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James Singleton wins for CRG first time out
Congratulations to James Singleton on winning his first CRG outing at the
Rotax winter series
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CRG roars into 2011 in style with string
of seamless successes
Pictures: Chris Walker/www.kartpix.net
Story: Russell Atkins
It has been a good start to 2011 for CRG UK, beyond a doubt, with a string of successes around the country that give every indication that the Italian chassis will be the benchmark in British karting over the forthcoming campaign – the Dark Knight cometh.
There have already been countless highlights for the marque over just the first six weeks of the year, but the efforts of Shaun Slavin merit particular attention. The young Scot has a mere two seasons of national competition under his belt, having been a novice in the sport as recently as 2006, but despite his comparative lack of experience in relation to his rivals, he claimed a superb fourth place in the Senior Rotax class of the fiercely-fought Super 1 Series in 2010, collecting six consecutive podium finishes along the way.
Heading into his second year in Senior Rotax, the 17-year-old produced a peerless performance under pressure to snare the ‘O’ Plate at a wet Rowrah, and recovered from an error at Whilton Mill to charge his way back up to the front and snatch victory going into the very last corner. A timely confidence boost ahead of his assault on glory in Super 1 and the eagerly-contested Rotax Max Euro Challenge with Coles Racing, to say that Shaun is fired-up for what lies ahead would be quite the understatement.
“Unfortunately, after taking the lead at Whilton I then went off the track, which dropped me to sixth,” reflected the Dumfries-born ace, who has raced on a CRG for his entire career and praises it as simple to set up, adaptable to a variety of different driving styles and most importantly of all, ‘very, very fast’. “It was only a 12-lap race, but I knew I could still win, so I just got my head down and fought my way back up to second going onto the last lap.
“I thought the leader had it pretty much wrapped up at that point to be honest, but I was looking for any mistakes and he over-defended into the last corner, which allowed me to dive up the inside on the exit. It was brilliant to win like that, just awesome, especially having made it so hard for myself along the way! I love winning – I always have done.
“The goal is definitely to win Super 1 now, and I would be happy with a top three championship finish in Euro Max. We went over there to do the last round last year and I won my first heat, so I know I’ve got the ability to challenge right up at the front, but having the experience in Europe is another matter. Both championships are going to be really tough – I would say Senior Max is probably the most competitive class in Britain, and all the top British drivers go over to race in Europe, too...”
Similarly making waves for CRG of late has been Mini Max star Jack Bartholomew. At just 11 this time last year, the Lewes-based hotshot was the lone primary school pupil in a field of competitors aged up to 17, and yet at Three Sisters near Wigan, he twice outpaced and outraced the driver who would go on to be crowned double British Champion. He also triumphed in the London Cup, and having progressed quite literally in leaps-and-bounds over the past 12 months, a move to CRG in December has only served to bring him on even further.
Heading into his second campaign in Mini Max and benefitting from strong engines from Ricky Grice and the expert tutelage of GW Motorsport team manager Gary Ward – a man who represented Britain during his own karting heyday, before going on to do battle against the likes of Mika Hakkinen and Eddie Irvine further up the motorsport ladder – Jack’s tail is up and his confidence in both himself and the equipment underneath him sky-high.
Since the beginning of 2011, the Sussex speed demon has dominated with CRG at Kimbolton, finished a close second against some stern opposition indeed at Whilton Mill – where a bent axle and track rod following a first corner clash arguably robbed him of another triumph – and set a searing pace at both Shenington and PF International. Things are looking good.
“It was quite hard last year going up against so many drivers who had so much more experience in karting than me,” Jack mused. “They were physically bigger, too, some almost like fully-grown men, but I feel I improved a lot over the year.
“The CRG is fantastic, and I’ve never been able to produce such consistently good results as I’ve had over the past few weeks. The brakes and handling are excellent, and I just seemed to click with it immediately. I’m aiming to get near to the front in Super 1 and Formula Kart Stars this year. I know it will be tough – some of the top Mini Max drivers from last year are staying on in the class, and some others like me have really come on – but the top three in both has to be the target.”
It is not just Slavin and Bartholomew who have done CRG proud over the past month, either, with Andy King clinching the runner-up spoils in Senior Rotax at PF International, fourth place at Shenington and fifth at Whilton Mill, P2 for Ryan Singleton at Shenington and promising showings, also, from class newcomers Josh Collings and Charlie Turner. CRG’s UK sales and marketing director Mark Collings acknowledges that for the chassis referred to in karting circles as the Dark Knight, it is all shaping up nicely.
“We are delighted with the way the CRG is handling on the new Mojo tyres, and all the drivers seem to be extremely happy with the combination,” he reported. “That has been proven particularly by the excellent results of Shaun Slavin, Andy King, Ryan Singleton and Matthew Mason in Senior Rotax, and Jack Bartholomew in Mini Max.
“Josh Collings and Charlie Turner – our two young drivers who have just come up to Seniors from Juniors – finished 11th and 17th on their first outing with CRG at Whilton, and they were both on the pace and within a tenth of the quickest times. That’s all very encouraging, so we’re now looking forward to a successful national season in Super 1 and FKS – and to many more drivers jumping ship to come over to ‘the dark side’ with us...”
MONTICHIARI (BRESCIA - ITALY), 8th JANUARY 2011
IN THE 2010 WSK PRIZE-GIVING CEREMONY, CRG-MAXTER DRIVERS ARE CELEBRATED: TWELVE TROPHIES CONQUERED!
CRG DRIVERS STAND OUT DURING THE 2010 WSK PRIZE-GIVING CEREMONY. THE 2011 OFFICIAL TEAM WILL BE INTRODUCED AT THE NEXT “KART AND RACE” FAIR. AMONG THE DRIVERS WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE TEAM: : MIRKO TORSELLINI, JORDON LENNOX-LAMB, LAURA TILLET, ANDREA DALÈ AND MAX KOEBOLT.
Montichiari (Brescia - Italy). With a spectacular prize-giving ceremony – which took place in the pavilions of the Exhibition Centre of Montichiari -, WSK celebrated its champions of the season which has just ended. Once again, among the major protagonists, the drivers of the CRG-Maxter official team who conquered a great number of trophies.
A dozen the titles won by CRG in 2010 in the WSK championships, both in the WSK World Series and in the Euro Series, besides the Nations Cup, with wins in the drivers’ and teams’ championships.
In KF3, the rising star Max Verstappen, the young Dutch driver son of the former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, swept the board. He was at his debut in the international category with CRG-Maxter, but despite this he managed to beat all his rivals winning all the three titles. On the other hand, in KZ2, it was the experienced and three-time world champion Jonathan Thonon who confirmed his talent and the performing qualities of CRG-Maxter both in the World Series and in the Euro Series.
