When many drivers arrived at the Franciacorta Karting Track to take part in the opening round of the 2023 WSK Euro Series, they were already looking ahead to the World Championship in the OK and OK-Junior categories, which will be contested on the same Italian circuit in October. The good news is that the meeting proved extremely positive for KR chassis owners, with a great deal of information gathered during practice and racing. The performance was already there, with three drivers in the top five in OK, including Kirill Kutskov in 2nd place, and Taym Saleh and Niklas Schaufler on the podium in OK-Junior.
KR-IAME package still very competitive in OK
No fewer than six KR-IAME-equipped drivers were positioned on the first five rows of the starting grid for the Final. However, starting from the outside is never ideal and several drivers lost places in the first few corners. This was particularly the case for Kean Nakamura-Berta, who took pole position on Friday, won four heats and finished P2 in the standings after the Super Heats. Enzo Tarnvanichkul also dropped down the order, but fought hard to return to P4 as the Final race wore on, ahead of his teammate Alex Powell, 1st in Super Heat B with the fastest lap of the race. Prema Racing did not lack competitiveness in the Brescia region!
In the end, it was Kirill Kutskov, who had already won Super Heat A, who came out on top, finishing 2nd with two consecutive fastest laps in the Super Heat and the Final. His performance is also full of promise for his DPK Racing team, who, as you will recall, won the OK World Championship title in 2022. Fionn McLaughlin (VDK Racing), recent winner of the IAME Euro Series Final in Genk, confirmed his great form by completing the top-10. Well done to Andrea Dupé for his excellent Qualifying session, to Arthur Poulain (AKM Motorsport) for his brilliant performance in the heats and Super Heat, to Nacho Tunon, who climbed from 21st to 12th place in the Final, and to Dmitry Matveev (P16) for his 10-place improvement.
Taym Saleh and Niklas Schaufler on the podium in OK-Junior
As in OK, the KR-IAMEs were numerous at the top of the ranking in the Juniors. In the Final, a collision unfortunately eliminated three of them in a single corner: Arjen Kraling, Oleksandr Bondarev and Thibaut Ramaekers (VDK Racing, winner of Super Heat B with the fastest lap), even though they were running in P3, P4 and P6! Leader at the end of the heats, Taym Saleh (Sauber Academy) remained solid until the end and was P2 ahead of Niklas Schaufler (DPK Racing), who brilliantly climbed 14 places. Saleh now leads the provisional WSK Euro Series standings.
Forced to retire in the Super Heat, Iacopo Martinese returned to P9 (+15) ahead of Salim Hanna, whom the Prema Racing team congratulates on his performance on his debut behind the wheel of a KR-IAME. Disappointed by his 44th fastest time, the Colombian then showed great speed to climb back into the top 10, setting the fastest time of the Final! Lewis Francis and Luna Fluxa-Cross showed their speed in Qualifying, David Cosma Cristofor confirmed his progress, while Noah Monteiro showed off his skills in the Super Heat.
The Franciacorta event was also marked by victory for the KR chassis in both the Mini and Mini U10 categories.
A comment from Dino Chiesa, head of KR Global Motorsport Company
"Our hard work has paid off. I'm pleased with the level of competitiveness we achieved at Franciacorta, both with the MG tyres of the OK and with the Vega tyres of the OK-Junior. Of course, we are aware that the conditions may be different, both in the Final of the Champions of the Future Euro Series in a few days' time, and in the FIA Karting World Championship. In many respects, this first round of the WSK Euro Series has been interesting and I congratulate all our drivers on their performances, which have contributed to the remarkable overall result achieved by the KR chassis."
Press Release © Kart Republic