The results of the French drivers racing in the first round of the CIK-FIA European KZ2 and KZ Championship and the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy were the climax of the joint organisation of the FFSA and the K61 club to make this great international event a remarkable overall success despite not always favourable weather. Three podiums rewarded the tricolor performances while two French drivers were in the top 10 of the three categories competing at Aunay les Bois.
The CIK-FIA was keen to emphasise the quality of organisation of the Norman race, congratulating the FFSA and Claude Gripon's team for their hard work and close involvement. Kees Van De Grint, Vice President of the CIK-FIA stated that the choice of the International Circuit of Aunay les Bois / Essay was very relevant thanks to a track particularly well-suited for karting.
The weather was not as good would be expected for this time of year with temperatures down and slightly rainy testing. This did not hinder the smooth running of the event or dampen the passion of the spectators came in large numbers Sunday for the finals. The famous Norman welcome offset the severity of the weather and the display by the an air display team on Sunday afternoon added an acrobatic show that was greatly enjoyed at the event. 134 drivers from nearly 40 nations and 5 continents had arrived in Normandy earlier in the week to participate in the many practice sessions before they gave the maximum during the two days of the official competition.
1220m long, the International Circuit of Aunay les Bois / Essay provided a particularly demanding venue for the competition during which tyre management became crucial, both in terms of driving and the set-up of the equipment. In these difficult conditions, the 21 French drivers racing courageously defended their chances against very tough foreign competition. Three podiums were awarded to them with Jérémy Iglesias in KZ, Paolo Besancenez in KZ2 and Thomas Mialane in Academy. Regarding the championships standings, those drivers are in 2nd place and there are at least two Frenchmen in the top 10 in each category.
The KZ Final was led by Jérémy Iglesias (Sodi / TM / CPB Sport) for eight laps who was then forced to decrease the pace because of the deterioration of his tyres, leaving the Italian factory drivers Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart / Vortex / Tony Kart) and Flavio Camponeschi (CRG / Parilla / CRG) to grab the top two places. Victim of a collision in the Prefinal, Anthony Abbasse (Sodi / TM / Sodi) managed to regain seven places in the Final and get into the top 10 of the European Championship where Iglesias is 2nd.
In KZ2, the best performer was Paolo Besancenez (Tony Kart / Vortex / Cédric Sport) who was a sensation. Finishing in the top three of the heats while saving his tyres as much as possible, Paolo then showed his ambitions with 2nd place in Prefinal 1. He was in a good position for a win in the Final when an opponent pushed him to drop him to 8th. Paolo bravely reduced the gap and managed to reach the 3rd position on the finish line and take 2nd place in the championship. In trouble with his tyres, Nicolas Gonzales (Sodi / TM / CPB Sport) did his best to stay on the pace and eventually finished 7th in the Final as well as in the standings. Entered only for this race, Hubert Petit (Sodi / TM) climbed from 21st place in the heats in 10th in the Final.
After a bad start with a 40th in Qualifying, Tom Leuillet (Sodi / TM / CPB Sport) would not let anything to go to take a 15th final position ahead of Pierre Loubère (Sodi / Parilla) who made a fine final ascent. For his debut in international KZ2, Nicolas Picot (Tony Kart / Vortex) can celebrate his 18th position. Geoffrey Jamin (Tony Kart / Vortex / Cédric Sport) was 26th, Paul Fontaine (Sodi / TM / Sport CPB) 28th and Thomas Neubauer (BirelART / TM / MRT) 30th managed to qualify for the Final.
Two young French members of the Equipe de France FFSA Karting made their debut in the Academy Trophy. Supported and supervised by the FFSA Pole High Level, Thomas Mialane and Thomas Imbourg completed their mission by improving throughout the competition. The slightly more experienced Mialane set the fastest lap in Qualifying before brilliantly staying in the top three to the Finals, which earned him 2nd position in the provisional standings. Imbourg started further back in the pack before managing to move up 8th in the Final, a great result for this driver just up from Cadet.