In KZ1 Thonon wins the pre-final and gets a second place in the final. Great double success for Max Verstappen at his first WSK race in KF3. In Super KF Kozlinski got a start penalty; in KF2 good fourth place of the Danish driver Michelle Gatting.
Muro Leccese (Lecce – Italy), 7th March 2010. The International Circuit La Conca at Muro Leccese was the venue of the first of the five meetings of the WSK Euro Series, with the participation of 248 karting drivers from all over the world for a top level challenge of all the major international constructors. In this first event of the season, CRG-Maxter achieved a terrific performance with the astonishing double win in the pre-final and final of the talented Max Verstappen, son and heir of the former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, who was at his debut in KF3. Jonathan Thonon too got a brilliant result in the top category with shift gear: here, the three-time world champion achieved a clear win in the pre-final and then a second place in the final.
Getting good results in Super KF was a bit harder: the reigning world championArnaud Kozlinski got the best performance for the CRG-Maxter team arriving 4thin the final after a god recovery. Unfortunately, a three-second start penalty relegated him to the 7th place. In this same category, Felice Tiene - 10th after racing good heats – and Eddy Tinini performed well too, even though the latter arrived only 20th because the tuning up of his engine was not as performing as it was supposed to be. Instead, David Forè was obliged to retire. He got first involved in a dramatic crash at the first curve of the pre-final and then fell victim to technical drawbacks in the final.
In KF2 the young Danish driver Michelle Gatting confirmed to be very quick. She races for the CRG-Maxter Junior team, and in the final she managed to get an excellent fourth position after placing eighth in the pre-final. On the other hand, the Argentinean driver Roberto Franco Curia retired, even though he had managed to qualify for the final phase. The same cannot be said for Giovanni Martinez, stopped by two accidents in the qualifying heats but who performed well anyway.
In this first event of the WSK, in KF3 we must record the unlucky debut of the French driver Benjamin Gérard, who was very quick but got involved in several accidents during the heats. For Mario Ziletti, Italian driver from Brescia, it was the first international experience. For him a first contact with top level karting and, consequently, an excellent apprenticeship.
Giancarlo Tinini (CRG Spa Chairman): ‘For us the overall result was good. In KF3 we even got a win with Max Verstappen, and in KZ1 Jonathan Thonon achieved a good performance. In KF2 too we achieved a good result with Michelle Gatting. Actually we hoped to do better in Super KF, but evidently we still have to solve some tuning up problems. We’ll try to be ready for the next race at Lonato.’
Jonathan Thonon: ‘I’m very happy for this first event of the WSK. I won the pre-final after a gripping duel. The final was a bit tougher for me, but I’m satisfied with the second place. I’m absolutely happy with the chassis and the engine; I hope to be able to test the kart again before the next race at Lonato: I want to go there ready to give the best I can. I want to thank CRG, Maxter and Savard because they allowed me to be immediately very performing.’
Max Verstappen: ‘I knew I was very competitive. I did well in the first race of the season too, the Winter cup, but I didn’t think I could win immediately, in the opening event of the WSK Euro Series. I’m definitely very happy.’
Felice Tiene: ‘I had some troubles with my chassis. At first I had managed to be in the first three positions, then I lost momentum. Eventually, I can say I’m satisfied: getting a fifth and a tenth place in the WSK is not this bad. It was so exciting to compete with the best drivers!’
Arnaud Kozlinski: ‘I’m really disappointed for the penalty they gave me, because it wasn’t my fault my displacement on the grid. Someone pushed me from behind, and it wasn’t possible for me to control the kart. Eventually I believed I could get a good result anyway: I gave the 110% in my recovery, which allowed me to arrive up to the fourth position. Now we have to work to fill that small gap which separates us from the others.’
Davide Forè: ‘I’m sorry for the way it ended. We knew that it would be tough in Super KF, but in the long race of the final we thought we could prevail in the long run. Instead, in the pre-final, they mounted on me at the first curve; then, during the final, I had some troubles with my engine when I had already recovered ten positions in two laps. I’m very disappointed.’
Next event: 28th March on the South Garda Karting Circuit at Lonato (Italy).
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