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12/09/10 - 13:28

Albon untouchable?

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The Briton Alexander Albon (Intrepid / TM) dominates the World Cup KF3 in Braga. Winning all his heats, the European Champion is also fastest and it is unclear at the moment who could challenge him. Max Verstappen (CRG / Maxter) is probably the sharpest of his opponents, but he did not have the means to counter the leader. Pierre Gasly (Sodi / Parilla) was expected to be 3rd after the heats, but crashed with Esteban Ocon on the last lap and ended up 7th.


The Norwegian Dennis Olsen (Energy / TM) is in third, richly deserved after his good and consistent results. He leads Peter Hoevenaars (Intrepid / TM), the amazing Santiago Urrutia (Intrepid / TM) and Jake Dennis (Top Kart / Parilla) should have some influence in the final.


In 11th, Niklas Tiihonen (Birel / Parilla) has shown good performance, Leo Roussel (Sodi / Parilla) in 12th as been even better with two 2nd places but also a retirement. The French driver, however, seems to have taken a good step in the development of his performance. Christian Sorensen (Birel / BMB) won a heat and then fell down the order to 15th before Hubert Anthoine (Tony Kart / Vortex) who was working to increase the potential of his machine. Charles Leclerc (Sodi / Parilla) was 18th, an excellent result for the French brand as he won the last race.


Remy Deguffroy (Tony Kart / Vortex) won his ticket to the finals with 20th place while promising more, Benjamin Gerard is in 25th place with his new Intrepid / TM and Esteban Ocon (Exprit / Vortex) reached 30th thanks to the two races on Sunday morning (3rd and 6th).


Three French drivers started the long list of non-qualifiers: Erwan Julé (Intrepid / TM) because of a wiring failure dropping him from 6th to 34th place in round 1. Florian Latorre (DR / Parilla) and Thomas Ferrando (Maranello / TM) were in 35th and 36th, the latter having suffered a major electrical problem ...

 

 

Info Kartcom with Kartlink / © Photo KSP


The serious business got underway this Saturday for kartings World Cups for categories KZ1 (gearbox karts) and KF3 (Junior direct drive karts), all beneath the hot sunshine at Braga, Portugal. Holland’s double European Champion Bas Lammers (Intrepid-TM) was not as quick in qualifying practice as his young compatriot Jorrit Pex (CRG-Maxter) nor the 2nd quickest driver, Frenchman Manuel Renaudie (PCR-TM). But Bas rekindled all his title ambitions by winning the first two heats and finishing 2nd in the  third and last. On pole position for the Pre-final, he has never been better placed to clinch his first World Title.

 

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The Dutch supporters had double cause for celebration : in addition to Lammers, Jorrit Pex will start the Pre-Final on the front row, thereby confirming his form as the fastest driver in qualifying practice. But both of them will have to be wary of the likely resurgence of Manuel Renaudie (PCR-TM). Second quickest in qualifying practice, the Frenchman was then let down by a mechanical failure early in his first heat. However, his speed was subequently confirmed with a 2nd place and then a victory, although he will have to be satisfied with 8th place on the starting grid for Sunday’s Pre-Final. Consequently it is Jérémy Iglésias (Intrepid-TM) who inherited 3rd place on the grid and that enables him to keep alive his dream of a first major title after having finished 2nd last year and having twice been runner-up in a European Championship. In 4th place, British driver Jack Hawksworth (Maddox-Parilla) qualified ahead of Italian Antonio Piccioni (Parolin-TM), the amazing Dutchman Dylan Davies (PCR-TM), fellow Brit Ben Hanley (Maranello-Maranello), the unlucky Manuel Renaudie, Finnish driver Oskari Kurki-Suonio (on an original Ninar chassis) and the French Anthony Abbasse (Sodi-Maxter). Amongst the unlucky drivers, Yannick De Brabander (Intrepid-TM) stood out. The Belgian 4th in qualifying practice was unable to maintain this form and was not even able to finish his last race, dropping down to 13th place.

