|At the end of a totally crazy and action-packed final, the Portuguese David Da Luz landed the CIK-FIA World Cup for KF2 at Alcaniz. Belgium’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Australia’s Mitchell Gilbert accompanied him on quite an unexpected podium, to say the least. For its first major international meeting, the Alcañiz Motorland complex got more than its fair share! The final of the World Cup for KF2, category grouping the young hopefuls of international Karting, indeed proposed an incredible show. |
Author of the fastest qualifying practice time, Brandon Maïsano (LH-Maxter) lost ground after the qualifying heats because of a broken engine. Only 12th on the starting grid of the pre-final, the Frenchman managed to catch up with the whole field to treat himself to pole position for the decisive final. However, Brandon did not take a very good start, which was not the case of the Italians Matteo Vigano (Birel-Parilla) and Felice Tiene (Kosmic-Vortex). These three rapidly found themselves in the top positions and began an unbelievable fight which also enabled Portugal’s David Da Luz (Zanardi-Parilla) to keep in touch and, two laps from the chequered flag, it seemed clear that the podium was going to be contested between these four drivers.
Betrayed by his engine on the penultimate lap, Matteo Vigano was the first to see his illusions vanish. Within a few hundred metres of the finish, Felice Tiene and Brandon Maïsano somewhat crossed swords in one of the countless overtaking manœuvres… Whereas the Frenchman fell back to 6th place at the end, it was the Portuguese David Da Luz who for the first time grabbed the lead… before crossing the finish line as the winner! “I can’t believe what’s happening to me”, the small 16 years old Portuguese confessed, flabbergasted. “I really had to fight to follow the other three and was hoping at the very most to finish on the podium. Then Matteo retired and I saw Brandon and Felice collide… In just over a lap I went from 4th to 1st place. It is unbelievable!”
Felice Tiene actually crossed the line in second position but was imposed a 3-second penalty for getting out of his lane at the start. And it is Stoffel Vandoorne (CRG-Maxter), only 7th on the first lap, who inherited the silver medal. “What an incredible final lap”, the 17 years old Belgian explained. “Being only 15th on the starting grid, I had managed to catch up nicely. But although I was as fast as the leaders I could not fill the gap. I saw that things were getting heated at the front and thought I might take advantage of it. But I would never have dared to believe that I was going to cross the line in 3rd position and then get the runner-up spot after Tiene’s penalty! It is only my third Karting season and I had not come here before this weekend. I don’t think I quite yet realise what has just happened to me…”
The driver on the third step of the podium seemed quite as surprised. 15 years old Mitchell Gilbert, who holds an Australian passport and has spent all his youth in Malaysia, drove the race of his life to climb on the podium. “After having started my career in Malaysia, I came to Europe for the first time last year”, he remembers. “There is a huge difference in the driving level and my first year was catastrophic… At the beginning of the year, I went to live in Italy so as to be able to practise more and improve. Throughout the year I considerably progressed and hoped to be able to fight for podiums next year. I was with it during all the weekend and a top 10 finish would have been a good result, so I can’t get over managing to reach the podium!”
The Swede Viktor Öberg (Gillard-Parilla) finished at the foot of the podium ahead of the unfortunate Felice Tiene and Brandon Maïsano. The top 10 was completed by the Dane Jacob Nortoft (FA Kart-Vortex), the British European champion Jordan Chamberlain (Tony Kart-TM), the Italian Mirko Luciani (Tony Kart-TM) and the Pole Karol Basz (RK-Parilla).
There is still one very prestigious event left on this year’s CIK-FIA calendar. In three weeks, from 8 to 11 October, the best drivers on the planet are going to fight it out on the Macao circuit in the World Championship for Super-KF, the top category of international Karting. It is the main meeting of the whole season, which should hopefully also offer a show of which Karting has the secret.