WSK Euro Series Opener

Australian drivers once again showed they can run with the best in Europe as they contested the opening round of the WSK Euro Series at the Franciacorta Karting track in Italy on the weekend.

Lewis Francis qualified an impressive sixth in the massive 102-entry OK Junior field and Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi qualified 3rd in Mini Under 10.

After bad luck in the earlier races, Lewis Francis got up to win the final OK-J qualifying heat (pic – LFR/FB)

Meanwhile, William Calleja overcame a relatively poor qualifying to charge back up the standings, taking P2 in the Mini final after winning his pre-final.

“We had solid pace throughout the weekend” he posted, “however a few mistakes in the final cost me the win. More to learn to come back stronger.”

William Calleja, 2nd in Mini (pic – WSK/Sportinphoto)

Aussie Wrap

William Calleja – Mini (Babyrace Driver Academy, Parolin/TM)
Q: 21 of 45. Heats: 5, 5, 8. Ranking: 3. Pre-final A: 1st. Final: 2nd

Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi – Mini Under 10 (Tony Kart Racing Team, Tony Kart/Vortex)
Q: 3 of 53. Heats: 9, 14, 20. Ranking: 14. Pre-final B: 3rd. Final: 15th.

Lewis Francis – OK-Junior (KR Motorsport, Kart Republic/IAME)
Q: 6 of 103. Heats: 17, 22, 15, 16, 1. Ranking: 20. Pre-Final B: 15. Final: 22nd.

Xavier Avramides – OK (KR Motorsport, Kart Republic/IAME)
Q: 21 of 76. Heats: 8, 27, 10, 19, 14. Ranking: 25. Pre-final A: 7. Final: 22nd.

Dante Vinci – OK (KR Motorsport, Kart Republic/IAME)
Q: 27 of 76. Heats: 17, 20, 14, 23, 24. Ranking: 39. Pre-final A: 23. Final: DNQ

  • full results HERE
  • Sunday’s live stream on YouTube, below.
  • William Calleja podium interview, below

WSK Euro Series – round 1

official press

The first of the two rounds of the WSK Euro Series provided an exceptional competitive spectacle at the Franciacorta Karting Track, with over 300 drivers from 57 countries competing in the MINI, OK, OKJ, OK-N, and OK-N Junior categories. The event saw the participation of the major karting manufacturers and top international teams.

Following the 45 qualifying heats at the beginning of the weekend, Sunday morning’s Prefinals determined the pecking order for the Finals in each category, with a few surprises compared to the heats where Nakamura (OK), Saleh (OKJ), Yildirim (OK-N), Ivannikov (OK-N Junior), Cosma Cristofor (MINI Gr.3), and Miron Lorente (MINI Gr.3 Under 10) had prevailed.

The winners of the Prefinals

MINI Gr.3 Under 10
Prefinal A: Daniel Miron Lorente (ESP) (#507 Team Driver/KR-Iame-Vega)
Prefinal B: Antoine Venant (BEL) (#540 Kidix/KR-Iame-Vega)

Prefinal A: William Calleja (AUS) (#522 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame-Vega)
Prefinal B: Bosco Arias Chavarri (ESP) (#505 Team Driver/KR-Iame-Vega)

Prefinal A: Taym Saleh (DEU) (#314 Sauber Academy/KR-Iame-Vega)  
Prefinal B: Thibaut Ramaekers (BEL) (#385 VDK Racing/KR-Iame-Vega)

Prefinal A: Kirill Kutskov (#256 DPK Racing/KR-Iame-MG)
Prefinal B: Alex Powell (JAM) (#227 Prema Racing/KR-Iame-MG)

Prefinal: Gianmarco Cortopassi (ITA) (#805 Maranello-TM Kart-Vega)

OK-N Junior
Prefinal: Dean Hoogendoorn (NLD) (AKM Motorsport/KR-Iame-Vega).


The Finals and the winners of the opener of the WSK Euro Series

MINI Gr.3 Under 10 – Miron Lorente dominates the Final.

In the final, the Spanish driver Daniel Miron Lorente (#507 Team Driver/KR-Iame) dominated, but by a narrow margin over the Italian David Moscardi (#551 AMC/BirelART-TM Kart), who remained in second place throughout the race. A great comeback was made by the Ukrainian driver Oleksandr Legenkyi (#502 Team Driver/KR-Iame), who started from the eighth row but managed to secure third place on the podium. There was disappointment for the Italian Niccolò Perico (#575 Energy Corse/Energy-TM Kart), who started on the front row but was forced to retire early in the race. The other top positions went to another Italian, Lorenzo Di Pietrantonio (#516 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame), who made a strong comeback, and to the Polish driver Leonardo Gorski (#523 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame).

1. Daniel Miron Lorente (ESP)
2. David Moscardi (ITA)
3. Oleksandr Legenkyi (UKR)

MINI Gr.3 – Cosma Cristofor wins the duel with Calleja. 

