|The “Pista Salentina” of Ugento, in the south of Italy, had the privilege of organising a historic event of the CIK-FIA Championships: it saw the launching of the new generation of “long life” 125cc engines of the KF1 category. While running with limited engine revs in order to ensure greater reliability, the new 125cc engine types proved quicker than their 100cc predecessors of the former Formula A. |
There was another good surprise at this first event of the European Championship: three engines of different makes shared the podiums in Races 1 and 2. The Italian Marco Ardigo landed both finals with his Vortex engine, ahead of the PCR engine of the Frenchman Armand Convers who came twice second, and the Parilla engines of Denmark’s Christensen (third in Race 1) and Finland’s Matias Laine (third in Race 2). Ardigo could not have started his 2007 campaign better and, right away, he made no secret about his intention of winning a hat trick of European crowns after his consecutive titles taken in 2005 and 2006! The Italian Davide Fore, new leader of the Maranello team after some 15 seasons of faithfulness to Tony-Kart, finished fourth in Race 1 before he had to retire early in Race 2, on the first lap, as he was betrayed by his chain further to a collision with his former team-mate Gary Catt.
The KZ1 and KZ2 categories of 125cc gearbox karts completed the full programme of this first European round. In KZ1, the Italian Alessandro Manetti won both races of the day ahead of the Belgian Jonathan Thonon in Race 1 and of the Franco-Spanish driver Jérémy Iglésias in Race 2.
In KZ2, the duo of the Energy team composed of Dany Bleek and Tony Lavanant carried the first final. And the same pair, Bleek and Lavanant, crossed the finishing line ahead of everyone else in Race 2 but eventually got a 10-second penalty for a jumped start; this enabled the Dutchman Thomas Knopper, the American Gary Carlton and the Lithuanian Kazimieras Vasiliauskas to climb on the podium.
This first event of the European Championship was the occasion to implement the new race neutralisation rule which permits to avoid the systematic use of the red flag in the event of an incident or accident. There were three neutralisations during the weekend in Ugento, and this new procedure, characterised by the continuation of the race at reduced speed under the yellow flags with the presentation of «Slow» boards during the intervention of marshals, was fully satisfactory.
Provisional classifications of the European Championship after the first round in Ugento (I):
KF1: 1. Marco Ardigo (I) 50 points; 2. Armand Convers (F) 40; 3. Michael Christensen (DK) 29; 4. Matias Laine (FIN) 27; 5. Jason Parrott (GB) 17; 6. Anthony Abbasse (F) 16; 7. Kazeem Manzur (I) 15; 8. James Calado (GB) 15; 9. Davide Fore (I) 13; 10. Nicola Nole (I) 12; 11. Gary Catt (GB) 10; 12. Simo Puhakka (FIN) 10; 13. Arnaud Kozlinski (F) 6; 14. Nikolaj Bollingtoft (DK) 6; 15. Francesco Antonucci (I) 5; 16. Luca Giacomello (I) & Glenn Keyaert (B) 3; 18. Jamie Croxford (GB) 2; 19. Nathanaël Berthon (F) 1.
Winners/Victoires : Ardigo (2)
KZ1: 1. Alessandro Manetti (I) 50 points; 2. Jonathan Thonon (B) & Jérémy Iglésias (E) 36; 4. Roberto Toninelli (I) 22; 5. Thomas Mich (F) 21; 6. Armando Parente (P) 20; 7. Francesco Laudato (I) 19; 8. Alessandro Giulietti (I) 17; 9. Verdi Geurts (NL) 13; 10. Manuel Cozzaglio (I) 10; 11. Ken Allemann (CH) 10; 12. Ernst Behrens (D) 6; 13. Marino Spinozzi (I) 5; 14. Marcel Jeleniowski (D) 4; 15. Alessandro Piccini (I) & Thomas Letailleur (F) 3; 17. Giuseppe Annunziata (I) 3; 18. Pierre Ragues (F) 2.
Winners/Victoires : Manetti (2)
KZ2: 1. Thomas Knopper (NL) 38 points; 2. Danny Bleek (NL) 32; 3. Gary Carlton (USA) 28; 4. Kazimieras Vasiliauskas (LT) 27; 5. Tony Lavanant (F) 26; 6. Daniele Quadrana (I) 20; 7. Michele Santolini (I) 17; 8. Rick Dreezen (B) 16; 9. Kevin Leitjens (NL) 15; 10. Joffrey Demanse (F) 14; 11. Gianluca Cane (I) 14; 12. Maikel Van Grunsven (NL) 13; 13. Devid De Luchi (I) 5; 14. Mathias Gallepe (F) 4; 15. Menno Meijers (NL) & Daniele Delli Compagni (I) 3; 17. Paul Louveau (F) & Yuri Lucati (I) 2; 19. Jordy Vorrath (CDN) 1.
Winners/Victoires : Bleek (1), Knopper (1)