Text: JP Cariño / Photos: JP Cariño | posted November 06, 2009 14:36
Kozlinski victorious in rain-soaked final
The CIK - FIA World Karting Championship is staged outside of Europe for the first time in the colorful gambling city of Macau in China. As with all important meets, all major kart manufacturers were present with their factory drivers flying their team colors throughout the weekend.
The weather would play a big part in the proceedings as rain was on forecast for Sunday's final. The finals had all the ingredients of becoming a classic. In one corner, there's Marco Ardigo (Tonykart) who is chasing a third successive world championship. The only guy who has done the feat is ex world champion Mike Wilson. On the other end there's Arnaud Kozlinski (CRG) who has been vice-champion twice and hoping to get the monkey of his back. Aiming to equally prove themselves are youngsters Gary Catt (Tony Kart), Aaro Vainio (Maranello) and a comebacking Ben Hanley (Maranello) after spending the last four years in single seaters.
As the lights went out it was instantly a battle between Vainio and Kozlinski. The two traded the lead for several laps up until outgoing world champion Marco Ardigo decided to join the fight. It seemed that Ardigo was able to pull out some of his driving magic and was enroute to a third championship up until the rains came. Vainio immediately took the lead with Kozlinkski in tow.
The race conditions became tricky with drivers having to tackle the wet track in slick tires. Karters were spinning out one after the other. After a good dice between the two front runners, a mistake by Vainio handed the lead to Kozlinski. Seeing that the race conditions wasn't improving, the race director red flagged the race on lap 18 of the 25 lap race.
After years of trying Arnaud Kozlinski of France is the new karting world champion. European champion, Aaro Vainio is runner up and highlights that he is a good prospect for the future. Britain's Ben Hanley drove excellently from seventh to round up the podium and equal his best ever finish in a world championship. With the win Kozlinski joins the ranks of former champions such as Mike Wilson, Terry Fullerton and Jarno Trulli to name a few.