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FIA Karting 2023: Viktor Gustafsson, IKR KZ leader

FIA Karting
IKR-Viktor Gustafsson

2022 KZ World Champion Viktor Gustafsson (SWE) and CRG factory driver has just recorded his seventh International Karting Ranking (IKR) result of the season at Wackersdorf. His 2nd place in the Mondokart.com FIA Karting World Championship – KZ and his consistency in the other KZ events on the FIA Karting International Sporting Calendar that count towards the IKR means that he is now in 1st place in the KZ category. With 2621 points, he is ahead of the new reigning champion Paolo Ippolito and Matteo Vigano. 3rd in the World Championship, Stan Pex has moved up three places in the KZ rankings.

The KZ category is part of Class 1, which uses CIK-FIA homologated equipment. KZ is the queen of karting. Powered by powerful engines with 6-speed gearboxes, it is capable of breathtaking performances. It’s the domain of factory teams and professional drivers, and is home to some of the biggest names in karting.

At 19 years of age, Sweden’s Viktor Gustafsson has a flattering record of achievements.

Having competed internationally since 2016 in the Mini category, Viktor moved up to OK-Junior the following year with some interesting albeit inconsistent results with the Ward Racing team. Sixth in the Winter Cup at Lonato, sixth also at Sarno for the opening round of the European Championship, he eventually finished 19th and missed out on qualification for the World Championship Final at PFI, but scored his first victory at Adria in the WSK Final Cup on his first appearance with the Tony Kart Racing Team.

He moved up to OK for the 2018 season in the colours of the Kosmic Racing Department with varying fortunes. Anonymously 41st in the European Championship, he achieved his best result in the World Championship at Alahärmä in Finland, finishing 11th.

A rapid rise in the gearbox categories

Viktor made his debut in KZ2 during the 2019 season with Kosmic, once he had reached the required age of 15, and showed good competitiveness from the following year. He won the European KZ2 Championship at the age of 16 with Birel ART Racing and confirmed his place in the top 10 of the KZ2 International Super Cup at Lonato. In 2021, he had to make the step up to the KZ category. Eighth in the European Championship, he finished fourth in the World Championship, won by his compatriot Noah Milell. He joined the official CRG team for 2022. He didn’t have much success in the European Championship in OK, but made up for it by winning his first KZ World Championship at Le Mans. Now a member of the exclusive club of top KZ drivers, Viktor finished fourth in the 2023 European Championship and made a remarkable comeback to finish second in the World Championship at Wackersdorf.