Harpham Ready to Defend European Superkart Title

from CIK-FIA 10 July 2013

The CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship is recognised throughout the sport as the leading international superkart series and regularly attracts the best drivers in the world. It is sometimes spoken of as ‘kart racing with a difference’. Certainly these 250cc twin cylinder machines, racing on the major circuits of Europe are the fastest form of kart racing with speeds often in excess of 200kph.

The 2013 championship opens at Snetterton 300 circuit in the east of England, GB on 12-14 July with the first 2 rounds of the 4 Events / 8 race series. The 2012 champion was British driver Lee Harpham from the Humberside region of England. He will defend his title but will arrive at the opening event via an unusual route.

30 years old Harpham has had only one event in Division 1 superkarts this year, instead turning out in the National Championship for 125cc gearbox machines: the long circuit version of the KZ class. Despite operating on a very low budget in this class, he is the clear leader in the domestic championship – a tribute to his driving skills, rather than his cheque book! His D1 superkart outing in 2013 was at Silverstone last month where he was only beaten by Gavin Bennett, 3 times CIK-FIA Champion, who is clearly still a top performer and well motivated to regain ‘his’ title.

The champion goes to Snetterton quietly confident but with a few anxieties in his mind. ‘We are not where we need to be just yet’ he said. ‘We used the Silverstone event as a test and it was pleasing the way it went. But there is still a bit of work to do on the kart if we are to successfully defend the title’ he explained.

Last year’s vice-champion Marcel Maasmann beat Harpham 3 times last year and is likely to offer another serious bid for the title, but there are several other strong challengers to the home based Brits. Expect Denmark’s powerful pairing of Henrik Vejen and Henrik Lilja, both mounted on PVP/PVP outfits produced by former World Champion Poul V.Petersen, to be every bit as fast as last year. 2011 champion Emmanuel Vinuales from France had a disastrous title defence last year, but he returns to Snetterton in good form and with a desire to ‘put the record straight’.

Czech MS Kart factory driver Adam Kout improves each year and has made a good start to this season, whilst Daniel Hentschell is not only one of the younger German drivers to contest this title, he is also one of the best having come 3rd in the 2011 championship. But, like Vinuales, he may feel he has something to prove after a disappointing 2012.

The Scandinavians are always strong. Stefan Malm and improving fellow Swede Ingve Bjerge could feature at the front and Finland’s Vesa Lehtinen made the podium at an international event at Zandvoort recently. The experienced Englishman  Dave Harvey was a race winner at that Zandvoort event whilst younger Brits Chris Needham and Liam Morley, with time on their side, are poised to make a serious challenge to the established top order.

Former double British champion Jason Dredge has now ‘stepped up’ into Division 1 superkarts and, whilst inexperienced at this level, can be expected to learn quickly and could even be a front runner in his debut CIK-FIA championship season.

Friday 12 July is for Free Practice with the 2 Qualifying Practice sessions being on Saturday morning and afternoon. The 2 races comprising rounds 1 & 2 of the championship are on Saturday at 16.05 BST (17.05 CEST) and on Sunday at 11.50 BST (12.50 CEST). The principal supporting race is the 33rd staging of the MSA British Superkart GP.

The series then moves on to Assen, NL (2-4 Aug) with France staging both of the final 2 Events at Magny Cours on 5-7 Sept and the championship decider at Le Mans on 25-27 Oct.

Entry List:

No.  Driver  Entrant  Equipment
1 Harpham, Lee  Harpham, Lee  Anderson / FPE
2 Maasmann, Marcel  Maasmann, Marcel  Anderson / FPE
3 Lilja, Henrik  Lilja, Henrik  PVP / PVP
4 Bennett, Gavin  Bennett, Gavin  Anderson / DEA
5 Kout, Adam  MS Kart Racing Team  MS Kart / DEA
7 Vinuales, Emmanuel  Vinuales, Emmanuel  Anderson / DEA
8 Vejen, Henrik  Vejen, Henrik  PVP / PVP
9 Lehtinen, Vesa  Lehtinen, Vesa  Anderson / DEA
11 Malm, Stefan  Malm, Stefan  Nibor / DEA
12 Hentschel, Daniel  Hentschel, Daniel  Anderson / DEA
15 Harvey, David  Harvey, David  Anderson / FPE
16 Needham, Christopher  Needham, Christopher  Anderson / FPE
19 Bleek, Danny  Bleek, Danny  MS Kart / VM
20 Kinsey, Carl  Kinsey, Carl  Anderson / FPE
25 Hulme, Carl  Hulme, Carl  Anderson / FPE
41 Rushforth, Simon  Rushforth, Simon  Anderson / FPE
47 Marggraf, Thomas  Marggraf, Thomas  PVP / PVP
49 Gjertsen, Erik Martin  Gjertsen, Erik Martin  PVP / PVP
67 Morley, Liam  Morley, Liam  Anderson / DEA
79 Dredge, Jason  Dredge, Jason  Anderson / PVP
84 Bramhall, Mark  Bramhall, Mark  Anderson / FPE
85 Parkes, Gary  Parkes, Gary  Anderson / FPE
88 Busby, Kevin  Busby, Kevin  Anderson / FPE
93 Bjerge, Ingvar  Bjerge, Ingvar  Anderson / FPE
96 Craven, Charles  Craven, Charles  Anderson / DEA 



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