Hajek Crowned KZ World Champion After An Exceptional Event at Genk
Patrik Hajek (CZE) became FIA Karting World Champion – KZ in Genk (BEL) this weekend. Kobe Pauwels (BEL) won the FIA Karting Academy Trophy Final where the Trophy was won by Jose Maria Navalon Boya (ESP) and Matteo Vigano (ITA) triumphed in the FIA Karting International Super Cup – KZ2. The Genk Competition will be remembered as a remarkable event thanks to the show, the quality of the organisation and the large audience.
More than 4000 spectators had the chance to attend a spectacular sporting event and a high quality show orchestrated by the teams from the circuit of Genk and RGMMC Promotion in the presence of Felipe Massa, President of the CIK-FIA. At an impeccably prepared venue, the staging of the Competition brought spectacular innovations that enhanced the attractiveness of the discipline to the general public as well as partners and VIP guests. In the end, all those present received an extremely positive impression.
The 2018 Historic Super Cup was particularly well received under a large marquee at the entrance of the paddock, welcoming many visitors to see the karts emblematic of the history of karting from 1959 to 1984, along with the original kart with which Lewis Hamilton won the European FA Championship in 2000. Several demonstrations on the track revived these machines to the delight of all.
Hajek finally rewarded
The favourites after the Qualifying Heats, Patrik Hajek (CZE), Matteo Vigano (ITA) and Jose Maria Navalon Boya (ESP) were crowned in their respective categories, even though Kobe Pauwels (BEL) won the Final in Academy. With its sporting and popular success, the 2018 World Championship Belgium will remain an outstanding feature of this decade of international karting.
Patrik Hajek (CZE – Kosmic / Vortex / LeCont) added another victory to his score Sunday morning in the last Qualifying Heats to strengthen his dominance and secure pole position on the starting grid of the World Championship final. FIA Karting – KZ. The Czech drove a perfect Race in the lead throughout the 23 laps. Starting well, he took advantage of incidents that delayed some of his pursuers to gain a small lead on the first lap and then continued to widen the gap consistently. Simo Puhakka (FIN – Tony Kart / Vortex / LeCont) and Marijn Kremers (NLD – Birel ART / TM Racing / LeCont) dropped to the back of the pack after contact, while Anthony Abbasse (FRA – Sodi / TM Racing / LeCont) retired at the same time as Jonathan Thonon (BEL – Birel ART / TM Racing / LeCont). Rick Dreezen (BEL – KR / Parilla / LeCont) recovered after a slip on the first lap and settled solidly in 2nd position ahead of Fabian Federer (ITA – CRG / TM Racing / LeCont). However, Alex Irlando (ITA – Sodi / TM Racing / LeCont) managed to overtake Paolo De Conto (ITA – CRG / TM Racing / LeCont), holder of the fastest lap in the race, for 4th place.
Three years after the Karol Basz won the World title in KF, Patrik Hajek became the second World Champion from the Olivier Maréchal’s Kosmic Racing Department, and the first Czech to win this crown, a great reward for a brave Driver who has been searching for a major success for many seasons.
Pauwels victorious at home, Navalon Boya wins the Academy Trophy
Points leader Jose Maria Navalon Boya (ESP) confirmed his ascendancy in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy with an additional victory in a Heat. Yet his rival Kobe Pauwels (BEL) quickly took control of the Final. The gap varied between the two contenders, but Navalon Boya, holder of the fastest lap, decided not to take any risks, knowing that he was already assured of winning the Trophy and contented himself with the second step of the podium. Joshua Rattican (GBR) was brilliantly 3rd in front of Craig Tanic (FRA), later penalised for a poorly positioned front fairing. Guilherme A. De Figueiredo (BRA) recovered 4th position and Robert De Haan (NLD) finished 5th.
Final ranking of the 2018 FIA Karting Academy Trophy
1- Jose Maria Navalon Boya (ESP) 64 points
2- Kobe Pauwels (BEL) 63 points
3- Guilherme A. De Figueiredo (BRA) 50 points
4- Sami Meguetounif (FRA) 47 points
5- Federico Albanese (ITA) 40 points
Vigano triumphs to the end
Dominant in the International FIA Karting Super Cup – KZ2, Matteo Vigano (ITA – Tony Kart / Vortex / LeCont) only conceded a 3rd place in his last Qualifying Heat against rivals who had already fitted their new tyres. This did not prevent the Italian from starting in pole position for the Final alongside Adrien Renaudin (FRA – Sodi / TM Racing / LeCont). While Vigano took off immediately, Daniel Bray (NZL – GP / Alu Group / TM Racing / LeCont) took a solid 2nd place. Renaudin resisted the pressure from Gaetano Gomes E.S. Di Mauro (BRA – CRG / TM Racing / LeCont) until the penultimate lap. An last-minute attack allowed David Vidales Ajenjo (ESP – Tony Kart / Vortex / LeCont) to take 3rd place ahead of the Brazilian and Renaudin, while Vigano clinched a well-deserved international success.