The first event of the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ & KZ2, as well as the FIA Karting Academy Trophy, will take place from 12th to 15th May 2022 in Belgium at the Genk circuit, the “Home of Champions”, a favourite of Max Verstappen. 54 nationalities will be represented, an impressive total due to the increase in the number of drivers in the Academy Trophy in line with the diversity objective of the new FIA leadership team.
The Genk circuit is 1360 metres long and very demanding in terms of driving. The climate can make it difficult for the teams to cope with rapid weather changes. Thanks to the modern facilities, the organising team offers a quality welcome to the enthusiastic public who are always numerous during the particularly spectacular races in Genk.
All three categories in Genk will be equipped with LeCont tyres.
A great season ahead in KZ
This year’s FIA Karting European Championship – KZ presents an interesting field in terms of quantity and quality. There is no shortage of stars in this elite category with no less than eight former World Champions, Jorrit Pex (NLD), Marijn Kremers (NLD), Jérémy Iglesias (FRA), Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP), Davide Foré (ITA), Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA), Noah Milell (SWE), as well as the young Finn Tuukka Taponen, who won the OK title and is discovering racing in KZ. The 2021 European Champion Riccardo Longhi (ITA) is challenging for the title against the best specialists such as the French drivers Adrien Renaudin and Émilien Denner, the Dutch drivers Senna van Walstijn and Stan Pex, the Finland’s Simo Puhakka or the Italians Lorenzo Camplese, Matteo Vigano, Paolo Ippolito, Francesco Celenta and Alex Irlando.
KZ2: new title contenders
The FIA Karting European Championship – KZ2 maintains its broad base of drivers who have been present in the category for several seasons. 20 nations are represented, including Italy with more than 20 entries, ahead of Germany, France and the Netherlands. The list of the main favourites for the title includes a good 20 experienced drivers, but it would not be surprising if some new names were to make their mark at the top of the ranking in the absence of the Champions from previous years. David Trefilov (DEU), Tom Leuillet (FRA), Giuseppe Palomba (ITA), David Liwinski (POL), Arthur Carbonnel (FRA), Alessio Piccini (ITA), Paavo Tonteri (FIN) and Kris Haanen (NLD) have all shown great competitiveness in KZ2 since the beginning of the season. Famous drivers in OK, Arvid Lindblad (GBR) and Cristian Bertuca (ITA) will make their debut in the gearbox kart while Kirill Smal makes his debut in Spanish F4.
54 entries in the Academy
The FIA wanted to open up additional places in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy. The technical partners responded favourably to this request, both OTK Kart Group for the Exprit chassis and Vortex engines, and LeCont for the tyres. The FIA Karting’s global talent-detection programme will therefore have 54 drivers from 53 nations at the start of its 13th season. Formula Medicine, a Driver training organisation created more than 30 years ago by Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli, returns to the Academy with an educational programme designed to improve the skills and knowledge of the young drivers.
Among the 54 drivers, five are competing in their second season in the Academy, including Caleb Gafrarar (USA), 11th in 2021 and Nicolas Roos (ZAF) 18th in 2021. Nine drivers are also entered in the FIA Karting European Championship – OK-Junior, including Arthur Dorison (FRA) currently seventh in the provisional rankings and Guillaume Bouzar (LUX) 12th. Among the three women, Chiara Bätig from Switzerland is supported by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission.
Provisional programme for the Genk event
Friday 13th May
08:30 – 13:55: Free Practice KZ/KZ2 (2×10′) Academy (3×20′)
14:00 – 15:42: Qualifying Practice (6′)
16:45 – 19:00: Qualifying Heats
Saturday 14th May
09:00 – 10:25: Warm-up (10′)
10:30 – 17:25: Qualifying Heats
Sunday 15th May
08:30 – 09:40: Warm-up (10′)
09:45 – 10:55: Super KZ/KZ2 Heats
11:00 – 11.35: Academy Qualifying Heats
13:25 – 16:00: Finals
The Genk event can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.
FIA Karting – Press release