The British driver of Tinini Group won the final of the KF World Championship in Bahrain and surprisingly got the title. Max Verstappen involved in an incident in the Final after dominating the weekend throughout. Felice Tiene and Jordon Lennox-Lamb have also been very quick but did not get the result they had hoped for. Dionisios Marcu forced to the retirement in KF Junior.
Sakhir (Bahrain). Incredible epilogue for the KF World Championship in the second and final round held in Bahrain. The number one title contender – i.e. CRG works driver Max Verstappen – dominated the whole weekend, including the Prefinal won hands down, but in the Final was involved in an incident with his main title rival Nicklas Nielsen and the title was handed on a silver platter to other rivals.
JOYNER IS THE NEW KF CHAMPION. The Dutch champion offered a great chance to the other protagonists of this round due to the incident a third into the race. Among these, the strong British driver Tom Joyner, on Zanardi-Tm, made the most out of the victory in the Final securing the title by a whisker from Ben Hanley. In fact, both drivers ended up equal on points but Joyner was crowned champion has he obtained the best result.
The disappointment at team CRG has been slightly softened by the victory obtained by Joyner who raced on Zanardi chassis and therefore brought the title to the Tinini Group’s firm, that is part of the big CRG family that three years ago launched the British driver in International karting. The Briton was second at the World Championship held last year on LH chassis and pulled four victories in Macau. The victory obtained by Tom Joyner also awarded GFR Engines of the Scott Gordon Finlayson, the TM engines preparator for team Chiesa Corse of Tom Joyner and Lance Stroll as well as for all CRG team in KF.
VERSTAPPEN, A SEASON TO BE APPLAUDED. Max Verstappen’s season is one to be applauded anyway as it was marked by an exceptional record of wins including the KZ World Championship, the two Europeans won in KZ and KF, the double WSK title in WSK Euro Series in KZ1 and in the KZ2 Master Series. This has been season to be put into a frame for the strong Dutch driver who will start a new adventure in motor-racing in 2014 as he will move to Formula Renault pursuing a career that is certainly destined to be full of success.
BRILLIANT RACES FOR TIENE AND LENNOX. The weekend of Bahrain did not award the other CRG drivers racing in this World Championship either. Felice Tiene has been brilliant all the way to the Final, with the third place obtained in the Prefinal behind Verstappen and Joyner. Tiene started the Final from the second row and had thick chances of clinching the title especially after Verstappen’s retirement, but the Italian driver has been bumped a few laps afterwards leaving there his hopes to get a good result.
Bad luck also for Jordon Lennox-Lamb, who had some setup problems due to some contacts that compromised the performance of his chassis. The British driver was seventh in the Prefinal and in a race where he has also been among the group of the front-runners. He later on crossed the finish line of the Final in eleventh place but he could have certainly obtained the podium.
TECHNICAL PROBLEMS STOPPED DIONISIOS. In KF Junior Dionisios Marcu had the chance to put in a strong recover only in the warm-up held early in the day where he put in a stunning second place. In the Prefinal he was forced to the retirement due to a technical problem affecting his engine. That was a real pity as the Romanian driver had eventually found a very good setup for the final stages.
The KF Junior Championship was initially awarded to Leonardo Pulcini but was eventually given to Alessio Lorandi due to a penalty handed to the Russian driver Mazepin who was found guilty of cutting a chicane. The final classification is still sub judice as Mazepin is likely to file an appeal.
Euan Jeffery, team manager CRG: “The final round of the World Championship could have been the icing on the cake of this season characterized by all the titles won with Max Verstappen. We were aiming to the podium with all the drivers after the Prefinal. Unfortunately inconveniences can happen – and they happened indeed in this occasion, probably due to the tension of such an important appointment like the World Championship. Alas, Max had an incident with Nielsen and this voided all his chances of winning the championship. Anyway, we have to congratulate Joyner has he obtained a fair victory with our Tinini Group. My compliments go also to Chiesa Corse. We had a great weekend all the way until the Final; all our three drivers were up there in front with Verstappen, Tiene and Lennox well within the fight for the win of the championship. This proved once again the quality and competitiveness of our material. In KF Junior Dionisios could not qualify for the Final after a weekend that showed good progress from him. We will soon start to work for 2014, a season in which we count on repeating this year’s success”.
Max Verstappen: “In all the practice sessions we were fast, qualifying was not so good but after that we recovered in the heats and I managed to start second in the Prefinal where I ended first, maybe I was not the fastest on track but people behind me were fighting for positions. In the Final the first two laps were quite good but then I did not have enough speed and Tom passed me. One lap after, I think, Nielsen was behind me and coming out of the final corner he touched me and we crashed. It would have been nice to say goodbye to karting with a victory but we already had a good season with CRG so I am very proud of that. In general I am very proud of this season. I spent four years with CRG, it is a fantastic team, everybody likes each other, it was like a second family”.
Jordon Lennox-Lamb: “In the first round in England at the PF International I had some engine problems, here I was confident in a good result. All was properly set and in the warm-up he obtained the second quickest time. Someone hit me in the Prefinal when I was second and this made me concede some positions. In the Final I tried to recover but I had some difficulties, perhaps the new set of tyres did not have the performance I had hoped for. As CRG we did not win the title but at least it was won by a firm belonging to our Group.”
Felice Tiene: “My World Championship has been compromised a bit in the first round at PFI in England where I suffered engine problems. In Bahrain we replaced the TM engine unit and the situation was turned upside down. I have always been among the quickest drivers. The third place in the Prefinal made me hopeful ahead of the Final and after Max Verstappen’s retirement I could have won the title as I had more points than Tom Joyner. Unfortunately I was involved in an incident but one of us managed to clinch the victory which is good.”
Dionisios Marcu: “After the first round in England where we had a lot of problems with tyres and engine, things were better in Bahrain and we reached a good level of competitiveness. In the warm-up I set the second quickest time which proves that I was very quick. In the Prefinal I had to retire as a component of my engine broke. I am hopeful for next season though as I will be racing in KF with CRG”.
KF – Final
1er Joyner, Tom (ZANARDI / TM) World Champion KF
10ème Stroll, Lance (ZANARDI TM) 6ème World Championship KF
11ème 7ème Lennox-Lamb, Jordon (CRG/TM)
Verstappen, Max (CRG / TM) 3ème World Championship KF
KF – Pré Final
1er Verstappen, Max (CRG / TM)
2ème Joyner, Tom (ZANARDI / TM)
3ème Tiene, Felice (CRG / TM)
7ème Lennox-Lamb, Jordon (CRG/TM)
KF – Chrono
9ème Verstappen, Max (CRG / TM)
10ème Tiene, Felice (CRG / TM)
13ème Joyner, Tom (ZANARDI / TM)
KFJ – Pré Finale 1
10ème Beckmann, David (ZANARDI / PARILLA) Best Laps
KFJ – Chrono Series 1
13ème Beckmann, David (ZANARDI / PARILLA)
KFJ – Chrono Series 2
12ème Marcu, Dionisios (CRG / TM)
Max Verstappen appeared evidently reassured after qualifying heats and ready to fight for the title. “At the start of the first heat I experienced some problems and had to go on the sand of the dirty part of the track losing contact with the first four drivers. Later on I was catching them so the speed was not too bad after all. In the second heat I had a good start and despite the adjustments to the chassis did not pay off we managed to win the heat anyway. I hit another good start in the third heat and then I was slowly catching the front runner and in the last lap I got past him. In the end things were good, and people behind me in the championship like Nielsen and Hanley are a little bit further away which is good. Tomorrow we will try to stay in front of the other people to get the championship”.