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Pilote > France



Encouragé par ses brillants débuits en 2017, le jeune Maxens Verbrugge a revu ses ambitions à la hausse pour cette saison. A 8 ans, il prépare au niveau national sa 2e année dans la catégorie Minime.


Le Champion de Ligue Ile-de-France s'est fait également remarqué l'an dernier par ses performances dans les compétitions nationales en étant déjà capable de bien figurer parmi les meilleurs pilotes Minimes plus âgés et plus expérimentés que lui. Il va pousser son avantage en 2018 avec un programme bien rempli. Championnat de France et Coupe de France de la FFSA, NSK et Stars of Karting, ainsi que Challenge Rotax France et IAME Series France de Brignoles sont inscrits à son calendrier. 



Afin de se donner les meilleures chances de réussir, Maxens a choisi le team PB Kart de Bertrand Péchon pour assurer la partie technique de sa 2e saison en Minime. Il profitera par la même occasion d'un environnement formateur où il retrouvera les espoirs français Victor et Augustin Bernier. 



Info Kartcom / © Photo KSP & DR




Following his election as President of the CIK-FIA at the last World Motor Sport Council in December, former Formula One star Felipe Massa visited the FIA's Geneva headquarters on 17th of January for the first meeting of the administration in 2018.


Massa aims to use his extensive experience and many years at the very pinnacle of motor sport to help provide the best possible platform for the next generation of single-seater stars.


"It's great to be here in Geneva to meet everyone and start this new journey," he said. "I believe that at the moment the CIK-FIA is in a very good state. If you look just at the number of entries from last year, over the six rounds of the European Championship, and the two World Championship events, 1359 drivers from 58 countries across five continents have taken part. It is a fantastic amount of participation and very positive for the future of our sport as a whole."


He continued, "I have some big shoes to fill and lots of work to do seeing that the Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al-Khalifa has done a great job and events are generally speaking professionally organized. Like any change, we now have an opportunity to build on recent success and we will also be working with a new promoter, RGMMC, for the next steps in international karting."


The Brazilian met with FIA Secretary-General for Sport, Peter Bayer, discussing the wider motor sport landscape and how the CIK-FIA competitions fit within the framework of the FIA's single-seater pyramid.

Peter Bayer added, "It's great to welcome Felipe to the FIA and I'm excited to see what he brings to the CIK-FIA Commission. He's one of the most experienced drivers in the world, and having someone like that at the top of the karting governance structure will be a very positive thing for the young drivers out there who are one day hoping to emulate Felipe's racing successes."


Massa concluded, "We're at a very high level now, but of course there are always things that can be improved. A key thing for me, as a new President of the Commission, is to listen to competitors, teams and drivers to see what they think is working and what isn't and focus on those areas. I have some plans to keep improving in the safety in karting, kart especially for younger drivers, and also with tracks. I am also looking of new developments such as e-karting".



Info & Photo FIA

Pilot > Charles Milesi

In order to extend the benefits of his excellent first year in single-seaters, Charles Milesi set the course to New Zealand for the offseason. The Castrol Toyota Racing Series takes place at the antipodes in the middle of summer and offers excellent preparation while the winter slows sporting activity in Europe. The young Frenchman can therefore refine his promising potential in the southern hemisphere, racing against strong drivers for a 2018 season of utmost importance in the Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup with the R-ace GP team.



With five events on five different circuits in five weeks, the programme of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series is very attractive. The FT-50 used in this competition is a modern and powerful car with interesting aerodynamics and Michelin tyres. It is a Tatuus F3 hull, powered by a 4 cylinder 1800 cc engine with 215 hp from Toyota. Among the participants are several young motorsport hopefuls like Marcus Armstrong, Robert Shwartzman, James Pull, Clement Novalak, Juan-Manuel Correa and Richard Verschoor, but at 16 years old, Charles is the youngest. Accompanied by Julien Abelli of Simumotion, he is sharpening his physical form and keeping his mind in ideal conditions.

Learning a new car and new tracks did not prevent Charles quickly taking his marks and achieving remarkable performances in the first event, on January 13th and 14th. Under changing weather conditions, he made good progress during the test sessions at the 3.3-kilometre Mike Pero Motorsport Park circuit in Ruapuna, including a wet track record. A bad choice of tyres slowed him in qualifying, but he gradually climbed to 5th place in the third and final race.

