CIK-FIA CAMPIONATO DEL MONDO UNDER 18 – SARNO

Antonio Giovinazzi and Scuderia PCR win big time at the great third and last match of the CIK-FIA Under 18 World Championship raced on the Circuito Internazionale Napoli in Sarno (Italy). The pouring rain played its part in a weekend that featured the Italian driver among its protagonists for long stretches of time, but in the end victory came. All that's left now is a little bit of bitterness for the great deal of bad luck encountered throughout the championship (in the first round, for instance, the driver lost his chain while he was 1st with a 3 second advantage over the second runner-up, a.n.): in fact, without it what is in any case an excellent absolute 6th place could've perhaps been an Under 18 World title.

But there's no doubt about the great performance put on field by Giovinazzi and the Scuderia PCR chassis. Both have proven able to make the difference in a championship where engines were the same for everyone. Victory finally became ripe after a weekend spent on top of the charts: in the qualifyings, in fact, the Italian driver was absolute 2nd and in the heats he immediately attested his speed, winning the first race. Then in the other heats (that, by regulation, assign points to the top 15 drivers) one too many contacts played their part, forcing him to close in 8th place. But a great race in the first prefinal (the sum of points of the prefinals determined the final's strating grid) took him to victory as he was on the rebound from that very same 8th place. Then, in prefinal 2, where the start grid featured the inversion of the post-heats classification, the Italian driver did a nice comeback, closing 13th absolute; position that gained him 4th place at the start of the decisive final race. Here, as was the case all day long, the wet track bode for traps at every bend, but the Italian dver kept his cool and after an excellent start managed to gain the race lead, imposing his rhythm and closing with an advantage of over 3 seconds on the second runner-up. In short, after standing out all year (CLICK HERE to read the news of his conquest of the 2011 WSK Master Series), in this competition the Italian driver again managed to get the recognition he deserved: victory.

A nice performance also by Marco Maestranzi, whose results have been a crescendo over the three rounds of the championship. In fact, the Italian driver had a very positive round in Sarno from the get-go: in the qualifyings he closed 5th absolute, completing Scuderia PCR's double-win with two team drivers in the top 5. Then despite some problems in the qualifying heats, the Italian driver won one of them, closing 12th absolute. The contacts made in the first prefinal penalized him and in the second prefinal he didn't start due to setbacks in the parc fermè. In the final he thus had to climb up from the very bottom, but he put on a great race, crossing the finish line 17th. Maestranzi thus closed this great experience in the top 20 of the general standings: if he keeps up the hard work, he's in for some satisfaction.

For standings click here below:
CIK-FIA U18 CHAMPIONSHIP - SARNO

SCUDERIA PCR CONQUERS SPAIN. AND THE BRIDGESTONE CUP…

The weekend of October 22nd and 23rd 2011 will be remembered for its bright yellow colours. In fact, as has happened often during the year, Scuderia PCR "doubled" itself up in two important competitions and took home a full booty in both events.

In Spain, Scuderia PCR played pirate of the seas with Kevin Tenorio: thanks to a magnificent two-day performance on the Motorland circuit in Santander, the Iberian driver conquered the Campeonato de Espana de karting in the KF2 category. Consistently among the top drivers all weekend, Tenorio conquered pole for race 1, leaving rivals empty handed: victory and a heavy bid on the title. And the well-deserved title then came in race 2, in which Tenorio avoided risks and let his opponents roam free, celebrating the championship conquest thanks to his victory in the first round in Zuera, close to Saragozza, and the great determination displayed in the second round on the Campillos circuit in Malaga. And this is how Scuderia PCR conquered Spain.

