On Saturday 2nd December, International karting met in Milan for the prize-giving gala of the 2017 CIK-FIA Champions.
At the event, which took place at the Hotel Excelsior Gallia, there were the CIK-FIA President Shaikh Abdulla Bin Isa Al Khalifa and the Vice President Kees van de Grint, introduced by the WSK Promotion President Luca De Donno. The 2017 season completes the five-year-long activity of WSK in the promotion of the World and European CIK-FIA Championships: a collaboration that the President Al Khalifa and the Vice President van de Grint publicly praised in their introductory speeches, in front of 200 guests.
The continuous progress of international karting
Fact and figures of the last five seasons were showed at the beginning of the Gala: 39 events in 10 different countries, from north Europe to the Middle East. 5700 drivers from all around the world took part in these events which awarded 15 World titles and 20 European titles. The CIK-FIA International Super Cup was also awarded in the KF and KZ2 categories: six events were dedicated to the trophy. The CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy ran alongside the main events in all the five seasons. WSK Promotion media coverage always met the expectations of fans and supporters: the live streaming of the races and the special report after each event reached 140 countries all around the world.
All the champions in Milan
A Norwegian teenager, Jenny Susann Jacobsen, received the first prize, presented by the Women in Motorsport Commission. Then, it was the turn of the CIK-FIA Executive Secretary Kay Oberheide to present the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy, won by the Belgian Xavier Handsaeme ahead of the Dutch Tjimen van der Helm and the Brazilian Francisco Melo Do Porto. After that, the CIK-FIA members that were at the Gala awarded the trophies to the 2017 European Champions: the Moroccan Sami Taoufik (OK), who was also awarded as “Rookie of the Year”, the Italian Paolo De Conto (KZ), the British Jonny Edgar (OKJ) and the German Leon Köhler (KZ2).
On the podium with the World Champions
The most important moment of the evening was the prizegiving of the World Champions. The WSK President De Donno gave the prize (in the photo above) to Danny Kierle, the OK Champion ahead of the Spanish David Vidales and the Finnish Juho Valtanen. The President Al Khalifa awarded the OK Junior Champion (below), the British Dexter Patterson, who won ahead of his fellow countrymen Christopher Lulham and Harry Thompson. The Vice President van de Grint gave the KZ trophies to the 2017 KZ Champion Paolo De Conto, to the French Anthony Abasse, the runner-up, and the British Ben Hanley, who placed third (in the 2nd photo below). Finally, the Brazilian CIK-FIA member, Giovanni Guerra, gave the prize to the CIK-FIA International KZ2 Super Cup winner, the Italian Alex Irlando.
All the 2017 CIK-FIA prize winners
In the other categories, prizes were awarded to the Australian Jordan Ford (winner of Monocylinder Cup), the German Peter Elkman (European Superkart Championship) and the French Becq, Guignet, Bidard and Godefroid (CIK-FIA Endurance Championship). The English Paul Fletcher received a prize for his long activity in the world of karting: this year he was the organizer of the OK World Championship on his circuit PFi in Brandon, a facility which gained also the CIK-FIA “Best Event” Award of the season. Finally, the Italian Roberto Baroni received a prize for his 50 years of activity as a driver.