The second round of the 2012 CIK-FIA U18 World Championship took place last weekend at the French racetrack of Angerville. After having scored some brilliant results in the opening round at Braga, ART Grand Prix continued on the same pace by showing an impressive potential, with three drivers making their way into the top-ten.
The CIK-FIA U18 World Championship, a three-race world championship, is dedicated to drivers younger than 18 and features specifically homologated chassis and monotype Parolin Racing engines. ART Grand Prix lined-up at Angerville with a full line-up consisting of Severin Amweg, Ben Barnicoat, Ricky Collard, Charles Leclerc and Sam Webster. Collard put together an extremely fast pace since the beginning. Ricky scored four wins in seven heats, and of the remaining three, two were brought home by Leclerc, who also captured a second place. Barnicoat had a tougher time as he broke his chain in the third heat before suffering from an engine issue. While Collard and Leclerc started the final from the front row, Barnicoat took-off from 29th. Webster and Amweg also suffered from some tough luck as they failed to qualify following to two incidents.
The high performance showed during the heats wasn't enough to score wins in the final though. Leclerc was forced to a ten-second penalty for an incident occurred during the pre-final, although engine issues were the main concern. Before the final, Collard was forced to switch engines by the stewards and with the new power unit the pace showed before was particularly tough to match. Nonetheless, Leclerc and Collard kept battling at the very front end of the pack before finishing respectively in 4th and 3rd position. For Collard, a podium finish represents an extremely valuable achievement, although it's clearly not representative of the potential expressed by the Racing Steps Foundation driver on a weekend that featured him among its brightest stars.
The CIK-FIA U18 World Championship will now be back on-track for its final round of 2012 in Bahrain. Following to the results scored in the first two rounds, both Leclerc and Collard has realistic chances to fight for the World title. The championship is currently led by Henry Easthope with 120 points, followed by Anthoine Hubert (115), Leclerc (109) and Collard (104).