The FFSA French Karting Championship holds out against all odds and continues to set the standard. This is not the best time to break attendance records, but the GPOs represent a sure value, attracting drivers and teams from France and abroad. The opening round of the 2012 season at Varennes sur Allier has plenty of arguments for an exciting weekend for competitors or simply spectators.
Two of the three title holders have moved on to other horizons, like other drivers. In KF3, the group of drivers coming from the Cadet and Minime categories is growing. The attractiveness of racing on a circuit that will soon host the first events of the World KF1 Championship as well as of the European KF3 Championship is not the only reason that explains an international attendance that could continue throughout the season.
KF3: High Quality and Numerous Attendance
The Varennes GPO will benefit from the growing interest towards the KF3 class, with over 40 entrants. The French will face a strong group of foreign drivers led by the Spaniard Guillermo Russo (FA Kart/Vortex), including representatives from Finland as well as from China, which will be for the first time at a GPO in the person of Yifan Xia (ART GP/Parilla). The best French drivers present will be Paolo Besancenez (Sodi/Parilla), Gabi Aubry (Birel/TM), Jérémy Demarque (Sodi/Parilla), Dorian Guldenfels (Sodi/Parilla), as well as Julien Darras (Intrepid/Parilla) and Bryan Elpitiya (Zanardi/Parilla). The young guard will be led by drivers such as Gautier Becq (Sodi/Parilla) and Jules Bollier (Kosmic/Parilla), respective winners of Cadet and Minime last year, and by other talented young drivers like Arthur Lehouck (Sodi/Parilla), Paul Guiod (Merlin/Parilla), Maxime Naud (Sodi/Parilla), Luca Antonucci (Sodi/Parilla), just to mention a few.
KF2: Tough Job for Belmaaziz
2011 Champion Pascal Belmaaziz (DR/Parilla) may have a tough job ahead of him against someone of the class of Charles Leclerc (ART GP/Parilla) or the Spaniard Pedro Hiltbrand (FA Kart/Vortex), not to mention KF3 defectors such as his team mate Erwan Julé and Valentin Moineault (Tony Kart/Vortex). The hard core of the class will be represented by Rémy Deguffroy and John Filippi (Tony Kart/Vortex). Benjamin Bailly will make his return to France behind the wheel of a Swiss Hutless/TM with the declared ambition of aiming for the title.
KZ2: The Road is Clear
The French KZ2 Championship has lost its two recent leaders, Thomas Mich and Anthony Abbasse, who shared the top of the leaderboard for several seasons. 125 gearbox enthusiasts will therefore have more opportunities in the race to the national title. The first thought goes to drivers such as Charles Fiault (Sodi/Maxter), Christophe Benoit (Birel/TM), Cédric Goudant (Tony Kart/TM), Mathieu Gaillard (Energy/Maxter) or, why not, versatile Pierre Ragues (Sodi/Maxter) among the drivers eager for honour.
X30 in Force
As last year, the French Cup for X30 and X30 Gentleman is included in the programme of this first GPO. Nearly 80 drivers are expected, and in most cases they have also attended previous editions, including some of the protagonists of 2011 such Anthony Cout (Alpha Karting) winner of X30 and Pierrick Porte (Sodi) winner of the Gentlemen.