Zanardi Guest of Honour At CRG Prize-Giving Ceremony

Around 200 guests attended the CRG annual prize-giving ceremony recently. The traditional end of year event is hosted by the Tinini family to celebrate all the elements of the Italian factory's team, from its champions on the track to its major international dealers.

Above: Alex Zanardi with Davide Foré

This year's ceremony also celebrated CRG's 25th Anniversary. Guests came from all around the world, including a very special guest of honour - Alex Zanardi.

CRG's list of trophies was already very rich, and this year the number of trophies increased, thanks to Jonathan Thonon (winner in the KZ1 World Cup), Max Verstappen (winner in KF3 in the WSK Euro Series), Fabian Federer (winner of the KZ2 European Championship and of the CSAI Italian Championship) and Mirko Torsellini (winner of the WSK Final Cup in KZ2).

Giancarlo Tinini, helped by his daughters Vania and Nicole, presented the prizes to his drivers.

The first applauses went to Jonathan Thonon, who is doubtlessly the most representative CRG driver of these last years: he won his fourth KZ1 World Cup on the circuit of Genk, at the end of a thrilling duel with his country fellow man De Brabander and his teammate Davide Forè.

Other applauses for Fabian Federer who, thanks to his successes in the KZ2 European Championship in Wackersdorf and in the CSAI KZ2 Italian Championship, besides his third place in the KZ2 WorldCup, has risen through the ranks and, in 2012, is joining CRG official team.

The other CRG driver who stood out in 2011 was the Canadian PierLuc Oulette, winner of another prestigious title thanks to his win in the Rotax Grand Finals DD2 in the Arab Emirates.

Above: Jonathan Thonon & CRG Boss Giancarlo Tinini

Finally, all the other CRG drivers who achieved good results in the season which hasjust finished received a medal, starting with Mirko Torsellini. Besides winning the KZ2 WSK Final Cup of Wackersdorf, he stepped onto the podium in the KZ2 European Championship, he was the runner-up of the WSK Euro Series always in KZ2 and finished his season with a win in the Las Vegas S1.

Also Jorrit Pex - the winner of the Belgian, Dutch and German championships -  received a medal as an award for his results, as well as the young Eliseo Martinez, winner in the Mini Spanish Championship and in the Champions Cup in Spain.

Other awards went to all the other CRG drivers: Eddy Tinini, Davide Forè, Felice Tiene, Jordon Lennox-Lamb, Andrea Dalè, Daniele Delli Compagni, Leonardo Tano and Kristijan Habulin.

Among the world CRG dealers, the prize Best Dealer of the year 2011 was won by a neck by the French “KCM”, represented by Cristian and Laurent Marchandise. KCM was back on top of the ranking after its victory of the sought-after prize in 2009. The Canadian PSL placed second, represented by Stephane St. Charles, before the Japanese Nagahara Service.

Among the Italian dealers, the first place was achieved by Galiffa Kart, Sporting Club Martina was second and  Valdibiena srl third.

At the end of the prize-giving ceremony, the Tinini family commemorated the recent demise of Franco Bandinelli - CRG dealer for Tuscany.

Besides the CRG champions, the other focus of everybody's attention was, of course, Alex Zanardi. His presence made the ceremony even more interesting and made the celebrations for CRG's 25th Anniversary more complete.

Above: Tinini and Zanardi

ALEX ZANARDI AT CRG'S. “I'm pleased to be here together with Giancarlo Tinini and his family, for the CRG prize-giving ceremony. In fact, I cannot help remembering that I won my first national title on a CRG kart. It's been so exciting meeting my old friends, but I'm not a nostalgic person: if I had wasted too much time looking back at what I had left behind, I wouldn't have been able to achieve all the good things I've achieved so far. Anyway, I must say I miss a bit my old days, especially when I look at my picture on a kart hanging from one of the walls of this room and then I see all these young drivers, with all their career in front of them... I must confess I feel a bit jealous. I'd like to be one of them, ready to "quarrel" with my kart and to do all those things which, thanks to my good luck, I've been able to do and which have been so exciting for me. I share lots of these wonderful memories with the CRG people. Besides, I can proudly say I was the first driver of the CRG era, because the other drivers of my team still raced on Kalì Kart. And I was the first driver who won on CRG, given that we won the 1986 Italian Championship of the 100 International A just a week after I had joined the team. It was such an incredible sensation, because I had just been through a series of disappointing situations in DAP, which was the most important brand of that period. Then, in just one week, I managed to win on CRG, putting behind me - from second to fifth - all those Dap-Dap, with all those drivers who, just a week before, had been my teammates. It was an incredible joy.

- Now your name is on one of the chassis which keeps on launching great champions...

"Yes, but all the merit goes to Dino Chiesa. I think I was clever when I talked Dino into taking care of the Zanardi Kart line when Giancarlo Tinini, at the end of 2005, told me that Dino could do it. We immediately arranged a meeting and I realized how he found the project exciting. Then, his skills and CRG technology brought outstanding results. I'm flattered when I think those results have been achieved under the patronage of my name. Among the drivers who have raced on our karts it is worth mentioning De Vries: he has recently finished his experience in karting, winning for the second time the World Championship and the WSK Euro Series. He is, according to my opinion, a very talented boy, and I think he would win anyway. However, when you join together the strength of people such as Dino Chiesa and of companies such as CRG... It is not simply a matter of appeal: there is real quality underneath, great skills. We are talking of real hot stuff. I think Nyck, this year, has been supported by his flawless talent but also by the best possible equipment and the best possible assistance: that's why he has been able to get unprecedented results. He has simply won everything there was to win. At the moment, talking of very young drivers, we are making Lance Stroll get the experience he needs. He is a very promising talent and he has his head screwed on. I've been positively struck by the modesty and the application of this young guy: they are the foundations for all, especially in such a sport. Anyway, I'd like to see some Italian guys on our karts, someone who can stand out at international level. It would be really great!"