Gabirele Minì in OK and Nikita Bedrin in OKJ have set the pole position for FIA Karting World Championship that this year takes place in Alahärma, Finland.
After an amazingly rainy day yesterday during non-official practice, the drivers today enjoyed a very sunny day that set up a good track conditions for afternoon’s qualifying.
But before qualifying, the official practice sessions served the teams to make the last adjustments before qualifying. Despite the three practice sessions most of the drivers in OK and OKJ did not participated in the first one due to the wet conditions.
OK: Gabriele Minì smashes into a last-minute pole position
He was one of the favorites and he played his role in the most important qualifying practice of the year, Gabriele Mini (Parolin/TM Racing/Le Cont) took the pole position after a very smooth lap in the last qualifying practice group.
The Italian beat only by 0.007 seconds the Finn star Juho Valtanen (Redspeed/Iame/Le Cont) who set his lap-time taking advantage of the slipstream of Sebastian Ogaard (Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont).
Mini and Valtanen set the best two lap-times of qualifying but It third place finished Joshua Dufek (KR/ Iame/Le Cont) who set the fastest lap in group one.
The Swiss driver was the one to beat for the whole qualifying thanks to the lap-time of 43.211. Kirill Smal (Tony Kart/Vortex/Le Cont) set the quickest in group 2 but he finished 0.03 seconds away from the Sauber Junior driver. Not even the Dutch Dilano Vant’Hoff (Exprit/Tm Racing/Le Cont) could beat him.
It was all in group 4 where the pole position was stolen for Dufek with an amazing lap by Minì and Valtanen with a time of 43.170 and 43.177, respectively. Nikolas Pirttilahti (KR/Iame/Le Cont) finished fourth overall while Smal completed the top 5.
OKJ: Nikita Bedrin flies in Alahärma
The qualifying in OKJ was divided in four groups due to the more than 100 drivers that contest in this race.
The American Ugo Ugochukwu (FA Kart/Vortex/Vega) started qualifying setting the fastest lap time, setting the time to beat as 45.061. The Ricky Flynn driver was followed by the Italian Cristian Bertuca (Birel Art/TM Racing/Vega).
But the track improved in every group, and this happened in group 2 with the Brazilian Rafael Camara (Exprit/TM Racing/Vega) beating Ugochukwu lap-time by 2 tents. Thomas Ten Brinke (FA Kart/Vortex/Vega) followed him in the standings.
Drama arrived in qualifying group 3 where many traffic jumps occurred, and this only did not allow to improve pole position lap-time. Despite that, the smartest drivers were Jamie Day (Exprit/Vortex/Vega) and Markus Kajak (Tony kart/Vortex/Vega) who were the only ones to set a quick-lap and avoid the traffic of the latest minutes.
But the real battle for pole position was in the last group. The Tony Kart official drivers, Josep Maria Martí (Tony kart/Vortex/Vega) and Nikita Bedrin (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega) were untouchable on track, with the Russian taking the pole position with a lap-time of 44.824 seconds, only 0.05 seconds quicker than Camara. Martí who led for most of the session finished third overall only 0.06 seconds behind his teammate.
The qualifying heats will start tomorrow and looks like they will be under wet conditions, which means that once again, the driver won’t be able to do any mistake at all.