Tragically cut down during a round of the German Championship at Liedolsheim in 2009, the Dutchman Thomas Knopper is still present in the memories of the followers of international Karting. He had in particular been crowned CIK-FIA European KZ2 Champion in 2007.
On the initiative of his parents and friends, a race is henceforth dedicated to him each season, and the “Ciao Thomas Knopper Memorial” is directly related to another event established for many years on the track of Kerpen in Germany, the Graf Berghe von Trips Memorial. Kerpen means Schumacher… As keen on Karting as ever and originating from Kerpen, Michael Schumacher often indulges in the pleasures of driving a KZ, while unhesitatingly entering official competitions and crossing swords with the category’s specialists. The field gathered last weekend at Kerpen was indeed first class, with 31 participants at the start, including Drivers of the calibre of Paolo De Conto (2010 European Champion in KZ2 and, this year, in KZ1), Bas Lammers (winner of the World Cup for KZ1 in 2010) as well as Joey Hanssen, the recent winner of the maiden World Cup for KZ2.
Italy’s De Conto (Energy-TM) markedly dominated the Knopper Memorial, successively being fastest in qualifying Practice before landing the Heats, Prefinal and Final. He was joined on the podium by Joey Hanssen (Lenzo-TM) and Bas Lammers (Intrepid-TM), the latter being separated only by one tenth of a second on the finish line! 10th in practice, 7th further to the heats and 8th in the Prefinal, Michael Schumacher (Tony-Vortex) finished the Final at a very fine fourth place.
Also part of the meeting, the KF3 and KF2 categories respectively saw the wins of the Brazilian Thiago Vivacqua (Energy-TM) and of Ireland’s John Norris (Mach 1-TM).