CRG STARTING THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP ON A HIGH
Paolo De Conto won the first round of the KZ European Championship in Sarno, Stan Pex and Mirko Torsellini also put in good races. Gabriel Bortoleto claimed his maiden podium in OK-Junior, while some hiccups affected the performance of CRG drivers in OK.
CRG celebrates with Paolo De Conto, on CRG-Tm-Bridgestone, and Gabriel Bortoleto, on CRG-Parilla-Vega, the first round of the European Championship, as De Conto scored a great victory in KZ, while the young Bortoleto claimed a good second place in OK-Junior.
The first weekend of the CIK-FIA campaign offered good satisfactions to CRG in KZ and also in OK-Junior, thanks to a new young protagonist, but disappointed a bit in OK, where Dennis Hauger was the best of CRG’s lot in P11 and Flavio Camponeschi had to retire due to a technical problem.
DE CONTO LEADING THE CLASSIFICATION IN KZ
Paolo De Conto honoured in the best possible way the title of reigning world champion, winning a great race at the end of an overall good weekend, that had started with a “near” pole position – missed by just 0.002s and a win, a fourth and third place in the three heats.
Paolo De Conto radiant after the victory in Sarno commented the race in this way: “I am really very happy, I knew I could do well. We did a solid step forward compared to the latest WSK races. We found the right way to improve the chassis and engine setups. Stan Pex helped me easing my overtaking to the lead. After that, I did not have any problems and I took the win without pushing 100%. I feel a lot better, I recovered well from the snowboarding incident. This has been a good victory, it is great to start the European Championship in such a way. I needed that. I dedicate this victory to the whole CRG team and to my mechanics.”
Stan Pex also run a strong weekend. Fourth in qualifying and in the Final, he was just three tenths off the podium after taking the lead of the Final for two laps before letting De Conto through at lap five, as the latter kept running towards a dominating win. The two CRG drivers are currently first and third in the standings. The way ahead is still long, but the charts are already led by CRG drivers.
Mirko Torsellini’s debut in KZ with CRG has been very positive too. He has been very quick in the Final, exhibiting a race pace matching that of the pace setters and recovering very well from a difficult start due to the 18th time in qualifying. Torsellini improved to the closing P6 in the Final. Former European champion Andrea Dalè also put in a good performance, ending eighth, while the Spanish Enrico Prosperi was 14th and Jorrit Pex, who crossed the finish line in P6, was relegated to the 15th place by a penalty due to the mis-positioned front fairing. Alessandro Giardelli closed 19th his first race in KZ in what is his first year in a shifter category.
MAIDEN OK-JUNIOR PODIUM FOR BORTOLETO
The young Brazilian of CRG Gabriel Bortoleto has been one of the main protagonists of the OK-Junior in the European weekend of Sarno. After fighting in the leading group, Bortoleto completed a great Final with an excellent second place behind the Briton Jonny Edgar and leading the Belgian-German O’neill Muth. The Dutch driver of CRG Keijzer Racing Kas Haverkort had to retire after taking the pole position and setting the new absolute record of the circuit of Sarno for the category in 59.159s. Alongside Haverkort, Bortoleto had been very fast in qualifying posting a 59.179s as his best time in the first of the three qualifying sessions, which confirmed the great speed of the CRG-Parilla equipment. Bortoleto is currently second in the championship just 4 points shy of the lead.
Among CRG finalists, the German Luca Maisch of CRG TB Racing Team was 11th, the Spaniard Francisco Sagrera was 18th and Jose Antonio Gomez 21st. The French Gillian Henrion, the German Donar Munding and the Italians Luca Giardelli and Mathias Torreggiani could not get access to the Final instead.
HAUGER BEHIND, CAMPONESCHI DNF IN OK
In OK, Dennis Hauger did his best to recover from an unlucky qualifying where he was only 37th. Hauger recovered well in the three heats, but in the fourth and decisive race he was stopped by an incident. The Norwegian driver of CRG has started the Final from the 18th spot of the grid and closed his effort in P11. Flavio Camponeschi also managed to recover well in the heats from the 28th time posted in qualifying. The Italian started the Final as 13th, but had to give up shortly after due to a technical problem. The other CRG finalist, Glenn Van Berlo of CRG Keijzer Racing, ended 20th. Michael Rosina, Hannes Janker, Kilian Meyer could not qualify for the Final, while Callum Bradshaw had the ill-starred idea to put the dropped front fairing back at the end of one heat, and for this reason he has been disqualified from the event. Bradshaw has not been the first to do this, the first driver to do so was in fact a former world champion a couple of years ago. He will certainly not be the last either, until this debated front fairing rule will be valid.
