It was time for the seasons most prestigious event held in the heat of Zuera, Spain. Competition in both classes was going to be frantic with so much at stake. It was a strong turnout for both classes with 101 drivers entered in KF3 and 87 drivers in the KF2 category, all competing with the intention of winning the 2012 CIK World Cup.
All 101 drivers were competing with the Tillotson HW10A carburetor and racing was intense as all dreamed of becoming the 2012 World Cup winner. It was difficult to see who could come out on top after so many heat winners and so many drivers showing great pace throughout. Favourites from the outset were European Champ George Russell (Intrepid/Vortex), Callum Illot (Zanardi/IAME), Alex Palou (CRG/BMB) among others; however, it was Lance Stroll (Zanardi/IAME) who qualified pole position for the pre final. Stroll initially took the lead, but a local driver, Guillermo Russo (Alonso/Vortex), took control and won the race well from Russian Nikita Sitnikov (Tonykart/BMB) with Stroll completing the top three. Notable drives came from Paolo Besancenez (Sodi/IAME) who rose to 9th having started down in 32nd, and Callum Illot who completed the top 10 having started from grid 22.
Tensions were high before the main final and for the first few laps with a train of karts battling for the lead. Fast all weekend, Luca Corberri (Kosmic/Vortex) managed to find his way at the front and with everyone squabbling for position behind him he was able to break the tow from the chasing karts and create a gap. Besancenez had worked his way up to 2nd place and was looking strong to challenge; however, he was shortly dropped down the order in the midst of the mayhem! Illot had a super drive from 10th on the grid to battle his way through the pack up to 2nd and pushed hard to close the gap to Corberri but he was not quite fast enough. Sitnikov finished the race in 3rd however a penalty elevated a deserving Slavko Ivanavic (Tony/Vortex) to the final podium place. Alex Palou was 4th from Conor Jupp (Alonso/Vortex) after a brilliant drive from 33rd on the grid and Alessio Lorandi (Tonykart/Vortex) rounding out the top 6.
Once in the lead of the race Corberri didnt put a wheel wrong and deserved to win the World Cup undoubtedly the best achievement in his career to date!
In a field brimming with talent this was going to be a exciting event! Coming into the race favourites included Tillotson mounted driver Denis Olson (Energy/TM), Max Verstappen (CRG/TM) and Felice Tiene (CRG/BMB); however, this was not going to be an easy World Cup to win! Olson, fresh from winning the DKM Championship qualified on pole position in timed qualifying and won heat one confirming his speed. Other heat winners included Verstappen, Lennox Lamb (CRG/BMB) and Tiene, the CRG team showing very strong throughout!
The pre final was a lockout for the CRG team with Tiene crossing the line ahead of Verstappen and Lennox Lamb in a CRG 1-2-3! Olson completed the race in 5th however was still confident for the main final. That was until Lap 1 however when an incident put him as far down as 27th and effectively ended his World Cup winning aspirations. The fireworks that everyone anticipated failed to materialise as Tiene managed to get a break ahead of the chasing Verstappen. Tom Joyner (LH/BMB) had a great race almost beating Lennox Lamb to the final podium place but was pipped to the line.
Olson fought his way up to 12th by the end of the race, with fellow Tillotson mounted drivers Alberto di Folco (Tonykart/TM) finishing in 10th having showed great speed throughout the weekend. A fantastic weekend for the CRG team and for Tiene who fully deserved his World Cup victory!
A World Cup is definitely a test like no other, making victory all the more sweet! Until next year….