FIA Karting 2023: Tough Battles in the Qualifying Heats at Franciacorta
The 42 Qualifying Heats contested since Friday afternoon have resulted in a drastic selection among the participants in the Mondokart.com FIA Karting World Championship – OK and Junior at Franciacorta. On Saturday evening, Christian Costoya (ESP) maintained his lead in the OK-Junior category, while Kean Nakamura-Berta (JPN) took the lead in OK.
The pressure of the high stakes combined with the selectivity of the Italian track set the scene for the hierarchy of the Finals to come on Sunday afternoon, after the verdict of the Super Heats on Sunday morning. Each driver had to take the start of six Qualifying Heats before counting the points at the end of the day on Saturday for the long-awaited intermediate classification. Despite a few collisions and retirements, the gaps remained small and the final result far from certain.
The weather has remained good in Franciacorta since the start of the competition. At this time of year, the sun is most welcome while there’s no need to worry about overheating. The weather forecast is also favourable for Sunday.
OK-Junior: Costoya keeps pace
Poleman Christian Costoya (ESP) put in a solid performance during the heats of the Mondokart.com FIA Karting World Championship – Junior. To maintain his lead, he scored four wins from six starts. This puts him a few points ahead of Taym Saleh (DEU). Filippo Sala (ITA) made an appreciable comeback in 3rd place after moving up nine places ahead of Dries van Langendonck (BEL) who moved up seven places. David Cosma Cristofor (ROU) climbed eight places to move into the top five, while Scott Kin Linblom (SWE) climbed 12 places to 6th. The face of the top 10 had changed considerably since Qualifying. Thibaut Ramaekers (BEL) was forced to retire during the first heat and was 13th, just ahead of Lewis Wherrell (GBR) who moved up seven places. Oleksandr Bondarev (UKR) was able to make up 39 places, but his 28th position still required some effort on his part.
OK: Nakamura-Berta now ahead of Lammers
With four wins to his name, Kean Nakamura-Berta (JPN) has moved back into an advantageous position at the front of the heats of the Mondokart.com FIA Karting World Championship – OK. Poleman Rene’ Lammers (NLD) remains close behind in 2nd position and the rest of the battle promises to be exciting. Fionn Mac Laughlin (IRL) took three wins to move into the top three ahead of Gabriel Gomez (BRA), always brilliant, but delayed by a race incident in the C-E heat. In 5th place, Ean Eyckmans (BEL) had made up 15 places, while Anatoly Khavalkin regained 27 places in 6th place. Behind Arthur Poulain (FRA), poleman Mark Dubnitski (EST) had not lost much ground and was ahead of Joe Turney (GBR) and Alex Powell (JAM).
“Road to the First OK-N World Cup” Heats
The drivers in the support race organised by Italian ASN ACI Sport had two Qualifying Heats to contest in each category. In OK-NJ, Dean Hoogendoorn (NLD) and Jesse Phillips (GBR) finished level on points ahead of Felipe Reijs (NLD) and Bruno Gryc (POL), who each moved up six places. Andrea Marsella (ITA) was 5th. In OK-N, Antonio Apicella (ITA) took the lead over poleman Francesco Marenghi (ITA) thanks to his two wins. Federico Rossi (ITA) came 3rd ahead of Nicholas Tomasella (ITA) and Alex Machado (ITA).
Provisional programme for the Franciacorta race
Sunday 8th October
09.00 – 10.05: Warm-up
10.50 – 12.25: Super Heats
15.15 – 16.30: Finals
The Franciacorta event can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the www.fiakarting.com website.