The CRG Team, eventually, got the titles of the World Cup in KF3 and in KZ2, besides getting the second step of the podium in Super KF and in the Euro Cup in KZ1 and in KF3.
Other trophies were awarded to CRG for the third place in the overall ranking conquered by the American Gary Carlton in the KZ2 World Series and for the third place of the French Arnaud Kozlinski in the Super KF World Series.
It was a season full of successes for CRG, which could already boast a rich list of international trophies in its history, as Mr Giancarlo Tinini, CRG Spa Chairman, pointed out at the end of the ceremony: “We are very satisfied for the way the last racing season went. Winning all these trophies in very demanding championships like those of the WSK confirms once more the quality of our products and the talent of our drivers. It was a beautiful ceremony. We are participating in the WSK championships in 2011 too with an even more competitive official team, with new and important elements. An anticipation of the 2011 CRG-Maxter official team will be announced during the next “Kart and Race” Fair, due next weekend right here in Montichiari, even though we are still waiting for some confirmations to complete the KF3 and the KF2. For the time being, I can say that in KZ1 we will take part in the international season with Jonathan Thonon, Arnaud Kozlinski and Davide Forè, and in KZ2 with Mirko Torsellini, who had already run for the first time with our official team in Egypt in the last race of the World Series. Our representative in KF1 will be Felice Tiene, but we have two recently acquired drivers who will race for us in 2011: the English Jordon Lennox-Lamb and the quick Laura Tillet. Always in KF1 we will have Andrea Dalè, ready to come back and race for our team. In KF3, of course, we will have our champion Max Verstappen and another young Dutch, Max Koebolt, who in 2010 ran in the Academy CIK-FIA Trophy. In KF2, besides the confirmation of Giovanni Martinez and Mario Ziletti,we will have “Speedy” Antonio Fuoco, who will pass in this category after achieving good results in KF3. In KF2 there will be Alessio Profeta too, even though with the LH “Lewis Hamilton” line, which will be launched as a brand in 2011”
CRG-MAXTER 2010 WSK INTERNATIONAL TROPHIES
WSK WORLD SERIES KZ2
1. JONATHAN THONON
3. GARY CARLTON
WSK WORLD SERIES KF3
1. MAX VERSTAPPEN
WSK WORLD SERIES SUPER KF
3. ARNAUD KOZLINSKI
Jonathan Thonon and Max Verstappen with all the trophies won by CRG in the WSK Championships in 2010.In the previous page, from left to right, Giancarlo Tinini, CRG SpA Chairman, Thonon, Max and Jos Verstappen.
WSK EURO SERIES KZ1
1. JONATHAN THONON
WSK EURO SERIES KF3
1. MAX VERSTAPPEN
WSK NATIONS CUP
1. MAX VERSTAPPEN
WSK WORLD CUP
KZ2 – 1. CRG-MAXTER
KF3 – 1. CRG-MAXTER
SUPER KF – 2. CRG-MAXTER
WSK EURO SERIES CUP
KZ1 – 2. CRG-MAXTER
KF3 – 2. CRG-MAXTER
Hand lauds CRG as ‘the fastest kart out there’
– and one of the secrets to his success
To be leading the British Championship and elect to switch chassis midway through the campaign is a risky strategy, some might say, and undeniably a bold one – but to do so and then make that chassis work even better than the one you were on before is inspired, and Ash Hand is very quick to pay tribute to the pivotal role played by CRG in his outstanding triumph in 2010.
Having begun the year on an Alonso mount – a derivative of the popular OTK brand – Ash rapidly established an advantage over his adversaries in the Junior Max class of the prestigious and fiercely-contesded, Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone-backed Formula Kart Stars Championship (FKS), but when his rivals began to eat away at that margin, the highly-rated young Nuneaton hotshot knew he needed to do something about it.
Cue the switch to Italian manufacturer CRG, a significant departure from the OTK in many aspects and a kart that – whilst it has achieved tremendous success on the European and international stage – has struggled to gain much of a following on British shores. Ash swiftly demonstrated that such reticence and scepticism from his countrymen has been misguided in the extreme.
“At the time, the others were starting to catch me up after the start to the year that we’d had,” the 16-year-old recalled, “but when I moved onto the CRG, I just feel it gave me a crucial extra edge over them. It was a massive risk; we could quite easily have fallen off the face of the earth by making the decision we did, and it wasn’t an easy decision to make because some people were saying the CRG wasn’t as good as the OTK – but we soon found out they were wrong.
“People tend to follow each other’s lead in karting, and if someone says a certain product isn’t good, other people will believe them even if they haven’t tried it out for themselves – rumours spread like wildfire. We proved that the CRG is capable of winning races over here, which I don’t think all that many people were expecting, to be honest. The kart always performed, and we were fast everywhere by the end.”
And how, as he wasted little time in both defying and disproving the critics who had chastised him and his P1 Racing team as mad to make such a wholesale change with so much at stake. Conceding that ‘it took me perhaps a month to feel fully at home on the CRG’, before long Ash was back in his customary position at the front of the field – and even more dominant than he had been before.
Commanding performances at Larkhall in Scotland, Genk in Belgium and an incredible four victories one-after-the-other at Three Sisters near Wigan in FKS and fellow British series Super 1 bore ample testament to the CRG’s potential, and meant that come season’s end, the Maple Park speed demon was a force to be reckoned with in both national championships as he fairly blitzed the opposition. It was, truly, phenomenal.
“I really enjoyed the CRG,” enthused the North Warwickshire College student in conclusion. “It’s quite simple to set up, and really easy to drive – and by the end we could go to practically any circuit, put the kart down on the track and be fast enough to fight for the win. Once you get it really working for you, I think it’s probably the fastest kart out there in the dry or in the wet.
“The brakes are amazing; there’s nothing else like it for that – they stop the kart so quickly. It took me a while to get used to them to begin with, because most karts’ brakes aren’t as effective, but once I was, I think they gave me an advantage as I was able to brake half a kart-length later than before, which can earn you as much as a tenth of a second a lap.
“We proved that the CRG is good enough to win in Britain, and also good enough to enable us to work our way back to the front of the grid quickly. I think the whole experience really helped to progress me as a driver, and if you are considering trying CRG, then you definitely should. It’s a really good kart – and one that you can go a long way with.”
To keep up-to-date with Ash’s latest career news and results, please visit www.p1r.co.uk, whilst for more information on championship-winning chassis CRG, please go to www.kartcrg.co.uk or contact UK sales and marketing director Mark Collings on 07967 159199
WSK WORLD SERIES –
SHARM EL SHEIKH, 31st OCTOBER 2010
CRG-MAXTER WINS THE WSK WORLD SERIES WITH JONATHAN THONON
IN KZ2 AND MAX VERSTAPPEN IN KF3
THONON CONFIRMS HIS LEADERSHIP IN KZ2 AND WINS THE TITLE
VERSTAPPEN CHAMPION IN KF3
GREAT WIN FOR KOZLINSKI IN SUPER KF
GREAT PERFORMANCE OF GATTING IN KF2
Jonathan Thonton IN KZ2
Mission accomplished by CRG-Maxter official team in the WSK World Series. The team won two titles on four: in KZ2 with its champion Jonathan Thonon and in KF3 with the young international promise Max Verstappen.
