All three Australians racing at Genk, Belgium, on the weekend moved forward in their classes as the meeting progressed, two of them making the Finals.
In Academy Trophy, Victorian junior driver Harry Arnett finished 12th in the final (but dropped to P26 due to penalty) having initially qualified 44th. He would have been much further up the grid, but lost his fastest lap due to a penalty.
“The whole weekend was a bit of a rollercoaster” he told Karting Australia. “I was fast in practice finishing fastest in (the) final session but then in qualifying I got caught up with traffic and ended up 44th. From there I was fighting back all weekend.
“To finish the round by crossing the line 12th in the final is something that I’m very proud of. Unfortunately, I got a penalty that dropped me back which was disappointing. All the racing was very intense, especially the final.
“Overall, I think I showed some great speed and I know that I have the speed to mix it with the front guys.”
In KZ2, Oscar Targett (BirelART Racing) had his most competitive showing in Europe yet, qualifying 29th (of 89), carding several top-ten finishes in the heats then grabbing P21 in the the final.
“A P21 finish in the final was not exactly where our speed was, but due to a couple of unlucky moments through the heats my starting position was compromised” Oscar posted on social media. “We are still very happy as our main goal for the weekend was to make the final.”
Henry Johnstone contested the same class with the same team, but didn’t qualify well. “We made changes for the qualifying session which didn’t work, and I was unable to maximise the new tyre” he posted on Facebook.
He earned enough points to contest the Super Heat, but despite finished 14th, was unable to transfer. “The Super Heat was wild, karts were flying everywhere and we were able to avoid the crashes! Unfortunately we weren’t through to the Final this time but we will build on this week for round two of the championship in Italy in a months time.”
At the conclusion of the meeting a French driver heads the points in each of the three categories – Emilien Denner in KZ, Tom Leuillet in KZ2 and Arthur Dorison in Academy Trophy (scroll down for the official report & vids).
Harry Arnett (Academy Trophy, Exprit/Vortex)
Q: 44 (of 54). Heats: 13, 18 (penalty), 12. Ranking: 26. Final: 26th (penalty)
Oscar Targett (KZ2, BirelART/TM)
Q: 29 (of 89). Heats: 15, 5, 19, 8, 10. Ranking: 25. Super Heat: 9. Ranking: 25. Final: 21st.
Henry Johnstone (KZ2, BirelART/TM)
Q: 89. Heats: 25, 19, 24, 23 (penalty), 20. Ranking: 72. Super Heat: 14. Ranking: 63. Final: DNQ
- full result on the FIA Karting site HERE
official report – FIA Karting
TRIPLE FRENCH VICTORY IN GENK WITH DENNER, LEUILLET AND DORISON
The good weather continued on the last day with summer temperatures, which enhanced the races as did the presence of many spectators in the stands and around the 1360 m circuit known as the “Home of Champions”. The last Qualifying Heats and the Super Heats held in the morning were extremely lively as the challenge of qualifying in good position for the Finals motivated the competitors.
The Finals took place more calmly to confirm the hierarchy established at the end of the Qualifying Phases over a longer distance. The show was superb in Genk from the Qualifying sessions to the end of the Finals. CIK-FIA President Akbar Ebrahim attended the event before presenting the winners with their trophies. The next event for the KZ and KZ2 categories will deliver the verdict of their European Championship in a month’s time in Cremona, Italy, from 17th to 19th June 2022, while the FIA Karting Academy Trophy will see the second of its three events.
DENNER VICTORIOUS WITH PANACHE IN KZ
Paolo Ippolito (ITA-KR/IAME/LeCont) showed his ambitions during the Super Heat by winning against Emilien Denner (FRA-Sodi/TM Racing/LeCont), but this did not deprive the Frenchman of the top place in the overall intermediate ranking.
