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Five KR chassis in the top six in OK-Junior, Prema Racing double in OK
24 July 2023

True to its policy of enabling as many drivers and teams as possible to compete, whatever the category, the level of the event or the country, the KR Global Motorsport Company drew an extremely positive balance from the fourth round of the Champions of the Future Euro Series held in Cremona, Italy. In addition to the four podium finishes achieved by drivers using KR chassis, including a victory for Thai driver Enzo Tarnvanichkul in OK, many other competitors performed extremely well in very hot conditions that proved very trying for everyone.

After the KZ title, a winning return in OK
The European Championship for the OK and OK-Junior categories will come to an end on July 28-30 in Cremona, and this latest round of the Champions of the Future Euro Series proved important in confirming and validating the potential of the KR chassis. Renowned for its effectiveness in hot conditions and when grip is at a premium, the Italian brand's equipment has accompanied many drivers to the top of the rankings. With both the Vega 'option' tyres for OK-Junior and the MG 'prime' tyres for OK, the KR chassis were able to fight for victory in both categories, with the ever-valuable partnership of IAME and its engine manufacturers. The titles will be awarded at the end of September in Franciacorta. While Powell and Nakamura-Berta will be the favourites in OK, anything is possible in OK-Junior, given the tight margins between the front-runners.

OK-Junior: Martinese and Bondarev on the podium
Right from the start, Ukrainian Oleksandr Bondarev (KR Motorsport) won all five of his heats. Austrian Niklas Schaufler (DPK Racing), who took pole position on Thursday, won three times, Thibaut Ramaekers (VDK Racing) twice and Taym Saleh (Sauber Academy) once. Although Ramaekers won his Super Heat, it was Bondarev who took the lead in the first corner of the Final and proved capable of holding on to the lead for several laps. In the end, the expected victory eluded the KR brand, but it did not fail to produce a fantastic group finish with five drivers in the top six!

In fine form at the moment, Italy's Iacopo Martinese (Cetilar Racing) took 2nd ahead of Bondarev, Ramaekers, Stepan Antonov, who climbed from 10th, and Saleh. Respectively 4th, 12th and 16th in Qualifying out of 97 entries, Germany's Arjen Kräling, Portugal's Noah Monteiro and Australia's Lewis Francis proved their speed. They will now be hoping to confirm this as soon as possible. Congratulations to Romanian David Cosma Cristofor on his qualification for the Final, followed by a leap from 33rd to 18th place.

OK: KR-IAME double with Tarnvanichkul ahead of Nakamura-Berta
The podium had an Asian flavour in Cremona! Enzo Tarnvanichkul and Kean Nakamura-Berta, who have Thai and Japanese origins respectively, pulled out all the stops to finish the Final in 1st and 2nd positions, with a large lead over the chasing pack. Enzo and Kean were not the only KR-IAME equipped drivers to perform well. In the Super Heat, Alex Powell completed the trifecta in order for the Prema Racing team, but the Jamaican was involved in a collision at the start of the Final. Belgian Thomas Strauven (KR Motorsport) won a heat.

Australians Xavier Avramides (KR Motorsport) and Dante Vinci (KR Motorsport), Kirill Kutskov (DPK Racing), Dmitry Matveev (KR Motorsport) and Frenchman Arthur Poulain (AKM Motorsport) battled it out at the front in the Qualifying Heats. Ireland's Fionn McLaughlin (VDK Racing) finished 5th in Super Heat 1 and South Africa's Luviwe Sambudla came 7th in the second Super Heat. As for the Mozambican, he created a sensation by coming back from 29th to 8th place in the Final!

Comments from Dino Chiesa, Head of KR Global Motorsport Company
"A week after winning the European KZ Championship title in Sarno, our teams faced a completely different challenge with the return of the OK and OK-Junior categories in very hot conditions. I'm pleased to see that we were there from Free Practice through to the Finals. In OK, Enzo Tarnvanichkul showed that he can be irresistible at this level, but we must also salute the performance of Kean Nakamura-Berta, who was only 47th after the Timed Qualifying. To come back up like that was a great performance. It's a good omen ahead of the final of the OK European Championship, but also in OK-Junior, since we finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. Of course, KR didn't win, but I think that Dries Van Langendonck and the Forza Racing team paid tribute to Dilano Van'T Hoff with their victory."

"On the other hand, I was disappointed to see some drivers take too many risks at the start of the two Finals, which led to two major collisions resulting in the retirement of several drivers, thus ruining all their efforts made since the start of Free Practice. I think it's also up to the teams to tell their drivers that it's not at the start that you win a race, but sometimes that's where you lose it! A fast driver will always manage to come back. A Final is a long time..."

Press Release © Kart Republic

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