Promises Fulfilled for LeCont at the World Championship
Thanks to perfect organisation, the major world karting event in Genk in Belgium kept all its sporting promises, spectacular and popular, with several thousand spectators at this remarkable event. But there are no big meetings without strong stakeholders. Among them, the manufacturer LeCont made its contribution to the event. The drivers of the FIA Karting World Championship – KZ, the KZ2 International Super Cup and the Academy Trophy benefited from high-performance tyres, whose wear has remained consistent and predictable, as well as full sporting fairness. After a European Championship completed in excellent circumstances, LeCont confirmed its place among the most famous suppliers of the discipline during this world event.
A positive 2018 balance sheet
Since the manufacturer LeCont learned that it was to be the partner for FIA Karting for its events in the categories KZ, KZ2 and Academy, it has continued to intensify its work to bring drivers and teams products of the highest quality. Several months later, the balance sheet is extremely positive for the Italian tyre brand. The success of the recent World Championship in Belgium was another proof, as explained by Paolo Bombara, Marketing Manager at LeCont…
“First of all, I would like to congratulate the entire organisation team at the Genk circuit for the very high standard of event they have given to all of karting, and motorsport enthusiasts in general, in partnership with the CIK-FIA and the promoter RGMMC. The intensity of the show must be emphasised. I was very pleased to see very small gaps between the drivers throughout the event. Despite the very high number of KZ2 heats, no less than six per driver, tyre degradation was limited. No driver found abnormal wear despite a large field: more than 100 entered at the start!”
“However, we experienced rain during the week, which had the effect of cleaning the track and the rubber that was deposited during the initial testing. It is probably also for this reason that some drivers noticed a slight lack of grip during the race, as well as increasing times. Not to mention that the exhaust pipes, facing down as required by the regulations, tend to emit oil and fuel on the line, increasing sliding. In any case, the most important thing for LeCont was to provide a tyre with a good level of performance and above all the same for everyone, for complete fairness. From one set to another, whether testing or race tyres, the differences were insignificant. The contract has been fulfilled.”
Regarding the LeCont “Option” tyres supplied to the Academy Trophy, they have been praised by the drivers throughout the season. The races were intense and exciting, with countless passes. The 50 participants entered during the 2018 season have truly competed on a level playing field, in terms of both equipment and tyres. Despite the characteristics that allow them to withstand a distance of 150 km as required by the regulations, these tyres remain effective, with the successful pole position of less than 56 seconds at Genk.
A greater difference between KZ and KZ2?
At the KZ World Championship, in the top 15 of the Final, 10 of them achieved their fastest lap in 52”7. The other five finished with 52″5, 52″6, 52″8 and 52″9. While many have enjoyed these very close times between the main leaders of the pack, some would like faster tyres in the top category of karting. “During the homologation, the tyres are designed to cover a distance of 150 km and LeCont is very keen to respect this regulation from the CIK-FIA,” continues Paolo Bombara. “But I agree that the difference in performance between the F1 of karting and the F2 of karting with gearboxes should be bigger. Why not keep this “Prime” CIK-FIA homologated tyre in KZ2 and offer a stickier rubber that is not homologated in KZ? As a manufacturer we want to provide for KZ a tyre capable of creating a real difference between the two categories. In a KZ race, a tyre never covers a distance of more than 100 km. On the one hand, the drivers would have more enjoyment and this could attract new participants to increase the entry in KZ which needs it. On the other hand, the show would improve, with a greater number of passes.
The management of the tyres in question
Finally, among the topics mentioned in the paddocks, tyre management is frequently commented on. Today, the drivers have two sets with open management during the meeting. Some therefore take the opportunity to use their second set in the last heat, or even in the penultimate, unlike the best placed drivers who, to use the second set in the Final, keep their first set until the end of the Qualifying Heats. With the phenomenon of normal tyre wear on “Prime” sets, drivers do not start on an equal footing. Using two sets for the heats, or possibly one and a half sets, then a new set for the 34 finalists could be an answer to this problem. “We trust CIK-FIA decision-makers to find the best solutions,” says Bombara.