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European KZ Championships

press release

Over five days, the European KZ1, KF2 and KZ2 Championships were contested on the Prokart Raceland track in Wackersdorf, Germany. As frequently in karting, there was a great spectacle, with thrills and excitement high on the agenda.

  • Photo gallery from the event HERE

History will tell that it was in Bavaria that the young Dutch Driver Jorrit Pex, KZ1 Champion after the exclusion of Marco Ardigo, took his first international title, that it was also in Wackersdorf that Lithuania entered CIK-FIA records in the name of Simas Juodvirsis, KZ2 Champion, and that Max Verstappen took the lead in the European KF2 Championship after the first two Races in the programme.

The European KZ1 Championship contested in Wackersdorf was not short of surprises. On the agenda for a perfectly exciting Race, once more there was changeable weather, knives were drawn for battle and a winner was to be declared … after the chequered flag!

As the first Driver to cross the finishing line in the Final, Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex) believed he had won the European title in the top category for karts with gearboxes, but the Italian was excluded under the weight prescribed in the Regulations. According to the Italian team, an unusual fuel leak was the cause of his misfortune.

But one person’s misfortune is another’s good fortune, and the justifiable disappointment felt by Jorrit Pex (CRG-TM) changed to satisfaction at taking his first international title.

This is the best day of my karting career,” smiled the Dutch 19-year-old. “I was fast all weekend. From Qualifying Practice to the Final, I was never out of the Top 3. I was leading after the Qualifying Heats, second after the Prefinal and I thought I was second in the Final. What happened to Marco Ardigo is a shame, but that’s a part of racing. So despite everything I’m happy to win the title!

It is true in fact that, among the Top 5 Drivers, Jorrit Pex was the only one not to have worn an international crown. He was joined on the podium by the Italian Davide Foré (CRG-Maxter), still there at major meetings, and Arnaud Kozlinski (PCR-TM), climbing superbly from 20th to 3rd place after a mistake in the Prefinal fought in heavy rain. The French Driver felt a tinge of satisfaction at his an unexpected podium place, mixed with the impression of having been close to winning the title. The other Drivers in the Top 5 were the Dutch Bas Lammers (Praga-Parilla) and the Belgian Jonathan Thonon (CRG-Maxter), two former European Champions and winners of the KZ1 World Cup. Like Kozlinski, Thonon also had a few regrets after leaving the track in the Prefinal when in the lead. Despite his fastest lap of the Race in the Final, his 12th place on the starting grid perhaps cost him a podium position …

Of the other leading places, in 6th position was the Czech Zdenek Groman (Kosmic-Vortex), who had the better of Belgian Rick Dreezen (Tony Kart-Vortex), the French Armand Convers (Kosmic-Vortex), his compatriot Anthony Abbasse (Sodi-Maxter), who was unable in the Final to repeat his win in the deluge of the Prefinal, and another Frenchman, Jérémy Iglésias (Intrepid-TM). One of the greatest disappointments at the end of the European KZ1 Championship was undoubtedly the European Champion himself. Seeking to take charge of the Race, in fact Paolo De Conto (Birel-BMB) was let down by mechanical problems after seven laps.

