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FIA Karting European Championship rd 1, Valencia: qualifying – Pole position for Gomez (OK) and Van Langendonck (OKJ)
Luca Basso
22 March 2024

[Translated with Google]

Two weeks after the first round of the Champions of the Future, the drivers of the OK and OKJ categories return to the track at the Kartodromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero in Valencia (Spain) for Round 1 of the FIA Karting European Championship. The weekend kicks off with a notable turnout of drivers in both main classes: 99 in OKJ and 85 in OK.

The usual qualifications took place on Friday, before continuing with the first qualifying heats, which will continue throughout Saturday.

OK: the first pole position goes to Gabriel Gomez

Tires: Maxxis

  • Last year, right here in Valencia, he obtained pole position in qualifying and then finished fourth in the final: this time, Gabriel Gomez (CRG Racing Team – CRG – IAME) is more determined than ever to win and, in fact, signs the best overall time of 53.217 seconds in timed trials.
  • Zac Drummond (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM Kart), the fastest in group 1, did not beat Gomez by a matter of four tenths of a second, but nevertheless finished second. Good performance by Lewis Wherrell (Forza Racing – Exprit – TM Kart), leading group 2 and taking third place in the combined ranking.
  • Anatoly Khavalkin (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM Kart), fifth, is positioned between two "outsiders" of the category, namely Markas Silkunas (CRG Racing Team – CRG – IAME), fourth, and Vivek Kanthan (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM Kart ), fifth.
  • On the podium of the penultimate round of the WSK Super Master Series in Franciacorta, Davide Bottaro (CRG Racing Team – CRG – IAME) achieved a usual seventh place. Sebastiano Pavan (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex) follows in eighth position.
  • After returning to the track at COTF two weeks ago after last year's accident at the FIA Karting World Championship in Franciacorta, Joseph Turney (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME) is ninth in the standings. Roland Kuklane (Ward Racing – Tony Kart – TM Kart) is tenth, while the 2022 world champion Matheus Morgatto (CL Racing Team – Birel Art – TM Kart) is 11th.
  • Ean Eyckmans (Birel Art Racing – Birel Art – TM Kart), reigning champion of the WSK Super Master Series, is 12th, ahead of Fionn McLaughlin (VDK Racing – KR – IAME), 13th, and Louis Iglesias (CRG Racing Team – CRG – IAME), 14th.
  • Continuing with the ranking we also find David Walther (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex), 19th, Taym Saleh (Sauber Academy – KR – IAME), 21st, Oleksandr Bondarev (Prema Racing – KR – IAME), 26th , Thibaut Ramaekers (VDK Racing – KR – IAME), 29th, and Dmitry Matveev (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME), 30th.
  • Further behind were David Cosma Cristofor (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME), 34th, Stepan Antonov (Energy Corse – Energy Corse – TM Kart), 35th, and Salim Hanna (Prema Racing – KR – IAME), 38th.


OKJ: no one is faster than Dries Van Langendonck

Tires: Maxxis

  • Last year he won the world title, however he was unable to put his stamp on the European championship: Dries Van Langendonck (Forza Racing – Exprit – TM Kart) is ready to fill this "gap" on the board and does so with pole position in qualifying, thanks to a time of 54.909 seconds.
  • The host Christian Costoya (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM Kart) recorded a time of 55.003 in group 3, but was unable to beat Van Langendonck. The Spaniard is second in the combined classification, with Sebastian Lehtimaki (Tony Kart Racing Team – Tony Kart – Vortex) behind him, third, and Jack Iliffe (Forza Racing – Exprit – TM Kart), fourth.
  • First appearance in the FIA Karting European Championship to remember for Kenzo Craigie (Prema Racing – KR – IAME), fifth. Niklas Schaufler (DPK Racing – KR – IAME), reigning champion of the WSK Super Master Series, is sixth. Nice move by Alex Molota (Hagemann Racing – Gillard – TM Kart), seventh.
  • Filippo Sala (Ricky Flynn Motorsport – LN – TM Kart) and Alfie Slater (Ricky Flynn Motorsport – LN – TM Kart) occupy the eighth and ninth position respectively, while Vladimir Ivannikov (Energy Corse – Energy Corse – TM Kart) completes the top ten ranking.
  • Subpar qualifying for Iacopo Martinese (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME), 20th. Further back we find Dean Hoogendoorn (AKM Motorsport – KR – IAME) and Rocco Coronel (VictoryLane – KR – IAME), 35th. Second race in OKJ for Bogdan Cosma Cristofor (KR Motorsport – KR – IAME), 31st, and for William Calleja (Parolin Motorsport – Parolin – TM Kart), 55th.


©Photo: Sportinphoto

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