|The verdict has been announced for the CIK-FIA’s busiest weekend in the year. Simultaneously held in Sweden (Göteborg), Spain (Alcaniz) and Italy (Val Vibrata), the regional qualifying events for the European Championship of the KF2 and KF3 categories have designated the drivers eligible to participate in the finals which will be organised at Braga (Portugal) on 1-3 August 2008 for KF2, and at Varennes s/Allier (France) on 3-7 September for KF3 Juniors. |
With 420 drivers entered for only 144 places available (72 per category), it goes without saying that the fights to climb the steps to the final were grimly contested. This is demonstrated by the small gaps recorded during qualifying practice: all categories and events taken into account, an average of 94% of drivers achieved lap times within the same second!
The clearest domination was seen in the “Northern” Region Qualification, in Göteborg. The Swede Joel Johansson (Energy-TM) and the Finn Veli-Pekka Karttunen (Haase-VKR) each won both races of the final phase on Sunday afternoon. In the combined classification of the two KF2 races, Johansson finished ahead of the Dane Dear Schilling (Zanardi-Parilla) and of the Swede Jesper Wernersson (Tony Kart-Vortex), while in KF3 Karttunen was accompanied on the podium by the Belgian Clemente Picariello (CRG-XTR) and by the Finn Joni Wiman (Maranello-XTR).
At Alcaniz, the “Western” Region Qualification saw Britain’s Tom Grice (Gillard-Parilla) prevail in KF2 ahead of his compatriot Oliver Rowland (Tony Kart-Vortex) and of France’s Paul-Loup Chatin (Sodi-Parilla). In KF3, the Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr (FA Kart-Vortex) and the Frenchman Pascal Belmaaziz (Intrepid-TM) each won one race of the final phase, but victory in the general classification went to the Frenchman Brandon Maisano (Intrepid-TM) ahead of the Swiss Michael Heche (Intrepid-TM) and of the Brit Mackenzie Taylor (FA Kart-TM).
On their home ground, Italian drivers dominated all foreign competitors within the framework of the “Central” Region selection, landing almost three quarters of the qualifying places! In the Junior category, they made a clean sweep of the podium, with Ignazio D’Agosto (Tony Kart-Vortex), Matteo Beretta (Tony Kart-Vortex) and Vittorio Ghirelli (Tony Kart-XTR). In KF2, Aniello Smarrazzo (FA Kart-Vortex) and the Pole Karol Basz (Birel-Parilla) finished the event with an equal number of points, but victory went to the Italian thanks to his win in Race 2. The Italian Mirko Luciani (Tony Kart-TM) finished third.