Verstappen in KF3
The last act went on stage in Egypt in Sharm El Sheikh and was the occasion for the CRG chassis and the Maxter engines to show all their potentialities, not only in the two categories won by the team, but in Super KF too, thanks to Arnaud Kozlinski that was able to put his seal on the African event while in KF2 Michelle Gatting showed her undisputable qualities once more.
Kozlinski in SKF
In KZ2 the Belgian Thonon swept the board in the final, recovering from the last position on the grid because of a technical trouble in the pre final. He drove straight to the final win and nobody was able to match his performance. Good performance for Mirko Torsellini too – at his debut -, fourth at the chequered flag and second, with only Thonon ahead, in the special ranking of the fastest laps.
Gatting in KF2
Unfortunatley the American driver Gary Carlton had to retire after a crash in the first laps of the final, after a fourth place in the pre final.
In the championship, Thonon finished first with 185 points, ahead of Dreezen with 124. Carlton arrived third with 113 points.
In KF3 Max Verstappen confirmed to be one of the top drivers of the category, attacking since the qualifying heats where he got two wins. So, thanks to a good second place in the pre final, Verstappen was able to secure the title with an advantage of points which became too wide for his rivals. He then dominated the final: he took the lead of the race and never let it go till the end. Verstappen arrived first, the Japanese driver Kasai was the runner up and Verstappen’s teammate Speedy Antonio Fuoco grabbed the third step of the podium after a weekend of great performances throughout the various phases of the race. After the end of the race the unexpected disqualification of max Verstappen for an irregular contact with Visoiu during the first laps. However, the fact, beyond all the considerations on the decision, had no effect on the final result of the championship: Verstappen tops the ranking and becomes champion with 152.5 points. Visoiu follows with 118, then Oriola with 87.5. Fuoco finishes fourth with 72 points.
In Super KF the absolute protagonist was the CRG champion Arnaud Kozlinski together with his teammate David Forè who recovered well till the third place in the final. Kozlinski won hands down both the pre-final and the final, redeeming himself after the two previous of the WSK World Series.
Good performance for Felice Tiene too, fifth in the pre final but a bit behind in the final, where he arrived in seventh, while Eddy Tinini in the final was obliged to retire after a promising 11th place in the pre final.
First picture, “Speedy” in KF3. Above, Michelle Gatting in KF2. In the previous page, Thonon winner of the championship in KZ2 and, beneath, Verstappen champion of the WSK World Series in KF3. In the following page Kozlinski sweeping the board in the Super KF final in Sharm El Sheikh (Photos Press.net).
After the end of the race De Vries (Zanardi) was disqualified after gaining a second place and virtually putting his hands on the title. So, Forè was the runner up.
The championship was eventually won by Convers (Kosmic) with 148 points, before De Vries himself with 142.5 points, while with the win of Sharm El Sheikh Kozlinski placed third with 95.5 points. In the ranking Forè is sixth, Tiene tenth and Tinini twelfth.
In KF2 the Danish driver Michelle Gatting managed to focus everybody’s attention on the colours of CRG-Maxter official team. She won two heats and a terrific pre final, where she managed to take the lead with five laps to go. Unfortunately, in the final Michelle was pushed out in the tussle of the first phases of the race. Eventually the championship was won by Bailly (Kosmic) with 144 points. Michelle Gatting is eighth with 67 points.
THE FINAL RANKINGS OF THE WSK WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP:
KZ2: 1. Thonon (B) points 185; 2. Dreezen (B) 124; 3. Carlton (USA) 113; 4. Ardigò (I) 101.5; 5. Fuchs (PL) 76; 6. Gazzurelli (F) 57.5; 7. Piccoli (I) 56; 8. Wernersson (S) 46; 9. Visser (NL) 44; 10. Ludi (CH) 35; 15. Torsellini (I) 20.5.
KF3: 1. Verstappen (NL) points 152.5; 2. Visoiu (RO) 118; 3. Oriola (E) 87,5; 4. Fuoco (I) 72; 5. Fioravanti (I) 70; 6. Sorensen (DK) 64.5; 7. Hansson (S) 50; 8. Degrand (USA) 48; 9. Dennis (GB) 45; 10. Piccini (I) 40.
SUPER KF: 1. Convers (F) points 148; 2. De Vries (NL) 142.5; 3. Kozlinski (F) 95.5; 4. Cooper (GB) 89; 5. Catt (GB) 84.5; 6. Forè (I) 83; 7. Toman (CZ) 60.5; 8. Cesetti (I) 58; 9. Gromanova (CZ) 58; 10. Tiene (I) 57.5; 11. Groman (CZ) 53.5; 12. Tinini (I) 50.5.
KF2: 1. Bailly (B) points 144; 2. Lock (GB) 128; 3. D'Agosto (I) 116; 4. Varley (GB) 113; 5. Kanamaru (J) 108; 6. King (GB) 73; 7. Basz (PL) 69; 8. Gatting (DK) 67; 9. Barrabeig (E) 65; 10. Lennox (GB) 62.
Press Office CRG SpA
Photos: Press.net – All the results on www.wsk.it
PeePeerless Hand delivers a masterclass
to beat the best in Britain
Ash Hand found himself unexpectedly fighting a war on two fronts when Formula Kart Stars (FKS) resumed for its penultimate outing of 2010 at Three Sisters near Wigan – but he nonetheless artfully rose above the adversity to beat the best in the country and firmly lay claim to the same crown as no less than Lewis Hamilton once won.
Ash headed into the weekend – the ninth and tenth rounds of the campaign in a hotly-fought championship that boasts the prestigious official backing of both Hamilton and influential F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone – in possession of a healthy advantage in the drivers’ standings, but palpably in no mood merely to race for points.
“All weekend, I just wanted to win!” he confessed. “People were telling me I needed to look at the championship – and in the back of my mind that’s what I’m doing – but I still want to win. That’s just my mindset – no matter what race or situation I’m in, I always want to win!”
It is just such an approach that had enabled the highly-rated young Nuneaton hotshot to emerge victorious six times in the opening eight rounds, but this time Ash’s task would be complicated somewhat by the fact that Super 1 Series leader Jack Marshall had entered the meeting in order to gain valuable track time ahead of his own championship showdown at the same circuit next month.
The Maple Park teenager reasoned that ‘if I came here to win, I should be able to win against anybody' – and pole position in qualifying on Saturday amongst the 22-strong Junior Max class field was a timely riposte.