Stan Pex scored a podium on CRG-Tm in KZ2 at the second round of the WSK Super Master Series held in Castelletto. De Conto out due to an incident. Great races for Lombardo in OK, Bortoleto and Henrion in OK-Junior.
CRG Racing Team lived quite a challenging in Castelletto di Branduzzo (Pavia, Italy) at the second round of the WSK Super Master Series. The race has been spoiled by some unlucky events and by particularly bad weather in the first half of the weekend. An excellent result came in the end in KZ2 thanks to Stan Pex on CRG-Tm, but several positive indications arrived also in OK and OK-Junior.
STAN PEX ON THE KZ2 PODIUM IN CASTELLETTO
The young Dutch driver Stan Pex got again on the podium of WSK in KZ2, thanks to the third place obtained in Castelletto, after the victory taken in WSK Champions Cup at the beginning of the season. Stan put in a stunning comeback run this time around. He climbed all the way from the 28th time in qualifying to the seventh place of the starting grid of the Final, before ending in P3 right in the slipstream of Jeremy Iglesias and the winner Bas Lammers.
Flavio Camponeschi run a great Final too, closing seventh at the end of a weekend in crescendo due to an unlucky qualifying. Paolo De Conto could have also ended on the podium, but he had an incident in the Final when he was in P4 and closing in on the leading group. That was a real pity as De Conto had strong chances to fight for the victory. Jorrit Pex had to retire due to a technical problem after starting 12th.
Some setup problems affected Simo Puhakka’s race and he had to settle for P16, behind team mate Andrea Dalè. Benjamin Tornqvist of CRG Holland was 21st, while Alessandro Giardelli managed to find his place among the finalists and closed his effort in 23rd position. An incident in Prefinal did not allow the British Taymour Kermanshahchi to qualify for the Final. Marco Valenti had a similar fate due to some issues.
LOMBARDO GREAT PROTAGONIST OF OK
The best end result among CRG drivers of OK was secured by Davide Lombardo, who has been the great protagonist of a good sixth place in the Final, after the fifth in Prefinal and the tenth in qualifying and heats. Dennis Hauger has been quite unlucky instead. His weekend did not start on a high, but he promptly recovered in the heats. Hauger’s end result was spoiled by a 10s time penalty in the Prefinal though. Started from the back, Hauger was involved in an incident at turn 2 and this put the word end to his race. The British driver Callum Bradshaw was 15th at the end of a very tight battle, while Michael Rosina has always been among the quickest of the weekend and closed his effort in P18. The Italian ACI Kart Champion of team Morsicani Alessandro Di Cori ended 24th. The Spanish driver Kilian Meyer had to retire from the Final due to an incident instead.
BORTOLETO AND HENRION SHINING IN OK-JUNIOR
The Brazilian Gabriel Bortoleto and the French Gillian Henrion have been shining in OK-Junior, clinching respectively the sixth and seventh place in the Final. Henrion has been very quick also in the heats when he took the first position. The Dutch of CRG Keijzer Racing Kas Haverkort has also been very fast. He claimed the pole position in qualifying and then ended the Final in a good P10. The Spanish driver Ayrton Fontecha has been under the spotlight for the whole weekend, but was slowed down by some battles in the Final ending 26th. The Malaysian driver Nik Zamir Zakwan, the Spanish Jose Antonio Gomez and the French Evann Mallet, could not go beyond Prefinals. The latter had a big crash in his Prefinal, but he luckily escaped serious physical consequences.
SPINA AND GIARDELLI HIT BY BAD LUCK IN 60 MINI
The young drivers of the CRG Gamoto Team could not get on the podium of the very tight 60 Mini this time around, despite a promising start to the weekend. Alessandro Giardelli has been stopped by a problem to the engine in the Final, after being second quickest at the end of heats. Adria’s winner Alfio Spina was also slowed down by a technical problem, but managed to recover up to the seventh place of the Final. Saood Variawa of CRG Holland has been the best of CRG drivers in P5. The updated classification now sees Spina slipped down to P3 and Giardelli to P5.