FIA Karting European Championship: Iglesias and Powell Rewarded in Spain

You had to have strong nerves, as well as great speed, to get good results in Zuera. The two heroes of this first round of the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ & KZ2 supported by Mondokart.com did not lack any. The Jamaican Alex Powell saw off the challenge of his KZ2 protagonists to claim his first victory in the category. Frenchman Jérémy Iglesias patiently built up to his success in KZ thanks to a determination and a flawless strategy.

The weather in Zuera was easy on the participants. The sun was shining, but without excessive heat, while the wind remained moderate until the end of the event. The LeCont tyres used in both categories were up to the demands of these powerful and fast machines.

KZ: Iglesias back on the winning track

Senna van Walstijn (NLD-Sodi/TM Kart/LeCont) had taken the lead of the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ thanks to his victory in the Super Heat, which g pole position for the Final. Very determined, the 2020 KZ World Champion Jérémy Iglesias (FRA- CRG/TM Kart/LeCont) took advantage of a slight hesitation on the part of his rival to take the lead from the start. He gradually built a lead from the fifth lap. His advantage grew to more than 2 seconds to win again, for the CRG factory team.

Matteo Vigano (ITA- Birel ART/TM Kart/LeCont) quickly passed Emilien Denner (FRA-Sodi/TM Kart/LeCont) in second position. He then controlled the pressure from Van Walstijn behind him to secure the second step of the podium ahead of the Dutchman who nevertheless leads the provisional ranking. Lorenzo Camplese (ITA-Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont) and Denner completed the top five ahead of Italians Riccardo Longhi (Birel ART/TM Kart/LeCont) and Danilo Albanese (KR/IAME/LeCont). David Trefilov (Maranello /TM Kart/LeCont), who retired in the Super Heat, climbed back 17 places to 14th place.

Jérémy Iglesias took first place in the KZ category of the FIA International Karting Ranking (IKR), ahead of Matteo Vigano and Senna van Walstijn.

Provisional FIA European Karting Championship – KZ standings after Round 1

1- Senna Van Walstijn (NLD) – 72 points
2- Jérémy Iglesias (FRA) – 70 points
3- Danilo Albanese (ITA) – 50 points
4- Matteo Vigano (ITA) – 48 points
5- Emilien Denner (FRA) – 48 points

KZ team ranking after Zuera

1- Sodikart – 120 points
2- CRG – 77 points
3- Tony Kart Racing Team – 74 points
4- KR Motorsport – 66 points
5- Birel ART Racing – 51 points

KZ2: Powell already on the top step

After two wins in the heats on Saturday, Britain’s Kean Nakamura-Berta (KR/IAME/LeCont) also won the Super Heat A of the European KZ2 Championship in Zuera. It was Romanian Daniel Vasile (Birel ART/TM Kart/LeCont) who won Super Heat B and took pole position for the start of the Final alongside British driver Freddie Slater (Birel ART/TM Kart/LeCont).

The 18-lap Final race opened with a duel between Slater and Vasile. Daniel Macia (ESP-KR/IAME/LeCont), who was entered as a wild card, saw his chances of victory on his home ground disappear from the start. The pack remained tightly bunched and the outcome uncertain until after the halfway mark. Powell had started his comeback with some very fast laps that allowed him to pass Vasile and then to take the lead from Slater on lap 12. Nakamura-Berta seemed to be able to follow the same rhythm, but it was Jorge Pescador (ESP-Kali’Kart/TM Kart/LeCont) who managed to get into the top three. Powell distanced himself from all his rivals and crossed the finish line with a considerable lead of 3.8″ to celebrate his first victory in KZ2, the first success in karting for his new Prema Racing team.

Slater managed to resist the threat of Pescador to finish second, only 8 hundredths ahead of the Spaniard. Nakamura-Berta managed the intensity of the last few laps to keep 4th place ahead of the promising Matteo Spirgel (FRA-Sodi/TM Kart/LeCont). Vasile had to settle for 6th place against Stolcermanis and Macia. The Spanish event confirmed the rise of the young talent. 2020 Junior World Champion, Slater is having his first season in KZ2 with great success. Powell and Nakamura-Berta are also pursuing a double programme in OK this year and have already been integrated into major car teams, Mercedes Junior Team for the last three years for the Jamaican, European OK runner-up in 2022, and Alpine Academy this year for the British-licensed Japanese, who was European OK Champion in 2022 and Junior World Champion in 2021.

Despite a disappointing result in Spain, Cristian Bertuca (ITA-Birel ART/TM Kart/LeCont) remains at the top of the International Karting Ranking in KZ2 and 7th in all categories. Freddie Slater is back in second place in KZ2, while Matteo Spirgel has moved up ten places to fifth.

Provisional FIA European Karting Championship – KZ2 standings after round 1

1- Freddie Slater (GBR) – 73 points
2- Alex Powell (JAM) – 66 points
3- Daniel Vasile (ROU) – 61 points
4- Kean Nakamura-Berta – 49 points
5- Matteo Spirgel (FRA) – 44 points

KZ2 team ranking after Zuera

1- Birel ART Racing – 134 points
2- Prema Racing – 115 points
3- CPB Sport – 73 points
4- Energy Corse – 40 points
5- Club Kalikart – 39 points

The next round of the 2023 FIA Karting European Championship – KZ & KZ2 supported by Mondokart.com will take place in Italy from 7th to 9th July on the Circuito Internazionale Napoli in Sarno.

Results and information can be found on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.

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