Race Report T4NC22
The inaugural Tillotson T4 Nations Cup was held in beautiful Valencia, Spain at the Kartodromo Internacional Lucas Guerero on September 30-October 1. Formerly known as the T4 World Cup, the 2022 Nations Cup introduced the Nations Cup Trophy, where the top 3 performing entrants from each country accumulated points for their home country to claim the coveted Nations Cup. It also saw the expansion from three classes to five, including T4 Senior, T4 Junior, T4 Mini, T4 Super 165, and T4 Endurance, plus a Masters category run as part of the T4 Senior/Senior165 categories. With a total of 115 registered drivers from 18 different countries around the world, the event provided a spectacular weekend of racing. The event was organized by Tillotson Racing and run under CIK rules in partnership with RGMMC and [the Spanish federation].
The racing kicked off with practice sessions under beautiful blue skies and temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius on Friday morning and continued with equal glorious conditions throughout the Saturday qualifying heats and Sunday warm up, superheats and finals. The Valencia Kartodromo is a fast 1.495 km track with long straightaways combined with two chicanes and several passing opportunities, and the crowds on Sunday witnessed multiple lead changes and podium challenges in every class right up to the last lap.
This year was the inaugural year for our T4 Endurance race, run on our T4 Rental racing karts. The T4 Rental race kart is a lightweight kart with protective bumpers and hard tires. Like our T4 racing chassis, the T4 rental kart was developed in partnership with IPK. It features our 212 cc or our 225cc engine. For this race, we ran the karts with our 212 engine, which provided a challenging ride for both novice and experienced racers. The race is a 3 hour endurance race comprised of 4 40 minute sessions which can be run with a 2, 3 or 4 person team. There was 1 hour of practice at the lunch break on Saturday, followed by the three hour race in the late afternoon. The class is meant to be a competitive but fun race where everyone, including friends and family, can race together. The race this year was won by Team Peter Bros Evora, followed by Northwest Karting and Solid Bam Power. The top positions earn points for the Nations Cup, so it’s an integral part of a national strategy!
The T4 Mini class has some of the most exciting qualifying racing. The heats were hotly contested and in the second Saturday qualifying heat, Durelle Goodman hit a high curb and flipped his kart. He flew out of the seat as it tumbled it over him, but he bounced up and walked off safely, a bit frustrated, but no less discouraged to re-enter the race. The Tillotson team pulled a reserve kart out of the display area and got him back up and running for the next heat.
On Sunday, Amani Kinyua of South Africa took the pole position with George House from Great Britain on off-pole followed by Jindrich Svoboda from the Czech Republic, Guilherme Morgado from Portugal and Ben McCloughry from Ireland, making the top 5 drivers in the class representing 5 different countries.
After a bit of inadvertent contact in the formation lap and a red flag, the race director elected for a re-start, allowing all the drivers to get back into position. The real action began immediately following the restart, with Svoboda manoeuvring his way into second, but then losing it back to House while McCloughry snuck into third. Kinyua held the front, putting up the fastest lap segments, but got tangled up in contact at turn 10 and spun off the course ending his run. McCloughry emerged as the leader following the tussle, but Svoboda swung past halfway through the lap. The battle continued between Svoboda, McCloughry and House, as well as Patrik Romof from the Czech Republic who moved up from 9th position. Svobodo managed to create a 1.3 second gap, but House put up several fastest laps to close the gap to under 1 second. It wasn’t enough, though,and Svobodo came across the finish line in first place. Meanwhile, McCloughry and Durelle Goodman from South Africa continued to battle for the third podium position all the way to finish, with McCloughry edging Goodman out in the final lap.
Alas, however, the mini class is never without drama, and Svobodo incurred a 10 second penalty for the contact with Kinyua in the first lap, pushing him down to 6th place and leaving the final results as George House (GB) in first, Ben McCloughry (IRL) in second and Durelle Goodman (ZAF) in third. The results put GB in the lead for the the Nations Cup Race, but South Africa and the US were still close based on their results in the Superheats.
