Aron and Stanek Win CIK-FIA European Championship Opener at Sarno
On Sunday, 22nd April, the participants in the first round of the CIK-FIA European Championship and European Junior Championship at the Sarno circuit competed in an intense sporting confrontation for the first Competition, organised in collaboration with the new Promoter RGMMC Group. The 34 finalists in the OK and OK-Junior categories qualified after the last Qualifying Heats before competing in the Finals in the hot weather of the Naples region. Estonian Paul Aron in OK-Junior and Czech Roman Stanek in OK were crowned the winners of the Competition after exciting races.
While the heat was rising during the morning, the last six Qualifying Heats already put on a good show with some adventures. Free management of tyres allowed some Drivers to put on new tyres from this moment to try to qualify as well as possible in the Final, which sometimes upset the usual hierarchy.
Among 12-14-year-olds in the OK-Junior category, poleman Paul Aron (EST-FA Kart / Vortex / Vega) recorded a fifth consecutive success to confirm his dominance against Dino Beganovic (SWE – Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega). Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA – CRG / TM Racing / Vega) and Zak O’Sullivan (GBR – FA Kart / Vortex / Vega) were on the second row on the starting grid of the Final. RFM Driver Paul Aron led the 17 laps of the race as a more and more unstoppable leader before winning by more than 3” to complete a perfect weekend. The battle for 2nd place was superb. Dino Beganovic and Kai Askey (GBR – FA Kart / Vortex / Vega) fought for 2nd place, while Conrad Laursen (DNK – FA Kart / Vortex / Vega) took 4th place ahead of Gabriel Mini (ITA – Parolin / Parilla / Vega). In the last third of the race, a pass between Askey and Beganovic changed the situation when Gabriele Mini seized his chance to take 2nd place against Askey and Kirill Smal (RUS – Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega). Conrad Laursen returned to 5th place.
In the provisional classification of the CIK-FIA European Junior Championship, Aron is logically in 1st place with 35 points, Askey 2nd with 23 points and Mini 3rd with 21 points.
Jak Crawford (Energy / TM / Vega) led the North America contingent of six drivers. The Texan was ninth after the heat races and improved to seventh in the Final. Georgia driver Tyler Maxson (CRG / TM / Vega) qualified for the final with the 34th and last position to transfer after eat races. Maxson improved 13 positions to finish 21st in his CIK European debut. Santiago Trisini (KR / Parilla / Vega), Canadian Thomas Nepveu (Birel ART / TM / Vega), Joseph Brienza (Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega) and Elio Giovane (CRG / TM / Vega) did not qualify.
Stanek makes a splash in OK
The dominator until then, Harry Thompson (GBR – FA Kart / Vortex / B’stone) had a problem in his last Qualifying Heat. Roman Stanek (CZE – Kosmic / Vortex / B’stone) took the lead in front of Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP – CRG / TM Racing / B’stone) and Hannes Janker (DEU – KR / Parilla / B’stone). When the lights went out for the Final, Pedro Hiltbrand took the lead followed by David Vidales Ajenjo (ESP – Tony Kart / Vortex / B’stone). Official Driver of the Kosmic Racing Departement Roman Stanek, however, was quick to regain his leadership position and took a comfortable lead to indisputably take his first victory at this level. In the 11th, Harry Thompson made a great comeback and even threatened Pedro Hiltbrand’s 2nd position on the finish line while Juho Valtanen (FIN – Kosmic / Vortex / B’stone) was 4th and Kas Haverkort (NLD) – CRG / TM Racing / B’stone) was 5th.
Stanek also took the lead of the CIK-FIA European Championship provisional standings with 35 points, ahead of Hiltbrand (29 pts) and Thompson (16 pts).
Nicholas d’Orlando (KR / Parilla / B’stone) was the lone USA driver in the field, unable to qualify for the main event through his heat race performances.
The new CIK-FIA President Felipe Massa was able to enjoy the Competition for two busy days at Sarno and the 2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg took part in the podium ceremonies. Rendez-vous in Great Britain at the PF International circuit from 18th to 20th May for the second Competition of the CIK-FIA European Championship and European Junior Championship.