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Vinuales Untouchable at Val de Vienne

 

The hot, dry weather during the races and the schedule was perfect for this second and final Competition of the CIK-FIA Depart_C1 14 super.jpgEuropean Superkart Championship. The expected duel between the two favourites, Kout and Vinuales, has taken place. After winning two races, the French Driver took his third European Championship.

 

The event conformed to expectations, with a high level of confrontation between the two protagonists, the Frenchman Emmanuel Vinuales (Anderson-DEA-Dunlop), who had put the pressure on since the start of the weekend, and the Czech Adam Kout (MSKart-DEA-Dunlop) who was the major beneficiary of the first Competition at Assen (NLD). Certainly the outsiders actively participated in this European Competition, but from qualifying onwards the fight for the title was to be confined to the aforementioned duo.

 

The Drivers had enough running to learn the circuit of Val de Vienne (FRA) and refine their set-up. In Qualifying Kout first headed the timesheets, but Vinuales beat the track record which he has held since last year, and came back a few minutes later to set the benchmark time. With 1'30''930 he had improved his time by more than a second over 2013! The whole pack was lagging, but Kout Emmanuel_Vinuales 14 super.jpgpersevered to get closer by 4/10. The front row was a repeat of Assen. The two Germans Peter Elkmann (MSKart-VM-Dunlop) and Andreas Jost (Anderson -VM-Dunlop) headed the two Britons Gavin Bennett (Anderson-DEA-Dunlop) and Liam Morley (Anderson-DEA-Dunlop).

The start of the first race was one of the first highlights. All of the Drivers got away quickly and passed under the lights more or less abreast, but the first braking zone would be tricky, eliminating some participants. Jost braked late and barely recovered to take the lead at the first corner. Arjan Kievitsbosch (MSKart-VM-Dunlop), very fast at the signal, was blocking but could not avoid the gravel trap. The consequences were unexpected. Morley went off and Kout, slightly pushed, also found himself in the run-off. He stopped and when he restarted he rewarded the assistance with a splendid comeback. 9th at the finish, he had used his dropped score, and was now feeling the pressure on his shoulders. Marcel Massman (Anderson-FPE-Dunlop), also a victim of this incident, restarted but had dropped back. On the second lap, Vinuales overtook Jost Podium_C1 14 super.jpgfor the lead. The leaders of the race also included Elkmann, the Dane Henrik Lilja (PVP-PVP-Dunlop) and Alexandre Sebastia (Anderson-DEA-Dunlop) who had made an excellent start. Other fights enlivened the pack, Bennett got away from his group and caught up with Sebastia. Meanwhile Vinuales escaped to victory ahead of Elkmann, Lilja and Jost who never dropped back, but the Dane recovered his usual verve and clinched third place ahead of Jost and Bennett.

 

The second race perfectly reflected the European season. Vinuales was now more experienced, and let Kout take command. The two fastest Drivers of the year were leading the best of their competitors including Jost, the revelation of 2014, and Lilja and Elkmann two seconds back because of a missed start. Further back, Bennett was slightly missing some speed and was forced to drop into the second group then returned to the forefront. Vinuales, who had taken the lead on the third lap, accelerated and gradually pulled out an unstoppable advantage. Elkmann then attacked Jost and provisionally Lilja. Jost defended well considering he had a bent frame from the warm-up. Bennett came back, but too late. Lilja finished strongly to take his second consecutive podium.

 

With a total of three wins and two pole positions, Vinuales gained a perfect score to take his third European Championship. Kout remained philosophical as his second place in the Championship is very creditable with one win and two second places.

CAPTIONS: Start of Race 1. Vinuales #1, Podium.

 




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