A thrilling duel characterized the MINI Gr.3 category, where the Romanian driver Bogdan Cosma Cristofor (#501 Team Driver/Iame-Vega) managed to secure the victory over the Australian William Calleja (#522 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) after multiple position changes right up to the finish.

The third place went to the Swiss driver Riven Esteves (#510 Team Driver/KR-Iame) who made a comeback, while Cristian Blandino (#558 CRG Racing Team/CRG-TM Kart) had to settle for fourth place. The Monegasque driver Andrea Manni (#514 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) closed his effort in fifth place after making a remarkable 6-position comeback. Among the most notable performances, the Spanish driver Bosco Arias Chavarri (#505 Team Driver/KR-Iame) finished in 11th place, while the English driver Noah Baglin (#521 iKart/KR-Iame) encountered problems right from the start and was forced to retire.

1. Bogdan Cosma Cristofor (ROU)
2. William Calleja (AUS)
3. Riven Esteves (CHE)

OKJ – Lindblom claims the win from Saleh.

In the OK-Junior category, a fierce battle unfolded right from the early laps between the Swedish driver Scott Kin Lindblom (#315 Tony Kart R.T./Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega) and the German Taym Saleh (#314 Sauber Academy/KR-Iame), both of whom were standout performers throughout the weekend. The final overtaking move favored Lindblom, who finished with a tenth of a second advantage over Saleh. The Austrian driver Niklas Schaufler (#354 DPK Racing/KR-Iame) secured the third spot on the podium after a remarkable 11-position comeback. The fourth place was claimed by the English driver Lewis Wherrell (#328 Forza Racing/Exprit-TM Kart), while the Turkish driver Hasan Aksoy (#317 Tony Kart R.T./Tony Kart-Vortex) also made an impressive comeback to finish fifth. Among the contenders forced to retire, the Ukrainian Oleksandr Bondarev (#311 Prema Racing/KR-Iame) had to abandon the race due to an incident while running in third place.

1. Scott Kin Lindblom (SWE)
2. Taym Saleh (DEU)
3. Niklas Schaufler (AUT)

OK – A surprising win for Stolcermanis.

The victory by Latvian driver Tomass Stolcermanis (#229 Energy Corse/Energy-TM Kart-MG) was a surprise as he took the lead right from the beginning after starting from the third row. Stolcermanis held off his pursuers until the finish line, with Kirill Kutskov (#256 DPK Racing/KR-Iame) and the Brazilian driver Gabriel Gomez (#241 CRG Racing Team/CRG-Iame) finishing behind him. Among the standout performers of the weekend were the two Prema Racing drivers on KR-Iame, with Thai driver Enzo Tarnvanichkul (#226 Prema Racing/KR-Iame) and Jamaican driver Alex Powell securing fourth and fifth place, respectively. The Italian driver Sebastiano Pavan (#218 Tony Kart R.T./Tony Kart-Vortex) finished in sixth place, while the Dutch René Lammers (#201 Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM Kart), who started from the front row, ended up in seventh place. The Japanese driver Kean Nakamura-Berta (#228 Prema Racing/KR-Iame), who started from pole position, finished in 11th place instead. 

1. Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA)
2. Kirill Kutskov
3. Gabriel Gomez (BRA)

The OK-N victory goes to Yildirim, that of OK-N Junior to Philipps.

Several young talents stood out in the two new federal categories, OK-N and OK-N Junior, which raced together. The overall winner and first in OK-N was the Turkish driver Bati Ege Yildirim (#802 Modena Kart/Parolin-TM Kart-Vega), who managed to secure victory over his strong rival, the Italian Gianmarco Cortopassi (#805 Maranello-TM Kart-Vega), who had won the pre-final. The third place in OK-N went to the Romanian driver Eric Cristian Enache (#DR/DR-Modena Engines).

In OKN-Junior, the final was won by the British driver Jesse Phillips (#719 Kidix/KR-Iame-Vega) ahead of the American Asher Ochstein (#716 CRG Racing Team/CRG-TM Kart) and the Italian Cristian Tonalini (#707 Tona Racing/Tony Kart-TM Kart).

The WSK Euro Series event served as a qualifying event for drivers in these two categories to participate in the international event “Road to the OKN World Cup” on October 8th, organized by ACI Sport in collaboration with Franciacorta Karting Track.

The drivers qualified for the “Road to the OKN World Cup are:

1. Bati Ege Yildirim (TUR)
2. Gianmarco Cortopassi (ITA)
3. Eric Cristian Enache (ROU)
4. Roberto Nali (ITA)
5. Edoardo Mormorelli (ITA)

OK-N Junior
1. Jesse Phillips (GBR)
2. Asher Ochstein (USA)
3. Cristian Tonalini (ITA)
4. Bruno Gryc (POL)
5. Iskender Zulfikari (TUR)
6. Kais Aziza (CHE)

The second and final round of the WSK Euro Series is scheduled for November 5th in Sarno. The traditional WSK Final Cup will close the season with two rounds, on November 19th in Lonato and on November 26th in Franciacorta.