The two young Australian drivers contesting the WSK Open Series round at Lonato were both in contention for victory in Italy on the weekend.
Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi ended as the highest placed of the two, taking an excellent third in the 60cc Mini Under 10 category.
Seb qualified 10th and carded consistent heat results before getting up to win his pre-final. The Queenslander started the final off the front row but was swamped at the green and fell to sixth. A fantastic controlled drive saw the Tony Kart driver progress back up to third, just 0.4s off the win.
William Calleja dominated the other Mini category, qualifying fastest and winning all but one of the heat races before taking out his pre-final. Starting off pole, Calleja won the start of the final but gradually fell back during the race, eventually crossing the line 8th, and then dropped further to 10th after a penalty.
- full results are HERE
William Calleja (Mini, Babyrace Driver Academy Parolin/IAME)
Q: 1 (of 61). Heats: 1, 1, 1, 8. Pre-Final A: 1. Ranking: 1. Final: 1st.
Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi (Mini Under 10, Tony Kart Racing Team, Tony Kart/Vortex)
Q: 10 (of 49). Heats: 10, 9, 9. Pre-final B: 1. Ranking: 2. Final: 3rd
Sunday’s Live Stream:
official WSK Finals Day report
First of the WSK Open Series in Lonato
The WSK Open Series had a great debut at the South Garda Karting circuit for the first of four events in this new series organized by WSK Promotion. The event took place at the Lonato racetrack and featured over 200 drivers from 38 nations in the MINI, KZ2, X30 Junior and X30 Senior.
It was a fantastic event that saw high competitiveness on the track, with many top drivers competing to win in the KZ2 category, as well as many young emerging talents who crowded the MINI and the two Iame-powered categories of X30 Junior and X30 Senior. After the 28 qualifying heats on the eve of the event, the final phase on Sunday, March 12, unfolded with the Prefinals, which were fought with great intensity and also featured several surprises that helped to determine the starting grids for the Finals.
The winners of the Prefinals
These are the winners of the Prefinals held on Sunday morning:
MINI Gr.3 Under 10
Prefinal-A: Antoine Venant (BEL) (#572 Kidix/KR-Iame-Vega)
Prefinal-B: Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi (AUS) (#524 Tony Kart R.T./Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega)
Prefinal-A: William Calleja (AUS) (#516 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame-Vega)
Prefinal-B: Manuel Miguez Gayoso (ESP) (#531 Gamoto/EKS-TM-Vega)
Prefinal-A: Senna Van Walstijn (NDL) (#1 Sodikart/Sodi-TM-LeCont)
Prefinal-B: Paolo Ippolito (ITA) (#21 KR Motorsport/KR-Iame-LeCont)
Prefinal: Lorenzo Campos Ingles (AGO) (#706 Team Driver/Tony Kart-Iame-MG)
Prefinal: Matis Barbe (FRA) (#821 Lyard/LN Kart-Iame-MG)
KZ2 – The Final victory goes to Van Walstijn
In the KZ2 Final, the Dutch driver Senna Van Walstijn (#1 Sodikart/Sodi-TM-LeCont) won the race after also winning in qualifying and in his Prefinal. Van Walstijn managed to control the race all the way to the finish line, with the Italians Paolo Ippolito (#21 KR Motorsport/KR-Iame), who won Prefinal B, and his teammate Danilo Albanese taking turns chasing after the Dutch driver. Among the top five, the Dutch driver Stan Pex (#13 SP Motorsport/KR-TM) finished fourth and the French driver Emilien Denner (#2 Sodikart/Sodi-TM) fifth, after being the best in the qualifying heats. Andrea Dalè (#19 Dalè/CRG-TM) finished in sixth place after making a great comeback.
