Hajek on pole
Rick Dreezen (Zanardi / Parilla) opened the battle in the first qualifying session for the European KZ Championship at Kristianstad with a lap of 52.255s, Jonathan Thonon (Praga / Parilla) responded with 51.937s and then Patrik Hajek ( Praga / Parilla) took control in 51.598s. Dreezen returned to the pits before the end of the session and hierarchy would no longer change. Hajek improved with a final lap of 51.524s, followed by Thonon with 51.672s, Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG / Maxter) 0.3s behind, then Henri Kokko (CRG / Parilla), Emil Antonsen (DR / TM) and Dreezen 6th.
It was not until 4’30 into the second session that a driver went below 52s, Jorrit Pex (CRG / TM) who was soon joined by Ben Hanley (ART GP / TM). Then Bas Lammers – 51.764s – and Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart / Vortex) took the advantage, Pex reacted with 51.729s and was no longer challenged. Paolo De Conto (Birel / TM) was fourth and Hanley fifth.
Overall, Hajek retained pole position ahead of Thonon:
1 P. Hajek 51.524s
2 J. Thonon 51.672s
3 J. Pex 51.729s
4 B. Lammers 51.764s
5 M. Ardigo 51.797s
6 J. Lennox-Lamb 51.825s
7 P. De Conto 51.888s
8 B. Hanley 51.945s
Thonon wins duel with Lammers in first heat
The first race to take place on a new circuit is always instructive. This was the case at Kristianstad for the first qualifying heat in KZ. There have been great battles, passing is difficult but possible in several places, and there are relatively small differences between the competitors. Finally a track that seems to suit the powerful KZ karts.
Hajek didn’t make a great start, Thonon and Lammers got ahead of him at the lights. Lammers then put pressure on Thonon and took control from the 2nd lap. Meanwhile Ardigo and Pex were engaged in a tough battle for 4th place. Thonon gradually closed on Lammers from the 6th lap. The Belgian took the lead on lap 10 and won the race. Lammers retained second position from Hajek. Pex finished fourth, with Ardigo having retired at halfway, as did Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart / Vortex) earlier. Lennox-Lamb took 5th place with the fastest lap from De Conto, Hanley 7th, Dreezen 8th, Davide Fore (CRG / Maxter) 9th and Kokko 10th. On his first appearance in KZ, Callum Ilott (Zanardi / Parilla) was ranked 14th.
Thonon wins the second KZ heat
This time, Hajek didn’t let himself be surprised by Thonon at the lights, but the Belgian still managed to take the lead of the second KZ heat from the 3rd lap. Lammers joined them, and the trio were quickly joined by the pack led by Lennox-Lamb who got the better of Pex. Lammers then gave way to the two CRGs. Hanley and Dreezen were back to 5th place after halfway. They attacked Lammers but their duel benefited the Dutch driver who overtook both on the last lap. Thonon took his second victory of the meeting ahead of Hajek who resisted Lennox-Lamb, who had the fastest lap. Pex finished 4th ahead of Lammers.
Ardigo returns to form in the third heat
Hajek made a great start ahead of Lammers, Pex, and Ardigo. In 5th on the 1st lap, Thonon overtook first Ardigo then Pex who dropped to 7th in the manoeuvre. Ardigo took the opportunity to return to third while Lammers took the lead. Ardigo was the fastest on the track at that point. He attacked Hajek and closed on Lammers. De Conto and Pex retired. Ardigo found the opening on Lammers on lap 9. Lennox-Lamb set the fastest lap for the third consecutive time, and overtook Thonon to gain 4th place, while Ardigo won the race ahead of Lammers and Hajek.
In the intermediate classification, Thonon keeps the lead ahead of Hajek and Lammers, Lennox-Lamb is 4th, Fore 5th, Dreezen 6th, Pex 7th and Hanley 8th.
Hajek gets the win in the prefinal
Hajek flew at the lights, Lammers attacked Thonon immediately who found himself 5th behind Fore and Lennox-Lamb on the first lap on the timing screen. Dreezen took 5th position from the second lap, Ardigo was 9th, De Conto 11th. The top three of Hajek, Lammers and Fore built up gaps of around half a second. Ardigo quickly returned to 7th from Hanley and Pex and Fore was then joined by Lennox-Lamb, and Dreezen then Ardigo passed Thonon in 6th. Dreezen attacked Lennox-Lamb on lap 6 and Ardigo on the next lap.
