Thrilling battles in mixed conditions for the second Kart-Prix in Salbris

In a race meeting that started with rain and finished in blue skies, the changing conditions of the qualifying mixed up the order for what would be a thriller come Sunday’s finals. Many of the series front-runners, found themselves qualified in the very back and offered a good spectacle as they made their way through the field during Saturday’s qualifying heats.

 

In X30 senior the winner was Kimber, with Clarke second and Van Splunteren third. Moulsdale took the win in X30 Junior from Lulham and a nice surprise third place for the first-timer in this series podium, Al Habsi from Oman. Van Hoepen won X30 Mini ahead of Mayer and Laroque.

 

Starting on Friday the track was wet when the karts joined for the first qualifying practice, but through the four sessions it kept drying. X30 Mini went on full we conditions with Ploeg getting the pole position, Van Hoepen second and Laroque third. When juniors started their session the track had started drying but all the top qualifiers were out on wet tires. The X30 junior pole position went to Spenle, second to Moulsdale and third to Dimitrov, making it a full Fusion Motorsports top-3 qualifying. Seniors were split into two groups, with the two Signmind karts of Van Splunteren and Koolen taking the risk to go out on slicks and making it to first and second in their group. However the entire second group went on slick tires while the track surface improved and their lap times were almost 8 seconds faster, meaning that by the 101% rule the two groups merged by qualifying positions and not by lap times. This put Kimber on pole position, but Van Splunteren maintained second, with Hernandez slotting in in third.

 

On Saturday despite the dark sky, the conditions were almost dry but cold. In X30 mini Laroque dominated, winning all three heats, with Van Hoepen finishing second in all. Ploeg was third with two third places and one seventh. X30 junior saw Moulsdale jumping to pole position for Sunday by winning two heats after a seventh place on the first heat. Spenle got a win, a third and a sixth but that was not enough for him to keep the pole position so he had to settle for second. Dimitrov maintained third place. In X30 seniors Kimber and Van Splunteren maintained first and second respectively, but right behind them there were several good comebacks after a mixed up qualifying, with most notable the ones of Brown-Nutley in third from 12th in qualifying – also winning two heats in the process, Ward fourth form 24th and Clarke fifth from 34th.

 

Come Sunday, the prefinals showed what each drivers race pace was in full dry conditions, with Van Hoepen winning in X30 mini ahead of Laroque and Mayer. In X30 Junior Dimitrov won ahead of Moulsdale – continuing the trend of a front-row lockout for the team, with Dufek right behind. Lastly X30 Seniors the big comeback drivers Brown-Nutley, Clarke and Ward finished in the first three positions, demonstrating how out of place they were after qualifying practice.

 

X30 Mini final result might not be a big surprise, with Van Hoepen winning, Mayer in second and Laroque in third, but it was far from a procession race: the three of them, joined by Ploeg in fourth swapped positions several times with the third placed Laroque setting consistenly the fastest laptimes!

 

X30 Junior took off exactly in the same way as the karts were lined up, but soon after it turned into a rollercoaster, with each one of the top-6 starters leading the race at times. First leader was Dimitrov, who could only hold his place for 2 laps before he started losing positions. Next to lead with a surprise move was Al Habsi, who couldn’t hold more than a lap but he did manage to score a podium position. Right after the lead went to Moulsdale who swapped places several time with Lulham. During their battles, Spenle managed to jump in the lead for 2 laps, however dropping quickly to second and receiving a 5-second penalty on the way that dropped him to 5th. The final classification top-3 was Moulsdale in first, Lulham in second and Al Habsi in third.

 

X30 Seniors concluded the day with a thrilling battle between the top-7 of Brown-Nutley, Clarke, Ward, Van Splunteren, Kimber, Schoel and Ferreira. Brown-Nutley took the lead with Ward and Van Splunteren close behind him. Ward having set the event lap time record seemed to have the speed to challenge, but quickly after he found himself in clear air in third he couldn’t catch up with Clarke and Brown-Nutley, while Van Splunteren made several overtake attempts right behind him. This gave Kimber the opportunity to jump in front of both of them to second and close up to Brown-Nutley. Clarke took the lead for a lap before being overtaken by Kimber for the win, and so having to settle for second. Van Splunteren finished third, leaving Brown-Nutley in fourth and Ward in fifth.

 

After the race, at the midway point of the series, the classification sees Ploeg leading in X30 Mini, Lulham in X30 Junior, and Brown-Nutley in X30 Senior.

 

The following Kart-Prix will take place on the 20-23 July in Wackersdorf, Germany, and as always will be broadcast live from Telemundi media. Official results as well as videos from the broadcast of this race can be found on the official series website http://x30euro.com/ and http://www.telemundi.com/