De Conto and Puhakka had good season opener as they came to the fore in KZ2, De Conto winning the Prefinal, while Puhakka ended fourth in the Final. Tiene on the podium in KF.
Great performances put in by CRG drivers at the first exit of the season with the complete works team taking part in the 20th edition of the Winter Cup held at South Garda Karting track of Lonato del Garda.
The new CRG material turned out to be competitive since the beginning, both in KZ2 with the newly homologated chassis and a performing Maxter engine – mainly with Paolo De Conto and Simo Puhakka as protagonists, and in KF where Felice Tiene got a podium after being with the frontrunners for the whole weekend.
This exit has been quite a challenging one also due to the changing weather conditions that was rainy on Saturday and Sunday morning, only to eventually get better in the final stages. A further difficulty came from the new regulations on the fixing of the nose of karts that are now designed in a way that a small contact causes the detachment of the front spoiler producing a sensible speed reduction and a 30 seconds time handicap to drivers that did not promptly pit to get it fixed. A lot of drivers (184) have been penalized at the 20th Winter Cup, some also for absolutely incidental contacts and not sought after ones, this is why a lot of people are calling for a revision of this new rule.
DE CONTO UNLUCKY IN KZ2 FINAL
In KZ2 only the great final result has gone missing, but the two new entries at CRG, Paolo De Conto and Simo Puhakka, displayed a great competitiveness which injects a lot of confidence for the remaining of the season. Following the second place in the tight qualifying heats, De Conto authoritatively won the Prefinal but the CRG driver did not manage to pull a good result in the Final due to the failure of the chain of his kart when holding P2 at halfway through. Puhakka also run some solid races showing good things on the wet and ended the Final in P4 after a great third place obtained in the Prefinal.
The Winter Cup has been an important experience also for the 16 years old Fabrizio Rosati, who made his debut with CRG works team. Despite getting some good performance, Rosati did not manage to qualify for the Final mainly due to two 30 seconds penalties in the heats, consequence of the detachment of the front spoiler.
The KZ2 European Champion Andrea Dalè, also on CRG-Maxter, had a troubled weekend and had to settle for P11 after securing a promising third place in qualifying and being 5th after heats. Davide Forè could not make it to the final instead due to penalties and technical issues on CRG-Tm with the support of Renda. The three German drivers Luca Ficher, Niko Herpic and Marvin Langenbacher did not manage to qualify for the Final either due to some inconveniences.
FELICE TIENE ON KF PODIUM
Felice Tiene has been a certainty again in KF. He put in great performances all the way to the final podium in P3. Tiene has been very productive also on the wet and obtained the third position in the heats thanks to a second and two third places. The Prefinal was won by the British driver Mark Litchfield on CRG-Parilla run by team PFI International, as Tiene ended third again after a long battle with Litchfield.
As regarding CRG drivers, the Spaniard Pedro Hiltbrand ended ninth after a good comeback following a difficult qualifying, while the British Archie Tillett, at the debut in the higher category and great winner of the second chance race, eventually ended in 22nd. Some bad luck hit Dionisios Marcu instead, as he had to face several problems in the final stages after an excellent P9 on the wet in the heats.
The Dutch driver Martijn Van Leeuwen of team CRG Keijzer Racing has been penalized by 30 seconds due to the detachment of the front spoiler and could not end within the top ten. The Final was won by Nicklas Nielsen.
MARSEGLIA SECOND IN MINI ROK
The most productive driver on CRG chassis in Mini Rok was Leonardo Marseglia, on track with team Gamoto, who fought for the victory all the way to the final sprint as often happens in Mini. The victory went to Luigi Coluccio after the 30 seconds penalty handed to Giuseppe Fusco for the detachment of the nose of his kart. Marseglia was therefore promoted to P2. The other driver on CRG chassis Leandro Anderruti was also handed a 30 seconds time handicap and lost the tenth position with it.