After excellent performances in qualifying and the preliminary races, both Australian Mini drivers contesting the WSK Open Series round at Cremona, Italy, last weekend started from pole and lead the start of their Final.
Unfortunately, neither finished where their pace deserved and head to the next event searching for that elusive first big victory on the international stage.
After winning his pre-final, William Calleja won the start of the Mini final but was soon shuffled back to fourth. In yet another cracking race, the positions changed frequently. Calleja had just re-taken the lead when he ran wide onto the damp edge of the circuit and spun out of the race.
“I was not able to convert in the final as I pushed my kart to the limit in an overtake for the lead” he posted on social media. “A wet and slippery kerb slid me off the track which put me in a water puddle and forced me to retire. I’m not where I want to be, but I won’t stop pushing until I get there.”
To some extent, it was a similar story for Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi. After strong heats and fourth in the pre-final, Seb started the final off pole and lead the opening laps. Unfortunately he was passed for the lead and fell into the battling pack. Before he was able to mount a comeback, he was effectively taken out of the event by a spinning kart.
Both Australians sit P3 in their series point score.
William Calleja (MINI – Babyrace Driver Academy, Parolin/IAME)
Q: 1 (of 49). Heats: 1, 5, 5. Pre-Final B: 1st. Ranking: 1. Final: 36th (DNF)
Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi (MINI UNDER 10 – Tony Kart Racing Team, Tony Kart/Vortex)
Q: 13 (of 32). Heats: 1, 5, 10. Pre-Final: 4. Ranking: 1. Final: 27th
official WSK finals day report
Exciting Finals of the WSK Open Series at the Cremona Circuit
After qualifying practice and heats run in good weather, some rain arrived in the morning to affect the final phase of the second round of the WSK Open Series at the Cremona Circuit.
MINI, KZ2, X30 Junior and X30 Senior categories took to the track on the 1224-meter circuit of the newly built facility that hosted a WSK event for the first time. MINI confirmed once again on this occasion that it is the propaedeutic category par excellence with an international parterre of more than 80 drivers, aged 8 to 12, from 31 countries.
Weather conditions fortunately clearly improved to the point where the finals could be run on dry asphalt. Before the start of the Finals, the young Swiss Elia Epifanio was remembered. He has been competing in the WSK series and unfortunately passed away recently following a sudden illness.
The winners of the Prefinals
The winners of the Prefinals held on Sunday morning were the following:
- MINI Gr.3 Under 10 – Prefinal: Leonardo Gorski (POL) (#511 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame-Vega)
- MINI Gr.3 – Prefinal-A: Dean Hoogendoorn (NLD) (#501 Kidix/KR-Iame-Vega); Prefinal-B: William Calleja (AUS) (#516 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame-Vega).
- KZ2 – Prefinal: Stan Pex (NLD) (#13 SP Motorsport/KR-TM-LeCont).
- X30 Junior – Prefinal: Rocco Coronel (NLD) (#704 Fath/Red Speed-Iame-MG).
- X30 Senior – Prefinal: Cristian Comanducci (ITA) (#806 PRK/Tony Kart-Iame-MG).
KZ2 – Pex dominates the race in Cremona and takes the championship lead
The Dutchman Stan Pex (#13 SP Motorsport/KR-TM-LeCont) had no problem winning the Final as well after dominating the Prefinal held on wet asphalt with a big lead. The Dutch driver hit all the targets in Cremona, from pole position to first position after the heats and then the victory in the final phase. Behind Pex, the two Italians Alessandro Minetto (#39 ErreEsse/Parolin-TM) and Daniele Federici (#43 KartXXL/BirelArt-TM) ended in the order at the end of a duel between the two. Fourth across the line was the Canadian Nicholas Taylor (#40 GP Racing/GP-TM), fifth was the German Lucas Scherbinskas (#22 NSL/Sodi-TM). The new classification leader is now Stan Pex.
1 Stan Pex (NLD)
2 Alessandro Minetto (ITA)
3 Daniele Federici (ITA)
1 Stan Pex (NLD) points 141
2 Senna Val Walstijn (NLD) points 88
3 Alessandro Minetto (ITA) points 80.
MINI GR.3 UNDER 10 – Orlando has the upper hand in the Final
The Final of the MINI Gr.3 Under 10 was rather lively and Michele Orlando (#618 IPK Official/IPK-TM-Vega) eventually came out on top in the very last lap of the race. The Italian driver, who started from the fifth row of the grid, soon made up ground and took the win ahead of two other protagonists, the other Italian Achille Rea (#544 CRG Racing Team/CRG-Iame) who started from the third row, and the Swiss Albert Tamm (#510 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) who started from the seventh row. At the end of the race, however, the most displeased was the Belgian son of Henri Kumpen (#549 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame), who led until the very last stages of the race and then finished seventh at the finish line. Fourth was the Slovak Alex Molota (#561 Firelly/EKS-TM), who ended ahead of the Italian Edoardo Colucci (#563 CMT/Parolin-TM) and the Swede Maximus Unt (#569 Ward Racing/Tony Kart-TM).
