France has been chosen to organise the first CIK-FIA competition of the 2016 international season in Normandy at the International Circuit of Aunay les Bois. So under the aegis of the FFSA the inaugural events of the CIK-FIA European KZ2 and KZ Championship and the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy will take place at the venue of the 2014 World Cup.
France has always played a major role in the history of world karting. Since its inception at the turn of the 60s, the discipline has found a passionate country favourable to its development and the leading competitions have continued to come to the country. The FFSA is proud to join the K61 sports association in organising the opening meeting of the 2016 international season. It is a triple programme involving 136 participants from 40 nations to be hosted by the International Circuit of Aunay les Bois / Essay from 21st to 24tg April with the first of three meetings of the year for the European KZ and KZ2 Championships and for the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy.
At the heart of the Orne region, the Norman track is green, hilly and 1220m long. The very technical layout favours the development of driver skill, while making the races very selective. Supported by the FFSA, the Essay K61 club has the experience and human resources to succeed once again in the challenge of impeccable organizsation as in 2014 which earned the title of best CIK-FIA event of the year.
The 51 young hopefuls from around the world entered for the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy will used new Exprit / Vortex / Vega one-make karts for the 7th edition of the Trophy, made available by the competition partners. The randomly selected karts are of the OK-Junior type and correspond to the age group of the drivers between 13 and 15 years old. The purpose of this Trophy is to train and detect young talent. In this light the national technical director Christophe Lollier has selected two promising youngsters to represent France. So we will carefully monitor the performance of Thomas Imbourg and Thomas Mialane, who have joined the FFSA Equipe de France Karting, under the captaincy of Yvan Muller, in order to enjoy the best possible preparation.
The KZ category includes the big names of world karting, some of them true professionals, who strengthen a well filled entry. They are using ultra powerful karts equipped with a six-speed gearbox engine and often have the support of large factories. Four French drivers will be racing. Anthony Abbasse, the factory Sodikart driver, and Jérémy Iglesias, from Team CPB Sport, have achieved very good results since the start of the season at the wheel of their Sodi / TMs and have a good chance at Aunay les Bois. Julien Deharte (CRG / Vortex) and Enzo Samon (RK / Vortex) have taken the opportunity to participate in this round of the European Championship in their home country.
The KZ2 are very similar to the KZ machines. These amateurs, in the best sense of the term, will have a grid of about 60 to strive for access to the Final in the hotly contested qualifying stages that lie ahead. Faced with 14 Italians vying for the title, the French delegation has 15 participants. 5th in the European Championship last year, Paolo Besancenez (Tony Kart / Vortex) will aim to win again, as will Nicolas Gonzales (Sodi / TM). Tom and Gabin Leuillet (Sodi / TM) are experienced in international competition this season, as is Paul Fontaine (Sodi / TM). Other drivers have the experience to get good results: Adrien Bloyet (Tony Kart / Vortex), Geoffrey Jamin (Tony Kart / Vortex), Pierre Loubère (Sodi / Parilla), Adam Maatougui (BirelART / TM), Hubert Petit (Sodi / TM) and Guillaume Vetu (FA Kart / Vortex), a regular in Long Circuit entered with a wild card. Thomas Neubauer (BirelART / TM) and Viny Sobrevia (Mach 1 / TM) will be keen to enjoy their European debut and make progress, while Nicolas Picot (Tony Kart / Vortex) and Sacha Uspensky (Tony Kart / Vortex) use their experience acquired in other categories in KZ2.
Thursday, April 21st
1:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Academy free practice (3×20′)
Friday, April 22nd
8:25 a.m. to 5:40 p.m.: Free practice for all classes (4×20′)
Saturday, April 23rd
9:00 to 10:10: Warm-up (10′)
10:20 to 11:35: Qualifying
1:05 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.: Heats
Sunday, April 24th
8:25 to 9:35: Warm-up
9:35 to 10:00: Academy Repechage
10:15 to 10:45: Drivers presentation
11:00 a.m. to 12:35: Prefinals
1:35 p.m. to 4:05 p.m.: Final
4:20 p.m.: Press Conference