Under the overwhelming Spanish heat at Alcaniz, it was paradoxically two drivers from Northern Europe, the English driver Lando Norris and the Danish Nicklas Nielsen, who eventually succeeded during the first round of the European KF & KF-Junior Championship after every twist in the sporting confrontation. The intensity of the battles let down some very talented drivers, but the allocation of the Championships in a few weeks in Italy, at Ortona, after the second and final round of 2013, suggests some great opportunities for revenge.
The layout of Alcaniz proved once again formidable for drivers and mechanics, especially as the thermometer hadn't regularly passed 30 °. The wide and undulating track provides multiple overtaking opportunities. The competitors' strategic vision constituted an additional element in the European battle. The analysis shows that the winners were in fact rarely the fastest over a lap.
Lando Norris, a great winner in KF-Junior
The young British driver showed great form this weekend against 80 of the best drivers in the KF-Junior category. Driving an FA Kart-Vortex-LeCont, he began to set the fastest times in timed qualifying before confirming with an impressive series of five victories in five heats. But he had to fight hard to get back in the wake of the English pilot of Thai origin, Sasakorn Chaimongkol, (Kosmic-TM-LeCont), who led from the first lap of the Final. Then the Belgian Matteo Raspatelli (Tony Kart-Vortex-LeCont) took second place, also well deserved after his performances in the heats and winning Prefinal 2. Third went to the Dutch driver Martijn Van Leeuwen (Zanardi-TM-LeCont), a major player in the competition.
Nicklas Nielsen, the leader at the right time
Good drivers were at the front of the KF category throughout the meeting which brought together 64 contenders at Alcañiz. The Danish driver Christian Sorensen (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega) set the pole position lap, the Englishman Ben Barnicoat (ART GP-TM-Vega) won all his heats, the Dutchman Max Verstappen (CRG-TM-Vega) won Prefinal 1, Sorensen was ahead again in Prefinal 2, but the only one to be perfectly competitive at the right time was Nicklas Nielsen. Always well placed since the beginning of the competition, he raced a perfect Final on his Kosmic-Vortex-Vega, moving into the lead on the second lap, never to be dislodged. Sorensen had to settle for the second step of the podium which was completed by Verstappen.
Fruitful collaboration for the second race on the international calendar
After the inaugural event at Wackersdorf the cooperation between the CIK-FIA and WSK Promotion has proved constructive again at the second meeting of the season. The personnel of the two organisations are now getting to know each other and use their skills to advance the level of karting competition. The road is still long, but the new direction with WSK Promotion is very promising.
Info CIK / © Photo KSP
Entre une coupure de connexion internet et un avion en retard de 4 heures à cause des orages sur Paris, le retour d'Alcaniz n'a guère été productif sur Kartcom ce lundi 17 juin. Certes les paysages espagnols ne manquaient pas de charme au long de la route, mais nous n'étions pas là pour faire du tourisme. Nous présentons nos excuses à nos lecteurs et faisons le maximum pour rattraper le temps perdu...
Info Kartcom / © Photo KSP
No. 14 – 16th June 2013
A surprising result characterized this race of international karting. It happened in Alcaniz (E), at the Motorland Aragon facility, in the first out of two rounds of the CIK-FIA European Championship (KF and KFJ categories) of the 2013 season. In particular, the KF Junior category had remarkable results achieved by new names of kart racing, even though they had to deal with very experienced drivers. So, the 2013 European championship began with the victories of the Danish Nicklas Nielsen in KF and of the English Lando Norris in KF Junior. In both cases, to achieve success the two drivers had to give their best.
Nielsen, first leader in KF.
The first part of the race, in KF, was dominated by the English Ben Barnicoat (ART GP-TM-Vega). However, after winning four heats, he finished the Pre-final in the back positions because of a contact with the Italian Felice Tiene (CRG-Parilla-Vega). It seemed nothing could prevent Nicklas Nielsen (Kosmic-Vortex-Vega) from winning the race, buth the Danish driver was overtaken by his fellow countryman Christian Sorensen (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega) in Prefinal 2. Moreover, in the other Prefinal, the winner was the Dutch Max Verstappen (CRG-TM-Vega), followed by another top driver such as the French Dorian Boccolacci (Energy-TM-Vega). Despite the great level of his competitors, Nielsen managed to beat them all rather easily after the first two laps of the Final: he managed to gain an early lead starting from the second row ahead of Sorensen. Verstappen pursued the two leaders while Tiene began his recovery from the 15th row of the starting grid. Nielsen kept at bay Sorensen, who managed to close the gap with the leader in the last laps. Verstappen, too, followed closely and nearly passed Sorensen with few metres remaining, when Nielsen had already won the race. Excellent result for Tiene, who completed his recovery with an outstanding 5th place, just behind the Polish Karol Basz (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega).
Norris, great battle to win in KFJ.
