A thrilling race run entirely in the dry, the 33rd edition of the 24 Hours Karting did not lack flavour. Whether in GP1 for the FIA Karting title or for victory in the GP2 category, the competition was thrilling from the start to the finish of the event organised by the Western Automobile Club (ACO). Good weather prevailed throughout the weekend, even though the temperatures became very cool at the end of the night. The public made the most of the opportunity to witness a great racing moment as the 24 Hrs Trucks race was taking place simultaneously just a few steps away on the Bugatti circuit, bringing a significant increase in spectators.
In Qualifying, the No. 3 Sodikart (Sodi / TM) dropped to 26th position because of an engine problem in Q3. No. 2 CRG SpA (CRG / TM) took pole position ahead of No. 16 CMCR Charente MMA (Tony Kart / Vortex) and No. 10 Wintec Chambord (Tony Kart / Vortex). An X30, that of the team No. 41 RSD - Karting (Kosmic / Parilla) was the fastest GP2 in front of the No. 14 Team LGB (Tony Kart / Rotax), also the first Master.
The race started strongly on Saturday, 29th September at 3:00 PM when Mrs. Christelle Morançais, President of the Regional Council of Pays de la Loire, gave the start from the side of the track. CRG SpA made the fastest start, but a reed problem delayed them and Sodikart competed for the lead with several other teams. The No. 95 JFJ Performance (Sodi / Vortex) quickly returned to the leading pack and increasingly pressured the leader. The battle then mainly concerned Sodikart, JFJ Performance and Wintec Chambord. Shortly before midnight, as the temperature dropped more and more, JFJ Performance settled convincingly in 1st place. With Sodikart in 2nd place and CRG SpA 3rd, but several laps behind, we could have thought that the race was decided. However, after a 900-lap domination, JFJ Performance broke its chain a long way from the pits and lost its advantage. The disappointment was immense for the team that won the GP2 category last year and had great success in GP1. Sodikart had never relaxed the pressure thanks to the talent of its drivers as well as the control of Nicolas Scelles, its technical manager. No. 3 recovered the lead one and a half hours of from the end. Managing the situation perfectly, the Nantes team finished as a strong winner on Sunday at 3:00 PM and won the title of FIA Karting Endurance Championship of 2018. Anthony Abbasse, who had taken the wheel of kart No. 3, saluted his sixth victory in the 24 Hours Karting under the chequered flag.
The No. 50 La Manche KartMag (Tony Kart / Vortex) managed to climb to 4th place despite several mechanical problems and No. 36 Cormeilles KMD (Sodi / Vortex) finished 5th.
Final podium of the 2018 24 Hrs Karting.
1- Sodikart - Sodi / TM / LeCont
Tom Joyner (GBR) - Bas Lammers (NLD) - Alex Irlando (ITA) - Anthony Abbasse (FRA)
2- JFJ Performance - Sodi / Vortex / LeCont
Adrien Renaudin (FRA) - Jean Nomblot (FRA) - Kevin Petit (FRA) - William Godefroid (BEL)
3- CRG SpA - CRG / TM / LeCont
Paolo De Conto (ITA) - Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP) - Callum Bradshaw (GBR) - Andrea Rosso (ITA)
In GP2 the sporting clash was also intense. The No. 14 Team LGB (Tony Kart / Rotax), a Master team, qualified fastest from No. 60 RM Concept (FA Kart / Rotax) and No. 40 RSD-CG (Sodi / Parilla), using an X30 engine. No. 17 Malevaut Sport (Tony Kart / Rotax) and No. 11 Team Belinois Jac Kart (Sodi / Rotax) gradually joined the fight and then disputed a long three-way battle with RM Concept. The latter took control shortly before the half-way point and consistently increased the gap to its two rivals. While RM Concept finished 8th overall and won the GP2 class, Malevaut Sport finally outdistanced Team Belinois Jac Kart who accompanied them on the podium. Delayed, Team LGB ranked 14th and first Master.
The only GP3 team, the young No. 24 Wintec-Kartagene (Tony Kart / Vortex) team had a difficult night and dropped to 24th before recovering and finishing 20th. The women's crew no. 67 RM Ladies (FA Kart / Rotax) ranked 21st after a few problems.