Sweden is set to host one of the two world events of the FIA Karting season at the Kristianstad circuit for the third time. Just like five years ago, the FIA Karting World Championship – KZ, the FIA Karting International Super Cup – KZ2 and the final FIA Karting Academy Trophy competition will be held on the 1221m Åsum Ring from 3rd to 5th September 2021. Three FIA Karting titles will be awarded after three days of hard racing.
Kristianstad Kart Klubb is renowned for its passion for racing and the quality of its organisation. The Swedish reputation for hospitality is not misplaced. Since 2014, when a CIK-FIA competition first came to the venue, the infrastructure continued to develop. Slightly modified in 2017 to improve safety, the Åsum Ring offers a setting much appreciated by competitors for selective and spectacular races. Until the last moment, the weather will add an element of uncertainty to the event, as the location near the Baltic Sea could cause rapid changes. The three categories on the programme have registered a total of 180 entries from 53 nations on five continents.
Battle of the leaders for the KZ world title
The 2021 edition of the FIA Karting World Championship – KZ is shaping up to be a very good year. The 2020 and 2019 Champions Jérémy Iglesias (FRA) and Marijn Kremers (NLD) will of course be there, along with other well-known drivers such as Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP), OK World Champion and winner of the CIK-FIA KZ2 International Super Cup in Kristianstad in 2016, or Jorrit Pex (NLD), KZ World Champion in 2015. Recent European KZ Champion Riccardo Longhi (ITA) and OK Champion Andrea Kimi Antonelli (ITA) as well as 2019 KZ2 International Super Cup winner Émilien Denner (FRA) will also be among the 2021 title contenders. Bas Lammers (NLD) has managed to find a good drive for the occasion while his former team-mate Anthony Abbasse (FRA) will come out of his early retirement to get back to racing at a high level. Former F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) wanted to return to karting after a long break: he had indeed finished ninth in the KZ World Championship in 2013. Of the 28 entrants, more than a third have the potential to win the title this year, which says a lot about the intensity of the sporting battle ahead.
KZ2: the most open race of the year
With 101 entries, the FIA Karting International Super Cup – KZ2 field includes many of the participants of the recent European Championship, notably the top 25. In the absence of the 2020 winner Simone Cunati (ITA), it is easy to imagine that the duel will resume between the Italian Giacomo Pollini and the Dutchman Senna Van Walstijn. Others will also be there with serious assets to aim for victory. Laurens Van Hoepen (NLD), Paavo Tonteri (FIN), Hubert Petit (FRA), Giuseppe Palomba (ITA) second last year, the two-time OK World Champion Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA), Leonardo Marseglia (ITA) fourth in 2020, Arthur Carbonnel (FRA) and Danilo Albanese (ITA) fifth last year, are some of the probable favourites of the competition. We will also have to follow the progress of Juho Valtanen (FIN), Jean Nomblot (FRA), Alessio Piccini (ITA), Alexander Schmitz (DEU), as well as the rookies Jamie Day (ARE) and Kris Haanen (NLD). After the all-important Qualifying Practice, the numerous Qualifying Heats will be crucial in selecting the 36 finalists who will be able to compete for the Cup.
Final suspense in the Academy
The drivers of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy are about to fight their last battle of the season at the wheel of their one-make karts (Exprit/Vortex/MG). The title battle has not often been so open with two different winners, Reno Francot (NLD) and Maciej Gladysz (POL), as well as a strong renewal at the front. Given the intense sporting confrontations that animated the first two events in Germany and Italy, the final competition in Sweden promises to be spectacular. According to the current positions and taking into account the worst result of the heats and the worst final, a dozen contenders can theoretically win the Trophy. Gladysz and Francot are however the logical favourites with Salim Hanna (COL), Oleksander Bondarev (UKR), Riccardo Ianniello (ITA) and Yevan David (LKA) as outsiders. That said, winning the Kristianstad Final is the goal of a larger number of drivers.
Provisional standings of the 2021 FIA Karting Academy Trophy before the final round in Kristianstad.
1- Maciej Gladysz (POL) 46 points
2- Reno Francot (NLD) 38 points
3- Oleksander Bondarev (UKR) 33 points
4- Yevan David (LKA) 31 points
5- Riccardo Ianniello (ITA) 28 points
Provisional programme for the Kristianstad event
Friday 3rd September
08:45 – 16:00: Free Practice
16:15 – 17:55: Qualifying Practice
Saturday 4th September
08:45 – 10:10: Warm-up
10:15 – 17.10: Qualifying Heats
Sunday 5th September
08:45 – 10:10: Warm-up
10.15 – 12.10: Qualifying Heats
13:10 – 16:05: Finals
The Kristianstad event can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.