The European KZ1 Championship contested in Wackersdorf was not short of surprises. On the agenda for a perfectly exciting Race, once more there was changeable weather, knives were drawn for battle and a winner was to be declared … after the chequered flag!
As the first Driver to cross the finishing line in the Final, Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex) believed he had won the European title in the top category for karts with gearboxes, but the Italian was excluded under the weight prescribed in the Regulations. According to the Italian team, an unusual fuel leak was the cause of his misfortune.
But one person’s misfortune is another’s good fortune, and the justifiable disappointment felt by Jorrit Pex (CRG-TM) changed to satisfaction at taking his first international title. “This is the best day of my karting career,” smiled the Dutch 19-year-old. “I was fast all weekend. From Qualifying Practice to the Final, I was never out of the Top 3. I was leading after the Qualifying Heats, second after the Prefinal and I thought I was second in the Final. What happened to Marco Ardigo is a shame, but that’s a part of racing. So despite everything I’m happy to win the title!”
It is true in fact that, among the Top 5 Drivers, Jorrit Pex was the only one not to have worn an international crown. He was joined on the podium by the Italian Davide Foré (CRG-Maxter), still there at major meetings, and Arnaud Kozlinski (PCR-TM), climbing superbly from 20th to 3rd place after a mistake in the Prefinal fought in heavy rain. The French Driver felt a tinge of satisfaction at his an unexpected podium place, mixed with the impression of having been close to winning the title. The other Drivers in the Top 5 were the Dutch Bas Lammers (Praga-Parilla) and the Belgian Jonathan Thonon (CRG-Maxter), two former European Champions and winners of the KZ1 World Cup. Like Kozlinski, Thonon also had a few regrets after leaving the track in the Prefinal when in the lead. Despite his fastest lap of the Race in the Final, his 12th place on the starting grid perhaps cost him a podium position …
Of the other leading places, in 6th position was the Czech Zdenek Groman (Kosmic-Vortex), who had the better of Belgian Rick Dreezen (Tony Kart-Vortex), the French Armand Convers (Kosmic-Vortex), his compatriot Anthony Abbasse (Sodi-Maxter), who was unable in the Final to repeat his win in the deluge of the Prefinal, and another Frenchman, Jérémy Iglésias (Intrepid-TM). One of the greatest disappointments at the end of the European KZ1 Championship was undoubtedly the European Champion himself. Seeking to take charge of the Race, in fact Paolo De Conto (Birel-BMB) was let down by mechanical problems after seven laps.