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CAMPONESCHI WORLD CHAMPION

Although he won all 4 Races on the programme for the second Event in the World Championship, the Briton Tom Joyner has still not able to prevent the Italian Flavio Camponeschi donning his first world crown at the circuit in Macau. On the podium twice on Sunday, Felice Tiene was finally third. Also fought in Macau, the Asia-Pacific KF3 Championship was won by the Indian Jehan Daruvala, protégé of the Force India Formula 1 team.2012_World_Championship_Top_3_01.jpg

Starting in Suzuka, Japan, in May, the CIK-FIA World Karting Championship reached its climax this weekend in Macau. After the double success of Briton Tom Joyner (LH-BMB) and an action-packed Saturday, no verdict had been reached before the last two Races of the season, scheduled for Sunday.

Race 1: Joyner wins, with the favourites out for the count
A great many scenarios were possible before the start of the first Race, but certainly not the one which chance and race circumstances had it store for us. Let down by his starter on the grid, Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex), who had been second in practice, was unable to move off. The championship leader though at that point he would be losing most of his advantage, but in his moment of mishap the Italian saw a flicker of success when none of his direct adversaries was able to profit from the situation. Never up with the pace of fastest, the Japanese Daiki Sasaki (Kosmic-Vortex) had to be content with the points for 7th place. As for the Italians Felice Tiene and Davide Foré (both in CRG-BMB), they collided after a few laps, with the four-time World Champion forced to retire immediately, and his young team-mate giving up a few laps later with an engine failure. In the CRG camp the atmosphere was anything but celebratory …

With the main contenders for the world title not among the leaders, the outsiders were to take the laurels. Fleetingly leader at the start of the Race, the Briton Ben Hanley (ART GP-TM) could do nothing against Max Verstappen (CRG-TM), from pole position, and then Tom Joyner (LH-BMB). With his chassis flying the colours of Lewis Hamilton, the Briton was clearly the fastest and, after getting the better of his Dutch rival, he went on to what seemed an easy victory. Behind him, Verstappen was resisting the advances of Ben Hanley and Pedro Hiltbrand (FA Kart-Vortex). The fierce battle between the Briton and the Spaniard seemed to be turning to the advantage of the former, but he was given a 10-second penalty and fell back to 6th place. So Hiltbrand took the third step on the podium ahead of the Briton Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG-BMB) and the Japanese Takashi Kasai (Tony Kart-Vortex). Behind Ben Hanley and Daiki Sasaki, the Top 10 was completed by the Italian Eddy Tinini (CRG-BMB), the Australian Cian Fothergill (Kosmic-Vortex) and the amazing Chinaman Kang Ling (Tony Kart-Vortex).

Race 2: Joyner makes it a double, Camponeschi is the hero Camponeschi_2012_World_Champion_CIK-FIA_KSP.jpg
Probably somewhat relieved to watch his adversaries failing to shine in the first confrontation, Flavio Camponeschi started Race 2 with a taste for revenge in his mouth and a firm desire to save his leadership of the World Championship. Making the most of fresher tyres than those of the other contenders, the Italian was going to do much better than that! With fastest laps one after the other, the spearhead of the Tony Kart team climbed from 30th to… 2nd place! That returned a smile to his face and made him favourite for the Championship once more before the two Races scheduled for Sunday. After his win in the first joust, Tom Joyner did it again, almost as easily since behind him Max Verstappen was force to retire with ignition failure. The son of the ex-Formula 1 driver knows that, failing miracles and an incredible turnaround, he will not be donning the world crown this year. In contrast, Joyner propelled himself to the provisional podium for the Championship and could provide the surprise on Sunday.

After extremely consistent driving, Jordon Lennox-Lamb stood on the podium for the second Race with Joyner and Camponeschi. Very competitive despite his slower pace than his rivals, Daiki Sasaki kept his second place in the race for the title by coming 4th in this second Race. He led Ben Hanley, and also the Italians Felice Tiene and Davide Foré, climbing to 6th and 7th places after their retirement in Race 1 and thus retaining a slight chance of taking the Championship. The Japanese Takashi Kasai was in the Top 10 once again ahead of Pedro Hiltbrand, slowed by a loss of power, and Yuta Shiraishi (Sodi-TM).

Race 3: And three for Joyner!Joyner_Macau2012_KSP.jpg
Ideally placed to take his first world title, Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex) had no intention of putting himself in a vulnerable position in the last two Races of the World Championship. Posting the fastest time in Qualifying Practice on Sunday morning, he brilliantly held the advantage of his pole position at the start of the first confrontation. Behind him, Max Verstappen (CRG-TM) proved to be a little too optimistic on breaking for the hairpin and pushed the Italian off the ideal line. Receiving a 10-second penalty after the Race, the Dutchman, who crossed the finishing line in 3rd place, was relegated to 17th position. As for the championship leader, he had once again to fight his way through the pack after finishing the first lap back in 12th place. Rewarded for his efforts with the points for 5th place, Flavio was almost guaranteed the title. “Only Daiki Sasaki can still beat me, but he will definitely have to win with me scoring no points, Flavio explained. Only 10th at the end of this Race, the Japanese Driver for the Kosmic team knew his task would be difficult…