At halfway led Hajek led Lammers by a second, in 3rd Dreezen was also a second away. Lap 10: Fore and Ardigo crashed and restarted in 9th and 23rd. De Conto was 4th ahead of Lennox-Lamb, Hanley and Pex. It was a difficult race for Thonon who couldn’t defend his chances as well as he should have been able to, probably because of a technical problem. Dreezen took 2nd place on lap 13 at the expense of Lammers.
It was a flawless victory for Hajek, with Dreezen 2nd, Lammers 3rd, De Conto 4th, Lennox-Lamb 5th, Hanley 6th, Ardigo 7th and Pex 8th.
De Conto dominates the KZ final, Dreezen takes the title
Strategy would have an influence in the KZ final, decisive for the title of European Champion in 2014. Dreezen led quite comfortably ahead of Ardigo, Thonon, Lennox-Lamb and Lammers. Hajek on pole and De Conto on the second row were too far back in the standings to take the title.
Hajek was the quickest to start ahead of De Conto, Dreezen, Lammers, Pex, Hanley and Ardigo. On lap 2, De Conto took the lead, followed by Dreezen. Lammers, and Hajek threatening with the fastest time. Ardigo was looking to find an opening on Hanley as the lead group took off. Lennox-Lamb was 9th and Thonon 13th. Sometimes giving off a bit of white smoke, De Conto was widening the gap with his rivals. Lammers was down a bit and Pex not far off, but for now, nothing changed.
De Conto set the fastest lap with a more than 3s lead on Dreezen and Hajek. On lap 15, Pex attacked and passed Lammers for 4th position. Hanley, Ardigo and Mirko Torsellini (ART GP / TM) were close to the 5th position of the Dutch driver, and Thonon was outside the top 10. On lap 21, Ardigo yielded to Torsellini and Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart / Vortex), while Hajek managed to pass Dreezen. Fore retired, and so did Ardigo within a lap from the end.
De Conto won with insolent ease, 3.2s in front of Hajek, with Dreezen 3rd and European Champion, Pex 4th and Lammers 5th. In 10th position, Thonon finished 2nd in the Championship.
- R. Dreezen 58
- J. Thonon 48
- M. Ardigo 43
- B. Lammers 43
- J. Lennox-Lamb 40
- J. Pex 38
- P. De Conto 35
- P. Hajek 29
Pole position for Correa
The KF-Junior Vega tyres deliver their full potential on a single lap, usually the second fast lap. Drivers must aim right and not be held up on their fast lap to succeed in posting a fast time.
Everything was decided in the penultimate minute of the first qualifying session. Juan Correa (Energy / TM) was ahead with 52.271s ahead of Ross Martin (Tony Kart / TM) and Brad Verkroost (FA Kart / TM). Sun Yang Yeu (FA Kart / Vortex) finished 4th, Clement Novalak (Kosmic / Vortex) 5th and Logan Sargeant (FA Kart / Vortex) 6th ahead of Giuliano Alesi (Tony Kart / Parilla).
The second session was much slower with the best lap from Lorenzo Travisanutto (PCR / TM) of 52.729s. He was more than 0.4s off Correa in session 1, then came Joshua Smith (ART GP / TM) who took 2nd place ahead of Alexander Vartanyan (Tony Kart / Vortex), Mick Junior (Tony Kart / Vortex) and Presley Martono (Tony Kart / Parilla).
The pace was back in the 3rd session with Ulysses De Pauw (Kosmic / Parilla) on 52.549s ahead of Julius Lassen (Energy / TM), David Beckmann (Tony Kart / Parilla) and Max Fewtrell (FA Kart / Vortex). Only Dan Ticktum (Zanardi / Parilla) improved on the last lap and took 3rd place.
Pole position therefore went to Correa from Martin and Verkroost, from the first session.
Overall Top 8
- J. Correa 52.271
- R. Martin 52.351
- B. Verkroost 52.403
- U. De Pauw 52.549
- S. Yeu Yang 52.572
- C. Novalak 52.576
- J. Lassen 52.596
- L. Sargeant 52.639
Correa faultless in the heats
Correa had no peers in the qualifying heats at Kristianstad. With five victories in five races, he was the master. Behind him, Ticktum took three wins. The last two heats significantly changed the order from 3rd place onwards. Mick Junior was 5th after a collision and Verkroost retrieved 3rd position in front of Martin. Benjamin Lessennes (Kosmic / Parilla) is 6th, Beckmann 7th. There was a good comeback for Julia Pankiewicz (Tony Kart / TM) in 15th, Devlin DeFrancesco (Tony Kart / Vortex) 18th just ahead of Leonardo Lorandi (Tony Kart / Parilla) and Sophia Floersch (FA Kart / Vortex). Alesi qualified in 25th position.
