SWS International Finals: A Memorable Event in Lonato
The 2021 edition of the SWS International Finals was a great success from 15th to 17th July in Italy at the famous South Garda Karting track in Lonato. 295 participants and 34 nations competed in the Sprint Cup, Junior and Junior Kid Cups as well as the Endurance Cup in a 12-hour race.
Although the infection-control constraints were still present, all precautions were taken to mitigate the effects while offering three days of intense racing. The SWS once again demonstrated its worldwide attractiveness thanks to the selection of the best leisure drivers rewarded by a highly competitive international event. The strong understanding with the Italian authorities and with the South Garda Karting team were important elements of the 2021 success.
The Lonato circuit, a legendary track for top-level karting, also won over the elite of leisure karting with its rhythmic layout alternating fast parts and winding sectors to offer incomparable selectivity. The competitors of the SWS Finals appreciated the chance to participate in a major event on such a large scale. The flawless organisation and responsiveness of 3MK Events to the weather conditions in conjunction with the Sodikart personnel ensured the highest quality standards for this outstanding event, to the delight of all participants.
SPRINT CUP: DESPLAT DOMINATES
The 76 participants in the Sprint Cup competed for two days using very fast Sodi Sport – J125s, which allowed them to enjoy the Lonato track during their numerous heats.
Adam Szydlowski (POL – Racing Center Łódź) was the fastest in the first day of qualifying and shared the top score with Neslon Desplat (FRA – Karting de Saintes) ahead of Martin Brochard (FRA – Racing Kart de Cormeilles), Khaled Al Zayed (SAU – Bahrain International Karting Circuit) and Miguel Silva (PRT – Kartódromo Internacional De Palm).
Nelson Desplat definitely took the lead in the Final stages, closely followed by Martin Brochard. Andrejs Laipnieks (LVA – 333) was 3rd, several places behind Bastien Meunier (FRA – Racing Kart de Cormeilles), who climbed 16 places, and Khaled Al Zayed was 5th. Miguel Silva and Adam Szydlowski lost contact and progressively dropped out of the top 10.
2021 Sprint Cup standings
1- Nelson Desplat (FRA) 80 points
2- Martin Brochard (FRA) 79 points
3- Andrejs Laipnieks (LVA) 78 points
4- Bastien Meunier (FRA) 77 points
5- Khaled Al Zayed (SAU) 76 points
TWO BORECS TRIUMPH IN THE JUNIOR CUP
The Junior Kid winner in 2019, Tom Delfosse (BEL – Karting Eupen powered by Prokart) took the lead in the Qualifying Heats against Lukas Borec (SVK – Max 60) and Matus Borec (SVK – Max 60) with Rapahël Cauville (FRA – Racing Kart de Cormeilles) 4th and Sebastián Pástor (SVK – Fibo Karting) 5th. The 200cc Sodi LR5s gave an interesting twist to the sporting confrontation. In the Final, Delfosse lost out to the Slovakian Borec brothers, with Matus clearly winning ahead of Lukas, who was neck and neck with the Belgian. The duel for 4th place went to the advantage of Alberto Brentegani (ITA – Affi Kart Indoor) while Raphaël Cauville crashed on the last lap. Vladimir Lobachev (RUS – Pitstop Ladozhskaya Premium) took 5th place.
2021 Junior Cup ranking
1- Matus Borec (SVK)
2- Lukas Borec (SVK)
3- Tom Delfosse (BEL)
4- Alberto Brentegani (ITA)
5- Vladimir Lobachev (RUS)
JUNIOR KID: SULLIVAN EMERGES AS WINNER
Lighter than the Juniors, the Kids were able to appreciate the effectiveness of the 200cc Sodi LR5. Patryk Gacka (POL – Canpol Racing) had taken the lead in Qualifying over Kevin Sromek (POL – SKW Racing Park). Rafael Blatzer (DEU – Cool Runners Kart) was 3rd ahead of Federico Al Rifai Hajjo (ITA – Dubai Autodrome) and Lambert Oscar (GBR – Dubai Autodrome). Beau Sullivan (GBR – Brentwood Karting) faced Federico Al Rifai Hajjo and then Lambert Oscar in the Final before overtaking Patryk Gacka on the last lap to take the win. Ziemowit Werra (POL – Kart Center) progressed from 10th to 5th position.
Junior Kid Cup 2021 ranking
1- Beau Sullivan (GBR)
2- Patryk Gacka (POL)
3- Lambert Oscar (GBR)
4- Federico Al Rifai Hajjo (ITA)
5- Ziemowit Werra (POL)
ENDURANCE CUP: VICTORY FOR MRK PRO
45 teams took part in the 12-hour Endurance Cup thanks to the specification of the Lonato track and to the qualities of the new Sodi RT 10, the flagship of the Sodi range. The standard was high with many experienced drivers among the 180 participants from some twenty nations. Joker Team (FRA) took pole position in Qualifying ahead of PS&A – Advogados (PRT) and SMO Racing Team (ITA), who were grouped together in less than a tenth of a second. The start took place at 10:41 am sharp in true Le Mans style. The battle began immediately between MRK Pro (FRA) and Kart&Diem Pro (FRA), then PFV (ITA) and Infinity (ITA). PS&A – Advogados (PRT) and FPN Racing (FRA) then joined the battle for the lead. At the halfway point, MRK Pro was leading on the same lap as PS&A – Advogados and Sunlife Racing Team (ITA) was 3rd. The duel continued at the front until PS&A – Advogados fell behind in the ninth hour. PFV was running on the same lap as the leader MRK Pro with Kart&Diem Pro in ambush at one lap. PS&A – Advogados was back in 1st place with an hour to go. The end of the race was thrilling. MRK Pro won by 42” after 12 hours of racing and 615 laps against PS&A – Advogados. Infinity finished strong in 3rd position, 4″ behind the 2nd place. Six teams finished in the same lap, sometimes in the same second.
Endurance Cup standings
1- MRK Pro (FRA – Karting d’Agadir) – 615 laps
Kevin Caprasse (BEL), Grégory Morin (FRA), Kenneth Naessens (BEL), Benjamin Kaevers (BEL)
2- PS&A – Advogados (PRT – Linksport) – 615 laps 42”
André Caiado (PRT), Ruben Conceicao (PRT), Duarte Lopes (PRT), Miguel Neto (PRT)
3- Infinity (ITA – Circuito di Pomposa) – 615 laps 46”
Riccardo Agostini (ITA), Carlo Alberto Cappello (ITA), Damiano Marchesan (ITA), Fabio Torri (ITA)
4- PFV (ITA – Misanino – Misano Adriat) 614 laps
Boris Bouvier (FRA), Andrea Rocco (ITA), Andrea Sorbello (ITA), Yohann Vaugarni (FRA)
5- Sunlife Racing Team (ITA – Lignano Circuit) – 614 laps 6,3”
Stefano Cornachin (ITA), Nicola De Marco (ITA), Federico Fistarol (ITA), Massimiliano Zecca (ITA)
Of course everyone regretted the impossibility to organise a closing ceremony worthy of the SWS Finals this year for infection-control reasons. However, the winners were rewarded as planned and a fireworks show greeted the success of the SWS 2021 Finals.