KZ2 Final standings:
1. Senna Van Walstijn (NLD)
2. Paolo Ippolito (ITA)
3. Danilo Albanese (ITA)
MINI Gr.3 – Hoogendoorn celebrates with a comeback-win
The Dutch driver Dean Hoogendoorn (#501 Kidix/KR-Iame-Vega) won the Final with a comeback victory, taking the lead halfway through the race and finishing ahead of the Canadian driver Ilie Crisan Tristan (#526 Tony Kart R.T./Tony Kart-Vortex), who moved up to second place in the closing stages. Vladimir Ivannikov (#522 Gamoto/EKS-TM), who led in the first part of the final, finished in third place. The fourth place went to the British driver Noah Baglin (#521 IKart/KR-Iame), while Bogdan Cosma Cristofor (#539 Team Driver/KR-Iame) finished fifth. It was not a fortunate final for the Australian driver William Calleja (#516 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) instead, as he finished tenth after winning in qualifying, the heats, and his Prefinal.
MINI Gr.3 Final standings:
1. Dean Hoogendoorn (NLD)
2. Ilie Crisan Tristan (CAN)
3. Vladimir Ivannikov
MINI Gr.3 Under 10 – Venant has the upper hand also in the Final
There was a great battle in the MINI Under 10 category, with the Belgian driver Antoine Venant (#572 Kidix/KR-Iame-Vega) coming out on top after a duel with several opponents, including the French poleman Alessandro Truchot (#533 Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM), who finished fifth. Venant completed an excellent weekend by being the best in the heats and winning Prefinal A. Also among the top drivers were the Belgian driver Henri Kumpen (#549 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame), who finished second in the final sprint, ahead of the Australian driver Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi (#524 Tony Kart R.T./Tony Kart-Vortex), winner of Prefinal B. The fourth place went to the Polish driver Leonardo Gorski (#511 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame).
MINI Gr.3 Under 10 Final standings:
1. Antoine Venant (BEL)
2. Henri Kumpen (BEL)
3. Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi (AUS)
X30 Junior – Coronel takes the win
A rather eventful Final was run in X30 Junior. In the last laps, the Dutchman Rocco Coronel (#704 Victorylane/Red Speed-Iame-MG), who had set the pole position in qualifying, took the lead, winning the duel against the Swiss driver Tiziano Kuzhnini (#707 Team Driver/Tony Kart-Iame) and finishing first. The Portuguese driver Lorenzo Campos Ingles (#706 Team Driver/Tony Kart-Iame), was already the best in the heats and winner of the Prefinal and he eventually took the third place after being in the lead at the start of the race, but the third step of the podium was assigned to him following a penalty handed to his teammate Filippo Pancotti and to Riccardo Ferrari (#712 Zanchi Motorsport/Tony Kart-Iame). The Swiss driver Chiara Battig (#720 IPK Official Team/IPK-Iame) finished fourth and the Italian Christian Romeo (#714 Zanchi Motorsport/Tony Kart-Iame) fifth.
X30 Junior Final standings:
1. Rocco Coronel (NLD)
2. Tiziano Kuzhnini (CHE)
3. Lorenzo Campos Ingles (POR)
X30 Senior – Carenini is triumphant
The ranking of the Final was decided in the last laps of the race, not so much for Italian driver Danny Carenini (#801 Energy Corse/Energy-Iame-MG) who remained in the lead and finished with the victory ahead of his compatriot Andrea Giudice (Marra/Tony Kart-Iame), but rather for the other positions which were revolutionized after the assignment of several penalties. However, Carenini proved to be among the main protagonists of the weekend, starting with the pole position in qualifying and continuing with the best position in the heats.
The third position went instead to another Italian driver, Cristian Comanducci (#806 PRK/Tony Kart-Iame), at the end of a thrilling last lap that resulted in a series of penalties for his opponents. The fourth place went to Giacomo Maman (#814 TB Kart R.T./TB Kart-Iame), the fifth to Matteo Giaccardi (#825 Nato/LN Kart-Iame), who finished ahead of the winner of the Prefinal, the French driver Matis Barbe (Lyard/LN Kart-Iame).
X30 Senior Final standings:
1. Danny Carenini (ITA)
2. Andrea Giudice (ITA)
3. Cristian Comanducci (ITA)
The next rounds of the WSK Open Series 2023:
2nd Rd – 02/04/2023 CREMONA / MINI – X30J – X30S – KZ2
3rd Rd – 16/04/2023 CASTELLETTO / MINI – X30J – X30S
4th Rd – 25/06/2023 SARNO / MINI – OKN – OKNJ – KZ2