|An excellent opening at Lonato got the 2008 International Open Masters underway, with the eleventh edition of the revamped championship which counts towards the "Coppa d'Italia Karting ACI-CSAI" and is recognised as a "FIA Authorised Series".|
A lovely set of finals honoured the opening of the Italian season in the best way, by seeing the top step of the podium in the finals taken for the Maranello colours by the Englishman Wright in KF2, the young Kevin Ceccon in KF3 and the 4 times world champion Alessandro Piccini in the manual change KZ2 class, all of them with Maranello-Tm and using Vega tyres.
There were 129 drivers in total seen at South Garda Karting of Lonato, out of the 149 signed up, coming from 21 different countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, UK, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary). But in this restyled edition of the Open Masters has seen a notable rise in the percentage of Italians, which has now reached 70% compared to the foreign drivers, above all because with the new regulations the championship has been re-orientated to give greater recognition to the so-called private drivers. In the end it has been and will probably continue to be the 'official' drivers who end up emerging most visibly, but the space carved out by the private drivers, and the scenes at Lonato of several of the drivers supported by constructors locked in duels with ones from private teams, have done nothing less than give an incredible extra fascination to this renewed Open Masters.
An honourable mention must also be made to the Organising Committee of the Series, who in a few weeks have succeeded in the aim of setting the Open Masters on its new course.
In KF2 it was the Maranello trio, Like Wright, "Giaguaro Nero" and the other Englishman James Thorp, who monopolised the Podium, but nonetheless one couldn't ignore the attempt of Matteo Ghidella from Varese (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega), for so long in the lead and among the main protagonists of the race, as well as winner of the pre-final in front of the other italian "Giaguaro Nero".
In KF3 Kevin Ceccon from Bergamo dominated the final after having got the better of Raffaele Marciello (Moza-Tm-Vega) in the pre-final. Andrea Zemin (Kosmic-Vortex-Vega) from Vicenza also made a fine attempt to win, third in the pre-final and a well deserved second in the final.
In KZ2 the two official Maranello drivers prevailed, with success for Alessandro Piccini in the final and victory in the pre-final for his team mate, Davide Forč from Brescia. However in both the races as regards points in the championship, it was Juri Lucati (Jesolo-Tm-Vega) from Verona who gained most from reaching the 3rd step of the podium as he now leads the board.
TV. THE RACE AT LONATO 1ST APRIL ON RAI SPORT SAT
The TV coverage of the International Open Masters is in the hands of RAI. The race at Lonato will go out on RAI SPORT SAT Tuesday 1st April at 6pm, with reports on all three finals KF3, KF2 and KZ2. These are the countries where other than from Italy Rai Sport Sat can be seen: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, UK, Greece, Eire, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands,Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Hungary, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia.
ABSOLUTE RANKING (reserved to drivers signed up for the entire series
KF2: 1. Ghidella scores 37; 2. Minchillo 28; 3. Moretti 19; 4. Vantini and Di Braccio 18.
KF3: 1. Zemin scores 35; 2. Arone and Reiner 23; 4. Basiliotti 16; 5. Ghirelli and Maxa 13.
KZ2: 1. Lucati scores 37; 2. Spinozzi 27; Puhakka 21; Cattelan 19; 5. Pintossi 15.
INDEPENDENT DRIVERS RANKING
KF2: 1. Ghidella scores 37; 2. Minchillo 30; 3. Moretti and Vantini 21.
KF3: 1. Zemin scores 37; 2. Arone 25; 3. Reiner 24.
KZ2: 1. Cattelan 37; 2. Mio Bertolo 26; 3. Stinchelli 20.
FEMALE DRIVERS RANKING
1. Piria Vittoria e Senica Klaudia scores 37; 2. Visser Beitske 30; 4. Gallina Erica 16.
RANKING ROOKIE DRIVERS' (reserved for drivers debuting KF3)
KF3: 1. Zemin scores 35; 2. Arone and Reiner 23; 4. Basiliotti 17; 5. Maxa 15.
KARTING CLUB RANKING
KF2: 1. Team Kart Italia punti 52; 2. Somma K.C. 32; 3. ASD Taglienti 30.
KF3: 1. Motor's Simpaty punti 37; 2. Superteam 28; 3. AS Tribe One Corse 23.
KZ2: 1. Team Kart Italia 56; 2. KC Joint Race 35; 3. Rovigo KC 19.
RACE TEAM RANKING
KF2: 1. TRT punti 40; 2. Gandolfi Racing 35; 3. DR Motorsport 32.
KF3: 1. GPZ punti 35; 2. Emilia Kart 31; 3. Kart Project 26.
KZ2: 1. BRM Racing 44; 2. Jesolo Race e Renda Motorsport 37.