First round of the 2023 FIA Academy Trophy Championship
A first in Europe for young drivers
This weekend, LifeLive was in Germany Matschenberg (Cunewalde) near Dresden, for the first round of the FIA European Cross Car Academy Trophy and the second round of the European XC Cross Car Championship.
The Academy 2023 season is officially launched. The 10 drivers engaged for the season took part in the first round in Germany this weekend. Only 2 of them had already competed in the 2022 season: Emilien Allart and Matteo Bernini. For the rest, it was a discovery of the European Championship. A discovery that was quickly mastered by all, with a high pace from the first laps.
In the midst of discovery since Friday
For each race, drivers are invited to take part in Friday activities which are equally as important as the race itself. They attend the LifeLive team briefing, a media/press moment, administrative and technical checks, and a briefing organized by the FIA at the end of the day.
The racing really begins on Saturday morning with a Warm Up session (2 laps) to familiarize drivers with the track. This is followed by 2 qualifying practice sessions which determine the starting positions for the next 3 heats. At the end of these 3 heats, the two best cumulative results determine the starting order for the final.
Between learning and performance
Over the 3 qualifying heats, 3 Belgians were in the lead: Jordan Genten, Emilien Allart and Lucas Cartelle. The 3 drivers took control of the heats with a very fast pace, but behind them, everyone was determined to win.
With 10 drivers there are no semi-finals, so they all compete directly in the final, and these young drivers delivered an action-packed race. Matschenberg is a very fast circuit, but at the same time not very wide making overtaking very difficult, challenging and technical.
An eventful final
While Lucas Cartelle had a great weekend until then, he was disqualified for a controversial overtaking. Jordan Genten who had been at the front of the field was overtaken on the inside taking him to the safety rail unable to finish.Equally bad luck for Juan Manuel Grigera, who was forced to retire on the second lap after a collision.
The weekend’s winners were Emilien Allart in first place, who drew on his experience of the previous year to take victory, and Matteo Bernini who finished in second place with good consistency throughout the weekend. Diego Martinez took third place on the podium after a slightly complicated start to the weekend, but his Cross Car experience in the Spanish Championship enabled him to keep up the pace.
Standings after the first round
2nd round for XC Cross Car Seniors at Matschenberg
Alongside the Academy Trophy drivers, the second round of the XC Cross Car Championship also took place. At the start of this round LifeLive had its two official drivers with their TN11s: Marcello Gallo and David Méat. They were joined by young talent Miguel Gayoso on board his TN5 and two LifeLive customers: Romuald Demelenne and Melvin Vanhoost, both of whom drive in the Belgian Championship.
This weekend was important for LifeLive to prove the performance which resulted in the first place at Seelow, this is now done!
The two TN11s immediately got into a fast rhythm, David second in the warm-up and Marcello eighth. This was followed by first place overall in the three heats for David and eleventh place for Marcello. In the semi-final David and Marcello both got off to a great start, but on the second lap things got complicated for David who hit the rail and broke his rear axle. Despite this, he managed to finish in third place, followed by Marcello. Both qualified for the final.
This year the Cross Car racing level is very high and the start is crucial in view of overtaking complications. Marcello couldn’t find his way through the field and remained in eighth place throughout the final. David got off to a good start and was third at the first bend, but despite a few attacks he was unable to catch the drivers in front finishing on the third step of the podium.
It wasn’t the result the team and driver had hoped for in view of the pace at the start of the weekend, but it was still a very good finish and David maintained his overall lead of the championship.
A beginner already among the best?
The revelation of the weekend was Miguel Gayoso, the young LifeLive driver aboard his Cross Car TN5 who won the FIA Cross Car Academy Trophy 2022. The driver has been taken by the Belgian team under its wing to enable him to climb up a category and take part in the European XC Cross Car Senior Championship. He already proved his talent at Seelow setting a very fast pace, but this weekend he really showed his competence and mastering of the discipline. He finished third overall in the three heats ahead of some very experienced drivers which gave him the confidence to tackle the semi-final where he started on the front row and finished in second place.
It was already a great achievement for him and his team as no one had expected to see him at such a high level. Miguel took the start of the final, but his lack of experience made him struggle from the first corner where he had to elbow his way to the front. He didn’t manage to make his mark, but still finished seventh in the final, putting him in six place of the Championship overall.
A driver with great potential who should not be overlooked this season, as he promises great performance alongside his LifeLive team.