"I am having a very interesting experience," said the young Frenchman. "The highly concentrated format of this New Zealand championship makes it possible to continue driving and racing at a steady pace. The atmosphere is very good and the car pleasant to drive. The excellent standard of the competition gives me good benchmarks to calibrate my progress. I currently rank 7th in the standings. The gaps are tight and I don't intend to stop there. "

2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series Calendar
# 1 Ruapuna 11th-14tth January: Race 1 - P9, Race 2 - P7, Race 3 - P5, Championship - P7 (127 pts)
# 2 Teretonga 18th-21st January 
# 3 Hampton Downs 25th-28th January 
# 4 Taupo 1st-4th February
# 5 Manfeild February 8th-11th



Charles Milesi Communication © Bruce Jenkins Photography 


A 38-year-old Italian Driver, Ronnie Quintarelli became a professional in Japan thanks to the results he obtained at the highest level in karting at the turn of the millennium. Always passionate about the discipline that taught him everything he knows, he could not resist the proposal from Birel ART and TM Racing to participate in the CIK-FIA World KZ Championship in September 2017 at Wackersdorf.



First of all, Ronnie, why do we have the pleasure of seeing you at Wackersdorf?


- My passion for karting has always remained intact and I seized the opportunity to participate in the World Championship. At the beginning of the year, I had the opportunity to do a few laps on the new track at Lonato in a KZ2. I was enthusiastic, and with Franco Drudi of TM Racing and Ronni Sala of Birel ART I found two supporters to arrange my participation in the World Championship. This project gave me extra motivation throughout the season in Japan, because I always had this meeting in mind in September at Wackersdorf.


What assessment do you make of this Competition?


- It was a very nice experience! The KZ are really fast, the chassis have evolved a lot in 15 years and the engine is much more usable than the Formula C of my time. The feeling of speed is an even greater sensation than at the wheel of my Nissan Super GT which develops 500 hp. Braking is even later than in cars. The current level of competition is extremely tight in KZ and it was difficult for me to play a leading role. I'm happy to have been able to gain eight places in the Final, but I still remained in the middle of the pack.


Going back to the past, how did you become a professional driver in Japan?


- It was karting that opened the doors of a car career. After my very good performances in the 2002 World Championship, Pierre-Henri Raphanel invited me to come and try F3 in Japan at the end of the season and that's how it all started. I had many successes in single-seaters and then in the Super GT Championship which I won four times for Nissan.


Karting has remained present in your career. Why is that?


- I have always been convinced that practicing this discipline would give me an advantage in car racing. I even trained with a group of about ten Super GT Drivers. We prepare together every Monday before a race. We have our own equipment equipped with KF4 engines. The Driver who won Super GT in 2013 thanked me for these karting practice sessions, recognising that it had helped him a lot.


In Japan, as elsewhere, young people are moving towards cars very early. I think that's not a good thing. Motorsports teams and major manufacturers do not realise how much karting is essential for Driver training. I do everything I can to open their eyes to this discipline which they do not know enough about.


CIK-FIA Best of 2017 / © Photo KSP 

Pilote > Ugo Gazil

La météo n'était pas forcément très favorable en ce début janvier sur la côte Est des États-Unis. Mais Ugo Gazil n'avait pas traversé l'Atlantique pour faire du tourisme. Accompagné de son entraîneur Didier André, il participait à sa première course de la saison lors de la SKUSA Winter Series sur le circuit AMR Motorplex d'Homestead. C'était l'occasion pour le jeune pilote français de découvrir la nouvelle équipe officielle et le nouveau matériel Kart Republic sous la responsabilité de Dino Chiesa en personne. Engagé en X30 Senior avant d'effectuer ses débuts européens en OK, Ugo roulait aux côtés de Lorenzo Travisanutto et Nicholas D'Orlando.



« Ce week-end en Floride a été très enrichissant. », déclarait Ugo. « La préparation régulière que j'effectue avec le DADD m'a permis de franchir cette nouvelle étape tout en identifiant les axes principaux à travailler avec Didier André. Les courses américaines sont très différentes de ce que je connaissais en Europe. Un tracé comme celui d'Homestead et la violence des batailles en piste peuvent dérouter. C'était une expérience de plus pour moi ! Par contre, le matériel KR était au top, un vrai plaisir de travailler avec Dino Chiesa. En plus, il a été très encourageant dans son analyse de ma prestation. J'ai hâte de prendre le départ de la WSK Super Master Series à Adria début février en tant que pilote officiel KR dans la fameuse catégorie OK. »


Les performances d'Ugo ont été à la hauteur de ses attentes, mais les résultats ont pâti de plusieurs aléas. Qualifié en pole du groupe B le vendredi, il s'élançait 6e sur la grille de départ de la préfinale avant de chuter 17e suite à une crevaison causée par un problème de gripster. Lors d'une finale très agitée, Ugo remontait comme un avion en 4e position avant de s'accrocher avec son équipier Lorenzo Travisanutto. Il effectuait un parcours plus sage le samedi avec sa 7e place en préfinale, mais souffrait sur la piste très gommée de la finale et se contentait de la 13e place.



En tout cas, c'est un pilote bien entrainé et très motivé qui s'apprête à faire ses débuts dans la catégorie OK le mois prochain en Italie. Un challenge de plus à relever pour Ugo !



Info Kartcom / © Photos DADD

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