It was an intense and exciting weekend the one that took place in Germany on the Wackersdorf circuit, where the CRG colors confirmed themselves as competitive and protagonists of the Shifter classes in the FIA World Championship KZ, in the KZ2 World Cup and in the Super Cup – KZ2 Masters. In the top class Viktor Gustafsson had the aim of defending last season’s title and confirmed himself at the top of this category, achieving an exceptional 2nd place, once again getting on the most important podium of the season and becoming the 2023 Vice Champion. The victory was within his reach this year too, but the Swedish driver paid dearly for two unlucky Heats and starting only from P12 on the grid. Despite an exceptional race pace at the end and the fastest lap of the race, his chase stopped 476 tenths behind the winner Paolo Ippolito. Teammate Jeremy Iglesias had done better than him in the Heat, starting from the 3rd row of the starting grid of the Final, after having had solid performances throughout the weekend, but unfortunately due to a contact in the race the Frenchman was immediately forced to retire. Arthur Carbonnel, the 2022 KZ2 winner, also had a very positive weekend and this year he was competing with the big names in the KZ category for the first time. Carbonnel had excellent performances in all Qualifying Heats and finished the Final in P12, only a whisker away from the top ten.
In KZ2, with CRG colours, the names of Nikolas Roos and Matteo Zanchi shone in the qualifying phases, but both were forced to retire in the Final due to a race contact, losing any chance of fighting for the podium. The first CRG driver to the finish line was Adrian Malheiro of the Factory Team with an excellent P10, while the victory went to the cousins from the Maranello team with an exceptional Niels Troger.
Finally, in the KZ2 Masters, it was an Alessandro Manetti show: third in the Qualifying Practice and then third again after the Heat on the starting grid of the Final, where he did an extraordinary race. Under the chequered flag the Italian finished 2nd, just 15 thousandths of a second behind the winner, but morally after the serious injury just 7 days before the race, which had put his presence in Germany at risk, the result obtained can be considered an incredible challenge.
From a technical point of view, the event confirmed the competitiveness of CRG’s Road Rebel chassis and the excellent performance of the TM engines managed by Gianfranco Galiffa; the CRG-TM combionation has played the role of top player in the Shifter categories for years, both from a commercial and sporting point of view.
CRG drivers’ post-race reactions
Viktor Gustafsson (KZ): “I’m happy with the result and the speed we had in the Final, but also a little disappointed because we came so close to confirming ourselves as champions and perhaps just a couple more laps would have been enough. Unfortunately, the penalty in the Super Heat where I finished in P11 and that of the last Heat on Saturday meant that I only started the Final from the 6th row and despite my excellent race pace, the advantage that Ippolito took in the first laps was enough to win. Getting on the podium and having this type of performance for two consecutive years is still a great joy and I have to thank the whole team for the great work done this weekend and Gianfranco Galiffa for the exceptional TM engines he provided us”.
Jeremy Iglesias (KZ): “Everyone was able to see the level of our performances on Sunday, the result of excellent work by the whole team and our engineer Gianfranco Galiffa. In the first two days we were competitive, but something was missing to be able to enter the fight for victory, while on Sunday we were really fast and could have taken our chances. Unfortunately, the early stages of the race were crazy and any chance was gone due to a contact that shouldn’t happen at this level of racing. I’m happy for Viktor who achieved a well-deserved podium and which repays the team for the great work done this season”.
Alessandro Manetti (KZ2 Masters): “I think I did an exceptional race, considering the injury I had a few days before. It had already happened to me at the World Championship in Cordoba when I won after falling off my bike and this weekend I did the same performance, both physically and mentally. I prepared this race with the usual passion and commitment and I lost the title by a few tenths, a handful of centimetres, despite setting the fastest lap of the race and despite an exceptional race pace. People like me want to win and I can’t say I’m 100% happy, but if we analyze the weekend and the events that happened, we did an excellent job and confirmed once again how the CRG -TM combination is competitive. I want to thank the team who supported me in these days and all the people in our world who sent me messages of encouragement and congratulations ones”.