The European KZ2 title back at Energy
Always present on European podiums without interruption for 13 years, the Energy Corse team has just celebrated its 7th European Championship since 2004, including the KZ1 title won by Paolo De Conto in 2011. A feat that no other team has managed before! At Genk in Belgium, Joel Johansson was faultless, while still one of the fastest on the track. By putting his Energy Corse-TM Racing on the podium, the talented Swede knew he would ensure the title. The unquestionable expertise of his team and its extensive international experience still makes a difference.
In 2011 and 2013, second with Joel Johansson, then in 2014, third with Simas Juodvirsis, Energy Corse was on the verge of adding an additional European crown to the list. But in the KZ2 category, the team managed by Mick Panigada never stays very long without celebrating a major title. "KZ2 is one of the most popular categories in the world. All major brands are represented, the drivers are always very numerous, the equipment is extremely competitive and it is a great pride to win at this level," said the team manager with repeatedly recognised expertise.
A deserved title
Johansson and his team stayed completely focused throughout the meeting, as the Championship remained undecided. In addition, a few drops of rain disrupted the Prefinal, while the Swede’s No. 304 kart started from pole position after he took control after the Qualifying Heats. "The track was tricky and I did not take any risks to maintain a place at the front on the starting grid for the Final. There, I gave everything to reach the podium. I knew that both drivers ahead of me could not be champion, but I had to watch what was going on behind. The strategy implemented with the team worked perfectly and the competitiveness of the equipment was impeccable! It is a great satisfaction for me, after failing by a point to take the title in 2013."
At Sarno, the Championship had started badly for Johansson, driven into by another competitor. But in all three meetings, the driver in the Energy Corse colours was the most consistent at the front. At Genk his team-mate Sean Babington was able to fight in the top 10 during the whole meeting. 10th at the chequered flag, he was unfortunately penalised 30 seconds because of a dropped spoiler.
As Mick Panigada likes to remember, “Tthe season is far from over. After the podium for Juan Correa in England in KF, 4th place for David Vidales and the beautiful performance from Frederik Vesti (7th after the heats and in the Prefinal) in KF-Junior, the goal is to complete these two European Championships on a positive note in Sweden. Then it will be time to prepare for the KZ2 International Super Cup at Le Mans, a race that we have already won in 2013."