Pretty high temperatures, a track both fast and technical: it was the perfect occasion for CRG and Maxter to show their potential in the difficult conditions of the first meeting of the WSK World Series in Portimao.
And the Italian karts did not disappoint, with Jonathan Thonon's victory in KZ2, the excellent performance by Max Verstappen in KF3 and high hopes for results achieved by the "men in black" in Super KF.
With the WSK World Series, major kart constructors have entered a new dimension: a world-level championship held in three continents, a group of participants that includes the best international drivers, very high organisational standards and some of the most attractive circuits. Located just around the corner from the car racing circuit where the WTCC World Championship was held on the same weekend, the kartdrome of Algarve, in Southern Portugal, opened hostilities with an exciting show in all the categories, under the eyes of Eurosport TV cameras.
CRG-Maxter team was happy with the extreme competitiveness shown by their equipment and by the excellent results achieved both in KF and KZ, though they could have been even better… "It was an incredible race. Gary Carlton missed a gear change and, as a consequence, a double success in KZ2. Arnaud Kozlinski got a regrettable penalty in Super KF and lost some precious points in the championship. Michelle Gatting had a technical problem just when she was heading full speed to the KF2 podium, while Max Verstappen was waiting in the wings behind the KF3 leader, though he could not try an overtaking manoeuvre because the race finished with the yellow flags! Despite our drivers' performances, the outcome of the meeting has not always turned to our favour, but we are very happy with our three podiums, including a victory, that we bring home from Portugal…"
CRG in the Front of the Fight
In KZ2, Gary Carlton and Jonathan Thonon frequently monopolised the top of the standings. After conquering the pole position, the American was one of the heroes of the meeting, remaining in the lead for several laps. Faster towards the end of the race, his Belgian team mate triumphed in the pre-final and final. On the 3rd step of the podium, Carlton was already thinking about the revenge he intends to take at next meeting in his home country, the US. Winner of the WSK Euro Series, Max Verstappen has not lost his good habit. At the wheel of his CRG-Maxter, he won three heats and the pre-final, before finishing second in the final race.
"Honestly I think I could have comfortably won the final", the Dutch driver commented, "but we drove the last laps with the yellow flags, so I could not overtake". In KF2, Giovanni Martinez showed his progress, while Michelle Gatting regularly drove with the times of the best drivers. In the final race, she seemed to be able to fight for a podium before she had a small mechanical problem. In Super KF, performances by CRG-Maxter drivers have reached yet another level since the WSK Euro Series, as the drivers themselves stressed with satisfaction: Felice Tiene (2nd in Super Pole), Davide Forè (5th in the final race) and Arnaud Kozlinski (4th in the pre-final) The French driver occupied the same place in the final, before he was penalised. "Honestly I do not think I deserved that penalty. I overtook Cooper and then he forced me to steer towards the kerb. We touched, he went off the track, but I have nothing to do with it and video images prove it". A view shared by the members of his team, who where rightly disappointed by that decision.
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