On Friday, 2nd September 273 of the 290 entrants took part in the Qualifying Practice for the four categories in competition on the 1384m International Karting Circuit of Le Mans (FRA). Rain made it difficult for the drivers in the early afternoon. Four drivers took pole position: Noah Milell (SWE) in KZ, David Trefilov (DEU) in KZ2, Jeroen Bos (NLD) in KZ2 Masters and Arthur Dorison in Academy.
The first phase of this major FIA Karting event has already revealed the strong fighting spirit of the participants in each of the ten six-minute Qualifying sessions against the clock. The LeCont tyres used in all four categories had to be used in a rain version in the second Academy session as well as in the two KZ2 Masters sessions.
KZ: the reigning Champion starts on pole position
The track in Le Mans was dry, but the conditions proved to be very slightly more favourable during the first Qualifying session of the Mondokart.com FIA Karting World Championship - KZ. Swedish driver Noah Milell set the fastest time, 49'170, on his sixth and penultimate lap. Crowned World Champion last year, he beat his Finnish team-mate Simo Puhakka, leader of the second session, by more than two tenths of a second. Italy's Lorenzo Camplese finished just 26 thousandths behind the poleman in Session 1. The Tony Kart Racing Team recorded a remarkable hat-trick in the premier class. The 2020 European Champion Riccardo Longhi (ITA) took fourth place ahead of French hopeful Emilien Denner. The rest of the ranking continued to mix nationalities and brands among the 39 competitors in this category.
KZ2: Trefilov in first place
The 2022 European Vice-Champion David Trefilov (DEU) was already able to show his potential in the Qualifying sessions of the KZ2 World Cup. The four sessions for the 123 participants benefited from good grip conditions on the Le Mans circuit. Trefilov finally took the lead in the fourth session to take the pole position in 49''412. Italy's Danilo Albanese took second place, finishing on top of Session 3 with a deficit of only 5 hundredths of a second over Trefilov. In third place, another Italian, Michael Barbaro Paparo, was the fastest in Session 2. The German Felix Arnold, leader of Session 1, took fourth place in the classification in front of the promising Cristian Bertuca (ITA) coming from the OK category. The reigning European Champion Tom Leuillet (FRA) was in 10th position with a very good performance.
KZ2-Masters pole position for Bos
The 64 drivers of the FIA Karting International Super Cup - KZ2 Masters , aged 35 and over, had to face a still-wet track for their Qualifying sessions despite the return of the sun. In the second session, the Dutchman Jeroen Bos managed to get the better of the Frenchman Charles Fiault, a great connoisseur of Le Mans, with 1'07''445. Earlier, the Frenchman Eric Ramon had managed to beat the multiple Italian Champion Davide Foré by less than three hundredths of a second. Sebastiano De Matteo (ITA) took fifth place in a successful final lap.
Dorison sets the fastest time of the Academy on home turf
The 47 drivers of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy started their last event in complex circumstances. The session was in the start park when the rain started to fall. They had to face a heavy downpour on slick tyres. Nikolas Roos (ZAF) negotiated the difficulty well, setting a lap of 1'29''197, three tenths ahead of Aleksandar Bogunovič (SVN) and William John Riley Go (PHL). The second session started on rain tyres and was much faster. Frenchman Arthur Dorison seized the opportunity to take pole position, while Iwo Beszterda (POL) and Nando Weixelbaumer (AUT) were two tenths behind him. Provisional leader Guillaume Bouzar (LUX) was 14th just behind the driver supported by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, Chiara Bättig (CHE). Matias Orjuela (COL) was fighting for the Trophy, but only finished 41st.
46 Qualifying Heats will be held between Friday afternoon and Saturday evening before the final selection phase of the Super Heats on Sunday morning.
Provisional schedule for the Le Mans event
Saturday 3rd September
08:00 - 09:35: Warm-up
09:40 - 20:55: Qualifying Heats - live streaming
Historic Karts: 09:00 - 09:20 / 13:00 - 13:20 / 18:25 - 18:45
Sunday 4th September
08:30 - 10:10: Warm-up
10:35 - 13:05: Super Heats - beginning of the live streaming
14:05 - 14:35: Presentation of the finalist drivers on the pre-grid
14:40 - 17:25: Finals
17:40 - 18:25: Podiums