In the Junior class, Daniel Amor, the British driver who entered the race as a result of winning the 2022 T4 Junior Esports Championship, took the real world pole position, with Chase Buscaglia (USA) in off-pole and George Townsend (GB) and Rihard Cejka (CZ) in the second row. Daniel Hartley from Great Britain, who has only been karting for 11 months, and Truly Adams from the USA, who won two of this three qualifying heats, filled in the behind them in the third row.
As the race got underway, Amor and Buscaglia held first and second, while the Mexican driver Diego Polanco jumped from 9th to 3rd and eventually pushed his way to second past Buscaglia while Adams worked his way up to the fourth by the third lap. Polanco continued to press Amor and eventually took the lead in the fourth lap, but it was short lived when Adams squeezed up to second and then past Polanco for the first position in the fifth lap. Amor, Adams, Polanco, Busaglia and Cejka continued to fight nose to tail for the next several laps, with all positions, including the lead, changing at least seven times through lap 10 of 12. The battling allowed Hartley and Townsend to join the fray, and going into the final lap, every one of the 7 had a chance to win. Halfway through the lap, a battle between Amor and Polanco for second allowed Adams to extend his .19 second to .6 seconds to give him a small but by no means assured edge in the final turns. Adams proved up to task and held his lead, and Amor fought off the pack for second place across the finish line. Townsend snuck past Polanco for the third position.
But that wasn’t the end of it. Amor received a 5 second penalty for bad manoeuvring while Polanco received a five second penalty for an improperly installed front fairing, pushing them down to 9th and 10th, and putting the two Brits George Townsend and Daniel Hartley on the podium next to Truly Adams. Adams pushed the American team above the South Africans in the Nations Cup points race, but the combined effort from the two Brits extended their lead.
In the Senior Category, the American Tyler McIntyre started in pole with hopes to win the race and put the Americans back in the lead for the Nations Cup, but the female favorite Fabienne Lanz from South Africa had equal strong intentions. The Irishman Evan Stapleton started in third, followed again
by another female South African, Roshaan Goodman. Two Americans, Hunter Peri and Ian Quinn, were positioned in 5th and 6th, while the Brits’ best hope was Khali Atkins in 7th. Atkins was the T4 Senior Esports Champion and was starting in 7th only because he his chain came off in the final laps of the first qualifying round, leaving him with a DNF.
Right from the start, it was a battle. Stapleton shimmied his way from third to nearly take the lead, but Lanz seized control and edged him out. Trouble in the chicane knocked out several drivers mid- pack, including Roishin Sweeney, the reigning Irish T4 Senior Champion. But the leaders made it through unscathed and by the end of the first round, Atkins had fought his way to second place and set his sites on Lanz, who was a little over half second ahead of him. It took him another lap, but he managed to seize the lead, while McIntyre also pushed past Lanz into second place. The three of them broke away from the rest of the grid but stayed nose to tail among themselves for the next several laps. By the twelfth lap, Atkins had established a comfortable 2 second lead for 1st, and McIntyre was enjoying his own 2 second gap over Lanz. Lanz, however, seemed to be struggling to maintain pace with her tires, and the Mexican driver Jan Luka Worthmann Moysen was nipping at her heels along with the American Ian Quinn and the Belgium Daragh Adriaenssens. As the final set of turns came, Worthmann made his move and captured the third spot but slipped back and Quinn jumped ahead. Yet it still wasn’t over, as they came into the final chicane, Worthmann cut in and took the third spot followed by Adriaenssens and Quinn. On review, Worthmann’s move exceeded the track limits, resulting in a 10 second penalty and endowing third place on the podium to Adreaenssens.
So, with the Senior race behind, Khali Atkins showed that an Esports racer can also win in the real world and advanced the British teams’ standings in the Nations Cup even further. The second place finish by American Tyler McIntyre kept USA close as the final T4 Senior 165 race got underway.
T4 Senior 165
In the 2021 T4 World Cup, the T4 Senior 165 class ran along with the Seniors, but this year, it earned its own grid with over 20 drivers. As the racers lined up, it promised to be an exciting race, with the six top drivers being glued to each other throughout the qualifying races. Jentsen Adreiaenssens from Belgium took pole, followed by Julien Granvaud from France, Anwar Beroual-Smith from Great Britain, Andreas Matis from Germany, Felipe Braga from Brazil racing under the Italian flag and Roberto Wuthstrack Junior from Brazil. Phil Pignataro in 8th was the sole American entrant hoping to score the necessary points to bring the Nations Cup to the USA.
