|Already world champion after his 2007 triumph, Marco Ardigo retained his title on the international La Conca circuit at Muro Leccese. The Tony Kart factory spearhead headed home the young Czech hope, Libor Toman (Birel-Parilla), just 17 years old, and team mate Gary Catt (Tony Kart-Vortex). Those who had anticipated a fine spectacle and lots of suspense during the 45th staging of the World Karting Championship were proved right. As expected, the competition was wide open with lots of twists and turns to the plot. At the end of the day however, it was the reigning champion Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex) who once again climbed on to the top step of the podium.|
After having won his 4th consecutive European Championship, the 25 year old Italian now joins the elite group of drivers to have won at least two world titles. ‘However it was not an easy weekend’, explained Marco. ‘After my pole position secured on Friday, I encountered problems during my qualifying heats and I was only 5th on the grid for the pre-fi nal. I climbed to 2nd place, but then preferred to be 3rd to clinch an inside start for the Final. I got a good start and found myself in a battle with Kozlinski, then with Gary (Catt) my team mate. But when he began to have problems with his tyres, I took command and I went clear of the pack. And here I am, the World Champion for the second time!’.
The opponents of the speedy Italian are therefore left to harbour hopes of the crown next year. Winner of the pre-fi nal, Arnaud Kozlinski (CRG-Maxter) went out on the second lap (engine failure) just when he had taken control. Never really in contention since the beginning of the weekend, Sauro Cesetti (Birel-TM) and Jonathan Thonon (CRG-Maxter) lost out in turn as did the young Dutchman Jack Te Braak (Zanardi-Maxter) who nevertheless has had a very good season.
Asserting himself at the beginning of the race as the principal rival of Marco Ardigo, his British team mate Gary Catt (Tony Kart-Vortex) took the early initiative before suffering increasingly from excessive
So much so that he was punished not only by his team leader, but also by young Libor Toman (Birel Parilla). At 17 years of age, the Czech driver turned in an incredible performance. Classified
only 26th after timed practice, he pulled out all the stops to qualify 9th for the Final. Then passing one by one, all those in front of him, Libor grabbed 2nd place and set off in pursuit of Ardigo. Eventually finishing less than one second behind the winner, the young Czech was as happy as if he had taken the top prize. ‘To finish in second place in my first world championship in KF1 I would not have dared hope for’, he suggested, a broad smile on his face. ‘This race was incredible! I felt that I drove well and that I could get up to second place. I had Marco in front of me but I could not quite close the gap. But so what! It was a fantastic weekend! Now I hope to return next year and really impose myself’.
Finally finishing third, one place lower than last year, Gary Catt (Tony Kart Vortex) once again finished in front of the Dane Nicolaj Bollingtoft (Kosmic Vortex). Leader at the end of the qualifying races, Nikolaj was made to pay dearly for a bad start in the pre-final and only finished in 8th place. In the Final, the Dane occupied only 10th place at the end of the first lap. So his drive up to 4th place was therefore a good performance.
Behind them, once young British driver, Jason Parrott (Birel Parilla) had lost sight of his goal, there was a particularly hot scrap between David Fore (Maranello-Maxter) and Manuel Renaudie (Gillard-Parilla) for 5th place. Renaudie’s team mate Matt Truelove (Gillard-Parilla) took a fine 7th place in front of his compatriot Will Stevens (Tony Kart-Vortex) who was probably having his last kart race before embarking on a car racing career. Frenchman Anthony Abasse (Sodi-Parilla) and Dutchman Bas Lammers (Top Kart-TM) completed the top ten.
The World Cup for the Teams was, as in 2007, awarded to the Tony Kart Team thanks to the victory of Marco Ardigo and the 3rd place of Gary Catt.