“In the first heat I got pushed out wide at the start and fell to second,” Ash continued, revealing that to compound matters, he was battling a bug on the opening day. “I tried to overtake the leader, but he put me on the grass which dropped me back to fifth, and after I eventually managed to get past him, all-of-a-sudden he just came up the inside of me so fast, on the kerb and with two wheels on the grass! As I’ve got the championship to think about, I had to back out of it or we would have both ended up in the wall.”
That left the P1 Racing ace just fourth at the chequered flag, behind his principal adversary, Jack Barlow – though by setting what was comfortably the race’s fastest lap, the 16-year-old proved he had the pace to prevail. A similar scenario in heat two left him P4 on the grid for the final, on the theoretically unfavourable outside line – but after Marshall graciously elected to relinquish his front row starting spot for the back of the pack so as not to risk interfering in the title fight, Ash was suddenly provided with an enviable sling-shot into turn one.
“I got a really good start and Barlow bogged down off the line, which allowed me to sweep around the outside and into the lead,” he recalled. “After that it all seemed quite straightforward, to be honest. All I had to do was keep consistent, which helped massively, and I never had to really worry about anybody else for the rest of the race. I always felt in control, and I knew I had more in my pocket if I’d needed it. I felt relieved more than anything else when I crossed the line to win – and it was certainly a confidence boost for the second day.”
A hugely impressive triumph – to the tune of more than five seconds – Ash’s dominant success was sealed by inch-perfect precision into every corner and metronomic consistency that was a veritable hallmark of his weekend, as he produced lap-after-lap within hundredths of a second of one another.
Physically better and mentally stronger the following morning – “In practice, I felt like I was driving the kart again instead of it driving me,” he quipped – the Voi Jeans-supported North Warwickshire College student went on to qualify a full quarter-of-a-second out-of-reach of his nearest opposition, with his second and third-best lap times still good enough for the top spot as he proved to be in a class all of his own.
From there, he checked out for a brace of impeccable heat results, intelligently breaking away at just the right moment on both occasions to drop his pursuers back into the pack and take the chequered flag three-and-a-half seconds to the good in the first of them and almost five seconds clear in the other, setting a new fastest lap less than a minute from the end to demonstrate what he could have done had he had cause to.
That was enough to earn pole for the final, in which he would similarly expertly soak up early pressure before edging away as those behind him got swallowed up and began squabbling over the scraps, wearing their tyres down in a futile effort to keep up. It was, frankly, peerless.
“As long as I kept hitting my apexes, it was all good,” he acknowledged. “For the first five or six laps I knew I had to hook everything up perfectly, which I did, and after that I was away. I was just in a comfort zone throughout, I think. It felt really good to do the double again, and it was another big confidence boost for me to beat Marshall, given how well he is doing this season.”
Triumphing by near-enough four seconds despite rarely having to push flat-out, Ash maturely maintained his concentration with nobody to really race against – the kind of situation in which it is all-too-easy to lose focus and make a mistake.
The fact that title rival Barlow came in only seventh was the cherry on top, and after overcoming the odds to not only defeat the Super 1 pace-setter but also notch up his seventh and eighth victories of an incredible season into the bargain, the Warwickshire speed demon is now preparing to head to Ellough Park Raceway in Suffolk for the decider revved up to finish the job off in style.
“It would have been nice to have had ten-out-of-ten,” Ash mused of his winning record, “but it can’t always be perfect – and this year has been close to perfect. When we switched from a Kosmic TonyKart derivative to a CRG chassis a few months ago, a lot of people thought it was a bad move – but we’ve proved them wrong and shown that the CRG is a brilliant product and that TonyKart is not the only option in Britain. I’d like to thank Mark Collings from CRG for his and the company’s continued support, and I’m just so happy to be able to repay them like this.
“I’m going to approach Ellough now in exactly the same way I did Wigan – I’m going there to win. We should be quick enough – we have been all year – but equally, if it comes down to a close situation in the race I won’t fight too hard, because I know I don’t need to win. I just need to keep my head.”
To keep up-to-date with Ash’s latest career news and results, please visit www.p1r.co.uk
Hand ‘rains’ supreme as weather fails to
dampen his European dominance
Ash Hand travelled to Genk in Belgium for the seventh and eighth rounds of the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone-backed 2010 Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship bidding to re-assert his authority in the chase for the coveted crown – and despite the unpredictable weather doing its best to make life difficult for competitors, he fulfilled that brief and then some.
Having proven unbeatable with four straight triumphs earlier on in the campaign in the same series as had first set Hamilton on the fast track to future F1 superstardom, Ash’s seemingly unstoppable title bid then hit an unexpected speed bump in rounds five and six at Glan Y Gors in North Wales, with a rogue batch of tyres and set-up issues limiting him to a second place and a sixth – and reducing his advantage in the drivers’ standings to a scant three points in one fell swoop.
That hitherto commanding advantage would swiftly be re-established, however, as the highly-rated young Nuneaton hotshot headed cross-Channel determined to build upon the run of podium finishes he had achieved aboard new chassis CRG in the preceding Super 1 and Kartmasters outings – with a return to the very top step.
“I think after Glan y Gors we needed to win again, so that was the aim,” the 16-year-old reflected. “I’ve been quick at Genk over the last few years so I was confident of being quick again – what I didn’t know was what everybody else would be like.
“Genk is a really good, fast-and-flowing drivers’ circuit, and one of those tracks you never get bored on. That makes it quite challenging, because if you take your eye off the ball you lose time really quickly – it’s easy to make a mistake if you don’t stay concentrated. Over the weekend I saw a few people going off-line, and after that it was game over for them for three laps basically because the dirt you pick up just kills the tyres.
“The CRG has always tended to go well in Europe, and it felt consistently planted all weekend, in all conditions. I was able to learn a lot more about it and everything just clicked which made it easy to go fast, and I could always pull a few tenths extra out of it whenever I needed to. It was quite a boost knowing I always had something in reserve. I think it was the best kart in the field overall, so after that the rest of it was down to me.”
The Maple Park speed demon would go on to complete his part of the deal in style, qualifying a quarter-of-a-second clear of anybody else on Saturday to annex an unrivalled pole position amongst the 23-strong Junior Max class field and following that up by prevailing in his two heat races to the tune of five seconds or more each time, setting fastest lap in both encounters for good measure. And after that, well, the all-important final was really just a formality.
Having notched up his maiden national victory for CRG, however – “It felt brilliant to be back winning again; it proved to people that the kart is really good and that I’m driving well too,” he acknowledged – Ash rapidly made it clear that he was not satisfied with just that, and when the heavens opened with a vengeance the next day, he was able to show that he is every bit as adept and imperious in the wet as in the dry.
