The IAME Winter Cup took place last weekend on the fast and challenging Kartodromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero, near the beautiful city of Valencia, on the East coast of Spain. The fifth edition of the race, promoted and organized by the RGMMC Group, gathered once again the best IAME teams and drivers, with 126 competitors in Mini, Junior, and Senior, ready for their first international meeting at the start of another exciting season!
While the Spanish track remained dry on Friday and Saturday, rain showers came spicing up Sunday’s Prefinals and Finals, bringing the best out of the drivers in each class. Some of them were able to make a difference in the most crucial moments, like Roman Kamyab achieving his first international success in Mini, Bart Harrison winning the Junior race for the second season running, and Dean MacDonald leading the Senior Final from lights to flag!
Second-fastest in 2020, the Spaniard Daniel Nogales (Kart Republic Spain) took pole position in this year’s Qualifying of the Senior class, the most crowded field with up to 60 entrants. The Belgian Sam Balota (Dan Holland Racing) was second-best ahead of the Brit Dean MacDonald (Strawberry Racing). The GT car driver started his weekend on the right foot with a first heat win on the same day, followed by a second place and two more victories, which gave him the provisional lead on Saturday evening. The Spanish driver Urbeltz Moar (TD Kart) took two wins, ahead of the Brit Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing), three races won, the Swede Mathilda Olsson (KH Racing), three times within the top 3, and the Emirati Lachlan Robinson (KR sport), winner of the opening heat on Friday. The tenth and last heat of the weekend went to the Brit Louis Westover (Dan Holland Racing), classified 13th following an early DNF. On Sunday morning, wet tyres were needed for the Prefinal, dominated by Kimber ahead of his teammate MacDonald and their fellow countryman Clayton Ravenscroft (KR Sport), pulling off a 13-place recovery!
Second last season, MacDonald turned into domination mode for the Final! Thanks to a better start than Kimber, the Brit rapidly built a gap, as conditions kept on deteriorating, and led the 20-lap race from lights to flag, emulating his win of 2019. As the leader would not be caught again, Kimber had to make do with second place ahead of Westover. The Spaniard Mari Boya (Monlau Competicion) crossed the finish line in fourth place before being handed a penalty, which promoted both Ravenscroft and the Spanish driver Filip Vava (KR-Sport) within the top 5.
The British driver William Macintyre (KR Sport) emerged quickest in Friday’s Qualifying, lapping around el Kartodromo 0.2 seconds faster than the Dane Louis Leveau (Monlau Competicion), followed by the Spaniards Ivan Arias Chavarri (AC Motorsport) and Adria Mustienes Gil (Kidstowin). Macintyre kept the lead once the heats concluded, securing two wins. The Brit Kanato Le (Fusion Motorsport) came to the fore in second position, with a pair of second places as personal bests, in front of Arias Chavarri, winner of the penultimate heat on Saturday. The Brit Leo Robinson (Fusion Motorsport) climbed to fourth overall ahead of the Spaniard Eric Gene Casanovas (Mol Racing), while Leveau slipped down to sixth despite a win. Last year’s Winter Cup winner Bart Harrison (Mick Barrett Racing) took a heat win (15th) as well as the Frenchman Andy Ratel (KBK Competition), 16th. In Sunday’s Prefinal, Le made good use of the drying conditions and passed Macintyre for the win, with Robinson diving through for second place.
Coming to Sunday’s Final, drivers were facing a heavy challenge as the rain started pouring on the Kartodromo Valencia. At lights out, Robinson started well before Le took the lead back in the opening lap. While the young Brit quickly built himself a one-second gap, Harrison was equally-quick in making his way through the field. From the third row of the grid, he climbed to second after a couple of laps and launched a successful move on Le close to half-race. Once in the lead, Harrison kept all doors shut, which allowed a recovering Marcus Luzio (KR Sport), 10th on the grid, to close in on Le. In the last lap, the latter went off the track, let Luzio through for second, but was able to keep going for the third spot. Unaware of the drama behind him, Harrison could savor his second Winter Cup win in a row. Le was eventually classified runner-up following a penalty for Luzio, with Macintyre completing the podiums ahead of the Brit Fionn McLaughlin (Fusion Motorsport) and the Spaniard Adrian Malheiro (Kart Republic Spain), promoted to fifth after Robinson was handed a post-race penalty.
The Qualifying practice of the Mini category, filled with 32 entries, saw the local drivers top the timesheet with Sandro Perez Sanchez (MDC Racing) on pole position, followed by Raul Zunzarren Perez (Monlau Competicion) and Alejandro Martinez (Praga Racing). The eliminatory races on Saturday led to a close fight between Perez Sanchez and Zunzarren Perez. While each driver won twice, the former claimed the overall first place thanks to a second position, followed by a single point by Zunzarren Perez, with Martinez and the British driver Roman Kamyab (Privateer) third and fourth. In Sunday’s Prefinal, the leading order was turned upside down with Zunzarren Perez retiring after some troublesome opening laps, Martinez being disqualified and Perez Sanchez going from first to fourth against The Dutch Sacha Van’t Pad Bosch (Fusion), Kamyab, and the Dutch Luuk Taal (Fusion Motorsport).
The Minis were the first out on track for their final race on Sunday afternoon, putting the wet compounds on as rain started falling. While Van’t Pad Bosch kept his advantage at lights out, Taal went past Kamyab for second place but the Brit was quick to fight back and made his way up to first in the opening lap! Kamyab stamped his mark on the race, increasing his gap while keeping his pace under control until the finish! Despite his efforts, Van’t Pad Bosch came 0.8 seconds short and had to make do with second place at the end of the 15-lap race. Taal completed the final top 3 ahead of Ben Smith (Fusion), who recovered 12 positions, and Hugo Marti Ferrando (Parolin Spain).
IAME Winter Cup Awards
The three class winners Roman Kamyab, Bart Harrison, and Dean MacDonald were awarded the full IAME Euro Series entry fees, as well as a special “driver pack” including Thursday’s Free Practice fees and two sets of race slick tires for each round.
Live Streaming, Highlights and Results
All official sessions on Saturday and Sunday of the 2021 IAME Winter Cup were broadcasted via a live video stream, with commentary coverage, provided by RGMMC Productions’ video crew. All races, as well as interviews and highlights, were made available on the RGMMC Productions Youtube channel. More information and complete results can be found on the IAME Euro Series official website www.iameeuroseries.com, the RGMMC Group website www.rgmmc.com, and the IAME Euro Series Facebook page www.facebook.com/x30euro.
The IAME Winter Cup at Valencia was the first race promoted and organized by the RGMMC Group in 2021, marking the start of the international racing season for teams and drivers competing in X30 classes. The next event will be the opening round of the IAME Euro Series, taking place on the Karting des Fagnes International Raceway of Mariembourg, in Belgium, from March 25th to 28th.
- Report: Guillaume Alvarez
- Photos: Alex Vernardis / The RaceBox