The second CIK-FIA event of the year is due to start on the Belgian racetrack.
written by Alessandro Roca.
Second race for the experienced KZ drivers and season debut for KZ2 guys and for the youngsters racing the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy. After the final round of the last year the "Home of Champions" in Genk will host once again an European event thanks to its 1360 meter-long technical course. The new race format adopted by the CIK-FIA this year reinforces the importance of the qualifying heats, enabling direct qualification for the final. It should be noted that the three categories will use tyres from a single manufacturer, Bridgestone, which is no longer as common in 2017.
Reigning World Champion Paolo De Conto (CRG-TM) won the first round of the season in Sarno and he is looking to defend the head of the championship in Genk. Behind him there are Patrik Hajek (Kosmic-Vortex) and Stan Pex (CRG-TM), with Bas Lammers (Sodikart-TM) and Jérémy Iglesias (Formula K-TM) completing the provisional top five. Anyway all eyes are pointed on Anthony Abbasse (Sodikart-TM) and Simo Puhakka (Kosmic-Vortex) who demonstrated to be in perfect shape before the the incident that eliminated them in Sarno.
Defending European Champion Marco Ardigò (Tony Kart-Vortex) is still struggling with his ribs after the injury occurred in Sarno and his participation is still not sure.
67 drivers will compete in the cadet shifter class and 15 out of 67 are from Italy. Tony Kart fields Matteo Viganò and Alessio Piccini (Tony Kart-Vortex) while Alex Irlando (Sodikart-TM) comes back to shifter class after the first race in Sarno in OK and he will find his teammate Tom Leuillet (Sodikart-TM), winner of the 2016 CIK-FIA Asia-Pacific Championship. This will be the first CIK-FIA race with the Praga chassis for the Italian KZ2 champion Francesco Celenta (Praga-TM) after an unlucky WSK Super Master Series.
Among the potential favourites are Germany's Alexander Schmitz (CRG-Vortex), United Arab Emirates driver Sean Babington (Energy-TM), as well as Dylan Davies (DR-Modena Engines) and Martijn Van Leeuwen (Energy-TM), both of the Netherlands.
CIK-FIA KARTING ACADEMY TROPHY
The CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy is a one-of-a-kind competition to challenge the world's best hopefuls on an equal footing. This year, the 12-to-14-year-old Drivers will be driving their one-design Exprit karts and Vortex engines from the OK-Junior class, equipped with Bridgestone tyres.
Among the 51 entries of the 2017 edition from 39 nations of the five continents, for the first time there are six women, including the Colombian Valeria Vargas Garcia who is supported by the FIA "Women in the Motor Sport" Commission. Chile, Colombia, Kuwait, Morocco and Peru are among the new countries attracted by this category. Genk will be the first of the three Competitions on the calendar.