FIA Karting World Championship: Bernier and Travisanutto Win the Titles in Sweden
Two fine Champions were crowned at Kristianstad after three days of intense clashes on the Åsum Ring as part of the Kart Grand Prix of Sweden. On Sunday, in bright sunshine, the last Qualifying Heats revealed the list of 34 Finalists in the two categories in the running, before the Finals delivered their verdict in front of a large audience. Victor Bernier (FRA) convincingly won the FIA Karting World Championship – Junior, while Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA) got the better of Hannes Janker (DEU) two laps from the finish of the FIA Karting World Championship – OK.
The return of good weather gave an extra lustre to the decisive day of the Kristianstad Competition. As the tension became more and more palpable, spectators poured in around the circuit and into the paddock. The attendance and accessibility of former Formula 1 drivers like Felipe Massa, the President of the CIK-FIA, and Nico Rosberg, 2016 World Champion, offered an additional attraction to enthusiasts.
Always very competitive, the last Qualifying Heats gave a good show on Sunday morning, but did not upset the ranking of Saturday night. Taylor Barnard finished 1st in the OK-Junior category ahead of Dino Beganovic and Kai Askey, while Lorenzo Travisanutto retained the lead in OK in front of David Vidales Ajenjo and Hannes Janker.
Superb race from Bernier to win the Junior title
The start of the FIA Karting World Championship – Junior Final did not upset the hierarchy. Taylor Barnard (GBR – KR / Parilla / Vega) took the lead ahead of Kai Askey (GBR – FA Kart / Vortex / Vega) and Dino Beganovic (SWE – Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega). However, Victor Bernier (FRA – Kosmic / Parilla / Vega) and Gabriele Mini’ (ITA – Parolin / TM Racing / Vega) were already showing their ambitions by gaining ground. Behind Barnard, the situation was changing rapidly with the gradual falling back of Askey and Bernier’s attack on Beganovic on the 5th lap. The Frenchman quickly reduced the gap to the leader. Without ever losing his composure, he attacked Barnard for the first time, who responded. The second attempt was the good one: Bernier settled in control of the Race on the 7th of the 21 laps of the Final. He then managed his lead perfectly against Barnard, then Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA – CRG / TM Racing / Vega) who had seized 2nd position. At the end of the race, Mini’ came back strongly and passed the Brazilian. Bernier won the world crown without faltering nearly a second ahead of Mini’, Bortoleto, holder of the fastest lap in race was on the 3rd step of the podium. While Barnard finished disappointed in 4th place, Kirill Smal (RUS – Tony Kart / Vortex / Vega) made a great recovery of 10 places to join the top five. Bernier’s title recalled that of other Frenchman, Martins, also named Victor, who won with the same team, VDK Racing, in 2016.
The top driver from the United States of America was CRG Nordam driver Enzo Scionti. Qualifying 11th overall, he remained toward the front in the heat races to earn a 14th starting spot in the Final. Scionti ran as high as 10th before ending up in 14th as the top North American driver. Thomas Nepveu, the lone Canadian in the field, earned his way into the Final finishing up the heat races ranked 30th. Nepveu gained the most positions in the main event, climbing up to 15th. Other USA drivers included Santiago Trisini (38th), SKUSA Pro Tour champion Arias Deukmedjian (51st), Jak Crawford (52nd), Tyler Gonzalez (72nd), Joseph Brienza (90th), and Tyler Maxson (91st)
Domination finally rewarded for Travisanutto
Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA – KR / Parilla / B’stone) was undoubtedly the strongman of the OK category at Kristianstad. The Driver in the Rosberg Racing colours mastered the Final with admirable skill. Starting in pole position, Travisanutto was joined by his favourite rival Hannes Janker (DEU – KR / Parilla / B’stone). He took the lead before mid-race and looked good to win. Travisanutto handled the situation with great intelligence. He raised the pace at the right time, as the finish approached. Back in the wheel-tracks of the reigning European Champion, the Italian made an unstoppable pass on the penultimate lap and won. Travisanutto did not hide his joy at finally winning his first FIA Karting World Championship title in OK. Behind the top two, Luigi Coluccio (ITA – Birel ART / TM Racing / B’stone) confirmed his excellent performance in Sweden in 3rd position. Junior World Champion last year, Dexter Patterson (GBR – Exprit / TM Racing / B’stone) could be proud of his 4th place in the top category ahead of Noah Milell (SWE – Tony Kart / Vortex / B’stone) 5th on his home soil.
Dante Yu was the lone North American in the OK field, with the USA driver placing 74th after the heat races.