With this years CIK European Champions being decided through a four round championship, the International Circuit of Zuera in Spain played host to the second stop for the KF and KF-Junior categories. The opening round at La Conca in Italy provided great racing and that continued at the high-speed Zuera Circuit.
A pair of Canadian drivers were in the action, as both Devlin Defrancesco and Kami Moreira-Laliberte took on the KFJ division and were riding momentum they gained from podium appearances one week prior at the Italian Championships.
For Defrancesco, the weekend kicked off exactly as it did in round one, with him pacing the Qualifying session and earning the pole-position for the second straight event. Laliberte was 17th in the ranking out of 55 karts in attendance.
Four heat races were up next for both drivers and Defrancesco again showed why he is one of the fastest junior drivers on the planet at the moment as he scored two victories and never finished lower than fourth, ranking him second overall. Laliberte’s pace helped get him out of a bind as two bad heats appeared to have him on his way to the Last Chance Race, but two recovery heats where he finished eighth and sixth ranked him 27th overall and in a direct transfer position to the main events. Following the heats, Defrancesco had gained enough points to take the championship lead, becoming the first North American to lead the CIK European Championships since 1978.
Sunday’s Prefinal did not go well for either driver as by lap five, both were on the sidelines and out of the heat and forcing them to start the Final from the rear of the field.
Still determined to make a statement and fight for the championship, Defrancesco put on a show in the Final. Starting from the outside of the fifteenth row in 30th position, he had a lot of positions to gain if he wanted to even score championship points. After a great start, Defrancesco steered his Morsicani Raning TonyKart towards the front. Lap after lap, he continued to pick off his competitors, sometimes two at a time, en route to a fifth-place finish and a solid haul of championship points.
Unfortunately for Laliberte his race once again ended early with a 32nd place result.
Exiting the weekend at Zuera, Defrancesco holds tight in the second position of the championship standings, only one point behind Englishman Enaam Ahmed.
Round three will take place at the end of July in Kristianstad, Sweden before the championship wraps up at the popular PFI Circuit in the United Kingdom at the end of August.