Three worthy winners in Adria

Finals report from the 2020 FIA Karting European Championship for KZ, KZ2, and Academy Trophy.

Alex Irlando
Alex Irlando. Photo: KSP Photo Agency

The first Competition of the FIA European Karting Championship - KZ & KZ2 and the FIA Karting Academy Trophy concluded on the circuit of Adria (ITA) after an excellent day of racing. In sunny and warm weather, the last Qualifying Heats preceded the three Finals on Sunday 16th August 2020. The Swedish Driver Gustavsson dominated the KZ2 Final just as the young American Zilisch mastered the Academy Final. The outcome was more uncertain in KZ before the Italian Irlando secured victory after leading for the entire race.

Continuing the fight against Coronavirus with the strict application of the FIA sanitary protocol, the Adria Competition saw high temperatures, as well as a high standard of performance. The Adria Karting Raceway's beautiful track, however, did not make it easy to overtake. The positions hardly changed over the laps, which does not take anything away from the achievement of the winners. Despite the heat, the Vega tyres did a good job on this track, which is known to be demanding on this point.

Irlando leads the KZ Final from start to finish

Alessandro Irlando (ITA - Birel ART/TM Racing/Vega) showed his determination by winning the third and last Qualifying Heat, but Simo Puhakka (FIN - Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega) remained at the top of the standings. Despite being on pole position, the Finn would have to deal with two Italians at the start of the Final. Irlando took the lead immediately, followed by Matteo Vigano (ITA - Birel ART/TM Racing/Vega). The three men would be together for 22 of the 24 laps of the race. The finish looked very close when Vigano seized with less than two laps to go. Puhakka struggled to avoid him, but managed to take 2nd place not far from the winner Irlando. Riccardo Longhi (ITA - Birel ART/TM Racing/Vega) completed the podium while Marijn Kremers (NLD - Ricciardo Kart/TM Racing/Vega) was 4th and Fabian Federer (ITA - Maranello/TM Racing/Vega) moved up six places to 5th.

Provisional standings of the 2020 FIA Karting European Championship - KZ after the first Competition in Adria.

  1. Alessandro Irlando – 34 points
  2. Simo Puhakka – 30 points
  3. Riccardo Longhi – 21 points
  4. Marijn Kremers – 21 points
  5. Noah Milell – 13 points

Gustavsson the master of KZ2

Viktor Gustavsson (SWE - Birel ART/TM Racing/Vega) started the day in the best possible circumstances by winning his two Qualifying Heats, which ensured him pole position for the Final ahead of Simone Cunati (ITA - Birel ART/TM Racing/Vega), Giuseppe Palomba (ITA - Birel ART/TM Racing/Vega) and Paavo Tonteri (FIN - Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega). The Final was to confirm the same hierarchy. Gustavsson was the fastest and won in the colours of the Leclerc by Lennox Racing team with a substantial lead of more than six seconds and the fastest lap in the race. The gap between Cunati, Palomba and Tonteri narrowed as the race approached the finish, but the positions on the line remained unchanged. Cunati was therefore the highest placed Italian. Tom Leuillet (FRA - Praga/TM Racing/Vega) completed the top five ahead of Davide De Marco (ITA - KR/IAME/Vega). Like two other Drivers, Danilo Albanese (ITA - KR/IAME/Vega) was late to the grid and was not allowed to start.

Provisional standings of the 2020 FIA Karting European Championship - KZ2 after the first Competition in Adria.

  1. Viktor Gustavsson – 35 points
  2. Simone Cunati – 29 points
  3. Giuseppe Palomba – 24 points
  4. Paavo Tonteri – 20 points
  5. Leonardo Marseglia – 15 points

Zilisch flies ahead of the Academy Final

Connor Zilisch (USA) started to make the difference in his last Qualifying Heat on Sunday morning. Zilisch's victory took him to the top of the standings and he shared the front row of the Final with Maxime Furon Castelain (LUX). Although the latter dropped back to 5th position shortly after the start, Zilisch performed well up to the finish line, which he crossed as a strong winner with a lead of more than four seconds and the fastest lap. The fight was fierce behind him. Furon Castelain was able to move up to 2nd place ahead of Jonathan Weywadt (DNK), Macéo Capietto (FRA) in 4th and Rafael Modonese (PER) in 5th. 11th at the chequered flag, the Italian Matteo De Palo was 20th after penalties were applied.

Provisional ranking of the 2020 FIA Karting Academy Trophy after the first Competition in Adria.

  1. Connor Zilisch – 35 points
  2. Maxime Furon Castelain – 29 points
  3. Jonathan Weywadt – 24 points
  4. Macéo Capietto – 19 points
  5. Alex Powell – 14 points

The three categories will meet in three weeks time for the conclusion of the FIA European Karting Championship - KZ & KZ2 and the second of the three FIA Karting Academy Trophy Competitions.

The complete results of the Adria Competition can be found on the official FIA Karting Championship app for iOS mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.

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