ROK Cup Euro 2021: Great Show for the First Edition
4 categories are getting on track in the weekend of July 16th-18th at the Kartarena Cheb, in Czech Republic, awarding the first European champions in the history of ROK. With photo-finish race finals!
The ROK Cup crowns its European category champions for the first time in its history. During the weekend of July 16th-18th, the ROK Cup EURO, the historic “première” for the series by Vortex, was held on the Kartarena circuit in Cheb (Czech Republic).
After the cancellation of the event in 2020, due to COVID-19, the 2021 edition kicked off what is already clear to be a new “classic” joining the other international events for ROK drivers from all over the world: the ROK Superfinal and the ROK Vegas.
Despite the complications and logistical limitations caused by the particular health situation present throughout Europe and the world, the great participation of drivers allowed the presence on the track of 4 categories which awarded the 2021 titles to Bruno Gryc (Mini ROK), Davide Larini (Junior ROK), Leonardo Megna (Senior ROK) and Wojciech Stadnik (Expert ROK).
The format planned allowed over 40 sessions on the track for the 4 categories, including free practices, qualifying, heats, pre-finals and finals, aiming at allowing all participants to get the right confidence with a new track for many of them.
Also the prize money was in line with the prestige that a European title can offer. The awards were extended not only to the podium, but to the Top 5 of the final of each single category. Furthermore, a special prize was reserved for the first 3: a Vortex spare parts voucher (worth up to 1,000 euros) for the second and third place, as well as an engine and a ticket for the ROK Superfinal 2021 (including free registration, 1 voucher for slick tires for the race, 2 overnight stays in a partner hotel and lunch tickets) for category winners.
The track repaid all people present with a great and exciting show in a weekend full of emotions from every point of view, including the weather, with finals on dry track, as opposed to qualifying, raced on a wet track. Below the details, category by category, of the different stages of the ROK Cup EURO.
Aleksander Jelen is the fastest in the qualifying heats in the Mini class. The Polish driver obtained a fastest lap of 1:05.233, better than Jakub Kiwalski (second) of 0.433. Antoni Kosiba is third.
Excellent recovery for Bruno Gryc in the first heat, with the Pole climbing up from the seventh to the first place and also getting the best lap (59.786). Kosiba is second at +0.466 from the winner and Rafal Paprota ends third.
Gryc leads the group also in the second heat of the category, starting from the first position. However, this time, the best lap goes to Paprota who, second at +0.768 behind his opponent, centres a great 59.517 lap. Kosiba ends third at +4.277 from the winner.
Triple win for Gryc with the victory in the third heat, in a race that was anything but simple for the Pole: Paprota stays close to Gryc until the finish line, with a 0.105 gap between the first and second classified. Kosiba still ends third, while Martina Rumlenova (ninth) signs the best lap in 59.314.
New challenge between Gryc and Paprota in the 10-lap pre-final. Gryc starts from pole position and leads all the laps of the race, but Paprota follows him closely. Despite the best time (59.004) in the last lap, Paprota ends second at 0.224 behind the winner Gryc. Marek Piorkowski reaches the finish line in third position.
Once again, Gryc and Paprota are contending for the victory, the most important one. Gryc leads the race throughout all 11 laps and wins with 0.405 gap on his opponent, who is “satisfied” with his second place and the best lap (58,161). Adian Popeta makes his way over Kosiba (fourth) and Kiwalski (fifth) and gains the third position.
During the Qualifying of the Junior class, the first eight drivers are all hold in one second only. Adam Piszczako jumps to the first position with 1:02.091, but then he gets a penalty due to a technical irregularity and the pole moves to Marek Skrivan, second, followed by Giacomo Pedrini, third.
Piszczako does not take part in the first heat and Skrivan gets the pole position. The driver from the Czech Republic wins with 5.228 advantage over the second classified and signs the best lap too (54.654). Franciszek Halatnik fights hard against Davide Larini, Beszterda Iwo and Marcel Kasprzycki for the second place and precedes his opponents in that order.
In the second heat, Skrivan is once again in first position, with an advantage of 1.068 over Larini, second, and with a gap of 1.542 on Kasprzycki, third; the latter achieves the best time of 54.288. Good performance for Piszczako, who starts from the backlines and climbs up to the 12th place.
