This weekend, two major international karting events are happening in Europe. The second and final round of the 2013 CIK FIA European Championships are on track in Ortona, Italy to crown the KF and KFJ European Champions, while in Lincolnshire, England round three of the 2013 Rotax Max Euro Challenge is taking place. A handful of Canadian drivers are competing at both events and CKN is track their progress. Stay tuned to this page throughout the weekend to see how our international stars are doing.
Rotax Euro Challenge: Finals
The Final day of the third round of the 2013 Rotax Euro Challenge hit the track at PF International in England. After all three of our Canadians directly transferred the main events in their respective classes, it was time for the Pre Finals and Finals on Sunday.
Starting from the Pole Position after three heat wins, Ben Cooper easily cruised in the Rotax DD2 Pre Final to secure his position for the start of the Final. Leading the way as the lights went out to start the Final, Cooper immediately would begin one of the most challenging races to date. In an outright dog fight, the KMS/Birel pilot would eventually cross in fourth place, just missing the podium but not after the race that it felt to get back feeling like this old self again.
In Rotax Junior, Gianfranco Mazzaferro held his own after making the final for first time in his short Euro Challenge career. He managed to finish 22nd in the Pre Final and 23rd in the Final and will bring that expertise back to Canada with two big events coming up for the youngster from Montreal.
Finally, Zachary Claman DeMelo continued to work his way forward after a slow start to the weekend. Finishing the Pre Final in 20th, DeMelo worked hard in the Final to cross in 15th.
CIK European Championships: Finals
It was an all around tough day for Canadians on Sunday in Ortona, Italy as the final day of the 2013 CIK FIA European Championships came to a close. Both Canadians in the KF Junior class found themselves in Pre Final 1, where Parker Thompson would start from second place and Kami Moreira-Laliberte a little deeper down the field. A tough start would see Thompson fall to fourth as the first lap was completed, but his struggle would not end there. Contact only a couple laps later would move Thompson well down the order and eventually out the race. His excellent weekend and form all gone to waste as a DNF in the Pre Final meant no Championship Final for Thompson. Adding to the Canadian frustration, Liliberte would retire one lap after Thompson and he too would not transfer to the main event.
In the KF division, Lance Stroll finally found the pace he had been missing all weekend in Pre Final 1. Driving to finish sixth, he easily transferred to the Championship Final and would start from the outside of row six. Getting through the opening laps, Stroll was looking at the top-ten before contact with another driver would end his race 12 laps short and officially ranked 31st.
Rotax Euro Challenge: Heat Racing
Drivers and teams returned to the PF International Circuit in England for Saturdays action packed day of heat races for the Rotax Euro Challenge.
Rotax Junior was split into four groups, with Gianfranco Mazzaferro as the lone Canadian in the class. The TKP FA Kart driver had an up and down day finishing 11th, 14th and 7th to rank 21st overall and advancing directly to Sunday final day of action. This is a major improvement for Mazzaferro after his first Euro Challenge experience.
In Rotax DD2, Ben Cooper returned to his familiar position atop the results sheets. Cooper and his KMS Birel won all three of his heat races to rank first heading into Sunday’s Final day.
44 drivers in Rotax Senior saw the class divided into five groups for heat races. After Fridays qualifying, Zachary Claman DeMelo was right in the thick of the action on Saturday and he survived posting results of 9th, 7th, 8th and 11th to rank 9th, to advance into Sunday’s main events and avoiding the Last Chance Race.
Sunday will see each class run a Pre Final and Final.
Live streaming of the event can be found on http://www.rgmmcmedia.com/page24.html
CIK European Championships: Heat Racing
With 62 entries, the KFJ was split into six groups for their heat races, meaning each driver had to survive five runs of intense sprint race action. It was a great day for Parker Thompson as he would utilize starting from third position for four of heat races today. Thompson and his Energy Corse Kart never finished lover than fifth all day posting results of 3rd, 5th, 2nd and 2nd on Saturday. Adding in his 2nd place result from Friday’s heat race, Thompson unofficially ranks third overall and will start tomorrows Pre Final A from the outside of the front row.
For Kami Moreira-Laliberte, he continued to struggle through the heats. His heat results on Saturday saw him finish 15th, 19th, 18th, 14th and 18th and unofficially ranks 57th. He will have his work cut out tomorrow if he wants to transfer to the main event as he will start deep in Pre Final A with only the top-17 transferring to the Final.
In the KF division, 58 drivers would be split into five groups for the heat races. After his disappointing qualifying effort, Canadian Lance Stroll started mid-pack for each heat. he started the day off finishing 8th and 6th, but wrapping up the day with a 21st and and 13th really hurt his point tally and he ended up ranked 28th. He will need to stay out of trouble in tomorrows Pre Final to advance to the main and have a shot at the European Championship podium.
Rotax Euro Challenge: Qualifying Results
After two days of official testing at the PFI International Circuit in England, Friday saw official qualifying sessions hit the track.
Leading the Canadian contingent, Ben Cooper placed his KMS Birel 6th overall in Rotax DD2. The class is mixed with the Rotax DD2 Masters for the event and has a total of 33 drivers.
In Rotax Junior with 45 entries, Gianfranco Mazzaferro is back on track in Europe. Teamed up with Team TKP aboard a FA Kart, Mazzaferro posted the 17th quickest time and will have his hands full in the heat races.
Finally, Zachary Claman DeMelo flies the maple leaf in Rotax Senior. Another stacked field highlights the event at PFI where DeMelo posted the 33rd quickest time. DeMelo has switched from Factory CRG to a RL Racing Dept TonyKart for this weekend.
CIK European Championship: Qualifying Results
A quick turn around for the KF and KFJ kart racers as they raced last weekend to close out the WSK Master Series in Castelletto, Italy and are back on track this weekend in Ortona, Italy for the CIK FIK European Championships. Like usual, the action gets under way on Friday with qualifying and the first round of heat races.
Two Canadians are entered this weekend in KFJ. Parker Thompson is aboard his familiar Energy Corse Kart while Kami Moreira-Laliberte is back with Chiesa Corse/Zanardi Kart. Missing this weekend in Devlin Defrancesco as he is back in North America preparing for the US and Canadian National Championships.
A good run for Thompson saw him advance to the SuperPole Qualifying session before posting the 8th quickest time. This puts him in Group B and aside from his first heat, will have him line up on the inside row for each start. Laliberte seemed to struggle in qualifying, only being able to post the 58th best time out of the 62 entered drivers.
Friday also saw heat one where Thompson drove a great race to finish second in the A vs B heat while Laliberte advanced up to finish 15th. Both drivers will have four more heat races on Saturday.
In the KF division, Lance Stroll remains as the lone Canadian in class. Back on his Chiesa Corse Zanardi Kart, Stroll seemed off in Qualifying posting the 24th time out of the 58 entries. But he did bounce back in his first heat race placing 8th in the B vs D flight.