|The European Championships in the KZ1 and KZ2 classes raced this weekend on the Raceland Prokart Circuit at Wackersdorf in Germany produced two fine Champions. In winning the Final the Dutchman Bas Lammers claimed victory in the principle class of gearbox karts (KZ1) whilst the Italian Angelo Lombardo dominated the second division (KZ2). With the European KZ1 Championship contested over only one weekend (and therefore with only one decisive final) the suspense was maintained at an intense level this Sunday afternoon. All of the weekends work could bear fruit or be destroyed in just one race of 25 laps over 30 kms. |
Leading at the end of the qualifying races, Bas Lammers (Intrepid-TM) had dropped down to 5th place by the pre-final, primarily because of a tyre problem. But the 23 year old Dutchman drove a perfect race in the final. Already 3rd at the first turn, he successfully passed the best in the shape of Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex) and his team member Jeremy Iglesias (Intrepid-TM) to collect his second European Title following that in Formula A (100cc direct drive) in 2003.
“Considering what happened in the pre-final I didn’t think I could lift the title” he acknowledged all smiles afterwards. “But I got a good start in the final and I was immediately into my rhythm by the time I took 2nd place. When I saw Jeremy make a very small error which enabled me to renew my challenge, I said to myself I must give it my all. I found an opening 5 laps from the end. But the last 3 laps have been the longest of my career!”
With the French Spaniard Jeremy Iglesias coming second, the Intrepid factory achieved a fantastic double, combined with the best time being set in qualifying practice by Norman Nato. The revelation of the competition, the 16 year old Frenchman finished the final in 8th place.
Behind the two Intrepid drivers, the podium was completed by Jonathan Thonon (CRG-Maxter). The European Champion and twice World Cup Winner refused to be downcast. “We missed just a little something to be able to achieve victory”, he suggested. “But I am very happy to be on the podium. It proves that we are always in contention and the next World Cup cannot come soon enough.”
Despite all his misfortunes the Italian Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex) whilst failing to make the podium finished 4th in front of his compatriot Davide Fore (CRG-Maxter), Dutchman Thomas Knopper (PCR-TM), the always green Alessandro Piccini (Intrepid-TM), Norman Nato (Intrepid-TM), the Dutchman Arjan Kievitsbosch (CRG-TM) and the Belgian Rick Dreezen (CRG-Maxter), who completed the top 10.
KZ2: Lombardo the Champion
Unlike the KZ1 class, the European Championship in KZ2 (the second division of gearbox karting) was contested over two events. After the opening event at Muro Leccese in Italy, it was here in Germany that the title was determined. Driving a cautious race the Czech Patrik Hajek (Tony Kart-Vortex), double winner in Italy, lost all hope late in race one when he was struck by British driver Jack Hawksworth (Energy-TM) when he occupied 3rd place.
These two contenders for the title being eliminated, it was the third man the Italian Angelo Lombardo (Tony Kart-Vortex) who benefited. Starting from pole position after dominated the qualifying heats the 19 year old Sicilian was initially headed by Jack Hawksworth. But when he took command of the situation midway that was the signal to claim Race 1 in front of his compatriot Devid De Luchi (Intrepid-TM) and the Dutchman Jorrit Pex who had benefitted from the clash between Hawksworth and Hajek.
Before Race 2 Angelo Lombardo knew that he had every chance of taking the title in the event of another victory. Resisting the pressure perfectly the Italian drove a masterful race. Jorrit Pex and Devid De Luchi swapping places to once more join him on the podium.
“I am really very happy”, the young Sicilian said timidly. “I lost so many points in Italy, in particular following mechanical problems, and I didn’t think I would be able to win the title here. From now on I shall be thinking of the KZ1 World Cup which I will contest next September at Sarno in Italy when I shall face all the top drivers”.
With the Championship Angelo Lombardo finally finished in front of the unhappy Patrik Hajek, the Italian Ricardo Piccoli (CKR-TM), Devid De Luchi and the two Dutch Pex brothers with Jorrit the junior in front of the older Yard (both on CRG-TM).