Le Mans 2022, here we go!

Columns: Races
The most anticipated event of the year is about to come to life on the Le Mans kart track. The KZ and KZ2 World Championship will be staged from tomorrow

The wait is over for the queen classes of international karting, after the double round of the European Championship, with the victories of Leuillet (KZ2) and Ippolito (KZ), it is time to start "from scratch" and award the world title. 

After seven years since the last time, Le Mans is back on the calendar with the world title. Seven years where karting has inevitably changed, and not only for the names on the grid, but where the spectacle promises to be even better with so much uncertainty, so many pretenders to the throne and a great programme packaged by RGMMC and FIA. 

Among the big news, apart from the return of the exhibition of historic karts throughout the weekend, the space for spectators and personalities that will reach Le Mans also and especially in the night sessions between Friday and Saturday, we must record the return of Eurosport as official TV. The broadcaster already present at major events in the past has in fact formalised a new collaboration with the FIA Karting for the Le Mans weekend. Eurosport has agreed to broadcast the event live via the Eurosport App. In addition, Eurosport will run an extensive advertising campaign on Eurosport's linear TV channels and its own digital platforms to help promote the sport of karting to a wider global audience.

Coming to the purely sporting side and starting with KZ, the World Championship looks more uncertain than ever. If Paolo Ippolito will start his weekend as European Champion, the 'losers but total winners' of the Sodi Kart house will play the role of absolute favourites for the home weekend. In fact, Emilien Denner and Senna Van Walstijn will start with the objective of avenging the victories of Genk and Cremona and turning them into something historic for them and for Sodi itself with the opportunity to do so in front of their own public. The same public who, during our special contest on Instagram, pointed to Denner as the biggest favourite. The speed shown by the Frenchman and the Dutchman certainly left no doubt, especially when it comes to a unique stage like the rainbow. The French team will be pitted against the Birel Art line-up of official and Charles Leclerc Lennox Racing branded drivers such as Matteo Viganò, Vice European Champion and already a protagonist last time out at Le Mans, Pedro Hiltbrand also already on the scene in the past and author of a European Championship that was difficult in the result but absolutely solid. It is forbidden to call out of the fight Riccardo Longhi and Marijn Kremers, eagerly awaited as usual. Almost identical discourse for another landlord as Jeremy Iglesias for CRG, also pushed by the home factor. For the "chassis" KR, albeit private, the Pex brothers with Jorrit, the last World Champion at Le Mans, are to be included in those who will want to make a big impression. Tony Kart in the hands of Adrien Renaudin, also at home, Noah Milell defending Champion and Simo Puhakka at the last World Championship in his career. 

 
If in KZ the list of names seems thick, in KZ2 it is even thicker and this is confirmed by the numbers and the events of the previous two races with only one dominator and many, many possible protagonists or outsiders ready to emerge. Eyes and favours of prediction are focused on the Lennox Racing driver, Tom Leuillet, European Champion with two wins out of two and projected towards a double win at home in the season in which, at last, KZ2 will live its own World Cup instead of the now cancelled "International Super Cup". Ready to spoil the party are brand mates like Alessio Piccini and Cristian Bertuca, protagonists of the all Birel Art podium in Cremona, including Giuseppe Palomba called to redemption. Also expected are David Trefilov (Maranello) Genis Civico (Modena Kart), Jean and Samuel Luyet (Tony Kart), Arthur Carbonnel (CRG) Arvid Lindblad (SP Motorsport) and Danilo Albanese (KR) among others. 

Official qualifying will start as usual on Friday before the taste of direct confrontations scheduled from the afternoon until the evening of Le Mans. Programme repeated also on Saturday but entirely dedicated to heats. Grand finale on Sunday 4 September with the super heats and the category finals that will award the World Champion titles. 

COMPLETE PROGRAMME

We also remind the debut of the new KZ2 Masters, a category created by the FIA Karting and reserved to drivers over 35 years old with the minimum weight (driver on board) increased to 180 kg instead of the usual 175 kg in KZ2. Apart from this, the regulations of KZ2 will be applied, in particular as regards tyres, which will be supplied by LeCont, SV Prime for slicks and SV1 for rain tyres. Success already achieved by the category with no less than 69 starters. Also for the Masters qualifying on Friday, fully scheduled heats on Saturday, super heats and final on Sunday afternoon. 

Updates from the track will follow. 

S.Corradengo
Photo: FIA Karting 

 

Created by: scorradengo - 01/09/22

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