Australian karting mates James Wharton and Christian Mansell are competing against 111 other drivers in the OK-Junior World Championship this weekend in Sweden.
Wharton (Parolin Racing Kart Srl, Parolin/TM Racing/Vega) qualified 20th, 0.477s off pole, set by fellow Parolin team driver Gabriele Mini. James races Kart #296 and is in the Group F heats. He was classified 10th in the opening race after a penalty (crossed the line 4th).
Close behind was Mansell (Lennox Racing Team, Exprit/Vortex/Vega) qualifying 24th, 0.493s off pole. He races kart #270 and will compete in the Group C heats. Unfortunately, he DNFd the first one.
- full results are going HERE (includes the link to live timing and Sunday’s live stream)
MINI’ AND TRAVISANUTTO OPEN THE DEBATES WITH POLE POSITION AT KRISTIANSTAD
This weekend the Kristianstad track hosts the FIA Karting World Championships – OK and OK-Junior as part of the Swedish Kart Grand Prix. Enjoying significant entry, the Competition began on Friday, 21st September in the afternoon, with the Qualifying Practices which are of paramount importance in this Competition with nearly 220 Drivers. Gabriele Mini’ – Junior – and Lorenzo Travisanutto – OK – took pole after four sessions in each category.
A major event in karting, as well as in the Kristianstad region, the FIA Karting World Championship attracts many enthusiasts who have come from other parts of the world. The Drivers were able to prepare in the Tests on the previous days before taking part in their last two practice sessions on Friday morning. Scheduled from 13:10 to 15:50, the Qualifying Practices consisted of four 8-minute sessions per category. In order to get the best out of their Bridgestone OK and Vega Junior tyres, the Drivers leave the starting grid only five minutes from the end and engage in a ruthless battle to the very last laps.
Above: Junior OK v Senior OK, by Ricky Flynn
The forecasted weather was showers at the end of the day, but the track was thankfully dry to the end. Despite a fairly strong wind, the temperatures were very mild for the early autumn. The track conditions changed very slightly over the sessions, a phenomenon generally more sensitive in Junior than OK.
The rain appeared at Kristianstad for the beginning of the Qualifying Heats that followed Qualifying Practice.
MINI’ DISTANCES HIS RIVALS IN JUNIOR
Vice European Champion Gabriele Mini’ (ITA) started strongly in Sweden. Already notable in Free Practice, he set a superb lap of 52”443 in the last session, relegating his opponents by more than 0.280”. Leader of the third session, Taylor Barnard (GBR) narrowly secured 2nd place just a thousandth of a second behind compatriot Kai Akey (GBR). Victor Bernier (FRA) managed to take an interesting 4th position ahead of Dino Beganovic (SWE). The performances of Guilherme De Figuereido (BRA) and the young rookie Tymoteusz Kucharczyk (POL) should be highlighted. Defending European Champion Paul Aron (EST) was 15th behind Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA).
EFFORT REWARDED FOR TRAVISANUTTO
Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA) managed the feat of being the fastest in the second session with 50”716. Relegating the other Drivers of his group by more than three tenths, he was able to maintain the lead against Dexter Patterson (GBR), 2017 Junior World Champion, and Luigi Coluccio (ITA), respectively leaders of the last two sessions at 66 and 67 thousandths from Pole Position. Axel Saarmiala followed in 4th place two tenths further back while Jorge Carlos Pescador (ESP) finished 5th. The return to this category of Superkart Driver Yannick De Brabander (BEL) was marked by a beautiful 7th place just ahead of the reigning European Champion Hannes Janker (DEU). Many favourites have not achieved the expected success in this phase and will enliven the heats by trying to climb the rankings.
24 Qualifying Heats will be raced on Saturday, 22nd September, then eight more on Sunday morning before the revelation of the 34 finalists in each category, who will be able to fight for their world title.