Écrit par SEVERE Eric
Création : 28 juillet 2008
Assen, in the Netherlands, and its “Rizla Racing Day” meeting fall within the scope of the CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship tradition. The summer season, an appropriate and therefore appreciated course, a public amounting to tens of thousands of spectators and a varied programme comprising single-seaters, touring cars, motorbikes and various displays: all the right ingredients will be gathered. And as the icing on the cake for Superkart, the Dutch stage is the last round of the 2008 European tour, after the events held at Nogaro (F) and at the Lausitzring (D); and the starting grid will be full since the maximum number of authorised entries (60) has once again been reached! As for suspense, it is guaranteed because three drivers will start the meeting with legitimate chances of clinching the European Champion title.After having climbed on four podiums in as many races, including one win, the Frenchman Benjamin Mahé (PVP-FPE) leads the provisional Championship classification. He is ahead of his compatriot Damien Payart (PVP-FPE), who has in particular achieved a home win. With podiums in four races, including two wins, the German Peter Elkmann (MS Kart-Yamaha) is currently classified third in the Championship.
It is anybody’s guess to tip a favourite among these men: while Mahé has an interesting points lead, he will nonetheless have to deduct one result at the end of the Championship because according to the regulations only the five best results (out of six possible ones) are counted for the final classification. Payart has the advantage of being experienced as he has already conquered two European titles (2003 and 2004). Furthermore, he has just convincingly won two French Championship races, which has increased his self-confidence prior to this decisive meeting. Out of the three drivers in contention for the European crown, Peter Elkmann is the only one who has already used his joker (no points scored at Nogaro in Race 1). In Assen, he will therefore have to finish both races.
The former Formula 3 driver has already won two European races at the Lausitzring and has since also scored several victories in non-championship international races at Hockenheim, Oschersleben and Cadwell Park. The Brits, who are used to success in Superkart, will be entering this final event with the sole hope of landing at least one stage win. It will be the case of John Riley (the 2005 European Champion could still mathematically get the title but such a scenario would be almost miraculous), Mark Owens (ADE-DEA), Gavin Bennett (Anderson-FPE), Malcolm Crowe (Anderson-FPE) and Lee Harpham (Anderson-Rotax).
Among the 60 entries, it is also worth noting the name of one of the currently most talked about American drivers, Andy Kiker (Anderson-FPE), who will have his maiden participation in a European event. The two qualifying practice sessions are scheduled for Saturday 2 August, and the two races will be held on Sunday 3 August (at 11h10 and 16h45). All the results will be published live on www.cikfia.com or www.localhost/wordpress (front page)