With his quality as a fast-learner transpiring to be key to his outstanding success, the P1 Racing ace’s first timed lap in Sunday qualifying was a full three tenths of a second out-of-reach of what any of his adversaries could muster all session, and the heats, similarly, were almost a carbon copy of 24 hours earlier. As he admitted to never really feeling threatened all weekend, the second day’s final was in truth the only time all meeting that anyone got so much as remotely close to Ash, and even then he had it all comfortably in-Hand, if you’ll pardon the pun.
“It was really wet and Genk is one of the most difficult circuits to drive in those conditions, but I figured it out pretty quickly and found the grip a lot sooner than anyone else,” he explained. “I was on the pace right from the start on Sunday – nobody else could really keep up.
“In the final, I knew I was going to be fast again after the heats. I had an eight-second lead at one stage and when I looked over my shoulder at the end of the start/finish straight I saw the others hadn’t even come onto it yet, so at that point I knew nobody was going to catch me and I just backed off and kept everything consistent.
“I didn’t really feel under much pressure all weekend if I’m honest, but I still had to stay focussed because if you don’t, it doesn’t take much to make a mistake. Being on my own on the track made it difficult to retain that focus at times, and it would have been quite simple really to get ahead of myself. The only thing that kept me going lap-after-lap was trying to beat or match my lap previous time...”
With no-one else to have to chase or defend from, it is indeed all-too-easy to lose concentration and end up in the tyre barriers, especially in such torrentially treacherous conditions – but to his immense credit, Ash mastered everything that was thrown at him with admirable aplomb, and the fact that his chief rival for glory finished off the podium was merely an added bonus as the George Eliot School pupil demonstrated that he had the pace whatever the weather and ably reminded everybody just who is boss. All-in-all, you really had to Hand it to him.
“It was brilliant to get back-to-back victories, and a great weekend championship-wise,” he concluded of his Hands-down European clean sweep, as he prepares now to take the fight on to the last two meetings at Three Sisters near Wigan and Ellough Park in Suffolk with his confidence sky-high. “We extended our lead quite a lot, I really feel back in control again and now we need to finish the job off. All I’ve got to do is keep getting consistent podium finishes, and hopefully that should be enough.”
What’s more, with Ash’s success adding to the burgeoning tally of CRG trophies in recent outings, the Italian chassis-builder’s UK sales and marketing director Mark Collings muses that any doubts that might have initially been aired about the wisdom of the Warwickshire star’s switch from OTK have now been well-and-truly silenced.
“I’m really pleased,” he enthused. “It shows that with the right driver behind the wheel, the CRG is every bit as competitive if not even more so as any other chassis on the market and is really proving to be the kart to have at the moment. It’s already the leading kart in Europe, and this shows it can beat the rest to be the leading kart in Britain too.
“Ash blew away the opposition at Genk and thoroughly dominated the weekend, by winning every pole position, heat and final by a convincing margin. It was fantastic to see him up there like that, and after his club meeting triumph at Larkhall and second places in Super 1 and at Kartmasters, I think these can be the first of many national wins for Ash and CRG. It’s all looking really, really good.”
To keep up-to-date with Ash’s latest career news and results, please visit www.p1r.co.uk, whilst for more information on championship-winning chassis CRG, please go to: www.kartcrg.co.uk
Wsk World Series – Millville (Usa), 1st August 2010
Hat-Trick Of Crg-Maxter On The Wsk Podium In The States
Thonon (Kz2) & Verstappen (Kf3) Close To The World Series
In the second event of the WSK World Series, Thonon and Carlton dominate in KZ2 and get on the first two steps of the podium. Verstappen wins in KF3. Good performance of Fore’ in Super KF two crashes stop Koko and Tiene in the final.
Millville (USA), 1st August 2010. Another great result for the CRG-Maxter Official Team in the “WSK World Series” in the second out of three events of the season, which took place in the USA on the hard and demanding circuit “F1 New Jersey” of Millville, in the beautiful complex of the New Jersey Motorsports Park. The track, quite narrow, anti-clockwise and with several ups and downs, strained the drivers physically but, in the same time, exalted the qualities of the CRG chassis and the competiveness of the Maxter engine, absolutely the most performing of all.
The “All Black” drivers of the Italian team literally swept the board, especially in KZ2 and in KF3, where the CRG’s triumph was undisputed both in the pre-final and in the final. Excellent performances also in Super KF e KF2.
In KZ2, the leader of the ranking Jonathan Thonon was simply unreachable - despite an annoying flu. He won all there was to win: from the pole position to the win in all the heats. He finished winning the pre-final and the final, arriving before his teammate Gary Carlton. Great satisfaction for the American driver too: with his second place he was able to celebrate on the podium an outstanding performance in front of his own public.
Now Thonon, with full score after his wins in Portugal and the USA, has a great advantage in the ranking. With only a race of the WSK World series to go he has got 55 points more than his teammate Carlton and 56 than Dreezen (Tony Kart).
In KF3 the very young Dutch driver Max Verstappen confirmed his leadership in the category, after conquering the Euro Series Championship. Verstappen was always among the best drivers, and eventually managed to win both the pre-final and the final. With this double success, Verstappen too is battling for the championship, being 47 points ahead of the Rumanian Visoiu (Tony Kart) and 63 of the Spanish Oriola (FA Kart), who was a tough rival in the American race.
In KF3 there was the good performance of the other CRG driver Antonio Fuoco “Speedy”. After a rather unlucky start, the young and promising Italian driver achieved a terrific recovery in the pre-final (6th), which continued in the final till he reached the 4th place.
The driver who missed the final podium in the race of Millville – but it was no fault of his – was the French “Koko” Arnaud Kozlinski. The CRG driver was pushed off the track when he was third. In the pre-final, Koko had managed to gain an excellent second place, and in the final too was battling for the podium. Unfortunately he was involved in a crash during the fifth lap and obliged to restart from the last positions. Anyway, he was able to recover brilliantly and achieved a final 7th place. Among the CRG drivers, in the top positions in Super KF we find Davide Forè, excellent fifth in the final after battling to get on the podium.
Felice Tiene placed tenth in the pre-final but was then obliged to retire because of a crash when he was occupying the first positions. On the other hand Eddy Tinini was more constant: after a difficult start and after the 15th position in the pre-final, Eddy managed to recover until the 11th place of the final.
In KF2, the Danish driver Michelle Gatting had started her American adventure with a terrific second place in the official timed practice with a gap of only 64 milliseconds from the pole position; she then got an excellent third place in the first heat. She then got involved in a series of misadventures which did not let her express at her usual levels. Anyway, she arrived 8th in the pre-final and 12th in the final.
Among the other American drivers racing for CRG, in KZ2 good performance of Ron White, 7th in the pre-final but then obliged to retire.
