|In 2006, Alessandro Manetti missed out on the championship title by just one point, despite having raced to a brilliant victory in the final. This year the Intrepid driver and his team made no mistake and took the European KZ1 championship title crown he was so coveting.|
Once more Intrepid shone on the international stage. After winning the KF1 World Cup, the Italian works once again made a big impression last June 25 as its technology dominated in the top 125cc/gearbox category. After a masterly performance in the first two races of the championships in Ugento, Alessandro Manetti arrived in France, on the Varennes sur Allier circuit, focussed and motivated to take full advantage of the impressive potential of his kart.
Manetti was soon up there with the leaders in the first part of the race. After clocking the second fastest time in qualifying, he won one of the heats and was in pole position for the first final race. “The fact that I was going so well made me very upbeat for the rest of the event”, the Italian driver said. “I was a bit disappointed to miss out on pole position by just 1/1000 of a second during the time trials, but during the heats we were able to show that we were on the winning track. During the warm up laps on the Sunday morning I was lapping very fast. But during Race 1 the engine, which had been behaving perfectly until then, suddenly lost power and it was all I could do to keep up with the leaders. So I had to make do with third place on the podium and had to wait until Race 2 before making sure of my championship crown. I’m very pleased to see that all the development work on the equipment has paid dividends and that we found the best set up”.
European championship title for Intrepid!
“It’s just reward for all the hard work put in by all members of the team”, continued Mirko Sguerzoni, head of the Intrepid works. “We are constantly working to improve the competitiveness of our chassis and of all our products. This new international honour is further proof of our karting savvy”.
Before falling foul of some cruel luck, Roberto Toninelli’s team-mate Manetti was well on the way to adding to Intrepid’s haul for the day. “Two weeks after winning both finals of the Italien Open Masters in Lonato, I knew I had a good chance of doing something special at Varennes, especially in Race 2”, commented Roberto. “I got off to a great start from 4th on the grid and I managed to finish the first lap in the lead. A little bit later I went neck-and neck into a bend with another kart, but as we broke another kart behind us smashed right into us, forcing me to retire from the race. I was choked, because the way I was going I thought I was in with a great chance of victory. What’s more, it would have put me on the podium for the championship. But still, Intrepid has achieved its main aim of taking the European title, and that’s the big thing we can take from this weekend”.
The European KZ1 title brings to a close a first half of the season in which Intrepid has been much in view in numerous countries and in different race categories. Frenchmen Brandon Maïsano and Paul Fourquemin, racing for Intrepid France, both won in KF3, and Briton Scott Jenkins, the 2006 vice champion of Europe and winner of the Monaco Kart Cup in the Junior class racing an Intrepid, has already won several KF2 races. In his first year in KF1, Mike Courquin has also managed to be on the top rung of the podium in what is a very difficult race category. A fine clutch of results for a make which has made spectacular progress over recent years. And it looks as though the victories are set to keep coming.