The three Australians at the Kart GP France (opening round of the European Championship) have had a mixed bag of results overnight.
After contesting four heats on Saturday, all three have their final OK-J heat on Sunday before the rankings for the Final (top 34) can be determined.
- James Wharton: Q – 2. Heats – 3, 2, 1, 2
- Christian Mansell: Q – 25. Heats – 10, 11, 12 (penalty), 21 (penalty)
- Marcos Flack: Q – 56. Heats – 23, 27 (dnf), 17, 20
- live stream, results etc via the CIKFIA website HERE.
Taponen and Patterson unbeaten
At the end of a sunny day on Saturday in Angerville devoted to the Qualification Heats which were marked by thrilling races, Dexter Patterson and Tuuka Taponen are in the best positions in OK and in Junior respectively before the last Heats remaining to run on Sunday morning.
Saturday was bathed by clear sunshine, even though a constant wind attenuated the feeling of heat. In Angerville, the first Competition of the 2019 FIA Karting European Championship – OK & Junior has kept its promises regarding the intensity of the clashes during the 24 Qualifying Heats contested. In absolute terms, the performance gaps remained very tight, with the racing punctuated by twists with sometimes heavy consequences.
The first corners after the start were the scene of several skirmishes, the unhooked front fairings generating the inevitable penalties while some mechanical problems have had their effect on the positions in the evening.
The Qualifying Heats will continue again on Sunday morning with six on the programme, one per driver, before the definitive list of 34 Drivers qualified for the Finals is revealed in each of the two categories.
Patterson dominates without interruption in OK
The poleman Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP) was delayed by a mechanical failure and Dexter Patterson (GBR) continued his impressive run at the front of the Qualifying Heats with four wins. Juho Valtanen (FIN), Taylor Barnard (GBR) and Gabriele Mini’ (ITA) remained formidable opponents, keeping the same order as in Qualifying Practice in the wake of the leader. Dilano Van T’Hoff (NLD) was rewarded for his efforts in regaining a good dozen places, ahead of Kas Haverkort (NLD) who kept himself in a good position, then strong performances that moved them up the rankings from Sebastian Ögaard (DNK), Alessandro Irlando (ITA) and Kirill Smal (RUS). Matias Salonen (FIN) also gained a lot of places.
Taponen faultless in Junior
Ranked 4th in Qualifying, Finland’s Tuuka Taponen was indisputably the hero of the day in OK-Junior with a perfect score of four wins over Jamie Day (ARE) and Thomas Ten Brinke (NLD), who have two wins each. Not far from them, James Wharton (AUS), Ugo Ugochukwu (USA) and Tymoteusz Kucharczyk (POL), all three winners of a Heat, completed the list of highest ranked. Conrad Laursen (NLD) and Josep Maria Marti Sobrepera (ESP) were among the drivers in the top 10 since Qualifying, while the poleman Macéo Capietto (FRA) and the 3rd-placed Alex Dunne (IRL) dropped back. Andrea Kimi Antonelli had not recovered as much as he could have hoped, and Laurens Van Hoepen (NLD) aggravated his situation, but Rafael Chaves Camara (BRA) managed to reduce the handicap of his missed Qualifying.
Timetable (local time) for Sunday, 21st April
10:30 – 12:25: Qualifying Heats
13:20 – 14:20: OK Final
14:20 – 15:40: Junior Final