|Mainly bringing together Latin American Drivers, the CIK-FIA Panamerican Karting Championship is held in turns in various South American countries year after year. After Argentina (Buenos Aires) in 2007 and Uruguay (El Pinar) in 2008, it was the turn of Brazil to host the event. |
The 40 participants, originating from Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, were delighted to discover the modern and brand new Velopark complex located approximately twenty kilometres from Porto Alegre. Velopark comprises two Karting tracks and a track for dragsters. It was on the longer course, the 1,517 m track, that the competitors of the Panamerican Championship expressed themselves, in the presence of Cleyton Pinteiro, recently elected President of the CBA (the Brazilian National Sporting Authority).
Defeated in 2007 and 2008 by their Argentinean neighbours, the Brazilians were determined to take advantage of their “home” edition of the Panamerican Championship to win back the title. At every stage before the decisive final it seemed clear that the Brazilian Pietro Fantin (Kosmic-Parilla) was going to be a prophet in his own country after successively achieving pole-position in timed practice, then landing both qualifying heats and eventually winning the pre-final. However, a mechanical failure was to put paid to his triumphal march on the fourth lap of the final. As a result, two Argentineans contested victory: starting 12th, Carlos Merlo (Tony Kart-Parilla) quickly worked his way to first place and saw his leadership challenged by the 2008 Panamerican Junior Champion, the Argentinean José Olmedo (Tony Kart-Parilla). Merlo got the fastest lap time of the race and managed to win it, while the Brazilian André Nicastro (Birel-Parilla) succeeded in slipping between the two Argentineans in the closing stages of the race to land a fine second place, ahead of José Olmedo. Marcelo Anselmi (Birel-Parilla) and Roberto Curia (Intrepid-Parilla) completed the “Top 5”.
The organising country nonetheless obtained a title thanks to the brilliant victory of Felipe Fragua (Mini-Parilla) in the ICC Sudam-Junior category. Fragua carried out a magnificent overtaking manœuvre in the last corner of the final lap and crossed the finish line ahead of his compatriot Jonathan Louis (Birel-Parilla) by 183 thousandths of a second. The Argentinean Manuel Luque (Mini-Parilla) joined them on the final Junior podium.
The final classifications can be consulted on http://www.cikfia.com/News2009/velopark.htm