Qualifying practice and the first heats started highlighting the first protagonists of the weekend of the 20th edition of the Winter Cup. A total of 240 drivers on track from 36 countries. Further heats on Saturday, final stages scheduled for Sunday.

Lonato del Garda (Brescia, Italy). A total of 240 drivers have been admitted to qualifying after sporting verifications at the South Garda Karting of Lonato, that is the venue of the 20th Winter Cup and Bridgestone Supercup Trophy. This event announces to be one of the most tight ones in the rich history of the race, that was born back in 1996 from the will of Surveyor Angelo Corberi. 68 drivers on track in KZ2, 39 in KF, 80 in KF Junior and 53 in Mini Rok .
This 20th edition features top class entrants both in terms of the sporting value of the drivers coming from 36 countries covering all five continents, and in terms of the technical challenge between the main world constructors and the most prestigious teams of international karting. This edition of the race has also been enriched with the validity for the Bridgestone Supercup Trophy, a new series of races all scheduled in Lonato and enjoying a stunning money prize summing up to Euros 40.000.
The very high level of the participants has been highlighted by the times set in qualifying that have seen very small gaps splitting the protagonists.
Italian drivers set the pace so far in the most powerful category, KZ2, as Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex) led by slightly more than a tenth the surprise (well not much of a surprise really)  Giacomo Pollini (CKR-Tm) and the KZ2 European Champion Andrea Dalè (CRG-Tm) by two tenths. The KZ World Champion Marco Ardigò (Tony Kart-Vortex) followed in fourth proceeding Massimo Dante (Maranello-Tm) by three tenths. Behind them, the French Arnaud Kozlinski (at the debut with Sodi-Tm), Luca Corberi (Tony kart-Vortex), Mirko Torsellini (Ricciardo-Tm), Simo Puhakka and his team mate Paolo De Conto, both at the debut on CRG-Maxter. The top ten drivers are within 3 tenths of a second, as 53 drivers are all contained in just a second.
Foreign drivers have been shining so far in KF instead. The quickest time was posted by the Dane  Nicklas Nielsen (Tony Kart-Vortex), who enjoyed a tenth on the Russian Alexander Vartanyan (Tony Kart-Vortex di Ward Racing), as the third time was set by Ben Barnicoat (Birel Art-Parilla) who ended up two tenths shy. Felice Tiene (CRG-Parilla) was the first of the Italians in ninth place and has been proceeded by the Thai Sasakorn Chaimongkol (Kosmic-Vortex), the Polish driver Karol Basz (Kosmic-Vortex), the Romanian Dionisios Marcu (CRG-Parilla) and the Dutch Martijn Van Leeuwen (CRG-Tm). The Australian Troy Loeskow (Ricciardo-Parilla) rounded up the top ten.
Foreign drivers were also to the fore in KF Junior, as the Dane Christian Lundgaard (Tony Kart-Vortex) set the quickest time proceeding the surprising Spanish Marta Garcia (PCR-Tm) by two tenths. The two were chased by the Swedish driver Rasmus Lindh (Ricciardo-Parilla), by the American Logan Sargeant (FA Alonso) and by the Russian Gleb Zotov (Tony Kart-Tm). The first of the Italians has been Lorenzo Colombo (Tony Kart-Lke), sixth, three tenths shy of the top.
In the smallest category, Mini Rok – single branded Vortex, Leonardo Marseglia (CRG) set the pace but Jacopo Guidetti (Tony Kart), Luigi Coluccio (Tony Kart), Giuseppe Fusco (at the debut with Baby Race on Tony Kart) and Mattia Michelotto (Energy) were all within just two tenths.
The first heats have taken place in the afternoon. The first wins were secured by the American Sargeant and by the Danish driver Lundgaard in KF Junior, as they both took two victories. Nielsen won the race in KF, while Camponeschi was victorious in KZ2. Saturday heats are going to name the finalists, while second chance races on Sunday morning will give leftover drivers another chance to get the pass to the final stages.
Meanwhile, several penalties have been handed due to the detachment of the nose: 12 penalties have been awarded in the initial heats.
The event could be followed through online Live Timing, while the Live Streaming will be available at on Sunday.
South Garda Karting
Press Office
In the picture: Flavio Camponeschi (Tony Kart-Vortex), KZ2.  Ph. FM Press

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