THE RANKINGS OFTHE CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER THE SECOND EVENT OF MILVILLE (USA):
KZ2: 1. Thonon (B) points 150; 2. Carlton (USA) 95; 3. Dreezen (B) 94; 4. Ardigò (I) 89; 5. Fuchs (PL) 56; 6. Wernersson (S) 46; 7. Visser (NL) 44; 8. Piccoli (I) 40; 9. Gazzurelli (F) 38; 10. Ludi (CH) 35.
SUPER KF: 1. De Vries (NL) points 128; 2. Convers (F) 123; 3. Cooper (GB) 69; 4. Catt (GB) 64; 5. Forè (I) 58; 6. Kozlinski (F) 53; 7. Toman (CZ) 46; 8. Cesetti (I) 46; 9. Gromanova (CZ) 42; 10. Tiene (I) 39.
KF2: 1. D'Agosto (I) points 95; 2. Lock (GB) 80; 3. Bailly (B) 80; 4. Kanamaru (J) 75; 5. Varley (GB) 73; 6. Basz (PL) 53; 7. King (GB) 53; 8. Giovinazzi (I) 43; 9. Barrabeig (E) 40; 10. Lennox (GB) 38; 11. Gatting (DK) 37.
KF3: 1. Verstappen (NL) points 135; 2. Visoiu (RO) 88; 3. Oriola (E) 72; 4. Fioravanti (I) 70; 5. Hansson (S) 50; 6. Degrand (USA) 48; 7. Dennis (GB) 45; 8. Sorensen (DK) 45; 9. Fuoco (I) 42; 10. Orudzhev (RUS) 37.
THE EVENTS OF THE WSK WORLD SERIES 2010:
'Koko' Arnaud Kozlinski
Hand: I knew I was quick at Larkhall
now I’ve proved I can win there too!
As preparations go, wiping the floor with every single one of your rivals in the warm-up meeting for the hotly-fought national Super 1 Series is not a bad way to send out signal of your intent – and that is precisely what highly-rated young Nuneaton karting star Ash Hand did when he headed north of the border to Larkhall.
A self-confessed fan of the demanding Scottish circuit, the outing marked only Ash’s fourth competitive appearance aboard the CRG chassis onto which he switched mid-season – and his performance from the moment he took to the track proved that this driver/kart combination is fast becoming the one to beat.
“Larkhall is one of my favourite tracks and I’ve always been fast there,” the 16-year-old affirmed. “It’s my sort of circuit; it’s pretty physical, which means you have to drive it with the front-end of the kart and use the steering quite a lot. As it’s such a short lap, if you get everything perfect you can take a lot of time out of people, but equally, each small mistake also costs you heavily. I had high expectations, because last year I had been two tenths up the road in the final there in Super 1 – so my hope was to go back and win.
“I was really pleased with how the heats went. In the first of them I went from 16th to second in just three laps, and in heat two I started 12th and finished second again. I could have won that one, but I went for the lead and the leader defended so much he nearly took us both out, so I backed out of it as there was no point in risking an accident when it was only a heat race. Then in the third heat I just drove off into the distance, which was extremely encouraging.”
Confident in his chances, a better fastest lap time than the race-winner in his first two heats – taking the chequered flag less than half a second shy of victory in heat one – and triumphing practically at a canter in heat three gave Ash considerable cause for optimism ahead of the all-important final.
Better yet, that optimism that would swiftly prove to be well-founded, as the George Eliot School pupil set about avenging his ill-fortune from twelve months earlier – when a technical exclusion from the runner-up spot in the first Super 1 final at Larkhall had left him needing to fight his way doggedly and determinedly up through the order from the back of the grid in the second race.
Whilst a strong quality field of 18 of the country’s best Junior Max contenders – ‘there were quite a few drivers there that were quick, which meant if you made a mistake you really got punished for it,’ he explained – certainly kept the Maple Park hotshot on his toes, it soon became apparent that the final would develop into a two-horse race between himself and Andy King, sprinting away to firmly establish themselves as the class of the field as the pair duelled it out tooth-and-nail for supremacy. A duel that only one of them could win.
“I started second and Andy got a bit of a break initially, but it only took me three laps to close him down,” Ash recounted. “On one of the laps I set the quickest time I had done all weekend – three tenths faster than I had been in the heats – so I knew then that I had the pace to do it and I was catching him at a rate of knots.
“After that, for most of the race I just waited behind Andy and played with him, just figuring out where the best place would be to try to overtake. There was quite a big gap behind us, so I was able to bide my time. On lap eight I went for the inside, but he slammed straight into the side of me almost out-of-control; after that I tried up the inside into the first hairpin, but he came across on me again, which made me a bit wary.
“I then just sat on his bumper and worked out where to try to make my move, because I knew from the way he was defending I would need to be really decisive about it so that he couldn’t come back at me again – he was racing hard, so I had to race hard as well. With two laps to go I went down the inside into the first corner and held him out wide to establish a three-or-four kart-length gap – and after that I just kept my head to the finish. I was really happy when I crossed the line. Andy is a good racer and a good friend too, and it was great to beat him in a straight fight like that.”
Not only did Ash beat King, he comfortably beat the rest of the field too, ultimately prevailing by just under seven tenths of a second and always confident he had more speed in his pocket had he needed to draw upon it – as evinced by his impressive ability to reel off hot lap after hot lap with comparative ease. As he looks ahead now to the resumption of Super 1 hostilities back at the same circuit, he does so with justifiably high hopes.
“It was a really, really good weekend and I enjoyed it a lot,” concluded the P1 Racing ace. “I know all the ins-and-outs of the track overtaking-wise now, and to get my first win for CRG was brilliant! The kart was really good, had the most grip it’s had yet and was the best kart out there I reckon. When I first drove the CRG, I found the brakes so sharp that they would put the kart out-of-shape every time I touched them – but now I’m able to use them to my advantage to successfully out-brake other drivers.
“The kart was the easiest to drive it’s been so far, which I think is due to me getting used to it more and learning how to get the best out of it. I understand better what it’s doing, and whilst there’s still more to come, it’s improving all the time. The whole weekend was just a massive confidence boost for Super 1; I knew I was quick at Larkhall last year – but now I’ve proved I can win round there too.”
To keep up-to-date with Ash’s latest career news and results, please visit: www.p1r.co.uk
Open Masters 2010 – Viterbo (I), 18th July 2010
CRG with Nicola Nole’ gets the Open Masters Italian Championship in KZ2
IN THE FIFTH AND LAST EVENT BUT ONE OF THE OPEN MASTERS, NICOLA NOLE’ WITH THE GALIFFA TEAM WINS THE ITALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP IN KZ2. THE NATIONAL SERIES SAW THE OTHER CRG DRIVERS PLAYING A LEADING ROLE: “SPEEDY” IS BATTLING FOR THE KF3 CHAMPIONSHIP, SCATA’ CONFIRMS HIS LEADERSHIP IN THE MINI 60.