Denner got off to a perfect start when the race began, while Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP-Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont) jumped to third place. Ippolito didn’t leave the wake of the leader until the eighth of the 23 laps when Denner increased the pace and flew inexorably towards the victory. He crossed the finish line as the winner with the fastest time 3,4” ahead of Ippolito who had to face increasing pressure from Matteo Vigano (ITA-Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont). Jorrit Pex (NLD-KR/TM Racing/LeCont) regained his fourth starting position and Hiltbrand finished fifth. Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA-Parolin/TM Racing/LeCont) finished his first race in KZ in sixth position ahead of Senna van Walstijn (NLD-Sodi/TM Racing/LeCont). Davide Fore’ (ITA-Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont) was 15th and had gained eight positions.
Provisional standings of the 2022 FIA Karting European Championship – KZ after the first round
1- Emilien Denner (FRA) 35 points
2- Paolo Ippolito (ITA) 29 points
3- Matteo Vigano (ITA) 24 points
4- Jorrit Pex (NLD) 20 points
5- Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP) 16 points
TOM LEUILLET, THE STRONG MAN OF KZ2
David Trefilov (DEU-Maranello/TM Racing/LeCont) began by overtaking Tom Leuillet (FRA-Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont) in Super Heat A with Daniel Vasile (ROU-DR/Modena Engines/LeCont) 3rd ahead of Kristijan Habulin (HRV-TB Kart/TM Racing/LeCont) and Norton Andreasson (SWE-Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont). It was Jorge Pescador (ESP-CRG/TM Racing/LeCont) who won Super Heat B ahead of the fast beginner Arvid Lindblad (GBR-KR/TM Racing/LeCont) and Samuel Luyet (CHE-Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont), followed by Genis Civico Espona (ESP-Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont) and Giuseppe Palomba (ITA-Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont). However, Leuillet remained in the lead of the final intermediate ranking followed by Trefilov and Marjus Kajak (EST-Tony Kart/TM Racing/LeCont).
The course of the Final was clear. Leuillet kept the advantage at the start against Trefilov who did not let himself be distanced. Leuillet increased his lead in the second half of the race and won with the fastest lap, more than 2,5” ahead of his rival. The young Kris Haanen (NLD-KR/TM Racing/LeCont) made a seven-place comeback to take third place in front of Kajak. Lindblad lost time at the start due to a lack of experience, but confirmed his fighting spirit by climbing back into the top five ahead of Danilo Albanese (ITA-KR/IAME/LeCont).
Provisional standings of the 2022 FIA Karting European Championship – KZ2 after the first round
1- Tom Leuillet (FRA) 35 points
2- David Trefilov (DEU) 29 points
3- Markus Kajak (EST) 21 points
4- Arvid Lindblad (GBR) 18 points
5- Kris Haanen (NLD) 17 points
ACADEMY: DORISON REGAINS THE LEAD AND WINS THE FINAL
The tone was set on Sunday morning during the last two Qualifying Heats of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy. At the wheel of their Exprit/Vortex one-design karts supplied by OTK Kart Group and equipped with LeCont tyres, the 54 youngsters aged from 12 to 14 showed remarkable enthusiasm in their bid to be among the 36 finalists. A new winner, the fifth of the event, was the Finn Joel Pohjola, while the Frenchman Arthur Dorison added a second success to his tally and took the lead of the provisional ranking ahead of the Luxembourger Guillaume Bouzar and the Filipino William John Riley Go.
Leader from the start of the Final, Dorison never left the first position despite the constant pressure of Go behind him. The gap between the two drivers was reduced to less than three tenths before the halfway point, but Dorison had the resources to regain his distance and win with a lead of more than five tenths. Bouzar was very close to Go at the beginning of the race, but was unable to overtake him and finally secured third place by half a second. Penalised, Pohjola, who set the fastest lap, lost the benefit of his comeback to fourth position on the line to find himself 10th. Luca Houghton (BHR) took fourth ahead of Aleksandar Bogunović (SVN). A strong 20-place improvement saw Henry Joslyn (GBR) move up to eighth. Further back, Andris Purmalis (LVA) had moved up 13 places to 22nd.
Provisional standings of the 2022 FIA Karting Academy Trophy after the first event
1- Arthur Dorison (FRA) 35 points
2- William John Riley Go (PHL) 28 points
3- Guillaume Bouzar (LUX) 25 points
4- Luca Houghton (BHR) 18 points
5- Jindřich Pešl (CZE) 17 points