In mild, rain-free weather, Sunday offered a high-quality sporting event in Wackersdorf where the three winners of this superb FIA Karting Competition were unquestionably the best. Congratulations to Robert De Haan in Academy, Emil Skaras in KZ2 and Anthony Abbasse in KZ, not to mention their brave opponents. The 2019 German Karting Grand Prix will also remain a milestone event of the season with its remarkably good organisation.
Although the absence of rain was appreciated, the confrontation remained very tight in the dry for the Drivers and their technicians during the first round of the FIA Karting European Championship - KZ & KZ2. The circuit of Wackersdorf offers complex conditions for chassis adjustment according to the grip, which sometimes changed disconcertingly during the weekend. The previous day's rain had notably rinsed the surface and the markers recorded during the dry practices were no longer relevant for the Finals. The mechanics were more than ever associated with the good results of their Driver.
Abbasse unbeatable in the KZ Final
Jorrit Pex (NLD - KR / TM Racing / B'stone) had won the last Qualifying Heat in the morning and took the lead in the standings, which allowed him to start on pole position for the Final. Anthony Abbasse (FRA - Sodi / TM Racing / B'stone) took the 1st position right from the start and Alessandro Irlando (ITA - Birel ART / TM Racing / B'stone) was the strongest opposition at first. Then Matteo Vigano (ITA - Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone) came back to 2nd position to try to fight for the victory. But Abbasse was showing more speed and won without challenge after the 26 laps with a lead of more than two seconds. Vigano and Irlando joined him on the podium, while Bas Lammers (NLD - Sodi / TM Racing / B'stone) was 4th in front of Pex.
"It's been a long time since I won by such a margin!” exclaimed Abbasse. "The team has done a good job since the start of the season, but the special circumstances of Wackersdorf this weekend put the gauges back to zero for the Final. From a blank page, our technicians have achieved a miracle. I was able to take control from the start and my kart was faster and faster over the laps, which allowed me to take a magnificent victory."
Provisional classification of the 2019 FIA Karting European Championship - KZ after the first Competition at Wackersdorf
1- Anthony Abbasse - 34 points
2- Matteo Vigano - 28 points
3- Alessandro Irlando - 23 points
4- Jorrit Pex - 21 points
5- Bas Lammers - 15 points
KZ2: Skaras until the end of the Final
Leader at the end of the Qualifying Heats of the FIA Karting European Championship - KZ2, Alexander Schmitz (DEU - Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone) was a favourite due to his performances and his great knowledge of the track. But it was Emil Skaras (SWE - Energy / TM Racing / B'stone) who made the best start. Simone Cunati (ITA - CRG / TM Racing / B'stone) took over in 2nd position before Schmitz encountered a mechanical problem and retired. While Cunati was still putting pressure on the leader, Riccardo Longhi (ITA - Birel ART / Racing TM / B'stone) completed a superb rise of 10 places in 3rd position. Against all odds, the Race continued until the finish between the first three, separated by only 0.076'' on the finish line. David Vidales Ajenjo (ESP - Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone) had a very good result in 4th place ahead of Paolo Besancenez (FRA - Sodi / TM Racing / B'stone)
Provisional classification of the 2019 FIA Karting European Championship - KZ2 after the first Competition at Wackersdorf
1- Emil Skaras - 34 points
2- Simone Cunati - 27 points
3- Riccardo Longhi - 16 points
4- Giuseppe Palomba - 16 points
5- David Vidales Ajenjo - 15 points
6- Philip Hall - 15 points
De Haan takes the ascendancy in Academy
In a one-make Competition like the FIA Karting Academy Trophy, the skill of the Drivers has more influence than in any other category. While the Exprit / Vortex / B'stone was again exemplary in terms of equal speed, the performance of Robert De Haan (NLD) was all the more eloquent. He first added a third victory to his Qualifying Heats score before leading the Final from start to finish, setting the fastest lap of the race and taking a brilliant 4.5'' win ahead of 2nd-placed Joshua Coertze (ZAF) in the middle of a fight with Magnus Germansen Daae (DNK). Gael Julien (IDN) and Charlie Wurz (AUT) completed the top five, while Paolo Ferrari (ITA) finished just 7th and Lucas Mendes (BRA) was the big loser of this race.
"I am very happy with this first Academy Trophy of the Year," said De Haan. "I was as competitive in the dry as in the rain and the result was as good as my ambitions. I think I have a good chance in Sarno for the second event because it's a circuit that I like."
Provisional ranking of the 2019 FIA Karting Academy Trophy after the first Competition at Wackersdorf
1- Robert De Haan - 35 points
2- Joshua Coertze - 26 points
3- Magnus Germansen Daae - 24 points
4- Paolo Ferrari - 18 points
5- Gael Julien - 16 points
The second and final Competition of the FIA Karting European Championship - KZ & KZ2, as well as the second of the three Competitions of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy, will take place in Sarno (ITA) on 14th-16th June 2019.