Pedro Hiltbrand in OK and Maceo Capietto in OKJ were the quickest drivers during the qualifying practice in the first round of FIA Karting European championship at Angerville.
The first official day of the FIA Karting European championship started with no track action for the first free practice session due to drivers tyre management. Also, because the drivers already had two days of official testing during Wednesday and Thursday together with the preparation race two weeks ago for the French championship.
So, it was in the second practice session that the action started. In OKJ, Jamie Day (Exprit/Vortex/Vega) started setting the pace with a lap time of 50.298 seconds, while in OK it was Taylor Barnard (KR/Iame/LeCont) who was the quickest with a lap-time of 48.712 seconds.
After lunch break, the third official practice session set the scenario that we were about to see in qualifying practice. In OK, 2017 Junior World Champion Dexter Patterson (KR/Iame/LeCont) was the quickest with a lap-time of 48.747 seconds, while in OKJ it was the son of Dakar driver Bernhard Ten Brinke, Thomas Ten Brinke (FA Kart/Vortex/Vega) who set the fastest lap with a time of 50.421 seconds.
But at 15:30 the real action finally started with the qualifying practice. In both categories the qualifying results were selected by the best lap of every driver in an individual way, and not by the quickest of every group as it happens in other series such as WSK.
OKJ: Local Maceo Capietto takes pole position
In OKJ, a surprising Maceo Capietto (KR/Iame/Vega) started setting the provisional pole position with a lap-time of 50.778 seconds, beating by only 0.039 seconds the official Tony Kart Racing Team driver, Alexander Dunne (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega). It was a very intense group as the top5 were only separated by 0.066 seconds.
Then James Wharton (FA Kart/Vortex/Vega) had a good chance to beat Capietto but the Australian was only 0.007 seconds slower. Finally, in the third group the pace was not the best from any of the drivers with Thomas Ten Brinke finishing as the quickest but finishing so far away from Capietto’s lap-time by 0.097 seconds which putted him on 8th place.
Frenchman Maceo Capietto therefore is the pole sitter in OKJ for the first round at Angerville, Wharton was second while Alex Dunne finished third overall. Finn driver Tuukka Taponen (Redspeed/Iame/Vega) finished fourth while Russian Artem Severiukhin (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega) completes the top5.
OK: Masterclass lap for Pedro Hiltbrand to take the pole position
In OK a surprising story happened. Despite the favorite for pole position was Dexter Patterson – who made his job in the second qualifying practice, taking the quickest lap-time with a lap time of 48.807 seconds, it was Pedro Hiltbrand (CRG/Iame/LeCont) who thanks to an amazing lap of 48.795 seconds in the first group managed to take the pole position.
The Spanish driver had no rival in the always competitive OK category. Hiltbrand was only 0.012 seconds quicker than Patterson, while third overall was Juho Valtanen (Redspeed/Iame/LeCont) who was 0.014 seconds off lap from the CRG driver.
Taylor Barnard (KR/Iame/LeCont) and Gabriele Mini (Parolin/TM Racing/LeCont) completed the top5.
Tomorrow it will be the day to comeback for some drivers or to keep the position they got with the qualifying heats.