The Italian driver Francesco Celenta shone at sunny Zuera during the second round of the European KZ2 Championship driving his Parolin / TM to remarkable effect especially as the resources of his team NGM Motorsport are nothing like those of the factory teams racing in the competition. Although some clouds darkened the result, Celenta remained as the winner on the track in the KZ2 final. Encouraging evidence that karting can still be a passionate affair.
"There was no question of us preparing for the Zuera competition by coming to test in advance," said Francesco Celenta. "NGM Motorport scheduled a standard chassis configuration and for the TM engine, we trust Gianfranco Gallifa. Most of the work was done on Thursday during practice."
As with most teams, Zuera is a long way from the base of NGM Motorsport, but the largest Italian teams are in the same position and no longer have the advantage of knowing the track by heart due to changes in tyres. In this configuration, passion and expertise really have an influence. Hard working and knowledgable, NGM Motorsport and Gallifa Kart therefore used all their talent to provide a competitive kart for Francesco Celenta in the early test sessions. Regularly running in the top five in free practice, Celenta confirmed with 5th in his group during qualifying practice, which placed him 8th overall.
With a victory in the first heat, then two 3rd and 4th places, Francesco went up to 3rd position in the ranking of the qualifying heats on Saturday night. He then took the lead in the prefinal from the second lap and won the race with great mastery. The poleman in the final, Francesco gradually increased his lead as the laps went on and crossed the finish line almost 2'' ahead of his opponents. He was recognised with the top step of the podium, before being penalized 5'' for a jumped start. Although it was a blow for the team, the level of competitiveness demonstrated throughout the weekend will be the best memory of Zuera.
"It was great to be able to measure up to the international elite in KZ2 with our small team," concluded Francesco. "After the clashes at Sarno, we could show our true level here by dominating the finals. Without this questionable penalty that did not really give me an advantage in the race, I would now be in 3rd place in the European Championship. It was a beautiful performance! "
Celenta and NGM must now consider whether to travel to Belgium for the last European round at Genk in addition to their national programme in Italy, but we can count on them in the International Super Cup in KZ2 at Le Mans in September.