The European KZ Championship Kicks Off in Spain: race of the Champions

Columns: Races
Here we go: with a reduced number of rounds, the European KZ Championship begins with the best drivers in the world on the fastest karts. Anticipation is high for some major returns to FIA competitions: former World Champions De Conto (KZ) and Gandolfi (KZ Masters).

When the announcement of a European Championship for the shifter classes was made, finally (and once again) with three rounds, there was satisfaction. Unfortunately, the well-known issue related to tires that we wrote about in the past months has reduced the number of rounds back to two. The first red lights finally go off at Motorland in Aragon, where international karting returns after years of a hiatus for the circuit, which hosted a preparatory race for the European Championship in mid-June. This event saw the participation of many top names in the shifter classes and provided a preview of what we can expect in the upcoming scorching weekend in the Spanish hinterland, halfway between Barcelona and Valencia.

Reigning KZ Champion Danilo Albanese (KR / IAME) will defend his title against a lineup of drivers representing the best of professional karting in recent years, including former World and European Champions and more. The second place obtained in the preparatory race (Group A) behind the home driver Pescador (Kali'Kart / TM Kart), a serious contender for the victory here in Alcaniz, is promising for the Italian. However, the battle for victory is as open as ever, with the Sodi squad dominating the other preparatory race (Group B) of the European Championship with Senna Van Walstijn. Palomba and Denner are also serious candidates for the top step, alongside other top teams Birel Art and CRG, fielding the multi-titled Hiltbrand, Longhi, Iglesias, Gustafsson, and Carbonnel. Paolo De Conto, returning to an FIA race after officially retiring from competitions a few years ago, will be on the track with Parolin along with another multi-World Champion, Lorenzo Travisanutto, for a race filled with World titles: the kind of karting we love to see. In KZ2, we have a lineup rich with 91 drivers seeking consecration and coming off an exciting first part of the season, such as Bertuca (Birel Art / TM), in addition to many OK drivers looking for experience and some satisfaction before moving on to cars.

In KZ Master, finally, the evergreen Forè (who will turn 50 in a few weeks) is favored after an impressive performance in the first half of 2024, including a remarkable fourth overall place in the pre-European race, winning the Master classification. This first round of the European Championship sees the return of two highly experienced drivers in KZ: Ennio Gandolfi (born in '77, World Champion ICC in 2004), returning to racing after 20 years, and Anthony Abbasse (born in '89, Vice World Champion in 2016 and 2017), also returning after several years of inactivity.


Created by: fmarangon2 - 02/07/24

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