On the same weekend on the Circuito South Garda Karting in Lonato, Italy, Scuderia PCR also won the Bridgestone Cup. Or, rather, the KF2 race was won by a Sean GP driver (Moller Madsen) whose kart was sporting a Scuderia PCR frame. Moreover, finishing right behind him was Antonio Giovinazzi, already winner of the prefinal, who raced side to side with the Sean GP driver the whole weekend: "It's hard to say that one won and the other lost," said Cesare Speranza, owner of Scuderia PCR, "They basically did a carbon copy weekend: they were both fantastic." In the prefinal Giovinazzi closed ahead, while Moller Madsen, determined to start from the inside, preferred to close 3rd; instead, in the final the two switched roles, the Dane crossing the checkered flag a mere 1 tenth and a half ahead of the Italian. Also in KF2, Dell'Aquila surprised everyone: despite being at his "first go" in this category and going off track at the start, he kept up with the pace of the best giving proof of great flexibility. A good job (until bad luck struck) also by Maestranzi who, despite mistakes in the heats, managed to climb from 24th to 11th place in the prefinal and got up to 7th in the final, when a contact forced him to withdraw.

In KF3 Kreemers did his debut as official driver, racing this Bridgestone Cup with a good dose of bad luck after a convincing season with the AVG Racing team. The last bad strike in chronological order came precisely in the final, when, having finally managed a recovery, he had to stop to replace a broken gas tank cap: his distance thus became huge and he closed in 29th place. But he'll have a chance to make up for this.

Scuderia PCR was also present in KZ2: not with an official driver, but with Van Der Raad who defended the team colours at his best, qualifying in the final.

WSK MASTER SERIES – ROUND 5 – VITERBO

The first title for Scuderia PCR arrives from Viterbo, Italy: Antonio Giovinazzi is the neo-champion of the WSK Master Series in the KF2 category. This was a difficult title, earned and conquered kilometre after kilometre, over the five championship rounds on calendar. Indeed, because anything can happen in a single given race, both positive and negative: the driver given as most likely to win before the race could be indeed the one who triumph, or vice versa the least likely to win could end up surprising everyone. Instead, in a championship spread throughout the year with five dates on just as many tracks, the winner can't but be the strongest: and this is what Giovinazzi and his kart were.

In Viterbo, the Italian driver is charged and focused to the max: he commands the rankings and once again in this last round of the Master Series he is everyone's guy to beat. In light of the standings, all he has to do to win the title is go "head to head" with his direct opponent; but he knows his equipment is fast and that there's no need to resort to calculations to do well. In the qualifying practice he "breaks out" the absolute 2nd best time and in the heats he attests himself with speed, while avoiding big risks: at the end he places 3rd overall, right behind the other title contender, but well aware of having scored absolute best lap in two out of three heats raced. In the prefinal he does a perfect race and grabs a well-deserved 1st place. But he knows that to conquer the championship and celebrate he also has to do well in the final: here he displays maturity and, playing it safe, takes home a great second place ahead of his direct rival for the title (leaving him behind by a grand total of 57 points in the general rankings). Now we can safely say it: Antonio Giovinazzi and Scuderia PCR are champions of the 2011WSK Master Series in the KF2 category.

Despite celebrations for his team mate grabbed everyone's attention, Marco Maestranzi also managed to stand out in the same category in Viterbo. In fact, he was consistently among the best around the track: in the qualifying practice he placed 9th and in the heats it was only a bit of bad luck that kept him from doing better than 10th place overall, a great result anyways. In the prefinal he raced with Top 5 times, but closed 12th. In the final he did a good race and landed in the Top 10: a more than well-deserved result, considering his overall weekend performance.

CIK-FIA COPPA DEL MONDO KF2-KF3 – SARNO

Scuderia PCR on the podium of the CIK-FIA World Cup in the KF2 category. This the success conquered on the Naples International Circuit in Sarno (SA, Italy) this past weekend, which featured the World Cup in both KF2 and KF3. The opening might be too long of a news title, but it's worth every word. Actually, it leaves out a pretty relevant detail, the name of the driver who brought the colours of Scuderia PCR on such a prestigious podium: Antonio Giovinazzi, in his first year on the Italian team, the star of his category in every competition raced throughout the season.

