European CIK Championships - Qualfying

press release

One thousandth of a second between Renaudie and Rowland!

Manuel Renaudie set the fastest time in Qualifying for the second event of the Super KF European Championship at Zuera, beating the British driver Oliver Rowland by a thousandth of a second. The championship leader, Jason Parrott, was only in 15th place. In Qualifying for European KF3 (Junior), the Spanish driver Gerard Barrabeig was fastest, but there were five drivers grouped within 57 milliseconds.

Above: Manuel Renaudie

After opening in April at the Italian circuit of Muro Leccese, the Super KF European Championship (the queen of international karting), the second event is this weekend at Zuera under the Spanish sun. As usual, Qualifying has already been held on Friday. And even though Zuera is the longest circuit of the season (1700 metres), the differences between competitors are minimal.

After the two Qualifying sessions, only one thousandth of a second separated the two fastest drivers, with the advantage going to Manuel Renaudie (Gillard-Parilla). Currently third in the championship, the experienced French driver is therefore a breath ahead of Oliver Rowland (LH-Maxter) The British driver, already involved with McLaren, sees this as an opportunity to redeem himself after a disastrous first round. Third place was also a surprise with the Begian-American Mardin Benjamin, who was a little over a tenth of a second behind. The top five was completed by the Finns Miika Kunranta (Birel-Parilla) and Aaro Vainio (Maranello-Maxter), who oustripped the Czech Zdenek Groman (Maranello-Parilla) and the Italian Luca Giacomello (Zanardi-Parilla), who was fast on his Dunlop tyres, while his opponents mainly use Bridgestone.

On a track overheated by the sun, many have not been able to find an appropriate setup. Second in the championship, the Finn Simo Puhakka (PCR-TM) has more or less limited the damage by taking eighth place, just ahead of the Belgian Yannick De Brabander (Intrepid-TM) who is fourth in the championship standings. By contrast, Britain’s Jason Parrott, who arrived in Spain with the championship lead, could do no better than 15th. Pole in Italy and on the podium in the first race, his compatriot Robert Foster-Jones (FA Kart-Vortex) is only 20th. There are at least two drivers who must at all costs improve during the qualifying Heats this Saturday to be well placed on the starting grid for Race 1 on Sunday.

Alongside the Super KF European Championship at Zuera is the final of the KF3 European Championship, the junior category for ages 13 to 15. Taking advantage of his knowledge, the Spanish Champion Gerard Barrabeig (Intrepid-TM) has announced that he is a driver to be reckoned with by posting the fastest time ahead of the Dutch drivers Nyck De Vries (Zanardi-Parilla), Lukas Machunskas (Tony Kart-Vortex) and Peter Hoevenaars (Zanardi-Maxter). In fifth place, the Italian Raffaele Marciello (Intrepid-TM) was only 57 milliseconds behind, evidence that the racing will be close. In 12th place was Carlos Sainz Jr, son of the double World Rally Champion, acknowleged as one of the favourites for the competition that will continue on Saturday and Sunday morning with the Qualifying Heats. Then, the 34 finalists will take part to the pre-final (which determines the starting order for the final) and the decisive final.