U18 World succes for Sodi at Essay

Sodi is one of the best represented makes in the CIK-FIA U18 World Championship, with as many as 8 chassis in the race for the title. The French karts did wonders in Normandy: Anthoine Hubert won a thrilling final, Léo Roussel climbed to 4th and Henry Easthope finished 6th.

The U18 World Championship is a high level event with a new conception: all the competitors use the same engine and the same tyres. Regulations only allow limited equipment set up, in order to prevent excessive use of expensive parts. Therefore parameters are simple: to gain the upper hand, a good driver and a performing chassis are needed. On this subject, Sodi know-how speaks for itself: the team performances were stunning all over the weekend.

Léo Roussel was the fastest to move to action on the circuit of Essay by setting the 2nd best time during timed qualifying, while Hubert was 6th. Roussel kept his momentum going with two victories and a 2nd place in the qualification heats. He could have reached the top of the standings, instead of a 6th place, if a recalcitrant starter had not forced him to a catch up race from 34th to 14th place in his third heat. Hubert did not dawdle along either, twice second and 5th, but had a few problems too in his third heat due to a crash, so he was 10th at the end of the qualification phase. Equipment worked perfectly and drivers were confident before they started the difficult final phases.

In the first pre-final, Roussel ended on the outside line at the start and lost a few places, while Hubert made an excellent start and took 4th place. He was followed by the young Dutch driver Joel Affolter in 5th place. Roussel made it back to the top 10 and Henry Easthope regained 13th place. Antoine Lepesqueux and the Belgian Sébastien Bedoret were also in for it, raising to 6 (out of 8) the number of Sodi drivers among the 34 best drivers among the 74 entrants.

In the second pre-final, drivers started in reverse order of their intermediate classification, a formidable exercises that is not immune from risks. Hubert made again an excellent start and pushed hard to 5th place, gaining a stunning 20 positions. At this level, it is not an easy task! Bedoret entered again the top 10 with Roussel, who drove a fantastic race moving up 18 places.

Anthoine Hubert started the decisive final in pole position. The start was marred by a crash, but Hubert maintained his leadership when the race restarted. He escaped in the first few laps, and then brilliantly held back an attack from the Championship leader to conclude with a great international victory, in front of a crowd of appreciative spectators. It was an accolade! Sodi triumph was completed by Léo Roussel's 4th place at the end of a very exciting race. The British driver Henry Easthope made his contribution by finishing 6th.

Hubert is now third in the World Championship provisional standings before the last round in Sarno, near Naples, to be held next November, where he will show his firm intention of taking Sodi colours as high as possible. Both regular and fast, Easthope is not far behind, 5th with same points as the 4th.