|LONATO, Italy - Large numbers at the Wintercup in Lonato; 132 drivers in KF2, 101 in KF3 and 50 in KF1. It shows that the CIK FIA has made the right move regarding KF engines. The 13th Wintercup was not at all an ‘unlucky’ one, even as the 13th Wintercup ever held. It was great weather, although staying with tradition, still a bit cold. It was dry and sunny, lots of visitors, many drivers, extremely high level of racing and the competition stronger than ever. |
A better thriller could not been made by Alfred Hitchcock. In both KF1 and KF2 the fight for victory was tremendous. In KF1 Yannick de Brabander showed his racing skills. Starting from pole, he had all the pressure from behind, but the young Belgian drove a steady and convincing race leading most of the way. In his slipstream there was Fore, Ardigo, Puhakka, Kozlinksi, Catt and Cesetti. Ardigo came close but after he and the young gun touched, the reigning world champion lost many places. His teammate was not so lucky either. Gary Catt, who had engine problems in the warm-up, again suffered another problem right before the race. His engine would not start. After three re-starts he managed to get close, trying to recover his starting position. Also in the race it didn’t last long. Catt lost a possible topfive position.
Anyway De Brabander, under the wings of Wim Eyckmans (EGP) kept it cool. The Intrepid/TM driver won the thriller of a race ahead of Arnaud Kozlinksi, who did a great performance on his CRG/Maxter. The suprising Simo Puhakka on PCR/TM took the last podium. In the straight out of the last corner, both Sauro Cesetti and Armand Convers kept bumping until they crossed the chaquered flag. Davide Fore lost his chain, which ended his race, while Thonon unfortunately crashed big time making a spectacular flip-over. Daniel Mancinelli drove his CRG home in position six. Michael Ryall, Will Stevens, Antonio Piccioni and Alessandro Vita Kouzkin completed the ten best finishers.
Tonykart had none of its KF1 drivers in the top five. That must have been aged after their domancy over the past years. Still very strong, but Tonykart was not as powerful as it had previously been over the last two years. All brands worked hard last winter and it seems that racing will be really close this coming season. The biggest example was shown, halfway during the race, when the top 6 was filled with six different brands; Maranello, PCR, CRG, Tonykart, Birel and Intrepid. This is great for karting in general!
In KF2, Britain’s Foster Jones was inspired by Fernando Alonso, who recently tested at Lonato. Foster Jones on his FA kart with Vortex power took the win after an amazing battle, leaving Jesper Wernersson (Tony/Vortex) close behind. Jack Harvey (Birel/Iame) probably had one of his best races ever. He started every single heat dead last after using the wrong octane gasoline. However, Harvey made up a lot of ground. He finally worked his way up to the front, taking the last podium. The overwelming number of Tonykarts in the top 10 was impressive, six out of ten. Flavio Camponischi and Gaku Ishiyama finished at the fourth and fifth spot, while the first four drivers crossed the chaquered flag within three tenths.
Oliver Rowland also Tonykart started from the frontrow and ended his race in sixth position ahead of Massimo Aceto and both Belgian drivers Sebastien Bailly and Sami Luka. Tom Grice showed a great performance, starting from 25th. The PdB pilot managed to take 8th. Unfortunately he got bumped out of the topten.
Aaro Vainio (Maranello-Mcr) controlled the KF3 race. He managed to stay ahead of Brandon Maisano on Intrepid using TM power and the other Italian Kevin Ceccon, who brought home his Maranello/TM to the third place. Mateo Beretta (Birel-Tm), Mackanzie Taylor (Alonso), Jony Wiman (Maranello) were left behind at respectievly the fourth, fifth and sixth place. Jacob Nortoft came close to the top five, but then felt back outside the topten.
The otherway around was Dutch Nyck de Vries who set the fastest laptimes in both semi-final and final. He worked his way up from 18th to 7th. Mathieu Janinet, Daniil Kvyat and Riccardo Agostini completed the top10.
Again the 13th Lonato Wintercup has shown great racing between the large amount of drivers to compete in this very first race of the season. Regarding the sensational races it seams we do get a great year of high level karting.