FIA Karting World Championships: Weather is Changing, The Positions Too
Immediately after Qualifying Practice on a dry track, it rained late on the Friday of the Kart Grand Prix of Sweden. The Qualifying Heats, intended to select the 34 finalists of the FIA Karting World Championships – OK and Junior, which take place this weekend on the Kristianstad circuit (SWE), have been disrupted by several showers until late Saturday afternoon. Barnard, Askey and Beganovic took a slight advantage over their Junior category opponents. Travisanutto kept his lead in OK against Janker.
Since Friday, 16 Qualifying Heats have taken place in each category. The changing weather played a big role in the progress of the races. The Åsum Ring has indeed produced a wide range of grip conditions, all possible combinations between slicks on dry track and wet tyres on a wet surface having been explored. Beyond the pure talent of the Drivers in such conditions, the control and composure of the teams were put to the test. The regular Drivers in the region had an advantage in anticipating the changes of the circuit, like those due to heavy cloud, to achieve great performances.
Among the pitfalls to avoid: coming off the track, contact caused or suffered, or penalties for out-of-position front fairings have shaped the hierarchy during the heats, in addition to the constant changes of set-up. Such a situation has sometimes allowed less well-known Drivers to fight against the favourites. Although no real ranking is possible at this stage of the Competition, analysis of the results reveals the trend among Drivers in a good position for Sunday’s decisive day.
Very close fight in Junior
In OK-Junior, a trio of Drivers stand out from the rest of the pack: Taylor Barnard (GBR) three times victorious, Kai Askey (GBR) and Dino Beganovic (SWE), with two wins each, all three very successful without any mishaps. The poleman of the World Championship Final might be one of them. Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA) and Luca Griggs (GBR) are also within the top five. Further back, Thomas Ten Brinke (NLD) has recovered well since Qualifying Practice against Kirill Smal (RUS) and Victor Bernier (FRA) who were penalised for badly positioned front fairing, then Alex Dunne (IRL) who made a good recovery. Uncomfortable on the slippery track, poleman Gabriele Mini’ has not entirely lost his chance of participating in the title fight. He is closely followed by Josep Maria Marti Sobrepera (BRA). Several Drivers proved to be very competitive even though their score was aggravated by a poor performance. Dilano Van T’Hoff (NLD), reigning European Champion Paul Aron (EST), and Guilherme De Figueiredo (BRA) were able to gain back some of their deficit before the end of the Qualifying Heats.
Travisanutto remains the leader in OK
Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA), the poleman in the Qualifying Practice, conceded only two 2nd places in addition to his three victories. Behind him, European Champion Hannes Janker (DEU) showed great speed, while Yannick De Brabander (BEL) made a remarkable comeback in the category. David Vidales Ajenjo (ESP) and Tijmen Van Der Helm are in interesting positions a short distance from the leaders, not far from Harry Thompson (GBR) who has gained over 20 places since Qualifying, with Luigi Coluccio (ITA) getting faster and faster, and Viktor Öberg (SWE) very comfortable on home turf. Kristianstad driver Noah Milell (SWE) has also progressed very positively and is just ahead of Dexter Patterson (GBR). Jorge Pescador (ESP), Jonny Edgar (GBR), Callum Bradshaw (GBR) and Leonardo Marseglia (ITA) are among the competitive Drivers hampered by a bad result.
On Sunday morning, eight explosive Qualifying Heats will take place before the revelation of the list of 34 finalists in each category at lunchtime. The weather should stay dry and sunny for the rest of the Competition. The Finals will follow from 14:20 in Junior and 15:20 in OK.