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KZ World Championship: Quantity and Quality on Show at Wackersdorf

Published: Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Paolo De Conto has been a force this year in KZ throughout the world. The pressure is on the Italian to repeat as World Champion in 2017.
Photo Credit: Alex Vernardis / The RaceBox

The return of Wackersdorf to the calendar of the CIK-FIA is accompanied by a very attractive program. The CIK-FIA World KZ Championship and the CIK-FIA International KZ2 Super Cup can already count on a field of more than 160 Drivers. From 6th to 10th September 2017, the Pro Kart Raceland circuit will be the scene of an intense competition whose uncertain result is not the least of the interests.

The entry lists, 44 in KZ and 118 in KZ2, are a good sign for International Karting as well as for the popularity of the Wackersdorf track. 27 countries and four continents will be represented with a strong predominance from Italy (40 drivers) ahead of Germany (28), the Netherlands (14), France (13) and Sweden (11). On the other hand, Great Britain (3) and Belgium (2) will not come Bavaria in force. As for the engines, TM Racing dominates significantly with more than 75% of the field in front of Vortex (15%), with Modena Engines, LKE, Parilla and DEA sharing the remaining 10%. This distribution will be one of the key elements of the Competition.

Naturally very selective, the winding track of Wackersdorf is appreciated by the competitors in spite of the risk of rapid weather variations accompanied by rain which sometimes shower the region. With the experienced teams of DMSW and Pro Kart Raceland, the organisation is in good hands.

KZ: EVERYONE IN PURSUIT OF DE CONTO

The 2016 World Champion and 2017 European Champion, Paolo De Conto (CRG / TM Racing / B'stone) is the favourite for the CIK-FIA World KZ Championship at a track where he has already won many times. However, the exceptionally large entry (44 Drivers) at Wackersdorf has enough novelties to ensure that the outcome of the World Competition will not be predictable in advance. The seeds of KZ will be well represented in Germany with several big names of the discipline, very much motivated to take their revenge. Patrik Hajek (Kosmic / Vortex / B'stone) and Marijn Kremers (BirelART / TM / B'stone) who accompanied De Conto on the recent European podium, as well as Bas Lammers (Sodi / TM / B'stone), Jeremy Iglesias (Formula K / TM Racing / B'stone), the brothers Jorrit and Stan Pex (CRG / TM Racing / B'stone), specialists in the Bavarian circuit, Simo Puhakka (Kosmic / Vortex / B'stone).

Two talented drivers, absent from the international scene because of injuries, Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone) and Anthony Abbasse (Sodi / TM Racing / B'stone), will make their come back in Germany. But the unusual aspect of the 2017 edition comes from the presence of several drivers from KZ2. European Champion Leon Köhler (Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone) is likely to be one of the favourites on his home territory, along with Pedro Hiltbrand (Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone), Matteo Vigano (Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone) and Fabian Federer (CRG / TM Racing / B'stone). Meanwhile, Lorenzo Camplese (Parolin / Parilla / B'stone) will test a new engine, and several Drivers will return, including Ben Hanley (Croc Promotions / TM Racing), Jordon Lennox-Lamb (Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone) with a new team, and especially a great driver of the 90s, Ronnie Quintarelli (BirelART / TM Racing / B'stone). All these elements together promise a spectacular competition.

KZ2: A NEW LOOK CONDUCIVE TO THE SHOW

The CIK-FIA International KZ2 Super Cup has rarely promised such an attractive program. With 118 entries, there is no risk of a lack of contenders. Many European Championship leaders, mostly factory Drivers, migrated to KZ for the occasion, opening the door for the revelation of new talents among the amateurs, which corresponds to the philosophy of the KZ2 category. A few factory drivers will be present, including Martijn Van Leeuwen (Energy / TM Racing / B'stone), Francesco Celenta (Praga / TM Racing / B'stone), Riccardo Longhi and Alexander Dahlberg (BirelART / TM Racing / B'stone), Alessio Piccini (Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone), Nicolas Gonzales and Marco Zanchetta (Maranello / TM Racing / B'stone) and Alex Irlando (Sodi / TM Racing / B'stone), but the rest are in the spirit of KZ2.

Tom Leuillet and Rokas Baciuska (Sodi / TM Racing / B'stone) appear after a convincing European campaign, along with Adrien Renaudin (Sodi / TM Racing / B'stone), a tightrope walker in the rain in Sweden. On their home soil, Germany's Maximilian Paul (DR / Modena Engines / B'stone) and Alexander Schmitz (Tony Kart / Vortex / B'stone) certainly have a strong card to play. But with 21 Qualifying Heats on the programme, surprises could very well happen in the list of finalists as well as in the fight for victory.

Meet from 15:55 on Friday 8th September for the Qualifying Practice on live timing at www.cikfia.com. The Final stages will be broadcast live on www.cikfia.tv, on Sunday 10th September from 10:30.

Words by CIK