The first Competition of the season at Portimao brought its share of surprises. Uncertainty reigns regarding the outcome of the races coming up at the home of British Karting, the famous PF International circuit.
Appearing on the CIK-FIA international calendar since 2010, the circuit founded by Paul Fletcher in Lincolnshire has constantly evolved to meet current standards. The track was first extended to 1382m in 2012 to add a spectacular crossover with a bridge. The infrastructure has also been brought up to date, and this year in a strategic shift it has been redesigned for greater safety. PF International is now a fine example of a successful blend of tradition and modernity, enlivened by the special charm of the British passion for motor sports.
In sporting terms, the Portimao track had already disoriented the participants in the European Championship, but in Britain they will have to show other qualities to succeed. 125 drivers are entered for the Competition, a number slightly higher than at the start of the season. The chances of ranking well in the Championship are always important, since the discounting of the two worst results (Qualifying Heats and Final) gives good opportunities for disruption.
Used with high satisfaction in Portugal, the new front fairing fasteners for limiting clashes are likely to actively participate in the sporting success of the UK Competition, playing a highly anticipated calming role.
Finally, the impact of the Competition will be enhanced by the choice of PFI for the world premiere of the new engines to be homologated from 2016.
Two British drivers are top of the CIK-FIA European KF Championship after their excellent results at Portimao. Ben Hanley (Croc Promotions-TM Racing-Vega) and Tom Joyner (Zanardi-TM Racing-Vega) will have the home advantage to hold off the desire for revenge of their main rivals. The Italian Felice Tiene (CRG-Parilla-Vega) occupies an interesting 3rd place, but other favourites like Nicklas Nielsen (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega) and Karol Basz (Kosmic-Vortex-Vega) will have to get back into position to preserve their ambitions. Dionisios Marcu (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega), Hannes Janker (CRG-Parilla-Vega) and Martijn Van Leeuwen (CRG-TM Racing-Vega) have a good hand to play in England, as does the very fast Russian hopeful Alexander Vartanyan (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega).
The Belgian Kenny Roosens (Kosmic-Parilla-LeCont) surprised and impressed his opponents with his speed in the lead of the CIK-FIA European KF-Junior Championship in Portugal. He will be the benchmark to beat at PFI. Some Drivers are well placed to counter him such as Christian Lundgaard (Tony Kart-Vortex-LeCont) and Clement Novalak (Tony Kart-Vortex-LeCont). Others are desperate to get back into the title race as they deserve: Logan Sargeant (FA Kart-Vortex-LeCont), Ulysse De Pauw (BirelART-Parilla-LeCont) and Noah Watt (FA Kart-Vortex-LeCont ). However, we must not forget the revelations of Portimao such as as Caio Collet (Kosmic-Vortex-LeCont), Perdana Putra Minang (Tony Kart-Vortex-LeCont), Felipe Drugovich (Kosmic-Vortex-LeCont) and Sami Worship (FA Kart-Vortex-LeCont).