Dutch AVG Racing Team will drive the 2013 season with Italian Birel karts. Team boss Anton van Grunsven has made the transition to the renowned brand aiming to be found up front frequently. The combination AVG Racing, Birel with TM engines should lead to successes. We talked to Van Grunsven at the Lonato Winter Cup where his team makes its official debut with Birel.
Report & photos B.Kaligis
"I began my racing career with Birel and have always driven that brand. I had an enjoyable time with Birel and the brand was very reliable. In the shifter karts it’s a great name,” Van Grunsven explained. “They carry a lot of know-how and their present situation is healthy. Worldwide we are facing difficult times, but it has no effect on Birel, they are really one of the top brands. At a high level, they are developing karts at full power. AVG Racing as professional race team was ready for something else, a new challenge."
The engine supplier will be TM: "For many years we have been in good collaboration with them, at AVG we always used TM engines. We are one of the few teams who retain their material. We have always believed in the brand and the people behind TM."
In 2013 the team has a busy program ahead: "We will participate in KZ1 and KZ2 competitions of the DKM, WSK, CIK-FIA European Championship and the World Cup.”
The color scheme of AVG in 2013 will be quite different: "Everything is adapted to Birel colors and the AVG Racing look. It is a new challenge to score the same or even better results with Birel. We want to win at international level, although, in the beginning of the year we must adapt to each other. We remain positive."
"I am very pleased with our partnership," Birel President Ronni Sala added. "AVG Racing is the best private team in Karting. Previously we worked together with Anton and I am glad that we can resume our collaboration. We also look at the long term to ensure we build up a good cooperation. AVG is our satellite team with direct support from the factory. They are involved in all developments to ensure we can achieve the best possible performance. Anton is also a very nice guy who will do anything to win. We have great respect for each other."
Full of optimism Arnaud Kozlinski looks forward to 2013. The Frenchman under contract of AVG Racing is quite accustomed to his current employer and is ready to collect results. He will have the Birel kart and TM engine to reach his goals.
"In the beginning I had to get used to certain things, there is a different atmosphere and mentality here compared to France and Italy", recognized Kozlinski. "This is my second year in Dutch service and I feel at home. For me personally, it’s important that I know all the team members and mechanics well, so that makes the collaboration easier. This is a great opportunity for us, because it’s a very good chassis. The team has made a good choice, so I'm very happy with it. My last major title was in 2009, so this year I put my sights on the World Cup for KZ1. It takes place in Varennes, a track where I have previously won a world title. I want to race at the top level in karting for three more seasons, after that I will stop to focus on a management role in racing. My body will be in perfect shape for another three years, so it is time to collect."