Once again one man dominated in Race 3. Having won twice already on Saturday, Tom Joyner (LH-BMB) had such a taste for victory champagne that he grasped the opportunity of a third success. With a superb manoeuvre to overtake Max Verstappen at the end of the Race, Ben Hanley (ART GP-TM) ended his climb back from 15th place on the grid to finish in an excellent 2nd position. With Verstappen penalised, the lowest step on the podium was taken by the Italian Felice Tiene (CRG-BMB), just ahead of his team-mate Jordon Lennox-Lamb (CRG-BMB) and Flavio Camponeschi. Just outside the Top 5, Pedro Hiltbrand (FA Kart-Vortex) led the young local hero Andy Chang (Tony Kart-Vortex), who drove brilliantly on home soil, the Pole Karol Basz (Birel-Parilla), the Italian Eddy Tinini (CRG-BMB) and Daiki Sasaki.

Race 4: Joyner uncompromising
Although the title appeared practically to have been won by Flavio Camponeschi before the last Race of the 2012 World Championship, the contest for the other places on the podium was still very open. Having already taken maximum points over the weekend as a whole (only 3 results out of 4 per Event are taken into account for the final classification), Tom Joyner had no intention of missing out on another victory. Although he was forced to concede to attacks by Felice Tiene and Ben Hanley, the spearhead of the LH Racing Team soon recovered the lead, which he held to the flag for his fourth consecutive success (the record this year), logically making him runner-up in the Championship. “To put it simply, it was the perfect weekend, said the 20-year old Briton. “I arrived here under no pressure because things did not go as I would have wanted at the first Event in Suzuka. So, on the face of it I had no chance of taking the title. But everything went brilliantly, we worked well as a team and we were extremely fast all weekend, to the point of winning four Races!

Finishing heir apparent to Joyner in the last confrontation, Felice Tiene took 3rd place in the Championship at the expense of Daiki Sasaki. Among the contenders for the title at the beginning of the year, Karol Basz ended a difficult season by climbing onto the podium despite everything. But the happiest of all was of course Flavio Camponeschi! At the foot of the podium, the 20-year old Italian nonetheless became World Champion for the first time in his career. “Naturally I’m very happy, said the delighted representative of the Tony Kart Racing Team. “In Suzuka, I was very fast and I was fairly successful. Although I was also fast here, as I proved with my second and first places in Qualifying Practice, this weekend was more difficult. I built my title at Suzuka, but I think my best Race was the one I drove at the end of yesterday, when I climbed from 30th to 2nd position.

With the final podium for the World Championship made up of Flavio Camponeschi, Tom Joyner and Felice Tiene, this last Race also gave a 5th place to Ben Hanley ahead of local Andy Chang, who will not be forgetting his first participation in the World Championship. Winner of a Race in Suzuka, in the opening Event, Davide Foré (CRG-BMB) saw his dreams of as fifth world crown disappear over the weekend. Classified 7th in the last Race, he took 6th place in the Championship. The Top 10 for the last confrontation was completed by the Japanese Takashi Kasai (Tony Kart-Vortex), Eddy Tinini and the Indonesian Yasuo Senna Iriawan (Kosmic-TM).

Asia-Pacific KF3 Championship: Daruvala wins the sprint

The Indian Jehan Daruvala (Kosmic-Vortex) conceded nothing to his adversaries in the Asia-Pacific KF3 Championship on Saturday. Daruvala_Winner_KF3_Macau2012_KSP.jpgPosting the fastest time in Qualifying Practice, Jehan then won the first two Qualifying Heats. A third and last Qualifying Heat will be fought on Sunday morning to determine the starting grid for the Prefinal, the result of which will in its turn determine the grid for the Final. Behind Daruvala, the Thai Sasakorn Chaimongkol (Intrepid-TM), the Singaporean Amin Noorzilan (Birel-Parilla), the Japanese Joe Ishida (Kosmic-Vortex) and Sato Marino (Maddox-Parilla) and the Australian Joshua Smith (Kosmic-Vortex) appear best placed to compete with the Indian leader on Sunday.

Having taken pole position, winning three Qualifying Heats and then the Prefinal, Jehan Daruvala (Kosmic-Vortex) logically then took the Final of the Asia-Pacific KF3 Championship. The 14-year old Indian, from the Sahara Force India Academy established by the Formula 1 team, did not finally take command until just 400 metres from the chequered flag. Before that, Jehan had to fight tooth and nail with Sato Marino (Maddox-Parilla). Leading at the start of the Race, the Japanese gave the Indian as got as he got when the latter took the lead for a short time. And then, when he had practically won the battle, Sato Marino made a slight mistake which cost him the victory.

The duel between the two leaders completely eclipsed the fight among those following. Succeeding in escaping the pack mid-Race, the Japanese Joe Ishida (Kosmic-Vortex) took third place on the podium ahead of a trio consisting of the Hong Kong Driver Jacky Chan (CRG-BMB), the Thai Sasakorn Chaimongkol (Intrepid-TM) and the Singaporean Amin Noorzilan.

Pics: CIK-FIA/KSP

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