It was a tough weekend in the searing Spanish heat for James Wharton on the weekend.
The Ferrari Academy driver qualified his Parolin/TM P38 in the 54-strong OK field. The Aussie moved up to 30th in the ranking after the heats (placing 16, 18, 12) moving him directly into the pre-final. Unfortunately he suffered a DNF (classified P30) before taking 27th in the Final.
“It’s been a tough weekend for me” Wharton posted on social media. “We definitely learned a lot and we will do our best to prepare for the Europeans (Championship), coming up next weekend.”
After two of the three rounds, James sits 22nd in OK.
official race wrap
Champions of the Future battle goes on in the heat of Spain!
This year’s great start to the series continued in Spain, with two enormous fields in the two categories battling it on in the heat of Zuera, seeing many leaders, with some surprises adding to the established names!
It was another fantastic event in the Circuito Internacional de Zuera, in Spain, under clear blue skies and temperatures reaching 37C, with the two OK categories reaching record numbers of attendance.
With several names topping the timesheets and leading the classification standings over the weekend, it was Kirill Kutskov who took the final win in OK Junior and Andrea Kimi Antonelli in OK.
The 84-driver field of OK Juniors, split into 3 groups, was the first to hit the track for qualifying. While all eyes were on the last race’s stars like Slater, Keeble and Powell, it was three different names that topped the timesheets. Dmitry Matveev (Koski Motorsport) took the overall pole, ahead of Maksimilian Popov (Ward Racing) and David Walther (Koski Motorsport).
The same top-3 of Walther, Matveev and Popov continued their leading trend in the qualifying heats, while Harley Keeble (Tony Kart Racing), Kirill Kutskov (KR Motorsport), Keanu Al Azhari (Tony Kart Racing) and Freddie Slater (Ricky Flynn Motorsport) also started to make their appearances at the front. It was finally Walther who got the pole position for the prefinal, ahead of Ean Eyckmans (Kosmic Racing Department) and James Egozi (Tony Kart Racing), with the latter two, despite not getting any wins in the heats getting rewarded for their consistency.
Once again, Sunday turned things upside down, with Kutskov coming up 10 positions to win the prefinal ahead of Eyckmans and Maksimilian Orlov (Parolin Motorsport). In the action-packed Final Kutskov got the lead and separated himself from the rest of the field, winning 2 seconds clear from the rest, while Egozi claimed second and Orlov third.
The senior OK category qualifying was much more in line to the expectations, where Andrea Kimi Antonelli (KR Motorsport) took the overall pole position ahead of Arvid Lindblad (KR Motorsport) and Joseph Turney (Tony Kart Racing). The three continued their dominance in the qualifying heats, with all heats wins being distributed solely between them. Unsurprisingly Antonelli topped the classification, getting pole for Sunday, Turney second and Lindblad third.
The prefinal saw a similarly strong pace from Antonelli and Lindblad, however the only finished second and third after a late charge from Nicolo Cuman (Forza Motorsport) saw him claim a surprise pole position for the final. Tymoteusz Kucharczyk (BirelArt Racing) was the big surprise of the session, making up no less than 28 positions to come back to fourth.
Lindblad quickly jumped ahead of Cuman in the final while Antonelli lost some ground. The latter however was fast to catch up, and by the 6th lap he took back the lead. From that moment on he was untouchable, opening up a 3.5 second lead to pull away. Lindblad finished second and Cuman third.
Points standings taking shape
The series standings are now starting to take shape, with Kutskov taking the lead from Slater and Popov in Junior. Rashid Al Dhaheri (Parolin Motorsport), William Macintyre (BirelArt Racing) and Alex Powell (KR Motorsport) are just behind, a breath away.
In OK Seniors Antonelli is leading Lindblad and Turney, with Rafael Camara (KR Motorsport), Tuukka Taponen (Tony Kart Racing) and Pedro Hiltbrand (Leclerc by Lennox Racing Team) just behind them.
Saturday & Sunday live stream recording: