Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will bring the Lonato venue back to the forefront of international competition for the second time in a row. After the withdrawal of Le Mans, the South Garda Karting circuit has been asked to host the FIA Karting World Championship – KZ, the FIA Karting International Super Cup – KZ2 and the third competition of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy from 2nd to 4th October.
Nearly 180 Drivers will meet on the famous Italian circuit for this prestigious competition. In this period where travelling is still complicated by coronavirus, the presence of representatives from 41 countries all over the world is very satisfying. A health protocol that respects the guidelines of the FIA and the Italian government will be rigorously applied. The Competition will take place in the absence of spectators.
A world reference in karting competition, Lonato sees intense racing activity throughout the year. Due to its geographical location in Northern Italy, the track serves as a training ground for many international teams and allows the major Italian chassis manufacturers to develop their equipment. Lengthened to 1200 m in 2015, the South Garda Karting track has retained the appeal of its initial layout while increasing both its selectivity and overtaking possibilities. On the organisation side, the experience of the Corberi family and its team is a guarantee of the smooth running of one of the most important competitions of the season.
Few participants will be learning the circuit on the day of the race. Most of them have frequently had the opportunity to test or compete at Lonato, and some of them would not be far from being able to complete a lap with their eyes closed. Therefore, we can expect sporting and technical confrontations of the highest intensity during the three days.
Confrontations at the top in KZ
The 2020 FIA Karting World Championship – KZ will look great with a very high quality line-up in Italy. The rejuvenation of the top category continues thanks to the arrival of many young talents alongside the most experienced professionals. They will be represented mainly by Davide Foré (ITA) and Bas Lammers (NLD), as well as Simo Puhakka (FIN), Jérémy Iglesias (FRA), Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP) and Jorrit Pex (NLD). Defending champion Marijn Kremers (NLD) will also have to face talented drivers such as Riccardo Longhi (ITA), Fabian Federer (ITA), Alessandro Irlando (ITA), Matteo Vigano (ITA), Adrien Renaudin (FRA) or the young Emilien Denner (FRA), winner of the FIA International Super Cup Karting – KZ2 last year on this same circuit. The former F2 driver close to Scuderia Ferrari, Antonio Fuoco (ITA) will make his return to the discipline that launched his career.
A quality field in KZ2
The FIA Karting European Champion – KZ2 Viktor Gustavsson (SWE) will be one of the favourites for the FIA International Super Cup Karting – KZ2 together with Simone Cunati (ITA), David Trefilov (DEU), Giuseppe Palomba (ITA) and Paavo Tonteri (FIN) who have already shown themselves this season. The Italians will be present in great strength with 40 representatives, more than a third of the 105 drivers from 22 nations. Alexander Schmitz (DEU), Benjamin Tornqvist (SWE) and Andrea Dalè (ITA) will be able to count on their great experience in the category, against drivers like Harry Thompson (GBR), Taylor Barnard (GBR) and Laurens Van Hoepen (NLD), recent arrivals from the direct drive categories. Former top drivers with a motor sport background such as Loris Spinelli (ITA) and Alessio Lorandi (ITA) will be back at the wheel of a kart on this occasion.
Academy: an American on his way to the Trophy
The third and last competition of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy should not be a surprise with regard to its 2020 winner. Connor Zilisch (USA) has already taken two victories and his current total of 69 points cannot be surpassed or even equalled by his rivals. Still, the race has to go smoothly for him. The battle for second place in the classification is likely to be tighter. Macéo Capietto (FRA) has a theoretical advantage on his rivals, but the two less good results (Heats and Final) have to be taken into account. Maxime Furon-Castelain (LUX), Jonathan Weywadt (DNK) and Theo Micouris (GBR) are the best placed to aim for the podium. The strategy chosen by Zilisch, caution or panache, will undoubtedly influence the final hierarchy by allowing or not allowing his followers to score the maximum of points.
Provisional ranking of the 2020 FIA Karting Academy Trophy before the Lonato competition
1- Connor Zilisch – 69 points
2- Macéo Capietto – 41 points
3- Jonathan Weywadt – 30 points
4- Maxime Furon-Castelain – 29 points
5- Alex Powell – 29 points
Provisional programme of the Lonato competition
Friday 2nd October
08:00 – 16:50: Free Practice
16:55 – 18:48: Qualifying Heats
Saturday 3rd October
08:00 – 09:55: Warm-up
10:00 – 16:55: Qualifying Heats
Sunday 4th October
08:00 – 09:55: Warm-up
10:00 – 11:55: Qualifying Heats
12:55 – 16:00: Finals
The Lonato competition can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.