Photo: Nicola Nolè Champion in KZ2
Viterbo (Italy), 20th July 2010. Great success got by CRG in the Open Masters Italian Championship last Sunday in Viterbo, thanks to Nicola Nole’ (picture above) in the KZ2 category and to the outstanding assistance of the Galiffa Team.
The driver from Potenza (Southern Italy), already winner of a European Championship of the 100 ICA in 2006, managed to get a early win – there is a race left – achieving a double win in the last race but one of the Italian Series, which took place on the new international circuit of Viterbo. Nolè’s win was a clear one, confirming once more the competiveness of the CRG chassis, leader as usual in the top category with gear-shift.
“Speedy” in KF3 in the Open Masters of Viterbo
In the race of Viterbo, which was decisive to establish the winner of the Italian Championship, Nolè, after winning the pre-final, won hands down in the final: he never left the lead of the race till the chequered flag, arriving with a five second lead over Celenta (Intrepid) and Vallifuoco (Brm). The points gained in Viterbo make reaching Nolè in the Championship impossible: so he is officially the winner of the Championship, even though there is one last race in Pomposa (Ferrara).
In the fifth and last meeting but one of the Open Masters, the other CRG drivers managed to achieve good performances. In the Junior category (KF3), Antonio Fuoco Speedy got a seventh place after recovering from the twelfth position of the pre-final: he is definitely one of the candidates for the win of the Championship in his category.
Here, for the Championship, everything will be decided in the last race of Pomposa. The same can be said for the 60 Mini, the category of the youngest drivers; its final sprint will see Lorenzo Scatà from Sicily, driver on CRG for the team Gamoto, battling for the win. Thanks to an excellent second place, he confirmed his leadership of the ranking, putting off for the last race the battle for the trophy. Always in this category, we have to record the good performance of the other CRG driver of the Gamoto Team Lorenzo Giannone, who gained a good fifth place in the final.
In KF2 there was the début of Mario Ziletti, good driver of the category at his first race in the Open Masters. He managed to pass the qualifying heats rather easily, achieving a promising 20th place in the final.
Scatà in the 60 Mini
Press Release - July 2010
AFTER THEIR EUROPEAN SUCCESS, CRG AND MAXTER SHINE ON THE WORLD SCENE
Pretty high temperatures, a track both fast and technical: it was the perfect occasion for CRG and Maxter to show their potential in the difficult conditions of the first meeting of the WSK World Series in Portimao. And the Italian karts did not disappoint, with Jonathan Thonon's victory in KZ2, the excellent performance by Max Verstappen in KF3 and high hopes for results achieved by the "men in black" in Super KF.
With the WSK World Series, major kart constructors have entered a new dimension: a world-level championship held in three continents, a group of participants that includes the best international drivers, very high organisational standards and some of the most attractive circuits. Located just around the corner from the car racing circuit where the WTCC World Championship was held on the same weekend, the kartdrome of Algarve, in Southern Portugal, opened hostilities with an exciting show in all the categories, under the eyes of Eurosport TV cameras.
CRG-Maxter team was happy with the extreme competitiveness shown by their equipment and by the excellent results achieved both in KF and KZ, though they could have been even better... "It was an incredible race. Gary Carlton missed a gear change and, as a consequence, a double success in KZ2. Arnaud Kozlinski got a regrettable penalty in Super KF and lost some precious points in the championship. Michelle Gatting had a technical problem just when she was heading full speed to the KF2 podium, while Max Verstappen was waiting in the wings behind the KF3 leader, though he could not try an overtaking manoeuvre because the race finished with the yellow flags! Despite our drivers' performances, the outcome of the meeting has not always turned to our favour, but we are very happy with our three podiums, including a victory, that we bring home from Portugal..."
CRG in the Front of the Fight
In KZ2, Gary Carlton and Jonathan Thonon frequently monopolised the top of the standings. After conquering the pole position, the American was one of the heroes of the meeting, remaining in the lead for several laps. Faster towards the end of the race, his Belgian team mate triumphed in the pre-final and final. On the 3rd step of the podium, Carlton was already thinking about the revenge he intends to take at next meeting in his home country, the US.
Winner of the WSK Euro Series, Max Verstappen has not lost his good habit. At the wheel of his CRG-Maxter, he won three heats and the pre-final, before finishing second in the final race. "Honestly I think I could have comfortably won the final", the Dutch driver commented, "but we drove the last laps with the yellow flags, so I could not overtake".
In KF2, Giovanni Martinez showed his progress, while Michelle Gatting regularly drove with the times of the best drivers. In the final race, she seemed to be able to fight for a podium before she had a small mechanical problem.
In Super KF, performances by CRG-Maxter drivers have reached yet another level since the WSK Euro Series, as the drivers themselves stressed with satisfaction: Felice Tiene (2nd in Super Pole), Davide Forè (5th in the final race) and Arnaud Kozlinski (4th in the pre-final) The French driver occupied the same place in the final, before he was penalised. "Honestly I do not think I deserved that penalty. I overtook Cooper and then he forced me to steer towards the kerb. We touched, he went off the track, but I have nothing to do with it and video images prove it". A view shared by the members of his team, who where rightly disappointed by that decision.
Press Release - June 2010
TWO MORE EUROPEAN TITLES FOR CRG AND MAXTER
Each race of the WSK Euro Series gave CRG and Maxter the opportunity to display the qualities of their equipment. Thanks to such high level of performance and reliability, they have conquered a long series of podiums and victories over the last few months. And at the end of a particularly exciting final race in Sarno (Italy), CRG Racing Team won two championship titles with Max Verstappen in KF3 and Jonathan Thonon in KZ1.
La Conca, Lonato, Zuera, Genk and Sarno: there was not a single final phase where a CRG-Maxter kart did not cross the finish line as winner. "For a factory team, the WSK is really the ideal testing ground to develop equipment, enhance the profile of the brand and let drivers and private teams take part in high-level competition" CRG pointed out. "Therefore it is the whole sport of karting that comes out as winner in this popular series, not just CRG chassis and Maxter engines. We are very proud we conquered a title in two disciplines as different as KF3 and KZ1. It is yet another proof of the effectiveness of our whole range of chassis. And our final objective remains the same: our customers' satisfaction in the whole world thanks to competitive, reliable and easy to use karts".
Jonathan Thonon, loyal among the loyal of the two Italian brands, was again one of the authors of CRG's success. Happy to conquer the leadership in the Championship after his victory in Genk, he left no possibility to his rivals and brilliantly won the pre-final as well as the final race in Italy. "As usual, my chassis proved to be more and more effective during the weekend and with the passing of laps in the final phase" the Belgian driver commented. "That's how I could make the difference. And as far as my engine is concerned, I had all the power I needed thanks to the Maxter engines prepared by Tec-Sav. I had already won the WSK in 2007, but this season, competition was much tougher".
CRG and Maxter Win from KZ to KF...
