This weekend, the first round of the 2013 CIK FIA European Karting Championships gets underway in Alcaniz, Spain. As one of the most important karting championships in karting, the European Championships has drawn a massive amount of entries for the first round of the two round Championship with 36 countries represented through the 155 registered drivers. This weekend only the single-speed KF and KFJ divisions are on track at the Motorland Aragon Circuit in the northwest of Spain, but it is sure to be an action-packed weekend of racing with every major driver and team in attendance.
In the premier KF division, only one Canadian is entered among the 73 total entries. Lance Stroll is enjoying a great rookie season in the senior category that has included a podium appearance in WSK action. The Quebec driver now lives permanently in Switzerland as he pursues a career in motorsports and enters the European Championship as a favourite aboard a Chiesa Corse/Zanardi Kart.
Zachary Claman DeMelo who has been a regular with the CRG Factory team was entered for the event, but has informed CKN that he will not be attending this weekends race in Spain.
Three Canadian pilots are listed in the KFJ category for this weekends European Championships. Leading the way, Alberta’s Parker Thompson looks to continue his impressive rookie KFJ season. The Energy Corse factory driver has had a stellar season thus far, standing on the podium multiple times and earning two SuperPole’s in WSK competition. Still seeking that first major victory, Thompson is primed and ready to go and hopes to ride the momentum from his third place finish two weeks ago in Genk, Belgium.
“I feel quite confident entering the European Championships,” explains Thompson when contacted by CKN. “I know my driving ability is up to par and competitive in my category. I also know that Energy Corse/GFR Engines are doing everything they can to see me on top of the podium. We as a team have changed a lot going into the European Championships in an attempt to get ahead. I have trained and prepared a lot for this race as well, and hope this will give me an advantage going into the event.”
Devlin Defrancesco is the second Canadian on the list of 83 KFJ entries. The Toronto native who now calls Fort Lauderdale, Florida home, enters this weekends event in a whole new atmosphere. Competing with the factory CRG team throughout the beginning of the season, Defrancesco has switched to Chiesa Corse/Zanardi for the remainder of the year. Although his results through 2013 haven’t shown, Defrancesco has had the pace and should be a threat this weekend with his new team.
The final Canadian in this weekends KFJ action is Kami Moreira Laliberte. The Quebec pilot hasn’t raced a whole lot in 2013 but enters the event under his KML Racing banner aboard a Zanardi kart.
The first of two European Championship rounds will set the tone that will see the champions crowned on July 21 in Ortona, Italy.