CIK KZ World Championship: De Conto and Hiltbrand Remain on Top in Heats

Ardigo makes his move up the charts to challenge De Conto and CRG

We’re now halfway through the CIK World Championship in Sweden for KZ, KZ2 Supercup and the Academy trophy final, with no less than 20 qualifying heats taking place today. The weather has been cloudy and a little bit colder with a few drops of water, but the rain never came.

KZ2 was again the first category on track, having five heats throughout the day, with Pedro Hiltbrand (CRG) winning easily all except one heat where he lost to Alessandro Irlando (Energy). Tommasco Mosca (Maranello) in second place won everything except two, but losing out in his battle against Hiltbrand. Matteo Vigano (Top Kart) wasn’t as strong in the early two heats, but managed to win his last 3, positioning in 3rd. Right behind them will be Felice Tiene (CRG), Irlando and Eruopean Champ, Fabien Federer (CRG). This means that in the current pre-finals with only 68 out of 82 drivers going through and splitting in two groups, in Prefinal A tomorrow Hiltbrand will face Vigano and Irlando, while in Prefinal B Mosca will battle it out with Tiene and Federer.

The Academy Trophy provided plenty of excitement, with local Alfred Nilsson winning in both his heats and Kas Haverkort winning the other and qualifying second. That puts them ahead of the Belgian Elie Goldstein. Championship leader Callum Bradshaw could only manage one 6th and a 4th, putting him in sixth position for tomorrow’s pre-final, and should be sufficient to guarantee him the title. However, 2nd in the championship on 35 points, Xavier Handsaeme is only qualified 30th, and with 35 points to be won tomorrow, anyone could challenge for this position, with Nilsson the most likely. Honorary mention is the American Jagger Jones, who, after not setting a lap time in timed qualifying, has fought his way back to 13th and 14th and will be starting tomorrow from 20th.

Lastly in KZ, Paolo De Conto (CRG) has maintained his lead by winning both today’s heats, with Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart) winning four positions from his qualifying and slotting right behind him. Second row of the grid will be occupied by Lorenzo Camplese (Parolin) and Bas Lammers (Sodi Kart). Ben Hanley (Mad Croc) will be starting fifth, while Jorrit Pex (CRG) lost a few places due to a first corner incident in the second race and will be starting sixth. Davide Fore (Gold Kart) has shown some good speed today making it to seventh, ahead of Flavio Camponeshi (CRG), Jeremy Iglesias (Sodi Kart) and Rick Dreezen (Riciardo Kart) in 10th, who, despite struggling to find the speed, managed to make the most of the day and moved seven places up from his qualifying position.

After five heats each, the tires of KZ2 still looked good, while the lap times were a little bit less than a second a lap slower, but that could as well be from the track conditions. Word around is that this weekend’s Vega white is in fact a slightly harder Vega green that can last the distance. In KZ it wouldn’t have made a difference in durability as they only had 2 heats, but they seemed to be using the same compound. It will be interesting to see if drivers choose to run all new tires in the prefinal, only 2, or keep everything for the final.

Regardless, it will be a very exciting day with the second chance heat of Academy Trophy, four pre-final races with some historic karts demonstrations in between and three finals that will define the 2016 KZ World Champion, the KZ2 Supercup winner, and the Academy Trophy winner.