Vinuales defends his 100% record
The second event (rounds 3 & 4) of the 2013 CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship will take place at the superb Assen Circuit in the north of The Netherlands on 2 – 4 August 2013. Once again a spectator crowd of 50,000+ can be expected on the traditional Sunday ‘cars + motor cycles + superkarts’ racing day which has become a motor sport institution in The Netherlands.
2011 champion Emmanuel Vinuales (Anderson/DEA) will arrive at Assen carrying a very sharp two-edged sword. First, he won both of the opening 2 rounds at Snetterton, GB and so brings maximum championship points with him. But secondly, the Frenchman rates the Dutch track amongst his favourite circuits. ‘I have very good memories of Assen. That is where I won my 2011 championship. Of course, Gavin Bennett also goes well there and he will want revenge for his defeats at Snetterton and Marcel Maasmann will be on his home track with plenty of crowd support. But I like Assen and it will suit me’.
Triple champion Gavin Bennettt (Anderson/DEA) does indeed have his sights set on winning at Assen. ‘I go there with confidence. My kart is going well, and I know from the opening races at Snetterton that I am as fast as Emmanuel’. His confidence is justified. He was quicker than Vinuales in Qualifying Practice in the opening event and led race 2 from the start until the final lap when he had a fuel problem. He is second in the championship with 40 points.
Danish driver, Henrik Lilja (PVP/PVP) should have collected two 3rd places at Snetterton but a detached floor tray on the penultimate lap of the first race gave him a non-finish. He was however solid in 3rd place in round 2. He also goes to Assen upbeat. ‘It’s a much better track than Snetterton. I love it. I don’t know why but it suits my chassis. Bumpy tracks don’t help me. I like high speed smooth tracks like Assen’.
2012 vice-champion Marcel Maasmann (Anderson/FPE) had a 4th place and a 7th place in the first 2 rounds, not helped by a sticking throttle in race 2. But he won both races at Assen in this series last year backed by a vocal Dutch crowd cheering on their fellow countryman. ‘I always go with confidence to Assen. It is my favourite circuit as well as my home track. I am sure I will be better at Assen than at Snetterton. I always have the pace at Assen’ he said.
It was self evident in the opening rounds that defending champion Lee Harpham (Anderson/FPE) was struggling for top speed. But despite this handicap he came away with a 3rd and 5th place from his Home track.’ The British driver also has the additional handicap of not racing Division 1 superkarts other than in this championship. Instead he races the 125 class at domestic National level and that ensured he was by far the busiest driver at Snetterton. Perhaps this affected his performance in the opening rounds which included the British Superkart GP for all classes. He will not have these distractions at Assen where he will only race the CIK-FIA championship races. He gave an honest appraisal of the start to his defence of the crown. ‘It was clear that we needed to do more work after Snetterton. The lack of top end speed would not be good enough to retain this title. We believe we now have the speed we need and I definitely have this championship as my main target for 2013‘.
The Circuit at Assen is 4,555 metres in length and is raced clockwise. The races will be over 11 laps providing a race distance of just over 50kms.
Both Qualifying Practice sessions are on Friday 02 August. Race 1 is on Saturday 03 August at 11.10hrs and Race 2 is on Sunday 04 August at 10.30hrs.
For further information on the CIK-FIA, please consult our Internet site: www.cikfia.com