William Calleja came oh-so-close to winning the opening round of the WSK Final Cup at Sarno on Sunday.
Qualifying 13th in the 76-kart Mini field, Calleja put together a solid string of heat results, never outside the top four. Starting from P3, the Parolin driver then won his pre-final.
After dropping positions in the opening laps of the Final, Calleja clawed back into contention setting fastest lap on the way before ultimately falling to eighth after a move into the lead cost him momentum.
“I made a mistake when going for the race lead in the final with a lap to go and paid a high price for it” Calleja explained on Facebook. “I’ll learn from it!”
All the Australians competing made it through to their finals. Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi finished 18th in Mini while Bradley Majman DNF’d OK-Junior having earlier taken 11th in his pre-final.
The second and final round is this weekend at Lonato. Calleja sits third in the Mini standings.
- full results are HERE
Mini (76 starters)
- William Calleja (Parolin Motorsport, Parolin/TM). Q: 13. Heats: 2, 3, 4, 4, 2. Ranking: 3. Pre-Final B: 1st. Final: 8th.
- Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi (Tony Kart Racing Team, Tony Kart/Vortex). Q: 24. Heats: 9, 7, 11, 8, 12. Ranking: 24. Pre-Final B: 9th. Final: 18th.
OK-Junior (56 starters)
- Bradley Majman (Shamick Europe, Parolin/TM): Q: 30. Heats: 8, 5, 12, 18. Ranking: 26. Pre-Final B: 11. Final: 32 (DNF).
Surprising victories in the first round of the WSK Final Cup in Sarno
The victories, at the end of a hard-fought weekend at the International Circuit Napoli of Sarno, went to Panama’s Rousseau (MINI), the Italian Olivieri (OKJ), the Dutch Van Walstijn (KZ2) and the Chinese Cui (OK).
The intense weekend of the opening round of the WSK Final Cup took place at the International Circuit Napoli producing an excellent spectacle in the Finals held on Sunday, November 6th. The good weather contributed to set a perfect stage for the on-track battles in Sarno after a start that was affected by the rain.
The first round counted 190 drivers coming from 46 different countries. The provisional entry list for round 2 features over 290 drivers.
MINI. Prefinal-A has been quite hard-fought and the victory went to Vladimir Ivannikov (Gamoto/EKS-TM Racing-Vega), who pipped the Romanian Bogdan Cosma-Cristofor (BabyRace/Parolin-Iame). The winner of the heats, the Italian Filippo Sala (Team Driver/KR-Iame) slipped down to P8 in the closing stages instead. Prefinal-B also ended with a sprint to the line that was won by the Australian William Calleja (Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM Racing), who led the poleman from Turkey Iskender Zulfikari (BabyRace Driver Academy/Parolin-Iame).
OKJ. The winner of the heats, Zac Drummond (Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM Racing-Vega) kept his momentum in Prefinal-A leading the Colombian Salim Hanna Hernandez (Ricky Flynn Motorsport/LN-Vortex). Prefinal-B was won by the Slovenian Aleksandar Bogunovic (DPK Racing/KR-Iame), who was followed by the German Taym Saleh (KR Motorsport/KR-Iame).
KZ2. The Prefinal of KZ2 produced a good battle and the sprint to the line was eventually won by the French Emilien Denner (CPB Sport/Sodikart-TM Racing-Vega), who also led the pack in the heats. The Frenchman was followed by his teammate Senna Van Walstijn, while Giuseppe Palomba (BirelART Racing/BirelART-TM Racing) was third after leading the pack for most of the race.
OK. Prefinal-A was dominated by the Brit Joe Turney (Tony Kart Racing Team/Tony Kart-Vortex-LeCont), who came to the fore in the heats. He proceeded Anatoly Khavalkin (Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM Racing). The Jamaican Alex Powell (KR Motorsport/KR-Iame) won Prefinal-B from the American Luis James Egozi (Tony Kart Racing Team/Tony Kart-Vortex).
MINI – Panama’s Gianmatteo Rousseau wins the sprint in MINI
A great battle was announced in MINI and this category did not betray expectations. The driver from Panama Gianmatteo Rousseau (Alonso Kart by Kidix/Alonso-Iame-Vega) managed to beat the odds in the closing laps and took the win from Vladimir Ivannikov (Gamoto/EKS-TM Racing-Vega), who installed himself in the lead early on, while the Italian Filippo Sala (Team Driver/KR-Iame) was third after leading the initial part of the race. The Turkish driver Iskender Zulfikari (BabyRace Driver Academy/Parolin-Iame) led the pack in the initial laps, but eventually had to settle for P4.
1 Gianmatteo Rousseau (PAN)
2 Vladimir Ivannikov
3 Filippo Sala (ITA)
OKJ – The Italian Emanuele Olivieri takes the win in OKJ
The Final of OKJ has been quite exciting and the Italian Emanuele Olivieri (IPK Official Team/IPK-TM Racing-Vega) had the upper hand from half-way through ending his performance on top. He had to win the duel with the Scot Zac Drummond (Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM Racing-Vega). The third place went to the Slovenian Aleksandar Bogunovic (DPK Racing/KR-Iame). Behind the top three, the German Taym Saleh (KR Motorsport/KR-Iame) was fourth, while the Swiss Kian Fardin (Energy Corse/Energy-TM Racing) fifth and led the Spanish driver Christian Costoya (Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM Racing).
1 Emanuele Olivieri (ITA)
2 Zac Drummond (SCO)
3 Aleksandar Bogunovic (SVN)
KZ2 – Good win for the Dutch Senna Van Walstijn in KZ2
In KZ2 the Dutch Senna Van Walstijn (CPB Sport/Sodikart-TM Racing-Vega) beat all the rivals after a start in which his teammate from France Emilien Denner and the Italian Giuseppe Palomba (BirelART Racing/BirelART-TM Racing) shared the lead of the race. On lap three, Van Walstijn took the lead and did not concede it until crossing the finish line, while Denner had to retire from the race following a contact with Palomba. The Swede Noah Milell (Tony Kart Racing Team/Tony Kart-Vortex) put in an excellent race and closed in on Van Walstijn in the closing laps trying to take the lead without success. The third place of the podium went to Egor Nosov (IPK Official Racing Team/IPK-TM Racing) at the end of a good race. Palomba ended fourth leading his teammate Cristian Bertuca.
1 Senna Van Walstijn (NLD)
2 Noah Milell (SWE)
3 Egor Nosov
OK – A surprising win for the Chinese Cui in OK
The Final of OK has been quite surprising and the Chinese Yuanpu Cui (KR Motorsport/KR-Iame-LeCont) eventually recovered all the way up from the third row of the grid to take the victory. He won the final duel for the win with the Brit Joe Turney (Tony Kart Racing Team/Tony Kart-Vortex), who kept the lead until when three laps were left, and with the Jamaican Alex Powell (KR Motorsport/KR-Iame). When one lap was left to go Powell was forced to an early stop, while Cui crossed the finish line on top leading Anatoly Khavalkin (Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM Racing). The third place was inherited by the French Jimmy Helias (Ward Racing/Tony Kart-Vortex) due to a penalty handed to Turney. The Brit Nathan Tye (Sodikart/Sodikart-TM Racing) completed a good race ending fourth at the end of a 16-place recovery. Latvia’s Tomass Stolcermanis (Energy Corse/Energy-TM Racing) also run a strong race ending fifth.
1 Yuanpu Cui (CHN)
2 Anatoly Khavalkin
3 Jimmy Helias (FRA).