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FIA Karting European Championship OK and OKJ rd 1, Valencia: qualifying – Pole position for Gabriel Gomez (OK) and Taym Saleh (OKJ)
Luca Basso
24 March 2023

[Translated with Google]

More than six months after last season's OK-OKJ World Championship, the protagonists of the two direct-drive categories take to the track in Valencia for the first of the four rounds of the FIA Karting European Championship. 86 drivers will appear at the starting line of the European championship in the premier class of single-speed karting, while 83 young standard-bearers are ready to challenge each other in OKJ.

The usual qualifying sessions took place on Friday, followed by the first qualifying heats, which will conclude on Saturday afternoon.

OK: Spain brings good luck to Gomez

Tyres: MG Tires

  • It had been one of the great surprises of the 2021 FIA Karting World Championship, when it was raced on the Spanish circuit of Campillos and where he even obtained pole position in qualifying. Two years later, still in Spain but on the Valencia track, Gabriel Gomez (CRG Racing Team – CRG – IAME) was back in front of everyone again in the Friday timed qualifying, first overall with a time of 54.023 seconds.

  • At his last attempt, Enzo Tarnvanichkul (Prema Racing – KR – IAME) snatched the first position in group 3 from Jan Przyrowski (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex) and with a time of 54.062 seconds he obtained the place of honor in the combined ranking.

  • It is his first full year in OK, however Luviwe Sambudla (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME) amazes everyone with the best time in group 1, as well as the consequent third position in the standings. Second two weeks ago at the Champions of the Future Euro Series, Alex Powell (Prema Racing – KR – IAME) takes home a solid fourth place, while Przyrowski enters fifth. Kean Nakamura Berta (Prema Racing – KR – IAME) instead occupies the sixth position.

  • Also present on the podium of the “COTF”, Arthur Poulain (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex) proves to be competitive with the seventh position. René Lammers (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM), eighth, is the first in the standings of the Parolin Motorsport standard bearers. Ninth position for David Walther (Koski Motorsport – Tony Kart – Vortex).

  • Strengthened by the victory obtained two weeks ago, Joseph Turney (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME) starts “quietly” from the tenth position in qualifying. Nicolò Cuman (Forza Racing – Exprit – TM) follows the British in 11th position, then we find Francisco Macedo (CRG Racing Team – CRG – IAME), 12th, Ean Eyckmans (Ward Racing – Tony Kart – Vortex), 13th, Nathan Tye (Sodikart – Sodikart – TM), 14th, and Tomass Stolcermanis (Energy Corse – Energy Corse – TM).

  • Yuanpu Cui (Prema Racing – KR – IAME) ranks 16th, ahead of Kirill Kutskov (DPK Racing – KR – IAME), 17th, and Martin Molnar (Energy Corse – Energy Corse – TM), 18th. Further behind Luigi Coluccio (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex), 20th, James Egozi (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex), 21st, while the OKJ European champion Anatoly Khavalkin (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM ) is 24°.

  • The weekend of the reigning world champion Matheus Morgatto (Birel Art Racing – Birel Art – TM) starts uphill: the Brazilian finishes qualifying in 55th position.


OKJ: coup by Taym Saleh

Tyres: Vega

  • The weekend of Taym Saleh (Sauber Academy – KR – IAME) gets off to a great start, author of the pole position in the Junior category with a time of 55.343 seconds recorded in group 3. For the German it is the first "pole" of his career obtained in a FIA Karting sanctioned race.

  • Once again Elliot Kaczynski (Ward Racing – Tony Kart – Vortex) is among the best performers in qualifying, first in group 2 (55.385); however, the Swede has to "settle" for second place in the combined standings. Niklas Schaufler (DPK Racing – KR – IAME) was also very fast, ahead of everyone in group 1 and third overall.

  • Zac Drummond (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM) has what it takes to aim for the podium and the fourth position in timed qualifying proves it. Thibaut Ramaekers (VDK Racing – KR – IAME), winner of the first round of the Champions of the Future Euro Series right here in Valencia, ranks fifth.

  • Oleksandr Bondarev (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME) and Iacopo Martinese (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME) are respectively sixth and seventh. Eighth position for Salim Hanna (Ricky Flynn Motorsport – LN – Vortex), while Christian Costoya (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM), ninth, and Davide Bottaro (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex), tenth, complete the Top 10 .

  • The classification continues with: Jack Iliffe (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM), 11th; Matias Orjuela (Leclerc by Lennox Racing – Birel Art – TM), 12th; Daniel Dallakyan (Pantano Team – Pantano – IAME), 13th, Dries Van Langendonck (Energy Corse – Energy Corse – TM), 14th. On the podium of the "COTF" two weeks ago, Lewis Wherrell (Forza Racing – Exprit – TM) opens his weekend from 15th position, ahead of Maria Germano Neto (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex), 16th.

  • At the bottom of the classification we find Stepan Antonov (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME), disqualified.


©Photo: Sportinphoto

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