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April 28, 2012 News
CIK-FIA European KF3 Championship: Russell Wins Four Heat Races

George Russell won four of the five heat races to lead the pack heading into Sunday (Photo: KSP)
George Russell won four of the five heat races to lead the pack heading into Sunday
(Photo: KSP)

As was to be expected, the first Qualifying Heats for the European KF3 Championship held this Saturday at Varennes-sur-Allier in France were pretty heated. Notwithstanding the fact that quite a few favourites were out to confirm their ambitions, one would need a crystal ball to forecast the podium of the two Championship Races scheduled this coming Sunday.

Even though there was an overcast grey sky, the track was dry when the 105 competitors in this CIK-FIA European Championship took off for their first Qualifying Heats this Saturday at Varennes-sur-Allier. Split into 7 groups based on the qualifying practice session results, all drivers needed to compete in six Heats (each group taking on all the others) namely a total of 21 Heats to finally bring it down to the 34 finalists for the two Championship Races.

Four Qualifying Heats still need to be held this Sunday morning, however this Saturday has already shown an initial trend. Reigning European champion, George Russell (Intrepid-Vortex) excelled by clinching no less than four of the five Heats. It goes without saying that this young Brit is proving to be the top candidate. On the other hand, the battle remains fierce with numerous potential candidates knocking at the door. Having only registered a meagre 43rd best time during the practice sessions, the Frenchman Dorian Boccolacci (Intrepid-TM) gave the spectators something to relish with his brilliant recovery, by winning two of his five Heats. Brilliant regular performances also from the American Santino Ferrucci (Energy-TM), the Dutchman Marijn Kremers (PCR-Parilla) as also the Italian Simone Cunati (Top Kart-Parilla), all up amongst the top players even though none of them actually clinched a Qualifying Heat. Less regular, on the other hand, were the Brits Nathan Aston (Intrepid-TM) and Connor Jupp (Energy-Vortex), as also the Italian Alessio Piccini (Kosmic-Vortex) who all confirmed their status of outsiders, each one winning a Qualifying Heat.

Unlucky during one of the Heats, the Spaniard Alex Palou Montalbo (CRG-BMB) did claim three victories and is still up amongst the favourites. Winner of two Heats, but also having experienced bad luck during one of the Heats the Belgian Matteo Raspatelli (Tony Kart-Parilla) is still hoping to surprise one and all at Varennes, as is the Finn Joonas Lapalainen (Ninar-Vortex, one Heat victory but here also experiencing bad luck during one of the Heats) not forgetting the Brit Callum Ilott (Zanardi-Parilla) and the Frenchman Valentin Naud (FK-TM), the latter two also winners of one of their respective Heats.

Canadian Lance Stroll (Zanardi-Parilla) qualified 67th, and started on the 10th row in all his heat races. He ran into the top-10 in three of his heat races, taking a fourth in the opening heat along with two additional ninth place results. He also carded a 14th, but was mired back in 26th in the four heat race after lap three contact with Finnish driver Paul Hokfelt. He'll need to step up in the final heat race on Sunday morning to qualifying into the top-34.

Following on from the four last Qualifying Heats still to be held this Sunday morning, the 34 qualified drivers will be confronting one another over two Races at 13.40hrs and 16.00hrs. They will all be out to score as many points as possible prior to heading off to Brandon, in the United Kingdom from 20th through to 22 July, to go head to head in this second and final round of the European KF3 Championship.

Note: EKN Canada readers can follow the action from France via the link below. Live timing will be available.
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