The 2022 FIA European Championship has ended on the Cremona track in Italy where the 2nd and final Round of the Continental Championship for the KZ and KZ2 classes took place from 16th to 19th June. At CRG there were many expectations, especially in KZ2, after Jorge Pescador’s beautiful and convincing test in the opening race, but on the Italian track things did not go in the right direction unfortunately. The results obtained on the track were below expectations and the potential expressed right from free practice. Certainly the weekend was complicated by the high temperatures and tire management on a track that has gradually rubbed-in a lot, but above all it was some unfortunate episodes that affected the overall balance of the CRG drivers.
At the end Jorge Pescador finished the Final also penalized by 5” for the spoiler and a disappointing P15, after he had started from P24 on the starting grid. More convincing were the performances of Paavo Tonteri, who after the Heat had deserved the 7th place on the starting grid, but unfortunately for a contact he finished the Final only in P16. Alessio Baldi‘s weekend was also very positive, making his debut with the CRG colors in KZ2 and an excellent P13 at the finish line in the Final, after having conquered 20th place in the intermediate classification following the Heat and 29th overall position in qualifying practice. The best among the CRG drivers in KZ was Jeremy Iglesias, who scored a positive P6 after starting P8 from the starting grid. His race pace was in line with the leaders and with a better result in qualifying he could have made it to the podium. In the end, the French driver closed the Championship in P12 in the general classification, certainly below expectations, but with many positive technical starting points to look to the immediate future with optimism. The weekend was more difficult for Viktor Gustafsson, who finished close to the top ten in 12th place and Alex Irlando, delayed by some technical problems in the qualifying heats and only P19 at the finish. For your information Paolo Ippolito won the Championship in KZ and Tom Leuillet in KZ2.
Drivers’ post-race reactions
Paavo Tonteri (KZ2): “We close this European Championship with mixed sensations, because from one side we have shown on many occasions a good speed and a truly competitive engine-chassis technical package, but on the other hand, we have certainly collected much less than our potential in terms of results. For what concerns myself, the most difficult weekend was in Genk, while here in Cremona I have to say that I immediately had a great feeling with the technical material and the track. Unfortunately, however, the brawl of the first laps delayed me and made me lose contact with the leading group, my pace was very good and I could have finished in the top 5. From this awareness we must start to prepare for the World Cup September in Le Mans: we know the direction of the work to be done and also the solidity of our potential. It was a very hard weekend in Cremona because it is a track on which we had no data and above all from free practice to the final stages the track itself has changed dramatically. I would like to express my sincere and personal thanks to the team that always works to the maximum and Gianfranco Galiffa for his work with TM engines”.
Jeremy Iglesias (KZ): “The final result does not reflect our technical potential and we have to work on every detail, both as regards the engine and the chassis, in order to make our race weekends more effective. We have been consistent and fast on all occasions in this central part of the season and we know that we are very close to fighting for the podium. This weekend was very demanding due to the high temperatures, but it also allowed us to acquire a lot of useful data in view of the next races especially in relation to the World Championship in September. We will race in France and I would like to prepare this “home” event in the best way possible. In the meantime, we have to congratulate Paolo on his victory”.