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King of Europe Round 2 - Castelletto, Italy
May 10, 2018
Just one week after the opening round of the 2018 Federal Tire King of Europe season the vying contenders landed in Castelletto, Italy as they prepared to take on the determined local drivers, battling for the vital podium spots on a brand new technical layout for the series.
Despite a concerning weather forecast predicted for both days the fans would eventually be treated to stunning weather, offering the perfect opportunity to watch their local heroes fight against Europe’s best as smoke clouds began filling out the circuit.
Series points leader from the Czech Republic, Marco Zakouril, threw down an incredibly impressive lap in his BMW M5 during qualification which secured him 90.32 points and a vital extension at the top of the Championship leaderboard.
Simone Pagani would lead the way for the Italians as he stunned the visitors, landing second place in the qualification rankings. Fabio Bordignon followed closely behind in third as Amerigo Monteverde also impressed in fourth.
In the Pro2 series, French visitor Benoit Vavasseur took the top spot with Franz Kuncic in second and Alain Reboul in third. Previous Champion Pavlin Penev would settle for fourth place as he once again set his sights on a podium spot in the battles.
In the Queen of Europe series, Denise Ritzmann secured the top qualification spot with Ionita Lenuta in second, Tessa Whittock in third and Nives Arvetti in fourth.
As game day quickly came around, the drivers prepared to go head-to-head to fight for the cherished trophies once again. As smoke clouds once again began to form, battle practice was the final opportunity to throw down their best lines on the challenging layout before they went head-to-head.
As the Top 32 battles got underway, it would be two KOE legends that went head-to-head as Benjamin Boulbes faced Massimo Checchin. Unfortunately for Massimo, engine issues with his brand new 2JZ engine plagued his weekend as he was forced to retire from this round as he prepares for France.
It would unfortunately be a similar story for Yves Meyer after a weekend of unfortunate technical difficulties throughout which saw his HGK BMW M2 cutting out spontaneously allowing Chris Nigemeier to progress into the Top 16.
After the perfect start to the season for Rick Van Goethem, landing the coveted top spot of the podium at Round 1 it wasn’t meant to be this round. Despite impressing in practice, it saw him crash out after a one-more-time with Alois Pamper in the Top 16.
Series leader Marko Zakouril powered his way through the contenders before facing Alois Pamper in the semi-finals. Despite an intense battle, a mistake from Pamper in the second run gave a 10-0 advantage to Zakouril as he yet again secured his spot in the final battle!
Two Italian drivers that had put up an incredibly good fight throughout the weekend, Fabio Bordignon and Manuel Vacca also faced each other in the small final. With an initial 5-5 draw in the opening battle, Bordignon’s impressive driving fired him through to the final round.
As Austrian driver Alois Pamper faced Manuel Vacca in the small final, it was a clean win for the Italian as his 6-4, 6-4 advantage handed him the third tier of the podium.
As the home fans cheered on their local hero, Fabio Bordignon gave his best fight against the seemingly unstoppable Marco Zakouril. After a disastrous end to his opening round, Zakouril was determined to ensure there wasn’t a repeat, and he did so in style. His stunning lead run earned him a 7-3 advantage before Bordignon tried to force a one-more-time. Despite gaining a 6-4 advantage in the lead run, it was not enough as he handed Marco Zakouril his first win of the 2018 campaign, also extending his deserved lead at the top of the overall Championship rankings.
In the Pro2 series, Queen of Europe driver and fresh addition to Team Driftworks, Tessa Whittock, did incredibly well throughout the weekend as she landed herself a spot in the Pro2 final for the first time.
Despite her best efforts, Pavlin Penev was not willing to allow Tessa to take the top spot as she happily settled with second place.
In the small final, a rare mistake from top qualifier Benoit Vavasseur earned French driver Yoan Savaiano his first podium after showing off some fantastic driving.
In the Queen of Europe series, it was once again Tessa Whittock in the final round, this time she would managed to land the coveted top spot after defeating Nives Arvetti. Car issues for Denise Ritzmann gave Ionita a 10-0 advantage in the small final, allowing Ionita to secure her first podium in the series.
It’s been the perfect return to Italy and this weekend is the final of three back-to-back races as we prepare to begin the 2018 Federal Tire King of Touge series on the legendary mountain roads of Karpacz, Poland!