CRG and Maxter imposed themselves not only in the most competitive, but also in the most popular category. Indeed, KF3 gathered over 100 different drivers in 2010. But Max Verstappen was always in the leading places, knowing already he had won the WSK Euro Series even before the final race thanks to his impressive race. The young Dutch driver reached the podium in each race and was on the highest step twice. "In karting, you have to be fast, but reliable and regular, too. With my CRG-Maxter, that's exactly what I was in each race, it was great", Max commented.
Gary Carlton (4th time in KZ1), Arnaud Kozlinski (4th in the Super KF final), Felice Tiene (5th in the Super KF pre-final) and Michelle Gatting (5th in WSK KF2) all showed that CRG-Maxter can make the difference in all the categories. Now that the WSK World Series is approaching, CRG and Maxter will try and show again that they are now part of the group of most high-profile brands.
Press Release - May 2010
WSK : CRG, THE BEST KNOWN BRAND IN GENK
After reaching the top 3 nine times during the final phases, including three times in first position, CRG-Maxter achieved its best overall result at the fourth meeting of the WSK Euro Series in Belgium. Now that the Championship is about to end, Max Verstappen has the situation firmly in control in KF3, while Jonathan Thonon has regained leadership in KZ1.
In addition to gathering the most competitive drivers in international karting, the WSK Euro Series takes place in countries and circuits that are completely different one from the others. In Genk, drivers found a track layout totally different from the ones in Muro Leccese, Lonato or Zuera, where they raced at the beginning of the season. But again, CRG chassis and Maxter engines perfectly adjusted to new conditions, so much so that victory could have been possible in all the categories. This conclusion made the designers of the famous Italian chassis particularly happy:
"Jonathan Thonon in KZ1 and Yard Pex in KZ2 triumphed in the final race with their CRGs, and Max Verstappen in KF3, Michelle Gatting in KF2 as well as Arnaud Kozlinski in Super KF had the potential to do the same. That did not happen for different reasons, but the race was very open and uncertain in Genk, which is good for karting in general. Anyway, we are very satisfied with the current competitiveness of our products, though one can never rest on their laurels".
In KZ1, Jonathan Thonon was one of the protagonists of the meeting. "It's my fourth podium in four races. That proves that our performances are excellent every time", the Belgian driver commented with satisfaction. "But I really wanted to win and I am happy I achieved a double success in the pre-final and final in Genk. A big thank you to the team and to Tec-Sav! I am again the leader in WSK and I hope I can conquer a new title in this series, after the one I won in 2007". With his pole position and the third place in the final race, Jorrit Pex completed CRG's success, imitated by his brother, Yard Pex, who won in KZ2. These two drivers race with CRG-TM karts from CRG-Holland team.
CRG et Maxter in the heart of the battle
Max Verstappen continues to remain focussed on one of his main goals for 2010: winning the WSK Euro Series title in KF3. By finishing third and then second in Genk, he scored some very important points for the overall standings. In each of the four meetings, there was always at least one CRG-Maxter on the podium in this 13-15 year old category.
In KF2, the CRG Junior Team (VDK Racing) continued to exploit in the best possible way the qualities of chassis manufactured by the company in Desenzano, which demonstrated all their effectiveness with Michelle Gatting at the wheel. After a brilliant recovery up to 3rd place in the pre-final, she thought she could fight for victory in the final race, before she was pushed and went into a tailspin at the start.
The men in black from CRG Racing Team did not go unnoticed in the very animated pack of Super KF. In the pre-final, in particular, Felice Tiene gained 16 places, Eddy Tinini 9 and Arnaud Kozlinski as many as 21, going up from 24th to 3rd place. A real festival of overtaking, after the bad luck of the qualifying heats! "CRG and Maxter have an extraordinary reaction capacity and this allows me to often battle for victory. That's what I wanted to do in Genk, but a little technical problem slowed me down and I had to content myself with 5th place", "Koko" pointed out. David Forè also showed top-level performance: he qualified for the Super Pole, was 8th at the end of the heats and finished 12th in the final race.
Press Release - April 2010
Flood of Podiums for CRG and Maxter!
If CRG showed what it is capable of at the end of March, on the Italian track of Lonato, where only the best chassis can emerge, Maxter had the starring role in Spain, on the Zuera circuit, which is a real test ground for engines. All things considered, it was logical that several CRG-Maxter drivers could climb on the podium of the third round of the WSK Euro Series 2010.
While the eruption of the Eyjafjöll volcano continued in Iceland, scattering ash all over Europe, the sky finally cleared above the Zuera circuit. After a very humid Sunday morning, the final phase took place on a dry track. WSK has made us accustomed to colourful, intense shows and that is exactly what happened in Spain, thanks to the many top-level drivers and highly motivated teams.
And CRG-Maxter karts took part in this show in all the categories. Work done last winter by the company continues to bear fruits and allows several drivers to make their podium dreams come true. "I am very proud of the level of performance we have reached, especially in KF2 and KF3, two categories in which our technicians have worked really hard to reach the top", commented Giancarlo Tinini, president of the CRG group. And Sunday's afternoon started indeed with the victories of Michelle Gatting in KF2 and Max Verstappen in KF3!
A Title in the Line of Sight for Maxter....
Since season debut, Danish driver Gatting had always been close to the podium in KF2, though she had never found her way to it, at least until now. She reached the podium in style, since her third place was preceded by a brilliant success in pre-final. "With a kart as fast as mine, I think I could have done even better, but I couldn't not find a way through at the start and I lost several places", Michelle stated. "Pity, because I even drove faster than race leaders during the final". Michelle, who is supported by VDK Racing (CRG Junior Team) is now heading to the third place in WSK.
In KF3, Max Verstappen continued to exploit his very effective CRG-Maxter to show his great talent. On a circuit with long fast stretches and restarts difficult to manage, he passed his rivals as soon as they gained some advantage. "In this WSK season, I scored the highest number of points five times out of six and my worst result is a second place in Lonato. These results are not due to chance, but to the real competitiveness of my equipment", said Max, who is now even closer to the title.
In the difficult KZ1 category, Jonathan Thonon conquered three podiums in a row. In Zuera, the Belgian driver motorised by Tec’Sav thought he had lost every chance at the start of the pre-final. "I was forced to pass on the verge to avoid Renaudie who broke his engine at the end of the straight stretch. Then, I gave it all to regain ground and my equipment helped me fine", said Jonathan, who also set the best lap time in the pre-final and then in the final, in addition to his remarkable recovery up to the second place.
In Super KF, a stone thrown by a driver's kart during the final pierced Arnaud Kozlinski's radiator, in full recovery in the final race, just when a podium was in sight. "My sixth place does not really reflect our level and I think I have shown that also this year, the other teams will have to keep a close eye on CRG and Maxter in the next rounds", Arnaud added.