|The last round of the European Championship for KF1 went down to the wire. It was undecided for a long period but at the end of a long suspense, Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex) gained a fourth consecutive crown whereas Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex) was the clear winner of the KF2 European championship final. |
On the front row of the grid for Sunday's first race, Arnaud Kozlinski (CRG-Maxter) confirmed his good form by dominating Race 1 and then taking a similar position in Race 2. Virtually Champion of Europe, the Frenchman saw his dreams shattered when his engine expired. For the CRG driver it was inevitably heartbreaking. In contrast, Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex), unable to take victory this weekend, saw the road open up to a 4th consecutive title. The Italian celebrated in taking the 3rd step of the podium in Race 2.
The last of the title contenders, Gary Catt (Tony Kart-Vortex) could have taken the crown if a problem on the third lap of Race 2 had not relegated him several places. Disappointed, the British driver had to be satisfied with a lesser championship podium place.
If the title fight had gained all the attention, other drivers benefitted from the situation. Jean Philippe Guignet (CRG-Maxter) first of all gained an excellent consolation for CRG by winning Race 2 from the 23rd starting place. The Frenchman took control of the situation to the great displeasure of David Foré (Maranello-Maxter), already second in Race 1. The Maranello driver thus went back to 4th place in the championship.
However the revelation of the day was Luca Giacomolo (Zanardi-Parilla). The only driver to race on Dunlop tyres (all the others being on Bridgestones), the Italian made the podium of Race 1.
KF2 - Camponeschi from beginning to end
In contrast to the KF1 class, the KF2 European Championship (karting's second division) final was raced on only one event. With everything resting on the one race, the Final, at the end of which a European crown is awarded, this can have a huge importance in the career of a young driver. Having set the fastest times in qualifying and winner of the pre final, Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex) knew that all his good work would count for nothing if he did not win the Final. But the Italian did not flinch. Benefitting from his pole position, Camponeschi had established an early advantage while his opponents fought fiercely. It would take a slip to lose the crown now and let in British driver Robert Foster-Jones (FA Kart-Vortex) and the Belgian Robin Frijns (Birel-TM), the only driver in the top 6 not having a Vortex engine. With podium aspirations the Finn Petri Suvanto (Tony Kart-Vortex) and the British drivers Oliver Rowland and Christopher J. Brown (both with Tony Kart-Vortex) supplemented the Italian manufacturer's success. The only Portuguese driver to reach the Final, Jose Cautela (CRG-Maxter) was classified in 16th place.
Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex), KF1 European Champion:
“It is incredible to be champion of Europe for a 4th consecutive time. I had a real battle with myself all weekend. When I saw Arnaud Kozlinski stopped on the side and that my team mate Gary Catt was not right behind me, I knew that I was virtually champion. I remained calm to secure one of my hardest crowns. In Angerville, at the time of the first round, a crash ruined my weekend. This time it was my turn to benefit when I had little chance.”
Arnaud Kozlinski (CRG-Maxter), 2nd in the KF1 European Championship:
“It is terrible to lose a title like that, so close to the goal... I am incredibly disappointed. My only consolation is that the performance is there and that we can have real ambitions for the World Championship which will be held from 18th to 21st September in Italy in Muro Leccese. I hope that we will be able to take our revenge.”
Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex), KF2 European Champion:
“This weekend went just like a dream. In the practice sessions I was fastest and all went well right to the end of the Final. To be champion of Europe was a dream. My next is to win the KF2 World Cup in a month and a half in Muro Leccese!”