Alex Irlando grabs world title win on the last corner after a poulse-pounding final race started
The CIK-FIA International KZ2 Super Cup is comparable to the World KZ Championship and it is the
most important event of the year. It took place the last weekend at Pro Kart Raceland,
Alex Irlando starts the weekend greatly by posting the fourth fastest lap out of 118 drivers in
qualifying, but he gets a 3 positions penalty because of too loud exhaust (0.5 dB more than
allowed). After that, he slips in P7 being the fastest of group G.
On Friday he starts the qualifying heats winning the first one with more than half second of
advantage. Heats go on on Saturday and he wins all the heats of the day except one, when he
finishes in third position.
On Sunday morning he wins also the last heat, but then it comes a cold shower: 10 seconds
penalty for overtaking with yellow flag. During the heat Alex is the runner up while yellow flag are
waving and on the last corner the leader puts two wheels on the wet side of the track, losing the
control of his kart. Alex, to avoid a collision with the leader and with other drivers behind him,
moves on the right side of the track and lifts his foot from the gas, but he is too fast and passes the
finishing line ahead of the leader. This penalty costs him the second position on the grid for the
final race and he is forced to start from P6.
The final race is a breath-taking one: Alex starts well and earns two positions driving in P4 behind
Benjamin Persson, Riccardo Longhi and Marco Zanchetta. On lap 3 Zanchetta goes through Longhi
and Alex grabs the opportunity and overtakes the BirelART driver. In the meantime Persson leads
with 1,79 seconds on Zanchetta. The following lap Irlando overtakes Zanchetta who loses positions
and Longhi grabs the third place.
From that moment the Sodikart driver pushes over the limit recovering tenths of second lap after
lap: on lap 8 the gap is 1,402 seconds and on lap 16 only three tenths of second.
On lap 17 Irlando tries to pass the Swede, but he is forced to stay in P2 with Longhi ready to
exploit any opportunity. A second attempt happens on lap 21, but also in this occasion he is forced
to desist and to defend his position from Longhi.
On the last hairpin Persson doesn’t close the door and Irlando jumps on the inside line and grabs
the lead of the race and the title as well. An amazing race won by 0,049 seconds of advantage!
“I’ve never pushed so hard as I did in this race! – comments Alex Irlando on the podium after the
race – I knew that I had the pace, but when I finally reached the P2 I was more than 1.7 seconds
behind Persson and I said to myself ‘ok Alex, it’s now or never, I can’t give up now’ so I put my
head down and I pushed really really hard to close the gap. I tried to pass him twice, but he shut
the door. On the last corner he left the minimum space that allowed me to pass him and I won! It’s
an unbelievable feeling! I’d like to thank the Sodikart team, my teammates Bas “Bambi” Lammers
and Anthony “Nemo” Abbasse, who is the Vice World KZ Champion for the second year in a row,
my family and my sponsors for the amazing support they gave me this weekend.”