Motorsport News - Karting
GPO Championship Revived at Ostricourt
17th July 2012
The proverb "The absent are always in the wrong" cannot entirely explain what happened at the third GPO 2012 meeting that has just ended on the circuit of Ostricourt. The presence of many new talents combined with constantly changing weather conditions shaped a competition that was both challenging and interesting, on a fast and selective track. The heroes of the weekend were Fiault in the 125 gearbox class, Bailly and Boutonnet in KF2, Lehouck and Naud in KF3. Though all the former leaders are far from losing their footing, the Championship has now opened up new opportunities, with one last round to go.
Charles Fiault, Master of the KZ2
It cannot be said that Charles Fiault (Sodi/Maxter) cleared the competition, but this driver from Mayenne won the 4 races with mastery, coming very close to Championship provisional leader Maxime Roy (Tony Kart/TM), outpaced during the first race day. Pierre Ragues (Sodi/Maxter) responded to Fiault by ending second in Final 1 and third in Final 2, while Roy seized his chance to climb onto the second step of the podium on Sunday. Christophe Benoit (Birel/TM) showed high potential, but did not perform up to expectations. Other drivers had the opportunity to show what they were capable of: Nolan Mantione (Birel/TM) 3rd in Final 1, Eric Goron (Intrepid/TM) and Franois Santoni (PCR/TM) in the top 3 of pre-final 2, while Adam Maatougi (Energy/TM) fought hard to conquer the top positions.
Boutonnet Takes the Lead in KF2
Charles Leclerc was absent - he is training for the European Championship, Sbastien Bailly (Swiss Hutless) returned behind the wheel of a much more competitive kart, Paul Boutonnet (Tony Kart/Parilla) was fast and unbeatable, Victor Compre (Kosmic/Vortex) was regularly in the top 3, Pascal Belmaaziz (DR/Vortex) completely recovered two months after fracturing his collarbone: these were the most significant facts in KF2 this weekend. Mention should also be made of the burst of speed shown by Rmy Deguffroy and Valentin Moineault (Tony Kart/Vortex) despite a bit of bad luck: the former lost his neck collar in Final 2, when he was in second place, while the latter violently collided into a kart that had stopped along the track side. Bailly won Final 1 after crossing swords with Boutonnet, who went all alone in Final 2 when Bailly had a start problem. Winner of three out of four races, Paul Boutonnet logically became leader of the classification ahead of Valentin Moineault and Sbastien Bailly.
Lehouck and Naud Win in KF3
It was the weekend of first victories for these two drivers. Arthur Lehouck (Sodi/Parilla) had been very fast until then and beat the odds on Saturday, when he was second in the pre-final and win the final after fighting bravely. Valentin Naud (Kosmic/Parilla) joined the GPO at Ostricourt this year. Already fast on Saturday, he climbed up from 27th to 3rd before achieving a stunning double success in the pre-final and final. Julien Darras (Tony Kart/Parilla) claimed his first KF3 podium thanks to his second place on Saturday, while two drivers on Kosmic/Parilla showed some excellent performances in a fiercely fought final race on Saturday: Franois Bcamel was 2nd and Romain De Leval 3rd. Gabriel Aubry (Birel/TM) and Matteo Raspatelli (Tony Kart/Parilla) got two nice second places in the pre-finals. Though less at ease than usual, Paolo Besancenez (Sodi/Parilla) maintains Championship leadership ahead of De Leval, while Lehouck has now moved up to third and Aubry remains fourth.
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