Lorandi back in the race in Prefinal 1
It was a bit all over the place of Prefinal 1 with several drivers cutting the track, especially at the chicane. Verkroost took the lead over Correa then Mick Junior lost time in a coming-together with Correa. Lorandi captured 3rd place ahead of Lorenzo Travisanutto (PCR / TM) and Vartanyan. Anton Haaga (Kosmic / LKE) dropped to 33rd position, just behind Lucas Légeret (Zanardi / Parilla). Lorandi passed Correa on lap 4. The situation was lively shortly before halfway when Lorandi took the lead, followed by Travisanutto and Verkroost, and Vartanyan was 4th ahead of the astonishing Pankiewicz. Correa dropped to 7th position. Not a good start, Beckmann returned to 8th place, and Mick Junior approached the top 10. Christian Lundgaard (Tony Kart / Vortex) climbed to 3rd place ahead of Vartanyan and Correa and Verkroost dropped to 9th. Lorandi won the race, Travisanutto was 2nd, Lundgaard 3rd, Vartanyan 4th, Correa limited the damage in 5th with the fastest lap, Beckmann 6th, Pankiewicz 7th.
Lively Prefinal 2 won by Ticktum
A collision occurred a few metres before the start line of the prefinal 2 in KF-Junior, notably involving DeFrancesco. Two more practice laps were necessary to achieve a decent but far from perfect start. Ticktum stayed ahead of Lessennes, Fewtrell, Artem Petrov (DR / TM), Martin, De Pauw, DeFrancesco and Floersch. Sargeant was back in 7th. James Pull (Tony Kart / Vortex) dropped to the back.
The top six were extremely close and fought intensely. Fewtrell took control, but soon lost the lead to Ticktum ahead of Lessennes, De Pauw and Martin. In 2nd, De Pauw put pressure on Ticktum and Martin passed Lessennes which was later imitated by Sargeant. There was also a battle for 8th place in a group including DeFrancesco. On lap 9 Ticktum was attacked by De Pauw, with Martin and Sargeant following closely. There was a fight for 5th place between Lessennes, Fewtrell and Petrov. On the penultimate lap, Martin and Ticktum passed De Pauw, with Sargeant following. It was not finished yet. De Pauw lost several places on the last lap, Lessennes crashed and retired.
Ticktum won ahead of Martin with Sargeant 3rd, Fewtrell 4th, Petrov 5th, and DeFrancesco finally 6th.
Battle in the KFJ Final
21 laps in the heat of Kristianstad were scheduled for the European KF-Junior Final at the 3rd round in 2014. Lorandi was on the front row next to Ticktum, the winners of the two Prefinals. Lorandi was in the lead after the start, but Travisanutto completed the first lap in 1st place before going on to the edge of the track and losing a lot of time. In the confusion, Lundgaard took the lead ahead of Lorandi and Fewtrell. But the British driver dropped out of the fight in favour of Correa, who had started without panache. Travisanutto came back to 4th from Verkroost, Pankiewicz, Sargeant and Ticktum. In 9th position, Mick Junior had regained taken 14 places. Correa received a technical incident flag and had to go in and DeFrancesco retired after a difficult start to the race, with Beckmann had retiring earlier.
Martin and Vartanyan had dropped sharply in the early laps. Correa returned to the track in 21st position after a repair. The leading trio was very compact with Lundgaard ahead of Verkroost and Travisanutto. Mick Junior grabbed 4th place from Lorandi and Ticktum was 6th, Fewtrell 7th, Pankiewicz 8th and Sargeant 9th. Travisanutto passed Verkroost for 2nd place on lap 15, and then the Dutch driver was attacked by Mick Junior and he defending himself until the penultimate lap. The last lap had no shortage of entertainment with an attack on Lundgaard by Travisanutto who then cut the chicane (Lundgaard was later penalised). Mick Junior was finally passed by Verkroost at the last corner for a finish that deserves some investigation.
Tiene ahead of Dalè in Qualifying
Douglas Lundberg (Alpha / Parilla) monopolized the top of the table during the whole first qualifying session in KZ2 ahead of Marijn Kremers (Birel / TM) and Jesper Wernersson (CRG / Parilla). Lundberg finished with a time of 51.925s, 0.158s faster than his closest rival.
Andrea Dalè (CRG / Maxter) attacked immediately in the second session, but the competition was tough with his teammate Felice Tiene (CRG / Maxter), Andreas Hansen (Tony Kart / Vortex), Jan Midrla (Birel / TM) and Simas Juodvirsis (Energy / Maxter). Tiene eventually came top with 51.896s with Dalè 0.016s behind then Midrla 0.2s off.
