|At the opening meeting of the French Championship season which took place in Essay, the Sodi works team put in a noteworthy performance. In addition, many other teams and drivers had chosen to race Sodikarts. Not only did the French chassis manufacturer have more karts out on the track than any other but the results were there too,|
with honours coming in all categories. An auspicious beginning to the campaign!
The first “Grand Prix FFSA Karting” of the year marked the opening of a new era in international karting, with the arrival on the scene of the recently certified highendurance 125 engines, as Sodikart’s technical director, Franck Le Beller, was at pains to explain: “In the space of just a few months we have gone from the traditional 100cc direct transmission engine to a new and significantly different 125cc design, with starter and clutch. We haven’t had much time to get
to grips with this sea change, but the results we got at Essay
demonstrate that we are on the right track. We have a very good partnership with Italian engine manufacturer TM, so we are quite optimistic about the 2007 season”.
Sodi places 4 of its chasses in the top 10!
In KF1, Anthony Abbasse fought it out amongst the leaders throughout the weekend. “I managed to get off to a good start from 5th place on the grid in the first final”, commented the 2006 French ICA champion. “We worked very hard with the team to find the best set up for the chassis, and I was able to keep up a good pace throughout the 25 km race”. The French national team driver was satisfied with coming home third in his first outing in the top category, even though the hazards of racing prevented him from improving his score in the second final. There were Top 10 places for Nathanaël Berthon
(Braun Racing), Arnaud Sarrazin (PKS) and Florian Alfano, all driving Sodi SR5’s. Florian went better and better as the weekend went on. “I fancied my chances in the final. By the end of the first lap I was already lying 3rd, but then somebody shunted me shortly after. What a pit y! A podium place was definitely on the cards”, said Florian with some regret.
In KF2, a clutch of drivers racing Sodi chasses met with success. After reaching the finals of the Winter Cup and Trophée Margutti, Loïc Reguillon (Braun Racing) won one heat before going on to confirm his promise with a fine 3rd placing in Race 1. Behind him came two other Sodi steeds, one driven by Benjamin da Silva, who made a very promising start with his new team, and the other by Kevin Bole Besançon (Eurokarting). “I’ve only been driving a Sodi chassis for a few months”, said Kevin, who went on the snatch 4th place in Race 2, “and I’m very happy with the way it performs”. With a 10-place
climb by team-mate Alban Authié and solid progress by Norman Nato, Sodi once again had four karts in the top 10.
What a comeback for Letailleur !
Thomas Letailleur didn’t race much in 2006, but he wasted no time before proving he is still a force to be reckoned with in the hotly contested KZ2 category (with gearbox). “The Sodi chassis has a lot of potential in this category and we intend to make it known”, he said, with typical directness. He was soon proved right, as he left Essay with the 3rd spot in the provisional French Championship standings firmly under his belt, after taking 3rd and 4th in a couple of races. Eric Maillard (Tec’Sav), back once again at the wheel of a Sodi, also had a good weekend, with 5th and 7th places in successive races. Now a member of PSM, another team that uses Sodi chasses, Cédric Goudant
soon got used to his new steed, as his 2nd spot in the first heat
shows. Alas, after missing out in the next heat he fell to 11th place after the qualifiers. Lapping at the same rate as the leaders, he bounced back brilliantly to take 6th place in the final.
The first major national meeting in the calendar provided the platform for Antoine Barthon to show how much he has progressed in KF3. Driving a PSM team Sodi, he turned n his best performance to date at this level. Following an excellent 6th place in Race 1, he had cause to rue a premature exit from the final race which prevented him from bettering this result. “We are competitive in all categories and we did well to keep our customers satisfied – those are the main conclusions I draw from this meeting”, said Franck Le Beller. “We intend to make maximum use of the coming weeks to properly prepare for the two important meeting planned for May. The European Championships will be starting in Italy and then there will be the
second meeting of the FFSA Karting Grand Prix series at Varennes”.