The fight was as intense in the FIA Karting European Championship - KZ & KZ2 as it was in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy this Saturday, 15th June, dedicated to the Qualifying Heats on the circuit of Sarno. The challenge is the same for everyone, to qualify in the best possible place among the 34 finalists. As the day before, the heat affected the protagonists both physically and mechanically.
For this second day of the Italian Kart Grand Prix, the heat wave continued on the outskirts of Naples and the temperatures again exceeded 30°. The skill of Drivers and mechanics should not be overlooked in this exhausting confrontation with the weather. However, it did not stop them from fighting incessantly for the lead as well as in the pack during 18 very interesting Heats.
While the KZ Drivers raced twice, the Academy raced in four Heats (two per Driver) while the KZ2 Drivers competed four times for a total of 12 Heats. The Qualifying Phase will continue on Sunday morning with the last six Heats leading to the list of 34 finalists in each category. The titles of FIA Karting European Champion - KZ & KZ2 will be awarded after the Finals on Sunday afternoon.
Academy Trophy: De Haan and Partyshev neck and neck
A good ten drivers took centre stage before Oleksandr Partyshev (UKR) and Robert De Haan (NLD) finished on equal points, with one win and a 2nd place each. The highly contested races allowed Kajus Siksnelis (LTU) and Jacob Douglas (NZL) to take the other two victories and follow the two leaders closely, while Bartlomiej Piekutowsky (POL) managed to gain the advantage over two excellent participants Christian Ho (SGP) and Paolo Ferrari (ITA). Joshua Coertze (ZAF), Gael Julien (IDN) and Charlie Wurz (AUT) were among the Drivers of the day.
KZ: Puhakka takes over
Often quick on the Sarno circuit, Simo Puhakka (FIN) made the best run with a win after 2nd place in the first Heat. Always fast, the poleman Lorenzo Camplese won first before having to give ground in the second Heat against Alessandro Irlando (ITA) and Bas Lammers (NLD). Championship leader Anthony Abbasse (FRA) had to fight to stay in the top five ahead of determined opponents like Jorrit Pex (NLD), Marco Ardigo (ITA) and Matteo Vigano (ITA). The last Sunday morning Heats may be crucial in winning the title.
Faultless run for Vidales Ajenjo in KZ2
5th in Qualifying Practice, David Vidales Ajenjo (ESP) had a perfect run with four victories to put him at the top of the class on Saturday night. A two-time winner, Senna Van Walstijn (NLD), was ahead of the revelation of the day, Jean Nomblot (FRA), who started with 14th in Qualifying Practice. The poleman Giuseppe Palomba (ITA) would have been able to compete with Vidales Ajenjo without a penalty for an improperly positioned front fairing that cost him dearly in his first Heat. Emilien Denner (FRA) completed the top five. Among the other contenders for the title, Riccardo Longhi (ITA) made spectacular progress ahead of Emil Skaras (SWE) while Simone Cunati (ITA) unfortunately did not improve his Qualifying score.
Timetable for Sunday 16th June
09:00 - 10:25: Warm-up
10:30 - 12:25: Qualifying Heats
13:40 - 14:15: KZ2 Final
14:45 - 15:15: Academy Final
15.45 - 16.20: KZ Final