James Wharton finished an excellent second in the OK-J final of the 24th annual Winter Cup at Lonato overnight.
The Australian started back on the fourth row and finished just 1.765s behind winner Andrea Kimi Antonelli.
James had earlier qualified 4th before scoring heat race results of 1st, 15th (after a penalty), 3rd and 1st. Fourth place in his Super Heat ranked him 7th overall.
Calss winners(and equipment):
- KZ2: Anthony Abbasse (Sodikart-TM-Bridgestone)
- OK: Lorenzo Travisanutto (KR-Iame-Bridgestone)
- OKJ: Andrea Kimi Antonelli (KR-Iame-Vega)
- Mini Rok: Alex Powell (Energy-Vortex-Bridgestone)
Full results are HERE.
Video of the Finals:
The 24th Winter Cup has been successful once again in terms of presence and spectacle on track. This International event turned out to be among the most important European events with 310 verified out of 319 entered drivers coming from 43 different countries, among which several International champions. Finals have been very exciting and the outcome was decided only at the chequered flag in most of the cases.
The intense racing weekend kicked off on Friday with qualifying practice, continued with heats and reached its conclusion on Sunday February 17th with Super Heats that defined the finalists battling out the victories in the four categories KZ2, OK, OK-Junior and Mini Rok.
In the most powerful category, KZ2, several drivers have been challenging each other until the very end in their quest to the victory, but the French Anthony Abbasse (Sodikart-TM-Bridgestone) eventually managed to pip two World Champions: Paolo De Conto (CRG-TM-Bridgestone), who had started from the pole position, and Marco Ardigò (Tony Kart-Vortex-Bridgestone), who took the lead early on. The fourth position went to a very competitive Marijn Kremers (BirelArt-TM-Bridgestone), who led a charging Fabian Federer (Maranello-TM-Bridgestone) that was slowed down by some penalties in the qualifying heats. Giuseppe Palomba claimed a good P6 in his debut race with Croc Promotion and was followed by Massimo Dante (Maranello-TM-Bridgestone), William Lanzeni (Vemme Kart-TM-Bridgestone) and the two Tony Kart’s drivers Matteo Viganò and Simo Puhakka.
The new World Champion Lorenzo Travisanutto (KR-Iame-Bridgestone) confirmed to be on top in OK for team HTP Kart. He crossed the finish line ahead of the two British drivers Dexter Patterson (KR-Iame-Bridgestone) and Joseph Turney (Tony Kart-Vortex-Bridgestone) at the end of a quite hard-fought final that was led by Turney early on. One of the awaited protagonists could not make it to the start: Gabriele Minì (Parolin-TM-Bridgestone). The Italian did not manage to line up in time for the start. Among the best drivers, the Swiss Leandro Anderruti (KR-Iame-Bridgestone) ended at the feet of the podium proceeding the Brit Harry Thompson (FA-Vortex-Bridgestone), the Spaniard Pedro Hiltbrand (CRG-Parilla-Bridgestone), the Italian Luigi Coluccio (BirelArt-TM-Bridgestone), the Swede Noah Milell (Tony Kart-Vortex-Bridgestone), the Brazilian Gabriel Bortoleto (CRG-Iame-Bridgestone) and the German Hugo Sasse (KR-Iame-Bridgestone).
OK-Junior was dominated by the young Italian Andrea Kimi Antonelli (KR-Iame-Vega) for team Rosberg Racing Academy, who was the unquestioned winner of the Final. Behind him, the podium was rounded off by the Australian James Wharton (FA-Vortex-Vega) and the Dane Conrad Laursen (FA-Vortex-Vega). The fourth and fifth place went to the Russians Andrey Zhivnov (Kosmic-Vortex-Vega) and Artem Severiukhin (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega), that were followed by Alfio Spina (KR-Iame-Vega) and Nikita Bedrin (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega) in the order. The latter had been the quickest in qualifying.
Category Mini has been hard fought, as usual, and was run with single-make Vortex engine and Bridgestone tyres. The quickest of the category was the Jamaican Alex Powell (Energy), who is quite used now to the top step of the podium. He came out winner from a good duel with Rashid Al Dhaheri (Parolin). Al Dhaheri closed his effort in P2, but a 5s time penalty relegated him to P8. The second position was therefore inherited by the Russian Kirill Kutskov (Energy), who was followed by the Brit Coskun Irfan (Parolin) who had been shining also in the heats. Matteo De Palo (Parolin) was the first of the Italians in P4 and led the Russian Maksimilian Popov (Parolin) and Davide Marconato (Energy).