In addition to the KZ1 class, Braga is also hosting the KF3 World Cup for Junior drivers between 13 and 15 years old. The qualifying heats are not yet completed (3 remain to be raced on Sunday morning), but 2 drivers have already given notice of their ambitions :  Alexander Albon (Intrepid-TM) and Max Verstappen (CRG-Maxter). Starting from pole position, the British driver won the 3 qualifying heats in which he raced, just like his Dutch rival, who was second in qualifying practice. Tomorrow, they will battle for pole position in the Pre-Final during their last qualifying heat which will see them coming head-to-head for the first time. But plenty of other drivers have high hopes of benefiting from their rivalry, with the likes of Frenchman Pierre Gasly (Sodi-Parilla), British driver Jake Dennis (Top Kart-Parilla), the Dane Dennis Olsen (Energy-TM), Dutchman Peter Hoevenaars (Intrepid-TM) or even of the Urugayan Santiago Urrutia (Intrepid/TM), surprisingly just as impressive during the qualifying practice as well as the qualifying heats.

On Sunday, after the last of the KF3 qualifying heats, the finalists will contest a Pre-Final and then the decisive Final.  It is only at the end of this race that the two World Cup Winners will be known.

 

 

Info CIK / © Photo KSP


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Alexander Albon (Intrepid / TM) and Max Verstappen (CRG / Maxter) were the two pilots of the day in KF3 with 3 wins each in the 3 heats completed. Co-leaders of the class before the final rounds on Sunday morning, they have not yet competed together on the track ... Tomorrow, around 10:20 (local time) the first direct confrontation will take place in the A/B heat


The best drivers of the day were Dennis Olsen (Energy / TM), Santiago Urrutia (Intrepid / TM), a surprising Uruguayan unaccustomed to European races, Jake Dennis (Top Kart / Parilla), Pierre Gasly (Sodi / Parilla) and Peter Hoevenaars (Intrepid / TM). Julé Erwan (Intrepid / TM) is in a promising position, Leo Roussel (Sodi / Parilla) was penalized by a collision causing his retirement, but had finished in a great second place in the previous race. Anthoine Hubert was not able to do better than to aim for the top 10 in each heat and Esteban Ocon (Exprit / Vortex) was not very successful on Saturday.

 

 

Info Kartcom with Kartlink / © Photo KSP


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The three qualifying heats have been completed in KZ1 at Braga and the Dutchman Bas Lammers (Intrepid / TM), is on pole with his two victories. Yet his dominance was not overwhelming, and other drivers had the opportunity to show their speed. Foremost among these, the French driver Manu Renaudie (PCR / TM), 8th in the rankings, can be considered the most powerful of the day. Stopped by engine failure in heat one, while he was ahead, Manu ran an impressive final round to an easy victory, 4'' from Lammers, while setting the fastest time by 3 / 10th ...


Jorrit Pex (CRG / Maxter) is in a fine second position, steady in 3rd or 4th place, Jeremy Iglesias (Intrepid / TM) after a slower final heat with worn tires, ranked third, but doesn't seem as fast as his teammate. Jack Hawksworth (Maddox / Parilla) is in 4th, Antonio Piccioni (Parolin / TM) 5th and Dylan Davies (PCR / TM) 6th so we are witnessing the arrival of new faces at the top of the rankings, to which can be added the Finn Oskari (Ninar / MT), unknown in international races, who finished 3rd in the last race.


There have been more modest results for the French drivers Anthony Abbasse (Sodi / Maxter) 10th and Thomas Mich (Birel / TM) 11th, and the Belgian Yannick De Brabander (Intrepid / TM) 13th. The drivers expect the final stages to be very open and tire management will be very important.



Info Kartcom with Kartlink / © Photo KSP


As usual, Kartcom closely follows the progress of the qualifying heats of the major competitions and displays the provisional classification throughout the World Cup at Braga. Updated after each race, it is the best way to find out in in real time the hierarchy in KF3 and KZ1.

 

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Info Kartcom


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