It was in a rather relaxed atmosphere that was operated the reunion between foreign and French drivers at Dijon for the maiden international event of Superkart in the framework of French Championship which has only 4 rounds in 2016 (Dijon – Zandvoort -Ledenon with CIK and Le Mans). What is a pity that it was in parallel to the Silverstone meeting, but in England the protagonists in national (F450) or single-cylinder were. Weather conditions did not favor the reduced testing, the fault of the fog, rain and sunshine have alternated.
The weekend was also marked by major events, the already effective supremacy of the German Peter Elkmann, double Champion of France (2014 & 2015) and Vice European who dominated qualifying and races with excellent lap times and by the spectacular shunt of the Australian Carlo Chermaz Sunday morning. There was for more fear of evil, the driver suffers a broken collarbone uncomplicated and could go home in Milan.
Qualifying session saw a duel between Elkmann (MSKart/VM) and his compatriot Andreas Jost (Anderson/VM) who had already been successful on the Dijon circuit. Julien Goullancourt (Anderson/DEA) runner-up of France 2015 already showed to advantage.Alexandre Sebastia (Anderson/DEA) who suffered of a seizure of his engine for its first laps claimed the temporary pole at the end of second session in 1’17”132’’’ and then a piston seized again. Elkmann then realized the quickest lap in 1’16”029’’’. A record lap “unofficial”, the real record held by D.Payart standing for 2009, but before a slight modification of the track. The second row took German colors with A. Jost and Daniel Hentschel (Anderson/DEA), the following row the tricolor colors with J. Goullancourt and Johan Lamalle. Disappointment for the new team Falcon (Ex- Tec-Sav) that is renowned in Karting, which lacked preparatory rolling, Thierry Savard (PVP/FPE) full of ambition discovered a brake problem that has proved to be prohibitive.
The start of the first race was particularly dramatic, the drivers occupying the full width of the track. Hentschel was prompt but by lack of power was out sprint off the start by hiscountrymen. Elkamnn led ahead Jost, both drivers escaped. Sebastia carefully starting overtook Goullancourt and later Hentschel. Further, the Finn V.Lethinen led a second squad. The young J.Lamalle working to recover the ranks trapped in his second lap. Jost was to return in pit-lane (3rd lap) broken exhaust. Elkmann could gradually increase his gap. Race interest focused on the fight of the trio Hentschel / Sebastia / Goullancourt. Sebastia moves into second position. His two opponents performed overtaking manœuvres several times, but the German had to let go in the end, destroyed tires. On the 9th lap, Lehtinen (5th) didn’t pass due to a puncture. Lamalle and Chermaz recovered respectable positions.
The second race was shortened indeed truncated. If the rain had ceased, the track remained wet and all competitors sprang with rain tires. The safety car was deployed early, a 1st time to ensure the safe of Colombian Zuleta, after contact at the end of the pack. At the restart Chermaz overtook teammates from Redspeed Team when he suddenly and violently cut their way to hit the wall (probable engine seized). The safety-car came out with some apprehension that was fortunately could be lifted. The red flag was ending race, the ranking fixed in fact from the beginning except for Sebastia who had been cautious when lights were switched off contrast to highly reactive Goullancourt.
The start of the third race was started behind the Safety but the track was dry. It was a formality for Elkmann. Jost starting far (13th) made a quick forward move. It overtook one by one all his opponents to grap the second position on the 3rd lap, more easily as Sébastia came back in the pit because of a faulty spark plug. We witnessed the recurrent duel between Hentschel and Goullancourt. The reliable French driver overtook German and earned his third podium. This one was not disappointed as he returned to the forefront.
Lehtinen was close to the fight for the last step on podium but at the beginning of the last lap, his left rear tyre exploded. Regular Lamalle followed some seconds and reclaimed 5th place.
De Oliveira and D.Harvey finished together behind. Jean-Christophe Bourlat (Photos Mediasuperkart)
Race 1 : 1. P.Elkmann, 2. A. Sébastia, 3.J.Goullancourt, 4.D.Hentschel, 5.J.Lamalle, 6. C.Chermaz, 7. D.Harvey, 8. L.Kursjjen, etc.
Race 2 : 1. P.Elkmann, 2. J.Goullancourt, A, 3.D.Hentschel, 4. A.Jost, 5. A.Sébastia, 6. V.Lethinen, 7. M.De Olveira, 8. J.Lamalle, etc.
Race 3 : 1. P.Elkmann, 2.A.Jost, 3.J.Goullancourt,4. D.Hentschel, 5. J.Lamalle, 6. M. De Oliveira, 7.D.Harvey, 8.C.Vayssié, etc.
Provisional general classification, French Championship of Superkart:
1. P.Elkmann 81 points, 2.J.Goullancourt 52 points, 3. D.Hentschel 42 pts, 4.A.Jost 33 pts, 5. A.Sebastia 31 pts, 6. J.Lamalle 30 pts, 7. L.Kursjen 21 pts, etc.