Giovinazzi arrived at the World Cup feeling the pressure of the last CIK-FIA European weekend for his category (in Zuera), where he dominated the entire time but in the end closed 5th (CLIC HERE to read the news). If so, the Italian driver didn't show it. In the qualifying practice he was very fast from the get-go and scored the 5th best lap time. Racing "on his home turf," in his own country, it was clear he didn't want any surprises. In the heats he was almost perfect: he collected four victories out of five and in the other race closed with an excellent 2nd place. Such great heats results allowed him to start the prefinal in front row. But KF2 is a tough category and being able to stay in the lead at the start is not a given, even if you're positioned up front: Giovinazzi was victim of a couple of contacts at the go and got caught in traffic in eighth position. But he chose not to give up and, lap after lap, made his comeback: he went for fourth pace and reached it, though in the end he had to settle for 5th place.

In the final he went wild (by the end he scored third best time overall). He started off very strong and led the group for a couple of laps. But while he was leading, he heard his engine make a strange sound and immediately understood it was an electrical problem. While losing performance, the engine kept up for a couple of more laps. This meant giving up first place, but being able to defend the second tooth and nail. Two laps from the end the engine finally reached its limit and started to lose power. In the last bends Giovinazzi was thus forced to give up 2nd place too, but he still managed to end in a great 3rd place: read, podium in the World Cup. Considering the problems he had and his great performance before the final, this is an excellent result for both him and the whole team.

Marco Maestranzi also raced in Sarno, but he paid the price of a tough qualifying practice: in the heats, having to start from the bottom of the grid each time, he wasn't able to recover and failed to qualify for the finals. In Final B he then took home a 16th place.

CIK-FIA WORLD CUPS FOR KZ1 & KZ2 - GENK

The race in Genk, despite some high notes, didn't colour itself yellow. Belgium was theatre to the most important event of the year for shifter karts: the World Cup. Participating for the first time in this competition, the Scuderia PCR team was accompanied like always by AVG Racing, which uses the Italian manufacturers' equipment but relies on its own structure and mechanics.

Official driver Simo Puhakka was the one to bear the "burden" of this Belgian date. The Finn knew it wouldn't be easy, given the top level drivers present at the go. In the qualifications he yet had to find the best set up and finished 19th – but this didn't compromise the rest of the weekend. The heats called for a change of pace and he proved to be steady, taking home 8th, 11th and 10th place and thus placing 18th on the starting grid of the prefinal. When Sunday came, the driver knew he would have to do two perfect races if he wanted to take home an important result (which, translated, meant having to avoid contacts and being fast in both the prefinal and the final).

Not quite perfect in the prefinal, but the Finnish driver behind the wheel of a Scuderia PCR kart with Parilla motor came close to it: in fact, a nice recovery in the mid-group "traffic" helped him finish the rainy race in 12th place. He then did a nice attempt at the start of the final race, but the outer lane almost penalized him. The track was dry again, which meant the beginning layout could easily determine final outcomes. And in fact, even without the rain, Puhakka struggled, clenching his teeth to defend the positions gained, and at the end finished with an 18th place that didn't give credit to the progress made by his kart over the weekend. There's still work to do, but overall the kart has greatly improved over the span of this year

Four the drivers of the AVG Racing Team also racing in KZ1: Dirks, Hawksworth, Lavanant and Van Der Raad. The last was the best, closing right behind Puhakka in the final. Instead, Hawksworth was forced to leave the final race after a nice prefinal that he finished in 26th place. Dirks and Lavanant, unfortunately, didn't qualify. AVG Racing was also present in KZ2 with 3 drivers, of which Davies was the strongest: after some bad qualifications he recovered big time both in the heats (placing 15th absolute) and in the finals, placing 11th in both races. Verkuijlen and Roy Geerts had some problems in the heats and finished Final B respectively 8th and 12th.