De Conto out after a weekend of top level performances

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Columns: News and Previews
The driver from Venice went out one lap from the end, when he was in 4th place. Positive outcomes too for Toninelli, Kozlinski and Midrla in KZ2.


The World Championship of the KZ category, which took place in Varennes, France, confirmed the competitive edge of the Birel chassis in the gear-shift category, the most high-performance of the international classes. 
It was just one contact, two laps from the end of the race, which robbed Paolo De Conto of the possibility of contesting a podium place, after having produced a weekend of top level performances. But the results on the French circuit proved positive for all of the Birel drivers, thanks also to the excellent performances of Roberto Toninelli and Arnaud Kozlinski, still in KZ, as well as that of Jan Midrla in the KZ2 World Cup. 
The potential of the Birel drivers had already become apparent during qualifying and came to the fore in the pre-final with De Conto’s 2nd place, Toninelli's 4th and Kozlinski's 8th.  The World Championship Final, however, got off to a poor start. De Conto started badly, passing the start line in 7th place, whilst Toninellli, who was 4th, immediately went out of the race after coming into contact with Hajek. Kozlinski, on the other hand, finished the first lap in 15th place in a convoy consisting of the former F1 driver, Alguersuari, Cesetti and Torsellini. 

The race leader after a few laps was Verstappen, who took the lead from Ardigò, whilst De Conto fought his way through a crowd of vehicles to compete for a podium place against Leclerc, Forè, Lennox and Lammers; and it was precisely with Lammers that the collision that was to put the Birel Motorsport team's driver out of the race occurred, just two laps from the end. As a result the Championship title went to Verstappen, who finished ahead of Leclerc and Lennox, whilst Kozlinski finished his championship in 10th, still suffering from the after effects of his accident early on in the season at Sarno. 
Thanks to Jan Midrla and Martin Kremers (Team AVG) the Birel colours also triumphed in the KZ2; sadly the latter of these, having qualified in overall 6th place, was unable to qualify for the final because of a collision at the start of the Pre-Final. Jan Midrla took 2nd place in the Pre-Final finishing behind Bray, but unfortunately for him too his Final turned out to be jinxed:  a contact two laps from the end, when he was competing fiercely for podium finish, forced him to pull out of the race.

Paolo De Conto had this to say about his world championship: “We knew that we had some excellent chassis at our disposal and the positive result in terms of performance, which involved the entire team, bears witness to this. Basically we had the perfect setup for the whole event and we drove really incisively, both in terms of braking and traction. These are things that are highly regarded by the market for the domestic competitions, where our chassis have achieved so many successes. When it comes to the final outcome, we can’t fail but be disappointed: both I and Toninelli went out because of contacts during racing. And, as we have often said, from a sporting point of view, this aspect is a little bit the limitation of championships that are assigned in one-off contests."

Photos by A.Vernardis - The Racebox

Press Release by: Birel Motorsport - 24/09/13

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