1 Michele Orlando (ITA)
2 Achille Rea (ITA)
3 Albert Tamm (CHE)
MINI GR.3 U10 Standings:
1 Antoine Venant (FRA) points 97
2 Henri Kumpen (BEL) points 79
3 Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi (AUS) points 77
MINI GR.3 – Cosma Cristofor takes the win in the closing meters
The MINI GR.3 Final was also quite lively with several drivers having a go to the victory. In the final meters, the young Romanian Bogdan Cosma Cristofor (#539 Team Driver/KR-Iame-Vega) won the race at the end of a great duel with the American Asher Ochstein (CRG Racing Team/CRG-Iame), who ended in second place and Vladimir Ivannikov (#522 Gamoto/EKS-TM) in third. The Dutchman Dean Hoogendoorn (#501 Kidix/KR-Iame), leading in the early laps, had to settle for fourth, as did the Englishman Noah Baglin (#521 iKart/KR-Iame), initially second, and eventually fifth. Disappointment for the Turkish Iskender Zulfikari (#502 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame), who ended only ninth after starting from the front row, and for Australian William Calleja (#516 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) who was among the protagonists at the beginning of the race and then retired. In the championship, Hoogendoorn maintains the lead with 10 points more of Cosma Cristofor.
1 Bogdan Cosma Cristofor (ROU)
2 Asher Ochstein (USA)
3 Vladimir Ivannikov
MINI GR.3 Standings:
1 Dean Hoogendoorn (NLD) points 128
2 Bogdan Cosma Cristofor (ROU) points 118
3 William Calleja (AUS) points 96
X30 JUNIOR – Pancotti takes the win
The finishing order of the X30 Junior changed after a succession of overtakes for the final victory. The Romanian David Cosma Cristofor (#729 Kidix/KR-Iame-MG), first across the line, was eventually given a 3s penalty and slipped down to fourth place. The victory then went to the Italian Filippo Pancotti (#710 Team Driver/Tony Kart-Iame), who finished ahead of the Dutchman Rocco Coronel (#704 Fath/Red Speed-Iame). The latter led the race for a few laps and also on the penultimate lap. The third position went to the Swiss Tiziano Kuzhnini (#707 Team Driver/Tony Kart-Iame), who has also been leading the race in some laps. In the championship, the leadership is still in the hands of Coronel.
1 Filippo Pancotti (ITA)
2 Rocco Coronel (FRA)
3 Ziziano Kuzhnini (CHE)
X30 Junior Standings:
1 Rocco Coronel (FRA) points 142
2 Tiziano Kuzhnini (CHE) points 120
3 Filippo Pancotti (ITA) points 106
X30 SENIOR – Ratel takes the win and the championship lead
France’s Andy Ratel (#842 Beaumont/KR-Iame-MG) started from pole position but then made a comeback after being forced to give up several positions, and eventually won the X30 Senior Final. The second place was taken by China’s Lin Jingxuan (MLG Racing/Parolin-Iame). Among the top performers, the fast Erika Lavazza (#803 Virus Racing/Tony Kart-Iame) took third place after being in the lead several times and then got on the podium following a penalty imposed on Austrian Nando Weixelbaumer (#833 Fath/Red Speed-Iame).
The German Colin Wurthenberger (#827 KGT Motorsport/Tony Kart-Iame) finished fifth ahead of the Italian Nicholas Tomasella (#840 MLG Racing/Iame), who started from the back of the grid. The overall leader Danny Carenini (#801 Energy Corse/Energy-Iame) was forced to retire due to an accident. In the championship, Andy Ratel moved therefore into the lead.
1 Andy Ratel (FRA)
2 Lin Jingxuan (CHN)
3 Erika Lavazza (ITA)
X30 Senior Standings:
1 Andy Ratel (FRA) points 100
2 Danny Carenini (ITA) points 94
3 Cristian Comanducci points 79
pics – WSK/sportinphoto