FIA European Championship: Superb Day of Competition During the Qualifying Heats in Trinec
Contrary to the forecasts, Saturday was a day of good weather with clear skies and temperatures in excess of 20°C. Gabriel Gomez (ITA) made a perfect run in the Qualifying Heats of the FIA Karting European Championship – OK, while Oleksandr Bondarev (UKR) did the same in the FIA Karting European Championship – Junior. The FIA Karting Academy Trophy drivers are due to compete in their last two heats on Sunday morning, but the provisional standings so far give the lead to Marius Barry-Berg (NOR). The Super Heats are on the OK and OK-Junior programme on Sunday morning.
The good weather gave rise to some very interesting races on slick tyres. The drivers who quickly understood the subtleties of the Steel Ring of Trinec were able to obtain rewarding results. The aim is to avoid rushing the karts through the numerous turns of the Czech circuit in order to keep the maximum speed without slipping. Overall, the results of the Qualifying Practices were not overturned during the Qualifying Heats.
Bondarev dominates the OK-Junior heats
Ukrainian Oleksandr Bondarev proved unbeatable during the Qualifying Heats of the FIA Karting European Championship – Junior in Trinec. Third in Qualifying, he climbed to the top of the heats thanks to his five consecutive wins. Poleman Lewis Wherrell (GBR) also had an excellent pace as he scored three wins and two second places. Very close, Dries van Langendonck was third ahead of Thibaut Ramaekers (BEL), then Zac Dummond (GBR) fifth. While Christian Costoya (ESP) was sixth ahead of Jack Iliffe (USA), Iacopo Martinese (ITA) made up 10 places by reaching eighth position in front of Tiziano Monza (SGP) and Maria Gerrmano Nieto (PRT) who was always very convincing. Fifth in Qualifying, Tobias Szecsenyi (CZE) was less effective in the racing and ended up 21st. Some drivers usually present at the top of the rankings struggled to find their usual comfort on the Trinec track.
Ranking of the OK-Junior Qualifying Heats
1- Oleksandr Bondarev (UKR) – 250 points
2- Lewis Wherrell (GBR) – 238 points
3- Dries van Langendonck (BEL) – 235 points
4- Thibaut Ramaekers (BEL) – 232 points
5- Zac Drummond (GBR) – 222 points
Gomez maintains his lead in OK
After taking pole position in Qualifying, the Italian-licensed Brazilian Gabriel Gomez finished the Qualifying Heats of the FIA Karting European Championship – OK with a perfect score of five wins. Rene Lammers (NLD) started with a second place and then went on to score four wins in a row to keep second place in the standings. Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA) had a strong run in the top three to move back up to third place ahead of David Walther (DNK) and Alex Powell (JAM) who had the same number of points. Nathaniel Tye (GBR) made his mark by moving up six places to sixth ahead of Mark Dubnitski (EST), Ean Eyckmans (BEL) and Fionn Mc Laughlin (IRL). 15th in Qualifying, Kean Nakamura-Berta (GBR) was back in the top 10. Joe Turney (Valencia), who won in Valencia, moved up 16 places to 20th, while Jakub Kamenik (CZE) dropped from 10th to 21st.
Ranking of the OK Qualifying Heats
1- Gabriel Gomez (ITA) – 250 points
2- Rene Lammers (NLD) – 244 points
3- Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA) – 220 points
4- David Walther (DNK) – 214 points
5- Alex Powell (JAM) – 214 points
Barry-Berg still leading the Academy on Saturday night
Norwegian Marius Barry-Berg, who took pole position in Qualifying, confirmed his speed in both Qualifying Heats with two wins and two fastest laps. New Zealander Arthur Broughan, winner of his first heat, had a mishap in his second heat when he failed to start in time from the pre-grid. Despite being given an extra formation lap to wait for him, he was unable to reach his front row position. He started last, made up 15 places to cross the line seventh with the fastest lap, but was classified 12th because of a badly positioned front fairing. Broughan was still in the top 10 in the intermediate classification. From seventh place in Qualifying, Poland’s Wojciech Woda climbed to second place on Saturday night with a win and a fourth place. Sebastian Garzon (COL) and Max Walton (AUS) were tied ahead of Santino Panetta (ARG). Klara Kowalczyk (POL) and Lisa Billard (FRA) progressed brilliantly in the top 10.
Provisional programme of the Trinec event
Sunday 21st May
08:30 – 09:40: Warm-up
09:45 – 10:20: Academy Qualifying Heats
10:25 – 12.00: OK and OK-Junior Super Heats
13:15 – 15:50: Finals
The Trinec event can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.