Unknown to most foreign drivers, the “Paul Armagnac” circuit at Nogaro smiled on French drivers on the occasion of the first event of the 2008 CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship. The pair composed of Benjamin Mahé and Damien Payart dominated the meeting and left it on Sunday evening with equal points as Payart won Race 1 ahead of Mahé and Mahé took his revenge in Race 2 before his compatriot. If a “bonus point” had been allocated to decide between them, it would probably have gone to Benjamin Mahé, who had initially achieved pole-position in practice before scoring his first European win in Race 2, whereas Payart already has two European and six French titles under his belt.While counting many favourites, the British contingent was never really in a position to present a real threat to the two French leaders. In Race 1, Lee Harpham, Malcolm Crowe and the reigning Champion, Gavin Bennett, had to take the start from the pit lane further to the recalcitrant start of their karts. Only Harpham, second in practice, allowed himself the luxury of being ahead Mahé and Payart in Race 2 before having to make a pit stop further to a puncture. As for Bennett and Crowe, they had varying luck: because of a small incursion into the turf around the circuit, Bennett had to be content with 8th place and Crowe was forced to retire due to mechanical problems. Out of all the Brits, John Riley and Trevor Roberts showed themselves the most regular and scored as many points as possible before the next two events, which could be more in their favour. The German Peter Elkmann, who discovered a new chassis, kept improving throughout the event and finished the weekend on the 3rd step of the podium in Race 2. Among the surprises of the Nogaro event it is worth noting the fine first European Championship participation of Lee Morgan (9th in Race 2) and Kevin Busby (11th in Race 1), as well as the promising début of the new DEA and VM engines. Homologated a few days earlier and without any testing either on a track or on a bench before the French meeting, the Italian DEA engine proved reliable, with an interesting performance level, to such an extent that Mark Owens managed to be classified 6th in Race 2. And the Czech VM engine enabled two out of the three drivers who used it to finish in the points, i.e. in the top 15. The European Championship, which started on a high note at Nogaro, will continue on 16-18 May 2008 in Germany within the framework of the prestigious DTM event on the Lausitzring circuit.
Samedi 26 Octobre 2019
Dimanche 27 Octobre 2019