|Determining who will be the finalists of World Cups KZ1 (gearbox karts) and KF3 (Juniors from 13 – 15 years old), the qualifying races which began this Saturday in Sarno have already taught us some interesting lessons. In KZ1, Jérémy Iglésias confirmed his good form whereas Jonathan Thonon, Bas Lammers, Davide Fore and Andreas Fasberg have all been unlucky. In KF3 Nyck De Vries once again created a strong impression in showing himself clearly a class above the rest! |
These major karting competitions contested over just one solitary event inevitably create a mounting pressure as the Final gets ever closer. After qualifying practice on Friday, the competitors (68 in KZ1, 75 in KF3) have in fact been split into 5 groups. Each group then races against all the other groups during the qualifying heats (thereby necessitating 4 races per driver) during which the most important thing is to consistently finish in good enough positions to qualify amongst the 34 finalists, and then also to ensure the best place on the starting grid for the pre-final, which itself then determines the starting grid for the final. It is undoubtedly the time of greatest pressure of the whole weekend since it is only the result of the Final that will determine who is the World Cup winner in KZ1 and KF3.
This Saturday, the competitors accordingly began the numerous qualifying races (10 in each class) which will also continue into Sunday. Since all drivers have not yet competed in the same number of races, it is not yet possible to establish a provisional classification. However some lessons can already be learned...
So, in KZ1 (the principal category of gearbox karting), Jérémy Iglésias (Intrepid-TM) confirmed that his best time in qualifying practice owed nothing to luck. Winner of the 3 qualifying races in which he competed, the Frenchman showed himself at the same time both confident and yet not over-confident. “I am not sure that I will sleep well”, explained the European Vice-Champion. “Everything has gone marvellously well and to win this World Cup seems increasingly possible. But there is still a long way to go and still cause for anxiety because I know that the smallest slip up or the smallest error can undo all the good work and result in enormous disappointment. But so far so good, I am crossing my fingers for more of the same tomorrow”.
If the French knew how to run a faultless race, like his team-member Salvatore Gatto (Intrepid-TM), you could not say the same of his main challengers. Second fastest in qualifying practice Jonathan Thonon (CRG-Maxter) had engine failure and whilst European Champion Bas Lammers (Intrepid-TM) was the winner of 2 of his races, he also experienced a motor failure at the start of another. An excellent 3rd quickest in qualifying, Andreas Fasberg (AM-Maxter) experienced a non-finish and Davide Fore (CRG-Maxter) had also failed to finish a race following a collision. Consequently several drivers will have to try to make up for today’s lost ground with a better showing on Sunday to retrieve any chance of further progress. As for Jaime Alguersuari (Intrepid-TM), the Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver, he twice secured a finish in the top ten in his 2 qualifying races. “All has gone well” explained the Spaniard. “I made progress each time I got in the kart and I am getting near my best. I hope to continue this improvement all the way to the Final!”
Amongst the Juniors of KF3 (13-15 years), the Dutchman Nyck De Vries (Zanardi-Parilla) confirmed his domination. Fastest in qualifying and winner of his first 3 races, the European Champion now dreams more than ever of a World Cup victory. Amongst the other race winners Italian Giuliano Maria Niceta (Tony Kart-Vortex) caught the eye, as did the Russian Serguei Sirotkin (Tony Kart-Vortex) and the Spaniard Gerald Barrabeig (Intrepid-TM), although both having misfortune in one of their races. For them the weekend could have started better... But there is still a long way to go before the Final and, as always in karting, there are still no doubt plenty of twists and turns to come before the final podium is determined.