Incredible final sprint in the third heat. Larini and Kasprzycki are close to Skrivan, still on the lead, on the finish line. The photofinish gives victory to Skrivan for just 0.070 over Larini, second, and Kasprzycki is third with +0.277 from the winner. Halatnik, fourth, signs the best lap (53.632), while Piszczako ends 13th.
When the crunch time comes, Larini finally stands out. The Italian driver overtakes Skrivan on lap 5 (of 12) and crosses the finish line in first position. Skrivan defends himself from the Halatnik and Kasprzycki: he is second by only 0.056 ahead of Halatnik, third, and 0.197 over Kasprzycki, fourth. Pedrini, fifth, is the fastest on the track in the single lap (53.219).
The Junior final is as exciting as spectacular. Larini starts from pole position, but constantly exchanges position with Skrivan in the first 3 laps (out of 16 in total). In the fourth lap, Pedrini takes the lead, but the twist comes on the last lap: Larini and Pedrini touch each other and the latter crash against the tyre safety barriers. Larini gains the first place and the victory, ahead of Skrivan who ends second with a 0.393 gap from him. Kasprzycki reaches the lowest step of the podium, while the best lap (53.213) goes to Roman Bushuev, sixth behind Halatnik, fourth, and Max Habicht, fifth.
Marcin Zajac opens the ROK Cup EURO 2021 weekend with the best lap (1:08.018) in the qualifying session. Karol Czepiel ends second at +0.235 from pole position, while David Liwinski is third at +0.407 from him.
In the first heat, Czepiel wins with a good gap on Liwinski (+2.153), second, and Igor Lejko (+2.480), third. Zajac ends in ninth place, ahead of Piotrek Protasiewicz, tenth, who signs the best lap (54.297).
Czepiel and Liwinski fight hard in the second heat, with the first ahead of the second by 0.498. Leonardo Megna gains the lowest step of the podium and gets the best lap of the race (53.538). Zajac withdraws from the race.
The fight for the third and final heat is extended to three competitors. Megna crosses the finish line in first position, with 0.516 ahead of Liwinski, second, and with 0.677 over Czepiel, third. Zajac ends seventh, behind Federico Biagioli, the author of the best lap (52.906).
Czepiel starts from the pole position and leads the race until 13th lap (of 15), when he is overcome by five opponents. Liwinski takes the lead and precedes Federico Biagioli, second at +0.379, and Leonardo Megna, third at +0.881 and author of the best lap (52.515).
Intense struggle in the final race of the weekend. Liwinski leads the first half of the race, but on lap 13 (of 20) he loses the lead dropping to the fourth position, while Biagioli makes his way throughout the race. He however cannot keep the leadership and Megna, started from the ninth place, reaches the first position, and keeps it until the finish line. Czepiel ends second at +2.699 from the winner, while Liwinski gains the third place.
Wojciech Stadnik is the fastest of the whole session with a best lap of 1:05.720 and 0.229 ahead on the second è il più veloce della sessione con un tempo di 1:05.720 e 0.229 di vantaggio sul secondo classificato Daniel Zajac. Martin Hudec è terzo con 0.923 di gap dalla pole position.
Big challenge in the first heat between Stadnik and Zajac: the first precedes the second on the finish line with 0.316 advantage. Marco Chiari signs the best lap (54.868) and ends in third place.
Also in the second heat, Stadnik and Zajac are fighting again. Despite the best lap of 54.517, Zajac ends second behind the winner Stadnik with a gap of 0.414. Chiari gains the third place again.
Stadnik is completely taking the lead in the third heat. The Polish driver leads all the laps of the race, sets the best time (54.016) and wins with 5.213 ahead of Chiari, second. Zajac cannot reach the second place just for 0.157, but is third with a 0.093 gap over Hudec, fourth.
Stadnik repeats the perfect performance of the third heat also in pre-final: victory after all 15 laps after taking the lead and best lap (53.675). Hudec conquers the second place, ahead of Chiari by just 0.105.
Stadnik is keeping the leadership in the final too. The Pole stay at the top position for all the laps (20 in total) and wins, centring the best lap too (53.582). Hudec confirms his second place, this time ahead of Zajac.