Champions du Futur 2022 – Exciting finale in Franciacorta
Faultlessly organised by promoter RGMMC and the Franciacorta circuit team, the fourth and final round of the 2022 Champions of the Future Euro Series provided a great show and a thrilling finale. Luigi Coluccio in OK and Nathan Tye in OK-Junior arrived with the leader’s number near Brescia in northern Italy and were badly beaten, to the point of retiring in the Final. In the Junior class, this did not change the course of history. The British driver Tye and the Sodikart team were able to celebrate their title, while Kirill Dzitiev won the Final race against Rene Lammers and Martin Molnar. In OK, on the other hand, the British Joe Turney scored enough points to dethrone Coluccio, his team-mate from the Tony Kart Racing Team. Tomass Stolcermanis finished this Euro Series with a victory ahead of Maksim Orlov and Alex Powell.
Two weeks before the final round of the FIA European Karting Championship in OK and OK-Junior, the Franciacorta circuit showed once again that it is capable of organising the biggest international meetings and above all of guaranteeing action and a very high level of excitement. With around 140 drivers present (79 in OK-Junior and 60 in OK), the meeting saw the hierarchy evolve from day to day, ending with two incredibly intense Finals. The best drivers of the Heats and Super Heats did not necessarily manage to get on the podium. Proof that a lot was going on in Franciacorta, where overtaking was constant in the high temperatures…
OK-Junior: Dzitiev unleashed, Tye crowned
Leader of the Euro Series since the second round in Spain, Nathan Tye (Sodikart) proved on Friday that he had every intention of finishing in style by taking pole position. German driver Taym Saleh (KR Motorsport) temporarily took the lead after the Qualifying Heats, but the Super Heats allowed Anatholy Khavalkin (Parolin Motorsport) to take the top place on the starting grid of the Final ahead of Tye, Maciej Gladysz (RFM) and Saleh. From the very first laps onwards, an incredible battle involved these four drivers, as well as Kirill Dzitiev (Ward Racing), who came back brilliantly from 10th position.
It was on the 17th of the 21 laps that everything accelerated. Khavalkin had to put his wheels in the dirt and lost several places in his head-to-head battle with Dzitiev. A few corners later, Saleh tried his luck on Gladysz. But the two karts touched each other, leading to their retirement. Placed just behind, Tye unfortunately could not avoid them and finished his race in the protection barriers. The Dutchman Rene Lammers (Parolin Motorsport), who had been making steady progress from 11th place, took his chance to take 2nd place, pushing the rapid Hungarian Martin Molnar (Energy Corse) to 3rd place.
Khavalkin’s 4th place allowed him to overtake Dmitry Matveev (Koski Motorsport) for the runner-up spot, while Nathan Tye can rest easy: he is the new winner of the Champions of the Future Euro Series in OK-Junior, succeeding two other great British champions, Arvid Lindblad and Freddie Slater.
During this exciting meeting, many other drivers had the opportunity to shine, such as Thomas Strauven (RFM), Elliot Kaczynski (Ward Racing), Alfie Slater (RFM) and Anders Cardenas (Energy Corse) during the first part of the meeting. And in the Final, there were several rapid advances in the middle of the field, such as Jimmy Helias (5th, +9), Adam Hideg (7th, +20 with the fastest lap in the race), Guillaume Bouzar (10th, +24) and Maxens Verbrugge (11th, +18).
Champions of the Future Euro Series (final): 1 Tye 84 pts, 2 Khavalkin 87 pts, 3 Matveev 75 pts, 4 Dzitiev 70 pts, 5 Lammers 61 pts, etc
OK: Stolcermanis on top, Turney champion
There were several drivers who could have won the 2022 Euro Series, while several other competitors did not miss out on finishing in style. It all started with Kean Nakamura-Berta (KR Motorsport) taking pole position ahead of Nico Cuman (Forza Motorsport). The Tony Kart Racing Team moved up a gear in the Qualifying Heats, putting Joe Turney in the lead and Tuukka Taponen in 3rd ahead of team-mate Luigi Coluccio. Freddie Slater (RFM) managed to squeeze in 2nd.
Tomass Stolcermanis (Energy Corse) and Nakamura-Berta showed that they should not be discounted after winning the Super Heats. The Final started with bad news for the French delegation, as Evan Giltaire (VDK Racing) and Enzo Deligny (Parolin Motorsport) crashed at the back of the pack shortly after the start. Taponen skilfully manoeuvred his way into the lead, while a thrilling duel between Turney and Coluccio saw the Frenchman take the lead. Turney was able to hold off an attack from his rival and force Coluccio into a gap. The Italian got stuck in the pack and lost his front fairing in a contact along with his chances of fighting for the title.
Starting 6th, Stolcermanis embarked on a fantastic drive, which saw him pass his rivals one by one, as well as setting the fastest lap in the race. Already winner of the Winter Series in February, the young Latvian took another big international victory in his first season in OK. Taponen was also overtaken by Alex Powell (KR Motorsport), then ended up in 6th place and without a podium finish due to a five second penalty (front fairing out of position). Powell suffered the same fate, but saved 3rd place in the Final behind Maksim Orlov (Parolin Motorsport), who drove a brilliant Final from his 8th position at the start.
There were many nationalities in the top ten, with 4th place for the Swede Oscar Pedersen (Ward Racing), 5th for the Brazilian Gabriel Gomez (CRG Racing Team), 9th for Japan’s Rintaro Sato (KR Motorsport), 10th for China’s Yuanpu Cui (KR Motorsport), 11th for the Belgian Douwe Dedecker (KR Motorsport), who moved up 25 places, and 12th for the Briton Nakamura-Berta. Slater, Cuman, Nacho Tuñon (DPK Racing), Arthur Rogeon (VDK Racing) and Caspian Hagman (Ward Racing) were among the unlucky ones in the Final.
Joe Turney had to be satisfied with 8th place in the Final, but he could celebrate after the finish line, as the Briton won the Champions of the Future Euro Series title, following his predecessors Nikita Bedrin (2020) and Rafael Camara (2021). Coluccio finished 2nd ahead of Stolcermanis, who took 3rd place from Brazilian Matheus Morgatto (DPK Racing) at the last minute.
Champions of the Future Euro Series (final): 1 Turney 92 pts, 2 Coluccio 82 pts, 3 Stolcermanis 73 pts, 4 Morgatto 73 pts, 5 Powell 67 pts, etc.