The FIA Karting season continues in Spain as the first round of the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ & KZ2 is set to take place from 14th to 16th April 2023 at the Circuito Internacional Zuera near Zaragoza in central Spain. 123 names are on the entry list representing 24 nations, most of them European.
The Circuito Internacional Zuera is the longest of the season at 1,699m in the wide open spaces of the Aragon desert. Known for its speed, the Spanish track is also very technical. The width of the track increases the possibility of overtaking and the slipstream phenomenon is not to be neglected. All these attributes have been appreciated by the vast majority of international drivers since 2007. The last time KZ came here was in 2016 during a CIK-FIA European event. Finally, the climate in Zuera can produce strong winds and sudden weather changes with a tendency for storms.
Both categories in Zuera will be equipped with LeCont ‘Prime’ tyres and 100% sustainable P1 Fuel will be used exclusively.
KZ: the pinnacle of kart racing.
The FIA Karting European Championship – KZ will once again feature an interesting field in terms of quantity and quality. With Davide Foré (ITA), Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA), Jérémy Iglesias (FRA), Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP), Jorrit Pex (NLD) and Viktor Gustafsson (SWE), six former World Champions will be at the start in Zuera. Very fast in OK, the Czech Tereza Babickova will try her luck in the starring category, as will the Italian Luigi Coluccio. But the bulk of the 31 drivers is made up of gearbox specialists who have done their apprenticeship in KZ2. There is no shortage of talent to aim to succeed the Italian Paolo Ippolito, including the Italians Riccardo Longhi, Danilo Albanese, Matteo Vigano, Giuseppe Palomba, Lorenzo Camplese, the Frenchmen Adrien Renaudin, Émilien Denner, Tom Leuillet and Arthur Carbonnel, without forgetting the Dutchmen Stan Pex and Senna van Walstijn or the German David Trefilov.
It should be noted that the rules have changed this year with regard to the Qualifying Heats if the number of participants is less than or equal to 36. The starting order of the second heat will be the order of the first heat’s ranking and that of the third heat, the order of the second heat’s ranking.
KZ2: no shortage of title contenders.
With its 92 entries, the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ2 retains its broad base of drivers who have been present in the category for several seasons, but the new generation is making its presence felt with the entry of young talents such as Freddie Slater (GBR), and drivers who alternate with the OK category such as Alex Powell (JAM), Kean Nakamura-Berta (GBR), Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA), Maksim Orlov as well as the 2023 OK World Champion Matheus Morgatto (BRA). Italy is represented by top seeds like Cristian Bertuca, current KZ2 number one in the International Karting Ranking (IKR), Alessio Piccini, Alex Marigliano, Matteo Zanchi. Romanian Daniel Vasile, Spanish Jorge Pescador, Finn Paavo Tonteri, Estonian Markus Kajak, Dutch Kris Haanen, German Robert Kindervater, Ukrainian Viacheslav Putiatin, and Frenchman Matteo Spirgel are among the drivers to follow during a very open competition.
Provisional programme for the Zuera event
Friday 14th April
09:30 – 13:10: KZ/KZ2 Free Practice (3×10′)
14:20 – 15:30: Qualifying Practice (6′)
16.10 – 17.25: Qualifying Heats
Saturday 15th April
09:30 – 10:25: Warm-up (10′)
10:30 – 17:20: Qualifying Heats
Sunday 16th April
09:30 – 10:25: Warm-up (15′)
11:20 – 12:10: KZ/KZ2 Super Heats
14:00 – 15:35: Finals
The Zuera event can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website.