FIA Karting – Tension rises in Belgium
The weather continued to be good in Limburg on Saturday during the Qualifying Heats. The thermometer reached 24° in the afternoon, while the intensity followed the same upward curve throughout the 18 races of the program of the Belgian event.
Frenchman Émilien Denner consolidated his domination of the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ by winning three times. The FIA Karting European Championship – KZ2 was led by Frenchman Tom Leuillet who won five times, while Luxembourg’s Guillaume Bouzar narrowly retained first place in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy.
The Horensbergdam circuit in Genk lives up to its reputation for selectivity and the 1360m length encourages overtaking and allows for attacks at all levels. There are two rounds left for the Academy on Sunday morning, one for each driver, while two Super Heats await the KZ2 drivers and one for the KZ, before the finalists for each category are chosen.
Academy: Bouzar keeps the lead
The first four Qualifying Heats of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy saw four different winners. The races were more and more spectacular with great battles, comebacks and several twists. At this stage, poleman Guillaume Bouzar retained the lead for Luxembourg, while Frenchman Arthur Dorison moved up to second place (+3 pl.) thanks to his superb surprise victory in the last lap of Heat 4. At home, the Belgian Thibaut Ramaekers was in third place on equal points with the very combative Filipino William John Riley Go. Jindřich Pešl (CZE) was in the top 5 ahead of Nikolas Roos (ZAF) and Aleksandar Bogunović (SVN). Matias Orjuela (COL) came back to ninth place behind Luca Houghton (BHR) and had gained four places.
Denner dominates KZ heats
Frenchman Emilien Denner, author of the best lap time, won the three qualifying heats of the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ in Genk. A victory over Finland’s Simo Puhakka on Friday and two more over Italy’s Matteo Vigano on Saturday secured him first place. Vigano moved up to second place in the intermediate classification ahead of his compatriot Paolo Ippolito who gained three places. Jorrit Pex (NLD) also had a good run, returning to fourth place with a gain of five places ahead of Tuukka Taponen (FIN). Francesco Celenta (ITA) fell to sixth place ahead of his compatriot Lorenzo Travisanutto who gained three places, while Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP) moved up seven positions to ninth place. Simo Puhakka (FIN) finished in the top 10 despite retiring on the last lap of Heat 2.
Emilien Denner said at the press conference:
“I was able to rely on a very competitive chassis-engine combination to win the heats. On Sunday, the conditions should be different with a clear rise in temperature. The Sodikart team will have to adapt quickly, we’ll see how The Super Heat passes, but we are confident in the performances we have put in since the start of the event.”
The victories of Tom Leuillet in KZ2
Author of the second best lap time, Frenchman Tom Leuillet achieved a clear round of five victories in five races in the Qualifying Heats of the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ2. Behind him, German poleman David Trefilov and Estonian Markus Kajak took three wins each. With only one point in advance, Kajak finally finished second in front of Trefilov. British driver Arvid Lindblad caused a sensation in his first race in KZ2. Despite a failed start in the second race, he managed to move up to fourth place in the intermediate classification thanks to two impressive victories for a rookie. Thomas Imbourg (FRA) went from 11th to 5th place and Jorge Pescador (ESP) from 16th to 6th. Daniel Vasile (ROU) remains in a good position by finishing seventh, level on points with Genis Civico Espona (ESP) and Jean Luyet (CHE) who gain 11 positions. His brother Samuel Luyet (CHE) had gained eight places to 10th position.
David Liwinski (POL) lost the benefit of four good races in the top 3 when he retired at the start of his third moto and fell to 17th. In addition to Norton Andreasson’s return from 35th to 15th position, attention was drawn to the 28-place rise of Dylan Davies (NLD) to 34th and also the 49-place rise of Luigi Di Lorenzo (ITA) , at the 35th.
In the words of Chef Tom Leuillet:
“I am of course delighted with how the heats went. Chassis set-up is a key factor at this track and the Leclerc by Lennox Racing team did a very good job. This is all the more important as the races will be longer. long.” Sunday and the temperature should be higher. I am confident because this qualifying phase has shown that we are not degrading the tires much.”
Provisional program of the Genk event
Sunday May 15
08h30 – 09h40: Warm-up (10′)
9:45 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.: Academy qualifying heats
10.25 a.m. – 11.35 a.m.: KZ/KZ2 Super Heats
1:25 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Finals
The Genk event can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship application for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.