nk  No.  Driver  Equipment  Gap  Best Lap
1 12 Pex, Jorrit  CRG / TM / B'stone  47.99
2 5 Fore, Davide  CRG / Maxter / B'stone  1.328 47.937
3 25 Kozlinski, Arnaud  PCR / TM / B'stone  1.976 47.881
4 14 Lammers, Bas  Praga / Parilla / B'stone  2.209 47.972
5 28 Thonon, Jonathan  CRG / Maxter / B'stone  3.713 47.773
6 17 Groman, Zdenek  Kosmic / Vortex / B'stone  8.322 48.202
7 6 Dreezen, Rick  Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone  9.023 48.212
8 3 Convers, Armand  Kosmic / Vortex / B'stone  9.892 48.114
9 33 Abbasse, Anthony  Sodi / Maxter / B'stone  9.964 48.112
10 4 Iglesias, Jérémy  Intrepid / TM / B'stone  10.391 48.176
11 9 Cesetti, Sauro  Top Kart / Parilla / B'stone  14.751 48.303
12 11 Mich, Thomas  Birel / TM / B'stone  17.177 47.982
13 8 Piccioni, Antonio  Righetti / TM / B'stone  18.846 48.397
14 26 Kievitsbosch, Arjan  RK / TM / B'stone  19.241 48.148
15 27 Hanley, Ben  ART GP / TM / B'stone  19.455 48.122
16 38 Hanssen, Joey  Lenzokart / TM / B'stone  19.681 48.186
17 29 Federer, Fabian  CRG / Maxter / B'stone  23.368 47.974
18 18 Torsellini, Mirko  Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone  23.422 47.893
19 10 Gazzurelli, Gianni  FA Kart / Vortex / B'stone  24.326 48.321
20 20 Geurts, Verdi  Maddox / TM / B'stone  26.007 48.442
21 7 Celenta, Francesco  Birel / TM / B'stone  29.366 48.321
22 15 Piccini, Alessandro  Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone  29.984 48.209
23 31 Van der Raad, Sinan  CRG / TM / B'stone  30.752 48.434
24 19 Puhakka, Simo  PCR / TM / B'stone  38.867 48.236
25 32 Schrangl, Andreas  Oberon / Seven / B'stone  6 Laps  48.663
26 24 Hajek, Patrik  Praga / TM / B'stone  7 Laps  48.037
27 16 Bleek, Danny  MS Kart / VM / B'stone  7 Laps  48.686
28 2 De Brabander, Yannick  FK / TM / B'stone  8 Laps  48.244
29 36 Kostbade, Torsten  PCR / TM / B'stone  10 Laps  49.142
30 1 De Conto, Paolo  Birel / BMB / B'stone  18 Laps  48.812
31 Chamberlain, Jordan  Lenzokart / TM / B'stone  24 Laps  01:35.1
32 21 Toninelli, Roberto  Birel / BMB / B'stone  25 Laps 
30 Ardigo, Marco  Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone  Excluded  47.844
22 Toman, Libor  Praga / Parilla / B'stone  Excluded  48.259


KF2: Verstappen takes command

Fought over two Races, the European KF2 Championship began in Wackersdorf and will conclude in Brandon, at the PF International circuit, on 22 July next. Two Races are on the programme at each of these venues, and three results out of the four will be taken into account to determine the final classification.

Arch-dominator of the Qualifying Heats, Max Verstappen (Intrepid-TM) took the lead in Race 1, run on a soaked track, and rapidly escaped the pack. But although he was almost 5 seconds ahead, he made a mistake causing a high-speed 360° spin. Overtaken by Charles Leclerc (ART GP), Max was unable to get back in front of the Monaco Driver. The Dutchman took his revenge however in the second confrontation, this time on a dry track, with a lead of practically 6 seconds. That enabled him to leave Germany leading the competition. “I was really very fast all weekend,” Max explained. “I should have won both Races, but I touched the kerb in Race 1. It was the mistake of an amateur … but more importantly I scored the points and this evening I’m leading the Championship.

In the provisional classification, Verstappen leads Charles Leclerc. Starting from pole position in Race 2, the Monaco driver struggled in the earlier laps and had to be content with 8th place, but not without recording the fastest lap. So he still has a chance of the title. The same applies to his team-mate Benjamin Barnicoat (ART GP-Parilla), fifth in Race 1 and then second in Race 2, after a splendid tussle with Dennis Olsen. The British Driver is therefore third in the Championship although he had been excluded from Qualifying Practice (and so relegated to … 106th position!) for an engine assembly error. Climbing steadily through the field, “Ben” knew that he had performed well and has already made his appointment to take on his adversaries on his favourite PF International track.

Behind these three, the amazing Danish Driver Thomas Krebs (Maranello-TM) and the Norwegian Dennis Olsen (Energy-TM), who each climbed onto the lowest step of the podium in one of the two Races, both lie in waiting. The provisional Top 10 is completed by the Italian “Speedy”, alias Antonio Fuoco (Tony Kart-Vortex), the French Anthoine Hubert (FK-TM), the British Tom Joyner (LH-BMB), the Danish Nicklas Nielsen (Kosmic-Vortex) and the Polish Karol Basz (Birel-BMB).

KZ2: Juodvirsis makes history

In the history of CIK-FIA international competitions, never before has a Lithuanian taken a major title. That gap was filled on Sunday by Simas Juodvirsis (Energy-TM), the new European KZ2 Champion. In this second division for karts with gearboxes, at the only meeting in Wackersdorf, Germany, fortune smiled on this 20-year-old in the Prefinal, run on a damp track. Starting from 10th place, in fact Simas rapidly took command to gain pole position for the Final. Despite the pressure, he did not falter on the grid, and his perfect start took him into the lead … which he never lost. Constantly increasing that lead, the Lithuanian was able to raise his arms to the sky as he passed the chequered flag. “I am extremely proud to be able to promote karting in my country,” he explained. “I think that with this title some people will have a better idea of where Lithuania is on the map,” he smiled. “It was my day today. Everything went perfectly and I’m incredibly happy!

