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FIA Karting European Championship rd 1, Zuera: KZ2 Final – Magic debut by Alex Powell
Mattia Livraghi
16 April 2023

[translated with Google]

Tyres: LeCont

  • When a driver achieves something special, it must be emphasized. After finishing a difficult Super Heat A in fifth place, Alex Powell (Prema Racing – KR – IAME) decides to change his mentality in view of the final. Starting from the fifth spot on the grid, the Mercedes pupil is immediately shrewd in overtaking Kean Nakamura Berta (Prema Racing – KR – IAME), who experiences a difficult sprint right in front of his teammate, and maintains a disarming coolness despite finding himself sixth . Confident of his own potential as well as that of his material and aware that he cannot afford mistakes, the reigning OK European vice-champion puts on an Oscar-winning performance and, thanks to a series of overtaking as spectacular as they are surgical, takes the reins of the race on lap 12.

  • Thus, Friday's poleman flies towards his first victory in KZ2 and crosses the finish line with an advantage of almost four seconds over his closest pursuer to put the icing on the cake to an extraordinary debut in the gearbox category in a FIA Karting competition. Powell appears more determined than ever and thanks all the team for the great work done to prepare for this event following an arduous start to the season, with a special mention to Danilo Albanese, his coach over the winter as well as the one who taught him how to drive a shifter kart. Evidently he did it well. Chapeau.

  • Complete a brace of exceptional rookies Freddie Slater (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart). After closing a complicated Super Heat A in seventh place, the 2020 OKJ world champion starts strongly from the second box on the grid and immediately takes the lead of the race. The young Englishman shows his mastery in responding to the overtaking by Daniel Vasile (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart) to take back the first position, but then he has to give in to Powell's fury. Slater proves to be even more stubborn in his impeccable defense in the closing laps, with which he maximizes the result and, at the end of a top-level weekend, maintains his leadership in the provisional championship standings, just ahead of his Jamaican rival.

  • Jorge Pescador (Club Kalikart – KalìKart – TM Kart) also had a remarkable weekend, taking the third step of the podium. At the first appearance with his new colors in a FIA Karting branded competition, the driver and team manager of the Kalì Kart racing team gains five positions compared to the start and makes the difference above all in the final tussle. The Spaniard takes advantage of his experience to attack an aggressive Kean Nakamura Berta at the right moment, "blocked" by Slater's astute defense, and then even tries to undermine the young Englishman for the place of honour. Although he can't find a gap, Pescador expresses his satisfaction with the third place obtained.

  • Instead, Kean Nakamura Berta has to settle for a bitter fourth place. Although the initial sprint from third on the grid looks fast, the Super Heat A winner struggles in the second phase of the start and finds himself eighth by the end of the first lap. The reigning OK European champion and 2021 OKJ world champion recovers thanks to an excellent pace and, with a series of textbook maneuvers, reaches third place during the 13th lap. It was then Slater who proved to be the most difficult obstacle for the Alpine Academy rider, who lost the position to Pescador just as he was trying to overtake his English adversary. Despite the podium fading, Nakamura concludes a weekend as the absolute protagonist in his debut in KZ2 in a FIA Karting competition.

  • Matteo Spirgel (CPB Sport – Sodi – TM Kart) also confirms himself as a main actor, fifth and just ahead of Daniel Vasile (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart). After seeing himself slipped by Slater at the start, the Super Heat B dominator regained the lead during the second lap, but was overtaken again by his teammate on the sixth lap. The Romanian driver seems to suffer from a less incisive second part of the race, however he still climbs into third place in the provisional standings of the championship.

  • Even Tomass Stolcermanis (Energy Corse – Energy – TM Kart) and Daniel Macia (DPK Racing – KR – IAME), respectively seventh and eighth, lose some ground compared to the start. Both are able to contend for the podium in the initial phase of the race and on the first lap the rookie of the Energy Corse team signs another breathtaking overtaking on the outside, right against Macia.

  • The top ten closes thanks to convincing performances by Genis Civico Espona (Modena Kart – Parolin – TM Kart), ninth after staging another surprising comeback in Super Heat B to grab second place, and Jean Nomblot (CPB Sport – Sodi – TM Kart), tenth and able to reiterate his presence at the top of the standings.

  • Daniel Stell (Dörr Motorsport – KR – IAME), 11th, Brandon Nilsson (CRG – CRG – TM Kart), 12th thanks to a comeback of 13 positions, Robert Kindervater (Birel ART Racing KSW – Birel ART – TM Kart), 13th, Samuele Leopardi (CM Racing – CRG – Modena Engines), 14th, and Thomas Imbourg (CPB Sport – Sodi – TM Kart), who completes the top 15.

  • On the other hand, he loses a placement in the top 15 following a five-second penalty due to the nose being in an incorrect position by Alessio Piccini (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart), 21st. It is a final characterized by some hitches also for other protagonists of the weekend such as Maxim Rehm (Leclerc by Lennox Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart), 22nd, Maximilian Paul (DR – DR – Modena Engines), 31st, Adrian Malheiro (CRG – CRG – TM Kart), 32nd and author of the fastest lap, and Cristian Bertuca (Birel ART Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart), who retired three laps from the checkered flag while occupying tenth place.

  • The final of the reigning OK world champion Matheus Morgatto (Leclerc by Lennox Racing – Birel ART – TM Kart) deserves a mention, as he concludes his first international race in KZ2 in 19th place.


Championship Standings

©Photo: Sportinphoto

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