|Tipped to win, Marco Ardigo and the Tony-Kart team confirmed the forecast by markedly dominating the first Karting World Championship of the new “KF” engines era. |
On the Belgian circuit of Mariembourg invaded by a crowd estimated at 8,000 spectators the experienced Italian driver was never really challenged, except by his own team-mate, the Briton Gary Catt, who achieved the fastest practice time and was the provisional leader after the qualifying heats. When the pre-final and final came, however, Ardigo reminded everyone that he is the natural leader of his team, in particular because a few weeks ago he reeled off his third consecutive European Champion title and a win in the World Cup held in Japan. But the supreme Karting title was still missing from his list of results, and Ardigo felt that all the elements for success were there so he did not let the opportunity pass him by and clinched it, leading the final from flag to flag.
As well as achieving his best personal result by finishing second, Gary Catt offered Tony-Kart a win in the World Cup for Teams which is awarded for the best overall performance of the teams entered. The podium was completed by the Dane Nikolaj Bollingtoft who asserted himself as a solid outsider throughout the weekend; after practice, the heats and the pre-final he had already ended up in third place, of which he made quite a habit in Mariembourg!
In the generation gap between drivers of the top category, the most experienced ones therefore got the upper hand. The best youngsters were France’s Anthony Abbasse and Belgium’s Benjamin Bailly who finished respectively fourth and fifth. Having suffered collisions in the qualifying heats and in the pre-final, the quadruple World Champion Davide Fore put up a good show in the final, coming up from 32nd to 7th place, with the fastest lap time of the race for good measure.
The programme of the World Championship also included another prestigious event: the World Cup for KF2, which is to Karting what GP2 is to F1. The Belgian-British driver Michael Ryall (GKS Lemmens Power) showed himself to be unbeatable when it came to the final phase by successively carrying off the pre-final and final with great ease. On the final podium, he was accompanied by the Briton Scott Jenkins and the Italian Flavio Camponeschi. Three chassis and three engines of different makes shared the top three places.
Followed by many spectators on Saturday and Sunday, this World Championship organised in Mariembourg also got a vast media coverage in the Belgian and foreign written press, as well as on television, in particular on Eurosport International and on the public Belgian TV channel, the RTBF.