A QUICK LAP IN ZUERA IN A KZ
It is the longest karting circuit: 1,700 m, the maximum allowed by the regulations for international competitions; a usual stage for the most important races in the calendar. Former top driver Jordon Lennox-Lamb, now Lennox Racing Team team manager, reveals the secrets and driving tips
The International Circuit in Zuera is one of the most popular tracks for top kart races. It is 1,700 metres long, which is the maximum limit allowed by the regulations for international competitions and, therefore, it can be said to be the longest “official” track in the world. It is quite a recent circuit, having been inaugurated in 2007 with a WSK Euro Series race (won by Thonon in KZ2; De Brabander in KF2; Harvey and Kouzkin in KF3). It was the venue for several CIK-FIA European Championship tests and hosted the 2010 KF2 World Cup and the KF2 and KF3 World Cup in 2012. Jordon Lennox-Lamb tells the secrets of this track and explains how to drive around it in the best possible way in a gear kart. He has raced many times on this track with good results, including reaching a podium position in the 2013 WSK Euro Series Final 2.
An English driver, born in 1992, he has been based in Italy for a long time, in Desenzano del Garda. In fact, this is where the Lennox Racing Team is based, an organisation established in 2018 after Jordon decided to end his career as a driver. An activity that, in the many years of his career, gave him a lot of satisfaction, including victories in the World Cup and in the WSK Master Series, both won in KZ2 in 2012. In 2013, he instead finished third at the KZ World Championship. Jordon has raced with Top Kart, at the beginning of his career, then for CRG, with whom he won his most important races, as well as Birel ART. Now, however, his Lennox Racing Team is linked to the OTK Group and uses Exprit chassis and Vortex engines.
Coming from the finish straight, you reach the first bend at great speed: despite this, with older tyres, which are softer and give more grip, you didn’t have to brake or accelarate, but the bend was taken at full speed, without significant difficulty. With current tyres, you have to accelarate a lot and brake a little, even if it’s more for a sense of safety than a pressing need: basically, just lightly touching the brake is enough. Let’s say that every time you pass around this bend, you will be looking for the precise point in which to immediately accelarate, and you only want to move slightly to gain all the time you can.
In any case, the first bend is taken in sixth gear and, therefore, you reach the 2nd bend at a good speed, and not by chance it is often the case that the bend is entered long. Here it is necessary to reach third gear: I always try to brake in a very “relaxed” manner, to avoid making mistakes or going too wide. You cross the track, always in third gear, trying to keep close to both rope points, since it is a slightly square bend, steering as little as possible when leaving the bend. My advice is to stay as fluid as possible and meanwhile go up two gears until you reach fifth gear to set yourself up for the next bend, which is a very narrow bend on the right.
TURNS 4 AND 5
In the short straight you get to engage the fifth and set yourself up for the left bend in the middle of the track. This is one of my favourite bends: with the tyres that were used a few years ago it was a lot more fun, even if it was definitely more physically deemanding. Now it’s simpler: when you enter the bend, you go up a gear and try to stay on the white line to keep going as fast as possible. Up to the middle of the bend you follow a narrow trajectory, then start to widen slightly to set yourself up for the next bend, getting into third gear. Then, while moving along the bend, I widen slightly, then cut back in to set myself up for the right turn. I now try to go as wide as possible, because the bend is very narrow, more than it appears on the map. Staying wide allows you to accelerate earlier and exit the bend well. As you exit you have to get into higher gears. The modalities depend on the chosen ratios. In general, you go up a gear very early and then when exiting, depending on the situation, you should be able to climb into fifth gear or, even better, into fourth gear before entering the next bend.
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