Flashback Kerpen 2001: when Schumacher thrilled at the World Karting Championship

Columns: Stories
We have retrieved from our archives, on the occasion of Michael Schumacher's 53rd birthday, the article by Vroom in memory of the last round of the 2001 FSA World Championship held at Kerpen, in which the German, former F1 champion with Benetton and Ferrari, appeared to dispute the round with Tony Kart.

Making a comparison, it is like imagining today a starting grid of the next OK World Championship with Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen. It seems unthinkable, but something similar happened in 2001, when F1 world champion and Scuderia Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher decided to challenge the best karting drivers in the most important FIA competition, the World Karting Championship.

At that time there was no OK category, but Formula Super A, which held its last round at Kerpen, Schumacher's 'home'. Schumi did not win either of the two finals, which went to Sauro Cesetti (Kosmic), but thanks to a formidable comeback he managed to finish Final 2 in 2nd place.

The beginning of the adventure, however, was not one of the best; in fact, in the last official practice session, the mixed conditions of the asphalt played a nasty trick on Schumacher, who placed 22nd, corresponding to the 11th row of the starting grid of the two afternoon heats. This annoyed Michael Schumacher so much that he locked himself inside his 'bunker' (the Tony Kart tent manned by Security) to vent his anger at not being among the favourites.

In the first heat he managed to recover and finished eighth; in the second one a touch at the start and a problem with the water pump prevented him from exceeding 15th position. Despite this, once qualifying was over, Schumi gained access to Sunday's final, in the middle of the grid.

It is often said that champions shine in the rain, and that was the perfect setting for Schumacher. On the extremely slippery asphalt, Schumi found the ideal outside 'corridor' in the early stages to overtake several rivals and climb to fourth place on the very first lap. But on this occasion the German had bad luck again, when the front wheel hub broke, forcing him to retire.

In the second Final Schumi's performance was repeated, and this time without a hitch, the German champion managed to parade third under the chequered flag, converted to second after Marco Ardigo's disqualification.

Created by: scorradengo - 04/01/22

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