Lorenzo Camplese (KZ): On home soil, Camplese (Tony Kart/Vortex) found the pace as early as Friday when he took Pole position in the KZ class over his countryman Alessandro Irlando. Winner of his first heat, the Italian finished twice in fourth position, enough to secure the second row of the final grid. He lost some places at the start but quickly made them up to take the lead on Lap 2 and kept it until the chequered flag was waved, crossing the finish line ahead of Bas Lammers that he managed to keep at bay for the full 20-lap Final. In the overall KZ standings, Camplese ended up Vice-European Champion for a single point behind Jorrit Pex!
Bas Lammers (KZ): Eight-fastest in Qualifying, Lammers (Sodikart/TM) progressively gained momentum through the heats where he finished twice in the Top 5 including a third place. From fifth on the Final’s grid, the Dutchman jumped on the good wagon avoiding the opening lap troubles and finished runner-up to Camplese. Fourth overall in the European Championship on equal points with the Italian and Anthony Abbasse, the former World Cup winner has shown to be on top of his game this season, not only in the FIA Karting races but also in WSK events where his recent partnership with the Sodikart Factory Team has worked wonders.
Jorrit Pex (KZ): Winning a championship is not always about being the fastest or the best in all circumstances. Sometimes, experience teaches you to look at the bigger picture rather than trying to outperform your rivals by taking all the risks. Even though he spent the weekend in Sarno rather within than at the front of the Top-Ten field, Jorrit Pex (KR/IAME) ended up winning yet another European championship title. A trophy won through sheer hard work and consistency that made him collect enough points to get his second crown in a row. Some will argue that a troublesome KZ Final and the retirements of some of his rivals helped his cause, which is hardly deniable but also part of racing. But once in third place halfway through the race, Pex kept his pace until the chequered flag, taking his second-best European result in the last two seasons (after his second position at the 2018 Kart Grand Prix of France in Salbris), enough to get that extra point advantage from an early-retired Anthony Abbasse.
Alessandro Irlando (KZ): Third at Wackersdorf for the opening round, Irlando (Birel ART/TM) came to Sarno knowing he had a good shot at the KZ European title. The Italian delivered the second-fastest qualifying lap on Friday that he then converted in the heats into three Top 3-finishes including a win. From the second starting spot on the final grid, he went past the Polesitter Simo Puhakka and lead part of the opening lap before an incident with the Finn forced him to retire. An early blow that Irlando will seek to repair at the World Championship event, again on home soil at Lonato, in September.
Emilien Denner (KZ2): The young Frenchman (Sodikart/TM) keeps impressing his peers amongst the KZ2 category. Taking advantage of a strong pace in Sarno, the CPB Sport driver patiently built his weekend through a series of Top 3-finishes in his heats. From fifth on the final grid, he took a good start and made his way up to second place in the opening laps, chasing the leader Vidales while defending against his countryman Paolo Besancenez. Four laps from the flag, Denner move up to the first position and concluded his run on the highest podium step, collecting enough points to be made European Vice-Champion!
Jean Nomblot (KZ2): One round is not the other for Nomblot (Sodikart/TM). After a disappointing DNF at Wackersdorf, the young Frenchman put things right on the Naples track. Despite a distant 14th qualifying lap, he took his CPB Sport-prepared chassis to victory in his first heat, followed by a fourth and three second places. On Sunday, he took a good start from Row 2 but contact with Senna Van Walstijn on his right sent him in the air in what could have been a race-ending incident. Still, Nomblot only lost two positions and launched his attack, climbing to second place at the halfway mark before settling for third to complete a Sodikart podium hat-trick behind Emilien Denner and Paolo Besancenez.
David Vidales Ajenjo (KZ2): The Spaniard was amongst the fastest KZ2 drivers in Sarno. Fifth against the clock on Friday, the Tony Kart representant aligned four victories in the heats, completed by a third-place finish on Sunday morning, that gave him the Final Pole position. At lights out, Vidales battled hard to keep his lead for the majority of the race but couldn’t resist a final charge from his rivals. Three laps from the end, he started losing positions and eventually crossed the flag in 9th place. An unfortunate conclusion to an overall-impressive weekend.
Robert De Haan (Academy): Penalties are always hard to swallow, especially when it takes a victory away, as Robert De Haan experienced last Sunday. Winner of the Academy Trophy Final on track, the young Dutchman was disqualified for “working on the kart on the Pre-grid”. A few weeks after his dominant victory at the Academy’s first Competition in Germany, De Haan produced yet another very efficient weekend on Italian soil, taking two wins and a second place in the qualifying races. From pole, he only lost ground to Siksnelis at the start of the Final before taking back the first place and hold it from the opening lap to the chequered flag where he finished with a gap of more than an entire straight line to the next kart. Despite losing the result, De Haan still leads the current Academy rankings before the final round at Lonato, at the end of September.
Oleksander Partyshev (Academy): Certainly the good surprise from last weekend amongst the Academy youngsters. After a difficult opener at Wackersdorf, the young Ukrainian found his pace on the fast layout of Sarno, taking the third-fastest lap time in Qualifying. In his first heat, he came a close second behind Jacob Douglas before defeating Christian Ho, making him the provisional points leader on Saturday night, and finishing third of his last race. He may have inherited the final victory after De Haan’s disqualification but his race craft had enabled him to keep his rivals behind to reach second place.
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Text: Guillaume Alvarez
Photos: Alex Vernardis