|Pure spectacle and suspense in Genk, the scenario of this KZ1 World Cup KZ1 (the karts fitted with gearboxes) was on a par with the very best of Hithcock’s films thanks to Jonathan Thonon and yannick Debrabander. |
After two days of sun and heat, the rain which had been forecast was at the rendezvous on Sunday morning and so it was on a rain soaked track that the 34 finalists took the start of the Pre-Final. Under pretty precarious road holding conditions these tightrope driving specialists proved their talents. For some the death toll was already sounding in this Pre-Final, with amongst others the regional driver Rick Dreezen (Tony Kart-Vortex) and his team mate the Italian Marco Ardigo, the former being a victim of an accident and the latter as the result of inappropriate tuning. On home soil the Belgian Jonathan Thonon (CRG-Maxter) performed brilliantly by clinching the pole position for the Final ahead of the Italian Sauro Cesetti (Birel-BMB), who had come back from 13th place on the grid, Arnaud Kozlinski (CRG-Maxter), the young Dutch female Beitske Visser (Intrepid-TM), the pole holder Davide Foré (CRG-Maxter) and the title holder Bas Lammers (Intrepid-TM), who in the rain managed to save a difficult start to the weekend by climbing back up from 19th into 6th place.
At the time of the Final the track had dried out and it would be anyone’s guess as to who would come out as the winner. During 22 laps the battle between these karting professionals enthralled the large crowd of Belgian enthusiasts who had come out to cheer on their representatives. Quickest at the start, Jonathan Thonon was soon disposed of by Beitske Visser. A few hundred meters further on it was Bas Lammers’ turn to take over the command ahead of his young compatriot and Yannick de Brabander (Parolin-TM), who had come back from 8th place on the grid. In an incredible overtaking manoeuvre the Belgian got the better of the two Dutch drivers.
Whilst Beitske Visser immediately threw in the towel, engine cut-off, four drivers managed to escape from the pack. Behind Yannick de Brabander, Davide Foré (four times World Champion and winner of the World Cup back in 2006), Jonathan Thonon (three times winner of the KZ1 World Cup) and Bas Lammers, the title holder, constantly swapped places, whilst at the same time putting pressure on the leader. At the beginning of the last lap de Brabander still had a small lead over Thonon and Foré, Lammers having been left behind.
However Jonathan Thonon had not had his last say. Taking on a most improbable attack some two bends from the finish, Jonathan surprised Yannick de Brabander and offered himself his fourth World Cup! Obviously disappointed his rival did in fact provide for a one-two Belgian finish to the great delight of the crowds who had fully appreciated one of the greatest Finals of these last few years.
On the lowest tread of the podium, Davide Foré has shown that notwithstanding his 37 years his passion and speed have remained intact! Following his victory in 2010, this time around Bas Lammers found himself at the foot of the podium ahead of Arnaud Kozlinski (CRG-Maxter), Antonio Piccioni (Parolin-TM), Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex), Sauro Cesetti (Birel-BMB), Jérémy Iglésias (Intrepid-TM) and Thomas Mich (Monza-TM)