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Lammers takes Euro KZ1 crown
29 June 2010
Dutchman Bas Lammers emerged from a titanic inter-team struggle to win the 2010 CIA-FIA European KZ1 Championship in the second and final round of the series at the French circuit of Varennes.
Having shared honours in the two finals held on the opening weekend of the championship at Sarno in Italy Lammers and his Intrepid Driver Programme teammate Jeremy Iglesias arrived at the 1500-metre French circuit locked in a head to head duel for the title.
Others threatened to spoil the party as the weekend progressed but when the business end of the meeting arrived Lammers and his French teammate were unsurpassable.
French born team Sodi Kart driver Anthony Abbasse stole a march on the rest of the 21 strong field in qualifying with a time of 51.799-seconds with Lammers less than a tenth back in second and Iglesias a further tenth back in fourth, the Intrepid pair sandwiching AVG Racing's Manuel Renaudie.
Of the British contingent car-racing refugee Ben Hanley was best placed, half a second off the pace in ninth position aboard his works Maranello kart. Jack Hawksworth and Oliver Rowland, the only two drivers in the field using a Parilla engine as opposed to a TM, were 13th and 19th respectively.
Iglesias flexed his muscle in the three non-points scoring heat races, winning each one from the second row of the grid to assure himself of pole position for the first final. Lammers suffered a ten second penalty in the opening heat, which dropped him from a very close second behind Iglesias to a distant 12th, but then recovered in the remaining heats with a second and a third place effort.
The penalty meant Lammers missed out on a place alongside his teammate on the front row of the grid for the first final, that honour going to Abbasse who inherited second from Lammers in heat one, finished a close third in heat two and an even closer second in the last race after a stirring battle with Iglesias, Lammers and Renaudie in which half a second separated them at the flag.
Thomas Mich made it an all French top three in the intermediate classification with Lammers set to start fourth and Hanley continuing his 'Best of British' run in tenth.
Abbasse got the jump on Iglesias at the start of the first 17-lap final but Iglesias and Lammers both fought back to push the Sodi driver back to third on lap three. Lammers then finally got the better of his teammate on lap seven with an inspired Mich further demoting Iglesias a couple of laps later. As Iglesias and Mich fought Lammers grabbed his opportunity to pull away to take the win by two seconds. Knowing that his title hopes depended on it Iglesias made a last gasp effort to retake second from Mich almost within sight of the flag.
Just a few kart lengths behind the top three Renaudie took fourth with Abbasse fading to fifth.
With one race to go and the best three out of four final scores to count Iglesias led Lammers by five points with 25 on offer to the winner and 20 to second meaning whoever finished in front at the end of the next 17 laps would in all probability be European Champ.
When the lights changed Lammers made a poor getaway and fell to fifth behind Iglesias, Mich, Belgium's Yannick De Brabander and Abbasse. But as Lammers tried to force his way back to the front he didn't have to worry about Iglesias pulling away as Mich continued to peg him back, eventually taking the lead on lap three. Iglesias came back at him almost immediately and retook the lead within a lap, by which time Lammers was already in third and glued to the top two.
Lammers took second from Mich on lap six and then engaged in an epic tussle with his teammate, eventually grabbing the lead for good on lap eleven. Iglesias wasn't done yet and launched himself back at Dutchman only to lose it and crash on the penultimate lap, handing the title to Lammers in the process.
Lammers duly completed the final lap half a second ahead of De Brabander with Mich and Abbasse third and fourth, both just six tenths behind the winner following a stirring race.
Despite his misfortune, Iglesias had done more than enough to finish second in the final standings with Mich third overall and Abbasse and Renaudie tied for fourth. Despite only mustering final finishes of tenth and 13th Hawksworth claimed sixth overall but was bitterly disappointed after opening the season with a second place in the first final at Sarno. Hanley took eleventh overall after mirroring Hawksworth's two final finishes while Rowland ended the year in a tie for twelfth.
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