The 18th Winter Cup ends unexpectedly

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Columns: Races
De Conto crosses the finishing line first but is hit by a 5-second penalty for a crash with Ardigò. Verstappen dominates the KF2 final, while in KF3 Alessio Lorandi is the category leader.


This year's edition of the Winter Cup, the 18th, was particularly spectacular: the race on the South Garda had a rather unexpected epilogue. There were almost 250 entrants coming from all around the world and, thanks to their performance, this classic event of the beginning of season was particularly exciting. All the top manufactturers and drivers took part in the event.

In the most performing category, the hard-fought KZ2, it was the Italian Paolo De Conto (Birel-Tm) who finally won after a rather wild final sprint, which was made absolutely thrilling also by the slightly wet asphalt: the rain, in fact, started to fall right during the last laps of the race.
Anyway the winner, eventually, was Charles Leclerc (Art GP-Tm) from Monaco, given that at the end of the race De Conto was hit by a 5-second penalty because he was the responsible for a crash against Marco Ardigò (Tony Kart-Vortex) with two laps remaining, when the two were fighting for victory, also against Leclerc himself, the English Ben Hanley (Art GP-Tm) and Davide Forè (CRG-Maxter). So, the final ranking of KZ2 rewarded the two Art GP teammates Leclerc and Hanley who occupied the first two places, with Forè third after a good recovery over the Swedish Joel Johansson (Energy-Tm) - 4th. After the crash, Ardigò managed to continue the race and placed fifth. De Conto, who until then had won almost everything - including the Pre-final - was classified sixth. Arnaud Kozlinski (Birel-Tm) was seventh before Antony Abbasse (Sodi-Tm), Andrea Dalè (CRG-Maxter) the Czech Patrick Hajek (Praga-Parilla).
Several crashes characterized this final, such as the one which sent off the race Yannick De Brabander (Maranello-Tm), just when he had managed to reach the first positions after a good recovery; or the one which obliged Mirko Torsellini (Tony Kart-Vortex) to retire after he came in contact with Dalè.
 
In KF2 the superiority of the young Dutch driver Max Verstappen (CRG-Tm) in this Winter Cup was overwhelming, even though in the Pre-final he was obliged to leave the leadership - with few laps remaining - to the Danish Niklas Nielsen (Kosmic-Vortex). In the Final Verstappen had no troubles at all and won easily, also thanks to the tussle behind him. Eventually, with Verstappen always first, the runner-up was the excellent Armand Convers (Kosmic-Vortex), who carried out an outstanding recovery starting from the second-chance heats (where he won) and, then, from the eighth position of the Pre-final. Third the Croatian Martin Kodric (FA Alonso-Vortex).
 
In KF3, too, everything went as expected after the first two racing days of the Winter Cup. So, it was no surprise when the Italian Alessio Lorandi (Tony Kart-Vortex) dominated the category and won the Final after winning the Pre-final and, earlier, the qualifying heats. In the Final Lorandi preceded the Dutch Martijn Van Leewen (Zanardi-Parilla) and the English Dan Ticktum (FA Alonso-Vortex). David Beckmann (Zanardi-Bmb) achieved a good fourth place preceding Lando Norris (FA Alonso-Vortex) and the French Gabriel Aubry (Birel-Tm). Alessio Lorandi's brother, Leonardo, at his debut in KF3, placed 12th after the second-chance heat.

Press Release by: South Garda Karting (Lonato) - 20/02/13

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