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The sky was overcast during the night and it was cloudy at Suzuka on Sunday morning for the second day of the KF1 World Championship 2012. Most forecasts available on the internet say there is almost a 40% chance of rain, with showers possible in the middle of the day. In the past, Japanese races have already seen heavy rainfall at this time of year, sometimes enough to stop races. 


The promise of rain could change things, as the Japanese drivers could be even more comfortable as they know the trthanks the wet better than the Europeans. However, we know the Belgian and British drivers are formidable in these conditions. There is suspense at Suzuka, with or without an umbrella.



Info Kartcom with Kartlink / image

By winning the first two Races of the World KF1 Championship on Saturday at the Suzuka circuit, the Italian Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex) has already clearly stated his ambitions for the world title. Twice second, the Japanese driver Daiki Sasaki (Kosmic-Vortex) thrilled his local supporters with his fine performances while the Polish driver Karol Basz (Birel-BMB) and the Italian Felice Tiene (CRG-BMB) also stepped onto the podium.


This Saturday the World KF1 Championship got off to a great start in Japan, the land of the rising sun. Although that sun gradually gave way to clouds, the Suzuka track remained dry for this first day of racing.


Already fastest in Friday’s non-qualifying practice, Daiki Sasaki (Kosmic-Vortex) straight away confirmed that he was a force to be reckoned with by his fastest lap in qualifying in front of the Spanish driver Pedro Hiltbrand (FA Kart-Vortex), Poland’s Karol Basz (Birel-BMB), the Italian Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex) and Max Verstappen (Intrepid-TM) from the Netherlands.


The three qualifying heats (two per driver) saw changes on the leader board, particularly for Daiki Sasaki and Max Verstappen, both involved in a collision, and also Pedro Hiltbrand, who suffered mechanical failure. So it was Flavio Camponeschi who took pole position for Race 1 in front of the British driver Tom Joyner (LH-BMB), Karol Basz and the Italians Felice Tiene and Davide Foré (both CRG-BMB).



Race 1: Camponeschi wins, Sasaki second


Flavio Camponeschi hardly gave a moment’s suspense in the first of the weekend’s four Races. Although Tom Joyner made the best start, the Italian attacked on the first lap to recover the lead and then never relinquished it. Behind him, several drivers contested second place, but it was Daiki Sasaki who took it. With the fastest lap and a climb through the field from 12th place on the grid, the Japanese driver for the Kosmic team represented his country with flying colours, superbly overtaking Karol Basz at the end of the race.


For the bottom step of the podium, Felice Tiene and Davide Foré crossed the finishing line side by side, but it was the younger of the two who took the points, by 21 thousandths of a second. Their team mate Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG-BMB) finished sixth in front of Tom Joyner (LH-BMB), slowly entering the ranks, the Indonesian Philo Paz Patric Armand (Kosmic-Vortex) and the French drivers Arnaud Kozlinski and Anthoine Hubert (FK-TM).



Race 2: Camponeschi wins again


The scenario for the second Race of the day was practically identical to the first, at least for the winner. Behind Daiki Sasaki for a brief time, Flavio Camponeschi very quickly took the lead and soared to his second consecutive victory. But behind the leader there was no lack of excitement. A collision on the first bend in fact involved a good dozen drivers including former World Champion Arnaud Kozlinski (PCR-TM), Davide Foré, Anthoine Hubert, Philo Paz Patric Armand, the Czech Tereza Gromanova (Kosmic-Vortex) and the Belgian Yannick de Brabander (FK-TM).


Once he had yielded to the attack by Flavio Camponeschi, Daiki Sasaki made a minor error and fell back to 7th position, but he is not the type to succumb easily. With a number of brilliant overtaking manoeuvres, he succeeded once again in taking the points for second place. For the bottom step on the podium, Felice Tiene withheld the attack by the Dutch driver Max Verstappen, only 31st after qualifying and 13th in the first race (his grid position for the second race).


After crossing swords with Karol Basz, who lost a great deal of time in the process, Jordon Lennox Lamb improved on his classification in the first race to complete the top 5. He led the Japanese drivers Kenta Yamashita (CRG-BMB), Takashi Kasai (Tony Kart-Vortex), the Spaniard Pedro Hiltbrand (FA Kart/Vortex) and two more Japanese, Hiroshi Umegaki (Birel-BMB) and Takeharu Nakamori (DR-BMB). With five of their compatriots in the first ten (however this classification had not yet been made official on Saturday evening, as several on-track moves were still under investigation), the Japanese spectators have every reason to celebrate, and to hope that one of them ends up a winner on Sunday, when the race programme will be the same: qualifying practice, three qualifying heats and two Races in the afternoon.


Asia-Pacific KF2 Championship: Rossel and Ippolito in the lead


Organised in parallel with the World KF1 Championship, the Asia-Pacific KF2 Championship is currently dominated by… Europeans! The Danish driver Kevin Rossel (Birel-BMB) was the fastest in practice before winning the first qualifying heat. Second heat went to the Italian Paolo Ippolito (Kosmic-Vortex) while the Argentine driver Federico Panetta (Tony Kart-Vortex) finished second twice. On Sunday a last qualifying heat and a Prefinal will determine the grid for the Final, the only race to decide the title.