The final result says that the English Lando Norris (FA Kart-Vortex-Le Cont) won the KFJ category. The Londoner crowned with the victory an outstanding weekend: he was the top driver on Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday he had to recover in the final phase. The winner of the Final was the Thai driver Sasakorn Chaimongkol (Kosmic-TM-Le Cont) – holder of a British licence -, but stewards gave him a 10” penalty for a contact with Norris himself during the last lap. The Asian driver dropped back to 14th. That’s a real shame for his performance: he had won Prefinal 1 and had grabbed the pole in the Final. Another protagonist of the race was the Belgian Matteo Raspatelli (Tony Kart-Parilla-LeCont) who, after his victory in Pre-final 2, challenged Norris until the chequered flag of the Final, finishing behind the Englishman for only 44 thousandths of a second. This second place is the first, important international result achieved by the Belgian driver. The third step of the podium was occupied by the Dutch Martijn van Leeuwen (Zanardi-TM-LeCont), who had made himself conspicuous since the first heats.
All the images of the European Championship in Aragon.
The weekend of CIK-FIA on the Spanish track, after today’s images in live streaming, are available on the Internet. On www.cikfiachampionship.com the Finals are already viewable. Appointments also on TV with the pre-recorded broadcast of the races. Broadcasting times are still being defined by Rai Sport. On the other hand, the TV Special report on Rai Sport 2 has been put on schedule on Friday 21st June at 24.00.
Info WSK Promotion
Spirits were high among the KF finalists at Alcaniz. The polesitter Christian Sorensen (Tony Kart / Vortex) was unable to adopt a moderate pace despite a red flag and a reminder from the Race Director. The race was on, but the outside line was significantly held up and then produced several crashes. Joyner, Russo, Compere and Kasai in particular were affected, as well as Lance Stroll (Zanardi / Parilla) and Julien Darras (Tony Kart / TM) later on.
Nicklas Nielsen (Kosmic / Vortex) took the lead on lap 2 and never lost it. In second, Sorensen was first followed by Karol Basz (Tony Kart / Vortex) before Max Verstappen (CRG / TM) moved to third position on the fourth lap. Dorian Boccolacci (Energy / TM) did everything he could to keep his fifth place, but Pedro Hiltbrand (LH / TM) and Nicolas Gonzales (Kosmic / TM) didn't cooperate with his plan. Then Martin Kodric (FA Kart / Vortex) who had threatened Boccolacci with some contact, but didn't succeed with him.
This ended badly for the latter two, when Hiltbrand and Gonzales clashed following a broken brake control. The fastest driver on the track, Felice Tiene (CRG / Parilla), quickly returned to the leading group and passed Boccolacci to gain fifth position. Niclas Nylund (Kosmic / Vortex), George Russell (Birel / TM) and Ben Barnicoat (ART GP / TM) finished 7th, 8th and 9th ahead of Callum Ilott (Zanardi / Parilla). Verstappen pushed Sorensen to the limit, but chose to ensure his third position without taking too many risks.
Info Kartcom with Kartlink / © Photos KSP
The air temperature exceeded 30 ° and the track 50 ° for the final for KF-J which was started after a very long wait in the sun for the 34 qualified young drivers. The competitor David Beckmann (Zanardi / BMB) appealed and his penalty of 10'' was temporarily suspended allowing him to participate in the final.
The Thai-licensed UK driver Sasakorn Chaimongkol (Tony Kart / TM) managed to get away from the fray perfectly from the lights, while Lando Norris (FA Kart / Vortex) was pressured. He dropped to fourth position when Matteo Raspatelli (Tony Kart / Parilla) and Martijn Van Leeuwen (Zanardi / TM) passed. Also, there was Robert Shwartzmann (Tony Kart / TM), Niko Kari (FA Kart / Vortex), Tom Bale (FA Kart / Vortex) and Beckmann. Gabriel Aubry (Birel / TM) had lost all chance in a crash.
Norris tried hard to make up lost time, taking third then second behind Chaimongkol. He waited for the last lap to make his attack on the right hander at the top of the hill. Chaimongkol replied at the next hairpin but came into contact with Norris was therefore forced to turn off and lose control of the race. Chaimongkol crossed the finish line first, while Norris narrowly saved his second place against a very determined Raspatelli. Van Leeuwen was able to secure fourth ahead of Parker Thompson (Energy / TM) and Alessio Lorandi (Tony Kart / Parilla). Bryan Elpitiya (Energy / TM) finished a good race in eighth, Arthur Lehouck (Lenzo / TM) dropped back to 22nd and Aubry finished 25th.
Later, the sporting commission penalized Chaimongkol 10'' which dropped him to 14th and gave a deserved victory to Lando Norris with Raspatelli in second and Van Leeuwen third. Also, Alessio Lorandi was excluded for being underweight.
Info Kartcom with Kartlink / © Photo KSP