Behind him, the Germans Michelle Di Martino (Energy-TM) and Marvin Meindorfer (Tony Kart-Vortex) were battling for second place on the last lap, finally finishing in that order. Beneath the podium, the Dutch Dylan Davies (PCR-TM) and the Danish Andreas Fasberg (Tony Kart-Vortex) finished in the Top 5, both climbing through the field from 11th and 19th place respectively.

Other Drivers might have been able to do better but the arrival of rain at the start of the Prefinal caused a number of them to leave the track, in particular ruining the hopes of the Italian Flavio Sani (Birel-TM), the Norwegian Kenneth Ostvold (Energy-Vortex), the Italian Marco Zanchetta (Energy-TM) and the French Clément Da Silva (Praga-Parilla).

So among the Top 10 were the Danish Michael Christensen (Energy-Vortex), the Russian Leonid Panfilov (BRM-TM), the Czech Jan Midrla (Birel-TM), the British Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG-Maxter) and the Italian Luca Tilloca (Kali’Kart-TM).

Rnk  No.  Driver  Equipment  Gap  Best Lap
1 250 Juodvirsis, Simas  Energy / TM / Vega  48.791
2 221 Di Martino, Michele  Energy / TM / Vega  2.609 48.652
3 269 Meindorfer, Marvin  Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega  3.723 49.004
4 218 Davies, Dylan  PCR / TM / Vega  3.827 48.627
5 229 Fasberg, Andreas  Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega  6.727 48.722
6 214 Christensen, Michael E.  Energy / Vortex / Vega  7.382 48.499
7 282 Panfilov, Leonid  BRM / TM / Vega  9.164 48.975
8 270 Midrla, Jan  Birel / TM / Vega  9.961 48.546
9 259 Lennox-Lamb, Jordon  CRG / Maxter / Vega  10.45 48.459
10 308 Tilloca, Luca  Kali'Kart / TM / Vega  11.824 48.614
11 274 Negro, Riccardo  DR / TM / Vega  13.123 48.805
12 277 Ostvold, Kenneth J.  Energy / Vortex / Vega  14.283 48.502
13 230 Fiault, Charles  Sodi / Maxter / Vega  16.193 48.728
14 314 Van Haandel, Chantal  CRG / TM / Vega  16.433 48.731
15 249 Jeleniowski, Marcel  Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega  21.119 48.787
16 278 Oswald, Rene  Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega  21.412 48.716
17 216 Da Silva, Clement  Praga / Parilla / Vega  22.037 48.395
18 280 Paauwe, Menno  Birel / TM / Vega  24.122 48.937
19 233 Geerts, Roy  PCR / TM / Vega  29.075 49.435
20 203 Arrue, Alexandre  Righetti / TM / Vega  30.565 48.933
21 241 Gyr, Kevin  Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega  50.468 48.626
22 228 Fabiani, Alessandro  CRG / TM / Vega  8 Laps  49.217
23 262 Lundberg, Douglas  CKR / TM / Vega  10 Laps  49.115
24 320 Zanchetta, Marco  Energy / TM / Vega  11 Laps  49.557
25 206 Becker, Julian  Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega  13 Laps  49.467
26 248 Janous, Adam  Praga / Parilla / Vega  15 Laps  49.903
27 295 Sani, Flavio  Birel / TM / Vega  18 Laps  01:00.4
28 242 Hansen, Jonas  Maranello / Vortex / Vega  20 Laps  52.715
29 292 Romkema, Ricardo  Energy / TM / Vega  21 Laps  54.167
30 224 Doubek, Martin  Praga / TM / Vega  22 Laps  54.207
31 312 Van Der Burgt, Ryan  Maddox / TM / Vega  25 Laps 
32 273 Müller, Marcel  CRG / Maxter / Vega  25 Laps 
33 212 Cavalieri, Alberto  BRM / Maxter / Vega  25 Laps 
298 Schmitz, Alexander  Praga / Vortex / Vega  DNS 


Find all the information on the European KZ1, KF2 and KZ2 Championship at or via the link