Info CIK / © Photos KSP 

While the sky was overcast, without being threatening, the second race in KF1 at Suzuka started with a clash which saw the three Formula K drivers stacked on top of each other. De Brabander retired and Kozlinski was also affected, Hubert, Blom and Gromanova restarted but very behind. Meanwhile, Daiki Sasaki (Kosmic / Vortex) took the lead, but Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart / Vortex) overtook on lap 3. Felice Tiene (CRG / BMB) was fourth, ahead of Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG / BMB), Karol Basz (Birel / BMB) and Pedro Hiltbrand (FA Kart / Vortex).

Once passed by Camponeschi, Sasaki dropped to 7th while trying to avoid touching at a corner. The Italian, who had already won a race, took off another victory by increasing his lead steadily without seeming to try to hard. Lennox and Basz, then fighting for 3rd place, touched and lost places, especially the Birel driver.




Meanwhile, Max Verstappen (Intrepid / TM) continued a recovery that would eventually lead to fourth. It must be said that Sasaki never admitted defeat and was able to recover from seventh to second place, overtaking Verstappen and Tiene. Another contact heldwells one well placed drivers: Hiltbrand ran over Joyner and they both lost their podium chances. Behind Lennox-Lamb, in fifth, two Japanese drivers did a good job: Kenta Yamashita (CRG / BMB) ran a beautiful race and Takashi Kazai in sixth position (Tony Kart / Vortex) started last and took 8th place by setting the fastest race lap.

The podium rewarded the winner of the day, Flavio Camponeschi, the leader of the standings for the World Championship, along with the best of the Japanese, Daiki Sasaki then Felice Tiene who was a little disappointed not to be more able to fight for victory. Verstappen made a comeback in fourth position ahead of Lennox-Lamb.




Info Kartcom with Kartlink / © Photos KSP

The sky was slightly cloudy, but it's was still over 20 ° C at Suzuka for the start of the race, the first in the KF1 World Championship 2012. The unfortunate Kazuya Ishii (Birel / BMB) who started in 10th position, was unable to complete the formation lap. Tom Joyner (LH / BMB) made the best start, but Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart / Vortex) recovered the lead of the race before the end of the first lap. Davide Fore (CRG / BMB) was very determined, and also attacked Joyner for 3rd. Felice Tiene (CRG / BMB) was fourth, but Karol Basz (Birel / BMB) was held up a little after he launched an attack on Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG / BMB), in 5th.




Tiene passed Joyner, and stole Fore's second place. Max Verstappen (Intrepid / TM), starting from the penultimate row, was in around the 25th place on the 3rd lap. Daiki Sasaki (Kosmic / Vortex) was strong from his 12th place on the grid, with Basz, and these were the two drivers to watch. They also engaged in a great duel at the end of the race. Camponeschi was unbeatably in the lead, Fore stabilized in fifth position, just behind Tiene and in front of Lennox-Lamb. In seventh, Joyner was followed by Armand Philo (Tony Kart / Vortex) who passed Kozlinski (PCR / TM) in ninth and Anthoine Hubert (Formula K / TM) in 10th.

Among the fine recoveries, Tereza Gromanova (Kosmic / Vortex) often loses some time early in the race but ended on a good pace that allowed her to beat Verstappen and De Brabander. Before Camponeschi's victory, the final battle was between Basz and Sasaki, and the Pole's braking was impressive at the end. Tiene finished 4th, Fore 5th, Lennox-Lamb sixth, Joyner 7th, Armand 8th, Hubert 9th and Kozlinski 10th.




Info Kartcom with Kartlink / © Photos KSP


Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart / Vortex), thanks to two wins in the heats, will start from pole in Race 1 on Saturday afternoon at Suzuka. There will be a formidable British driver with him - Tom Joyner (LH / BMB). On the second row, two ambitious drivers, Karol Basz (Birel / BMB) and Felice Tiene (CRG / BMB), followed by World Champions Davide Fore (CRG / BMB) and Kozlinski (PCR / TM). Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG / BMB) and Anthoine Hubert (Formula K / TM) will be on fourth row, ahead of Tereza Gromanova (Kosmic / Vortex) and Kazuya Ishii (Birel / BMB), then Yannick De Brabander (Formula K / TM) 11th and the two fastest in qualifying and the heats but unfortunate, Daiki Sasaki (Kosmic / Vortex) and Pedro Hiltbrand (FA Kart / Vortex).

Max Verstappen (Intrepid / TM) qualified by winning the repechage without any problems, with 7 participants, during which Takashi Kasai (Tony Kart / Vortex) and Hiroyuki Inoue (Tony Kart / Vortex) engaged in a long duel. John Filippi (Tony Kart / Vortex) finished sixth, but was excluded from the race for being underweight so will not be in the final.



Info Kartcom with Kartlink / © Photo KSP 

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