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April 30, 2012 News
CIK-FIA European KF3 Championship: Montalbo Exits Season-Opener with Points Lead
 

Spaniard Alex Palou Montalbo exited the opening event of CIK-FIA European KF3 Championship with win and points lead (Photo: KSP)
Spaniard Alex Palou Montalbo exited the opening event of CIK-FIA European KF3 Championship with win and points lead
(Photo: KSP)

This weekend (April 28-29) the French Varennes-sur-Allier track welcomed the first of two events of the CIK-FIA European KF3 Championship. As is often the case in this highly animated Juniors class (13-15 years), there was no lack of race incidents and developments. Winner of the first race, title holder George Russell (Intrepid-Vortex) was unfortunately involved in an accident in the first bend of the second encounter. Spaniard Alex Palou Montalbo (CRG-BMB) took full advantage of this to clinch race two, and take the lead in the championship ahead of George Russell and Frenchman Dorian Boccolacci (Intrepid-TM).

With its new format of two races and four opportunities to score points, the European KF3 Championship is now focusing on both top speed and regularity. Following the second meeting to be held at Brandon, in Great Britain, three results will be taken in account to award the highly coveted title. However applying the regularity card in such a lively pack is never an easy matter.

A major favourites for the CIK-FIA European KF3 Championship title, Brit Russell (Intrepid-Vortex) and Frenchman Dorian Boccolacci (Intrepid-TM) were up to expectations from the first race on Sunday afternoon. Having both experienced bad luck during their last Qualifying Heat, obliging them to start off from sixth (Russell) and ninth (Boccolacci) positions, it took the two drivers a mere two laps to grab the first two places. Russell, the title holder, never gave the Frenchman the opportunity to go into attack, scoring the win, the perfect way in which to start off the championship.

Even though everything seemed pretty clear regarding the first two on the podium, it was not quite the same when it came to the third. It was finally the Croat Martin Kodric (FA Kart-Vortex) who got the better of the Spaniard Montalbo (CRG-BMB). Having broken away from a highly lively chasing group, the Italian Simone Cunati (Top Kart-Parilla) completed the top-five ahead of the Italian Alessio Piccini (Kosmic-Vortex), who had started on the front-row, the Belgian Amaury Bonduel (Kosmic-Parilla), who had brilliantly climbed back up from 33rd place on the grid, finished ahead of Brit Daniel Ticktum (Zanardi-Parilla), who set the best race lap time. American Santino Ferrucci (Energy-TM) and Dutchman Marijn Kremers (PCR-Parilla), who had experienced a mechanical problem during he warm-up lap and was forced to take the start from the back of the grid were next to the stripe.

Amongst the pack, several drivers who had performed well during the Qualifying Heats saw all their hopes vanish due to various race incidents and accidents. This was the case amongst for Brit Connor Jupp (Energy-Vortex), who had started from the pole position, also Canadian Lance Stroll (Zanardi-Parilla), Brit Callum Ilott (Zanardi-Parilla), and Belgian Matteo Raspatelli (Tony Kart-Parilla), all three victims of race incidents. They were respectively relegated to 14th, 18th, and 22nd.

Russell, having dominated race one, had a perfect start in the second confrontation of the day. However this was without counting on Cunatiís clumsiness, who braked on the grass just in front of the first bend, violently hitting the Brit. Even though Russell finally managed to extract himself from the sand trap, he was well behind the pack. His rival, Boccolacci was now hoping to make the break in the championship. But having taken the lead after a poor start, the Frenchman was pushed off track by his Russian teammate Robert Shwartzman (Intrepid-TM), who had committed a completely missed attack. Having climbed back into 11th spot, Boccolacci managed to grab a few championship points, but no way could he hide his disappointment. Because up front, Montalbo did not waste any time. Following his fourth place in the first race, the Spaniard has scored the maximum number of points to take over the reigns of the championship, ahead of Russell and Boccolacci, who are tied in second.

This second race also enjoyed a fair amount of surprises. Starting out with the second place of the Romanian Marcu Dionisios (Top Kart-TM), who had set off from 23rd place on the grid, ahead of Brits Alex Gill (SWRD-Parilla), 19th on the grid, and Nathan Aston (Intrepid-TM). Fifth was the American Ferrucci, who proved his top speed throughout the weekend and holding off the Brit Ticktum, who once again set best race lap time. Having netted seventh place, as in race one, of Belgian Bonduel is now eighth in the championship.

Continuing his move forward in Final two, the Canadian Stroll broke into the top-10 with a 10th place run, once again among the quickest karts on the track.

At the end of this first meeting the suspense remains high and the journey over to Brandon, on a highly modified first part of the PF International track, will definitely be worth the trip. The second and final round of the CIK-FIA European KF3 Championships will take place on July 20-22, in Lincolnshire, England.

For videos of the two Final races, see the TKart Magazine videos
Final 1
Final 2
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