Finally the third session changed little, as it was slower. Jorge Pescador (Praga / Parilla) was fastest by a hair, 0.019s, on 52.038s, ahead of Joel Johansson (Righetti / Parilla). It was very tight with six drivers in less than a tenth. Maik Siebecke (CRG / Modena) finished 3rd from Nerses Isaakyan (Parolin / TM) and Charles Kenny (Kosmic / Vortex).
Overall Top 8
- F. Tiene 51.896s
- A. Dalè 51.912s
- D. Lundberg 51.925s
- J. Pescador 52.038s
- J. Johansson 52.057s
- M. Kremers 52.083s
- M. Siebecke 52.094s
- N. Isaakyan 52.107s
Siebecke takes the lead after the heats
It was close during the qualifying heat battles of the European KZ2 Championship at Kristianstad. Two drivers have moved ahead of the field with three wins each – Siebecke and Lundberg. The German has taken 1st position by just a point ahead of the Swede, slightly delayed by a technical problem in the last race. The title race was between the leader of the standings Juodvirsis, 14th in qualifying but has moved up to 3rd position, and Dalè who was 4th on Saturday evening. The polesitter Tiene was in 5th position ahead of Kremers, Fabian Federer (CRG / Maxter) in 7th and Ricardo Romkema (Energy / TM) 8th, recovered well from his 20th in qualifying. Midrla was 9th ahead of Johansson and Hansen was 20th.
KZ2 Prefinal for Lundberg
The weather was good at Kristianstad despite the stormy weather forecasts for the first Prefinal of the European Championship. Siebecke made a good start, but Lundberg took the lead, Juodvirsis was 3rd ahead of Tiene, Dalè and Federer. Midrla and Romkema retired early on. Juodvirsis put pressure on Siebecke while Lundberg moved several lengths ahead but Siebecke retired on the 6th of 17 laps. Lundberg dominated the race with a lead of more than 3s ahead of Juodvirsis, Tiene, Federer, Menno Paauwe (Birel / TM) and Dalè on the seventh lap. Hansen had moved up into the top 10, and was the fastest on the track. Paauwe tried to attack Federer for 4th place.
On lap 12, Tiene and Federer took Juodvirsis for 2nd and 3rd positions. Pescador took 6th from Dalè then Paauwe overtook Juodvirsis, and Matteo Zanchi (GP / TM) took 6th place ahead of Hansen, Pescador and Dalè. Lundberg managed his lead and was still 3s ahead on the finish line, with Tiene 2nd and Federer 3rd. Paauwe finished 4th, Juodvirsis 5th, Hansen 6th, Pescador 7th, Zanchi 8th and Dalè 9th.
Lundberg winner but Dalè European champion
It was nice and warm in southern Sweden as the finalists of the European KZ2 Championship stood ready to race on the starting grid. In addition to the race, the Championship would be decided, depending on the two worst results (intermediate and final) of the season. Lundberg started on the front row next to Tiene who was fitted with new tyres.
Lundberg started perfectly and Tiene found himself 3rd behind Paauwe, but returned before the end of lap 1. Lundberg had time to take a lead of 0.8s. Federer was 4th ahead of Juodvirsis. Dalè stayed in the middle of the pack in 13th position, Pescador dropped to the back. Federer took 3rd and Juodvirsis 4th. Tiene was back with Lundberg, but he couldn’t score points in the championship. Next was the duel between Federer and Juodvirsis for 3rd place, Paauwe was isolated in 5th until lap 9. Juodvirsis suddenly dropped back, losing his 4th place.
The ‘slow’ procedure was triggered by an incident with a kart stopped on the track. The restart took place on the 13th lap and Lundberg kept the lead from Tiene. Federer was 3s remote from Paauwe in 4th ahead of Lasse Poulsen (Zanardi / Parilla) and Filip Gudmundsson (DR / TM). Juodvirsis dropped gradually while Dalè took advantage of the situation to return from 7th to 5th position. The Championship was being decided.
With five laps to go, Lundberg was only 0.2s ahead of Tiene, and Federer was also close in third position. Paauwe and Dalè were 2.5s away from the lead with the incredible Midrla on their tails, in 6th after starting from 27th place. Lundberg responded to both CRGs following him and managed to cross the finish line as the winner ahead of Tiene, with the fastest lap, then Federer. The title of European Champion goes to Dalè who finished 5th.
(subject to scrutineering)
- A. Dalè 55
- D. Lundberg 52
- S. Juodvirsis 50
- F. Federer 41
- J. Midrla 40
- M. Siebecke 32
- A. Hansen 30
- M. Paauwe 27