Sporting intensity in abundance at Le Mans

Le Mans has returned to its past prestigious global organisation of Competitions, 24 years after the last WorldKZ_PREGRID_KSP_6_7810 le mans15.jpg Championship run in the Sarthe. Located just outside the 24 Hours circuit, the new Le Mans International Karting complex, created in 2013 by the ACO, provided a unique setting for the 2015 CIK-FIA World KZ Championship won by the Dutchman Jorrit Pex on the last lap of the Final. The French Driver Thomas Laurent dominated the Final of the CIK-FIA International Super Cup for KZ2. Despite his victory Spaniard Xavier Lloveras Brunet failed to beat his compatriot Marta Garcia Lopez in the standings of the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy.

This was a super-sized Competition attended by many spectators this weekend at Le Mans. The mythical venue of the 24 Hours and the strong involvement of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest gave a particular lustre to these four days of intense racing. The FIA ​​President Jean Todt graced the finals of the Competition, while the Red Bull Racing F1 team's leading Driver Daniel Ricciardo testified to his passion for karting by coming to support the karts bearing his name.

Changing weather added an additional challenge to the Competition. The rain was not as bad as had been feared briefly and the Finals took place on a dry track. But the grip variations offered a complex challenge on Saturday and Sunday with 175 drivers from 42 nations and five continents. The new regulations concerning penalties for dislodging the front spoiler proved effective in the hotly contested races, which were more sporting.

Ultimate suspense for the awarding of the KZ World title to Jorrit PexCHAMPIONS_KSP_119_8553 le mans 15.jpg
It wasn't until very last lap of the Final of the CIK-FIA KZ World Championship that the winner Jorrit Pex (CRG-TM Racing-B'stone) made his decisive attack on Paolo De Conto (CRG-Maxter -B'stone) who had led until then. Meanwhile, Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart-Vortex-B'stone) joined the two protagonists after a stunning recovery after being heavily penalised in the Qualifying Heats. Three years after his European title in KZ1, Jorrit Pex climbed on to the top step of the CIK-FIA KZ World Championship podium to the applause of the audience. The Qualifying poleman Paolo De Conto masked his disappointment at having to concede the crown in the final metres, Marco Ardigo lost his 3rd position because of a dislodged front spoiler and the Frenchman Arnaud Kozlinski (Sodi-TM Racing-B'stone) recovered this place of honour in front of his team-mates Jérémy Iglesias (Sodi-TM Racing-B'stone) and Bas Lammers (Sodi-TM Racing-B'stone), with a beautiful formation finish.

Thomas Laurent the undisputed winner of the KZ2 Super Cup
It was a long road to the final of the CIK-FIA International Super Cup for KZ2. After Qualifying Practice was dominated by French Driver Nicolas Gonzales (Sodi-TM Racing-LeCont), the 96 Drivers present then clashed during 15 Qualifying Heats. The Spaniard Pedro Hiltbrand (CRG-Maxter-LeCont) was formidable with a score of four wins from five races. After a subdued 12th time during Qualifying Practice, Thomas Laurent (Tony Kart-Vortex-LeCont) was already back in 2nd position and confirmed his form by winning Prefinal 2 on Sunday morning, while the European Champion Joel Johansson (Energy-TM Racing-LeCont) took victory in Prefinal 1 from 47th in Qualifying Practice. Laurent managed the race stunningly on his own to win the Final, 3'' in front of Johansson. But the battle had been tight behind the leader. Johansson was threatened, and Gonzales controlled the chasing group for more than 15 laps until Hiltbrand attacked on the last lap. The Spaniard was later punished for his manoeuvre and the excellent Italian Alberto Cavalieri (Righetti Ridolfi-Modena Engines-LeCont) inherited a superb 3rd place in front of Gonzales and Stan Pex (CRG-TM Racing-LeCont), the younger brother of the new World KZ Champion.

Lloveras Brunet wins the race, but Garcia Lopez wins the TrophyACADEMY_SLUTSKIY_ARTEM_KSP_524_6463 le mans 15.jpg
The Spanish Driver Marta Garcia Lopez drove a wise race to ensure her triumph in CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy at Le Mans. Assured of her title on Saturday night after the Qualifying Heats dominated by the Russian Artem Slutskiy, Marta left the limelight to her compatriot Xavier Lloveras Brunet who won the Prefinal and Final, but finished 2nd in the ranking. Of the 44 Drivers present at the wheels of their one-make Parolin-FIM-B'stone karts, the Belgian Ugo De Wilde took pole position in Qualifying Practice. The French Driver Enzo Coursimault returned to 2nd place in the Prefinal, but the Brazilian Murilo Della Coletta was on the second step of the podium between Xavier Lloveras Brunet and Marta Garcia Lopez.

Lovers of vintage karts participating in the third edition of the Historic Super Cup weren't spoiled by the weather, with the rain often thwarting their demonstrations on the track. However, the public's interest hardly suffered from the weather, as the Historic Karts were ideally grouped under a large tent at the entrance of the paddock. The passion of the Drivers for the machines that retrace the history of the discipline between 1956 and 1984 again fascinated the numerous spectators.

CAPTIONS: KZ field ready to start. KZ World Champion Jorrit Pex and KZ2 Super Cup winner Thomas Laurent. Academy Trophy start.

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