By the first lap, Adreiaenssens, Beroual-Smith, Braga and Granvaud settled into the top four positions. At the start of lap 2, Braga had worked his way to second and moved up on Adreiaenssens tail. For the next 7 laps, Braga and Adreiaenssens switched places at least 5 times and the rest of the pack stayed on their heels. In the 9th lap, disaster struck as Beroual-Smith hit the curb as he passed through the second sector, causing his kart to ride up onto the rear right wheel of Braga and driving him off the course. Braga lost consciousness, and his kart stalled on track at the end of the first sector as the back of the grid came racing through. The Marshalls quickly stopped the race and there were several minutes of tension as they and crowd tried to assess the situation. With the aid of the ambulance personnel and after several tense minutes, Braga rose from the kart and stood on his own, thankfully with no harm done – except to his chances to win, as the rules prohibitted him from returning to the race despite his clear desire to get back in the kart.
As the drivers restarted their engines, Wuthstrack Junior was a little too eager and started it from behind, with no one in the driver’s seat or in front of the kart. Unfortunately, he had left the throttle engaged and when the engine roared back to life, the kart roared off on him. Although there was no
self-driving technology embedded in the kart, it seemed to know more or less where to go and raced across the infield, spun itself around and back on the track and tore down the straightaway. Alas, though, without GPS, it headed in the wrong direction, crossed the next runoff, found its way back on track and finally flung itself into the tire barrier. The good news, though, is that these T4’s are tough, and the Marshalls were able to dig it out and get it back on track to finish the race. This time, with Wuthstrack Junior behind the wheel!
After a few more minutes, the race kicked back off and the finish was no less exciting that the start. Adreiaenssens held the lead until the second to last lap, when Matis started making his final push and rose from third to second to first. In trying to defend, Adreiaenssens lost the lead not only to Matis but also to Beroual-Smith, finding himself in third. The three battled each other through the final lap and the final chicane, but crossed the line in that order. The racing was so good, Matis and Beroual-Smith gave each other a fist bump after they crossed the line.
Of course, the story doesn’t end there. Beroual-Smith was disqualified for the contact with Braga in lap 9. Rather than contest the penalty, in true sportsman fashion, the Brit accepted it and was happy to be part of the British team taking home the Nations Cup. So, the final positions were Matis (DEU), Adrianenssens (BEL) and Granvaud (FRA).
The Nations Cup
With no Brit or American earning top points in the final race, the Nations Cup went to the Great Britain. There was plenty of congratulations from the other countries, and an equal amount of determination to bring the trophy home next year!
It truly was an fantastic weekend of racing. You can watch the weekend of racing with commentary from Jake Sanson and Simon Byford on the Tillotson Racing YouTube Channel. The livestream was provided in partnership with __________, helping bring the event to family and fans around the world.
With representation from 18 countries around the world, the Tillotson T4 Series has rapidly become a popular gateway to kart racing. By offering an affordable mono-brand series, the T4 Series makes the race about the driver’s skill, not about the driver’s budget. The T4 Series combines the T4 chassis developed in partnership with IPK, Tillotson’s TPP-225RS and a set of specifically designed Maxxis T4 tyres, all working together to make for simple, hassle-free karting at highest level of performance possible in a 4-stroke package.
This year’s T4 Nations Cup offered live streaming as well as live timing, where it could be viewed around the world with commentary by Jake Sanson and Simon Byford. A special thanks goes to [Spanish Federation] and RGMMC for their efforts in arranging and helping run the event, and to all our sponsors and partners, including:
Kartodromo Internacional Lucas Gerrero
We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2023 T4 Nations Cup. Check with your local racing federations for championships and special events where you can win a ticket throughout the year, or join us online on SimKart and Rfactor2 for our T4 Esports Championship Series, where the winner will also earn a ticket to the World Cup. Location and dates to follow shortly!