Although it is unusual, a local Driver, Charles Leclerc, has landed the CIK-FIA Monaco Kart Cup for KF3. And to complete the success of regional competitors, the Frenchman Norman Nato, who lives in Antibes (i.e. just about forty kilometres from Monte Carlo), has imposed his master touch on the gearbox kart category, KZ2!
After qualifying practice and heats held in the sunshine and therefore on a dry track, Drivers had to come to terms with the rain in the final phase of the 14th edition of the Monaco Kart Cup. Showers were even so intense that race direction had to take the decision to interrupt the KZ2 prefinal and to give the start of the KF3 and KZ2 finals in “Slow” mode, somewhat equivalent to the Safety Car procedure in Motor Sport, the SC being replaced by a large number of yellow flags.
In KF3, the preliminary phases of the event had seen the armada of Sodi Drivers, composed of Pierre Gasly, Charles Leclerc and Léo Roussel, emerge in the lead further to qualifying practice. However, during the qualifying heats, none of the three Drivers of the French team managed to avoid the traps inherent to any race held on a temporary track. Roussel, Gasly and Leclerc indeed qualified for the final phase but they were only respectively 8th, 13th and 28th after these heats. Already remarked throughout the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy, which he finished in 2nd position, the Frenchman Anthoine Hubert proved the most convincing contender, winning each of his two qualifying heats and then the prefinal while he was at it.
After an initially unsuccessful attempt at giving the start under the rain and as a pile-up left many karts out of the track or obstructing it, the FK3 final had to be postponed by one hour. France’s Hubert took the lead at the start but Norway’s Dennis Olsen (Energy-TM) launched an attack on the 3rd lap and took the lead. Having already recovered from the back of beyond in the prefinal (starting 28th, he was classified 7th), Charles Leclerc (Sodi-Parilla) continued his recovery in a spectacular manner: he caught up with Olsen and, on the 7th lap, he took first place and kept it until the finish, while constantly increasing his lead. And while Olsen maintained himself in second place, the Frenchman Gasly, the Briton Alexander Albon (Intrepid-TM) and the Swede Gustav Koch Malja (Tony Kart-Vortex) all managed to pass Hubert in the last two laps.
In KZ2, despite his lack of Karting competition in 2010 (because he was entered in single-seater within the framework of the Eurocup F4), France’s Norman Nato (CRG-Maxter) made a strong impression, so much so that in the heats and in the final, both on a dry track and on a wet one, he dominated all the seasoned specialists of the category. At the end of the 28 laps of the final, he was ahead of the 2010 European Champion Paolo De Conto (Energy-TM), of the winner of the 2009 Monaco Kart Cup Anthony Abbasse (Sodi-Maxter), the Czech Patrik Hajek (Tony Kart-Vortex), the “F1 McLaren Young Driver backed” British Driver Oliver Rowland (CRG-Maxter) and the strongman of the year 2010, Bas Lammers (Intrepid-TM).