|from the CIK-FIA||20 January 2017|
A double European Champion, Paolo De Conto had long dreamed of adding a world title to his record. He almost did it in 2015 at Le Mans (FRA) where he led the Final until the last lap where the ultimate battle deprived him of the title he hoped for.
The Italian took sweet revenge this year at Kristianstad (SWE). His happiness was palpable on the podium and in the moments that followed he was overwhelmed by a very moving and deep joy, while congratulations for his performancecame from everywhere.
Paolo, when did you start karting?
Very young! I come from a family of motorsports fans. My father was even a rally driver along with his brother. One day, he took my sister and I go karting. I must have been 4 or 5 years old, I don't know exactly. Obviously it was fun and I immediately wanted to go further. My father bought me a kart and that's how it all started. I was already fast in baby kart, I won the regional championship twice, then three times in junior. I made my international debut in 2007, in the KF2 category for two seasons, to discover the next level and to learn the circuits. I've always been attracted 125cc gearbox and as soon as I could, I raced in KZ2, from 2009.
Did success happen easily?
In a way, yes. I had a good period to start with Energy Corse. I especially won European KZ2 then KZ1 titles in 2010 and 2011. Then, it was a little complicated before returning gradually with CRG in 2015.
How did the Worlds go this year?
We knew that the equipment was very effective before arriving in Sweden. The European race at Genk confirmed this. We were confident from the first running on the Kristianstad track. I secured pole position in Qualifying and I won everything afterwards. But the Final wasn't easy because I didn't have a very good start. Marco Ardigo, Lorenzo Camplese and Anthony Abbasse started better than me. It is not particularly easy to overtake at Kristianstad. But I knew that and I never expected to do it. As soon as I was catching an opponent, I was pushing. It was the only solution.
I ended up joining Anthony who was leading the race and I managed to go past as well. The worst was over, I could out run them and win the race with the fastest time. It's a nice revenge for me after the disappointment of last year. Now I can say I'm World Champion and it will change the situation!
After the successful organisation of two CIK-FIA European Championship Competitions in 2014 and 2015, the Kristianstad Circuit (SWE) hosted this year's CIK-FIA World KZ Championship.
Determined to take revenge after the way he missed out in 2015 at Le Mans (FRA), the Italian Paolo De Conto exclusively dominated this time at the 2016 Worlds in Sweden. The Swedish ASN, the SBF, and the organisers Kristianstad Karting Klubb have mastered the art of attracting a wide audience to the Åsum Ring for the finals of the CIK-FIA World KZ Championship.
With the relaxed professionalism of the organising team, the atmosphere was particularly enjoyable for all of the participants of this major Competition of the 2016 season. The redesigned layout provided a selective framework which unambiguously crowned a great Champion with a perfect chassis set-up and a high-performance engine from the start to the end of the confrontation of the world's best drivers.
A domineering Champion from start to finish
Paolo De Conto (CRG / TM Racing / Vega) was engaged in a celebration in the lead of the CIK-FIA World KZ Championship at Kristianstad. Achieving of the fastest time of Qualifying Practice and the undisputed leader of the three qualifying heats where he took three wins, De Conto also won the Prefinal so started on pole position for the Final.
His opponents tried everything to counter him. Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega) was trying to take the lead with dazzling starts, Lorenzo Camplese (Parolin / TM Racing / Vega) and Anthony Abbasse (Sodi / TM Racing / Vega) took control in the first laps of the Final. Only in 4th on the 5th of the 25 laps of the race, De Conto joined and passed Abbasse on lap 17 and headed for a fantastic win with the fastest time. Abbasse and Ardigo completed the podium while Bas Lammers (Sodi / TM Racing / Vega) and Simo Puhakka (CRG / TM Racing / Vega) finished in the top five.
The audience also followed the former F1 driver Rubens Barrichello (Birel ART / Parilla / Vega) whose straightforwardness and progress attracted the admiration of the specialists.