With so many participants, so much at stake in the four competing categories and so many races leading up to the Finals, the 2022 FIA Karting event in Le Mans will be remembered as a pure moment of karting, full of individual exploits and team performances, offering a flamboyant spectacle during three intense days.
A Swede, Viktor Gustafsson, was crowned FIA Karting World Champion – KZ and three Frenchmen were rewarded: Arthur Carbonnel, winner of the FIA Karting World Cup – KZ2, Thomas Letailleur, winner of the first FIA Karting Masters International Super Cup – KZ2 and Arthur Dorison, winner of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy.
The last day of competition in Le Mans took place under the sun in the presence of a large and passionate public. On Sunday morning, the Super Heats completed the selection of the KZ, KZ2 and KZ2 Masters finalists in six thrilling races. But the four Finals exceeded all records for intensity in the afternoon. The event benefited from an impeccable organisation thanks to the efficient collaboration between the Promoter RGMMC, the FIA Karting teams, the French Motorsport Federation and the organising club ASK ACO. CIK-FIA President Akbar Ebrahim was present with Vice-President John Ryan alongside Automobile Club de l’Ouest President Pierre Fillon and FFSA President Nicolas Deschaux. The competition’s audience, supported by its title partner Mondokart.com, was extended to the whole world thanks to the live broadcasting of the Finals on the Eurosport channels and the permanent follow-up on Motorsport.tv as well as on the FIA Karting networks.
The weather was sometimes difficult on Friday and Saturday due to showers, but on Sunday it was more favourable with sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. The LeCont tyres used in all four categories performed perfectly in a demanding competition. The drivers of the FIA Karting Historic Super Cup were able to give a number of demonstrations under the interested eyes of the spectators.
KZ: Viktor Gustafsson wins the 2022 World title
The FIA Karting World Championship – KZ Mondokart.com kept its promises until the end. Simo Puhakka (FIN – Tony Kart/Vortex/Lecont) was the favourite for his last season at this level. But the race decided otherwise and he had to settle for fourth place. Viktor Gustafsson (SWE – CRG/TM Racing/LeCont) was crowned after a long battle. Noah Milell (SWE – Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont) finished second, less than two tenths behind, while Jérémy Iglesias (FRA – CRG/TM Racing/LeCont) took third place. The podium was made up of the 2022, 2021 and 2020 Champions in order, a second victory and a double for Sweden. It was also a world title and a third place for the CRG Racing Team, which had not experienced this honour since Paolo De Conto’s consecration in 2017. The Tony Kart Racing Team took second and fourth place. Sodikart placed its two drivers Senna van Walstijn (NLD – Sodi/TM Racing/LeCont) and Emilien Denner (FRA – Sodi/TM Racing/LeCont) in fifth and sixth places.
KZ2: French crowning with Arthur Carbonnel
Leader at the end of the Qualifying Heats and the Super Heats, Arthur Carbonnel (FRA – CRG/TM Racing/LeCont) confirmed his team’s return to the highest level as well as the competitiveness of French drivers on their home ground. Leader of the Final from the start to the finish, Carbonnel made a solo run to win the FIA Karting World Cup – KZ2 with a lead of more than 4”. Cristian Bertuca (ITA – Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont) and Arvid Lindblad (GBR – KR/TM Racing/LeCont), two OK drivers who made their debut in the gearbox category this year, were on the podium. Valentino Fritsch (DEU – Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont) achieved the best result of his career in fourth place ahead of his compatriot Felix Arnold (DEU – Maranello/TM Racing/LeCont). Two factory teams, the CRG Racing Team and Birel ART Racing, won ahead of the private team SP Motorsport.
Thomas Letailleur the winner in KZ2 Masters
The FIA Karting International Super Cup Masters – KZ2 provided a consistent show right up to the Final. Thomas Letailleur (FRA – Sodi/TM Racing/LeCont) and Charles Fiault (FRA – Sodi/TM Racing/LeCont) engaged in a short but intense duel at the start of the Final. Jeroen Bos (NLD – Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont) went on the attack and eventually caused Fiault to retire, for which he was later disqualified. Letailleur won masterfully with a 2.9” lead over Eric Ramon (FRA – Sodi/TM Racing/LeCont). Thierry Delré (BEL- Mach 1/Modena Engines/LeCont) secured a fine third place ahead of Riccardo Nalon (ITA – Parolin Racing Kart/TM Racing/LeCont) and Johan Renaux (FRA – Redspeed/TM Racing/LeCont). Nick de Bruijn (NLD – Falcon/IAME/LeCont) finished seventh while Davide Fore’ (ITA – Birel ART/TM Racing/LeCont) came back in 13th position despite a badly positioned front fairing with an incident at the beginning of the race.
Academy: Arthur Dorison’s achievement
Mark Dubnitski (EST) and Nando Weixelbaumer (AUT) battled for a long time at the head of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy Final. Arthur Dorison (FRA) started from 12th position and quickly made an impressive comeback. Meanwhile, several top drivers such as Thibaut Ramaekers (BEL), Nikolas Roos (ZAF) or Matias Orjuela (COL) left the scene. Dorison managed to take over the second position from Dubnitski on the 13th of the 19 laps and was able to catch up with the leader Weixelbaumer. The Frenchman took the lead on the 16th lap and won from Dubnitski and Weixelbaumer after an improvement of 12 places and with the best lap of the race. He also won the 2022 Academy Trophy, a first for a Frenchman following the second place won by the late Anthoine Hubert in 2010.
Final ranking of the 2022 Academy Trophy:
1- Arthur Dorison (FRA) – 60 points
2- Guillaume Bouzar (LUX) – 54 points
3- Matias Orjuela (COL) – 43 points
4- Iwo Beszterda (POL) – 43 points
5- Mark Dubnitski (EST) – 39 points
Full results of the Le Mans event can be found on the official FIA Karting Championship application for mobile devices and on the website.