Vortex) then took over to conclude the victory. In second position was installed the other Englishman Greg Harper (Tony Kart/Vortex) attaining the second step of the podium, in front of the Spaniard Miguel Otegui (FA/Vortex). Amongst the italians, the best were Lazzaro Fabio (Tony Kart/Vortex) and Paolo De Conto (Birel/Parilla), in 9th and 11th place, respectively.
In the second final the German Maring Burkhard (Birel/Parilla) took himself into the lead during the second lap and maintained it right until the finish line. Snapping at his heels was the Spaniard Otegui, but Camponeschi was the star of this race, staging a good recovery into final 3rd place and so snatching a place on the podium away from Stevens who finished 4th.
Championship after the first round: 1. Stevens (GB) 38 points; 2. Otegui (E) 36; 3.Burkhard (D) 35; 4th. Harper (GB) and Tincknell (GB) 20; 6th. Heikkinen (FIN) and Habulin (HR) 17; 8. Camponeschi (I) 16; 9. Foster (GB) 15; 10. Ferri (I) 12.
Constructors rankings: 1. Tony Kart 78 points; 2. Birel 60; 3. Crg 47; 4. Maranello 39; 5. Brm 14.
Next appointment: Pista Saletina, Ugento (Lecce) 20-22 april 2007.
The other appointments: 18-20 may Jesolo, 8-10 June Lonato, 20-22 July S. Egidio.