Calleja Podiums WSK Opener

William Calleja has started the 2024 season with a strong showing in Italy, taking second at the opening WSK Champions Cup event on the weekend.

Starting the final P2, the Babyrace Academy driver dropped to fifth at the start. He clawed his way onto the podium, fighting a team-mate and setting fastest lap on the way.

Calleja and the second-place trophy (pic – WC/FB)

The other two Aussies also had positive weekends. Dante Vinci (KR) moved into the top ten of the OK rankings, but retired from the final.

“A strong weekend overall for me, with all top 10 results and good pace all the way through” Vinci wrote on social media.

“During the final we were involved in a crash that forced me to retire a few laps later. However, we will keep pushing and work hard to get where we want to be.”

Dante Vinci (pic – DV/IG)

On his WSK debut, NSW’s Hudson Petta made it through to the final in the over-subscribed Mini Under 10 class. After qualifying 26th of 58, the Energy Corse driver finished the final in that very same position.

  • full results are HERE
  • Sunday’s video stream, below (or go to YouTube HERE)
  • scroll down for the official finals day report & pics
Babyrace team celebrations (pic – WC/FB)

Aussie Wrap

  • William Calleja – Mini (Babyrace Driver Academy, Parolin/IAME).
    Q: 9 (of 33). Ranking after heats: 2. Prefinal: 7. Final: 2nd.
  • Hudson Petta – Mini U10 (Energy Corse SRL, Energy/TM)
    Q: 26 (of 58). Ranking after heats: 27. Prefinal A: 22. Ranking: 29. Final: 26th.
  • Dante Vinci – OK (KR Motorsport, KR/IAME)
    Q: 15 (of 41): Ranking after heats: 8. Prefinal B: 7. Ranking: 8. Final: 32nd (DNF).

WSK official finals day report

The WSK Champions Cup named the first champions of 2024

The final phase of the WSK Champions Cup has crowned the champions of the 2024 edition at the South Garda Karting, which once again proved to be of the highest level. The event witnessed excellent participation, with over 260 drivers from 50 countries participating in this inaugural event of the new year. The competition featured categories MINI, OKNJ, OKJ, OK and KZ2, showcasing the major manufacturers and various technical and sporting innovations that added even more excitement to the start of this new season.

After three intense days of racing, from the qualifying heats on Friday and Saturday to the spectacular final phase on Sunday, with some surprising outcomes, the titles of the 2024 WSK Champions Cup were awarded to the Estonian Markus Kajak in KZ2, the Ukrainian Oleksandr Bondarev in OK, the Austrian Niklas Schaufler in OKJ, the Italian Cristian Blandino in MINI Gr.3, the Italian Niccolò Perico in MINI Gr.3 Under 10 and the Bulgarian Lyuboslav Ruykov in the OKN Junior federal category.

The winners of Prefinals.

  • MINI Gr.3 – Prefinal: Cristian Blandino (ITA) (#550 Kalì-Kart/TGroup-TM Kart-Vega).
  • MINI Gr.3 U10 – Prefinal A: Niccolò Perico (ITA) (#526 Energy Corse/Energy-TM Kart-Vega).
  • MINI Gr.3 U10 – Prefinal B: David Moscardi (ITA) (#560 BirelART/BirelART-TM Kart-Vega).
  • OKJ – Prefinal A: Dries Van Langendonck (BEL) (#328 Forza Racing/Exprit-TM Kart-Vega).
  • OKJ – Prefinal B: Niklas Schaufler (AUT) (#301 DPK Racing/KR-Iame-Vega).
  • KZ2 – Prefinal A: Giuseppe Palomba (ITA) (#12 Sodikart/Sodi-TM Kart-Vega).
  • KZ2 – Prefinal B: Emilien Denner (FRA) (#11 Sodikart/Sodi-TM Kart-Vega).
  • OK – Prefinal A: Salim Hanna (COL) (#208 Prema Racing/KR-Iame-LeCont).
  • OK – Prefinal B: Oleksandr Bondarev (UKR) (#201 Prema Racing/KR-Iame-LeCont)
  • OKNJ – Prefinal: Valerio Viapiana (ITA) (#702 Team Driver/KR-Iame-Vega).

The Finals and the Champions of the WSK Champions Cup 2024.

KZ2 – A surprising Kajak takes the final win

The Estonian Markus Kajak (#14 Maranello SRP/Maranello-TM Kart-Vega) was the surprising winner of the KZ2 final. He took the lead in the second part of the final. Kajak started from the eighth position, recovering well to second place and then taking the lead due to the sudden retirement of the Italian Giuseppe Palomba (#12 Sodikart/Sodi-TM Kart), who faced a technical issue while leading after starting from the pole position.

KZ2 winner, Markus Kajak (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

Another notable retirement was the Frenchman Emilien Denner (#11 Sodikart/Sodi-TM Kart), who had an incident in the first lap. The Italian Andrea Dalè (#24 Dalè/CRG-TM Kart) secured the second position, with another Italian, Cristian Bertuca (#1 BirelART/BirelART-TM Kart), managing to finish on the podium in third place. The Ukrainian Slavik Putiatin (#17 Maranello SRP/Maranello-TM Kart) and the Swiss Ethan Frigomosca (#49 Gerber/Maranello-TM Kart) also finished in the top positions.        

1st Markus Kajak (EST)
2nd Andrea Dalè (ITA)
3rd Cristian Bertuca (ITA)

KZ2 podium (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

OK – Impeccable win to Bondarev

The Ukrainian Oleksandr Bondarev (#201 Prema Racing/KR-Iame-LeCont) emerged as one of the main contenders in the category. After winning the Prefinal-B, he went on to secure victory in the final with a comfortable lead, prevailing in several duels. His teammate, the Colombian Salim Hanna (#208 Prema Racing/KR-Iame), who won the heats and Prefinal-A, had to settle for third place, finishing behind the Israeli Guy Albag (#204 KR Motorsport/KR-Iame).

OK winner Oleksandr Bondarev (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

Gerasim Skulanov (#233 DPK Racing/KR-Iame) claimed the fourth position, followed by Elia Pappacena (#214 Ward Racing/Tony Kart-TM Kart). The Belgian Ean Eyckmans (#209 BirelART Racing/BirelART-TM Kart), initially crossed the line in second place, but then received a 10s time penalty and ended up in sixth position.


1st Oleksandr Bondarev (UKR)
2nd Guy Albag (ISR)
3rd Salim Hanna (COL)

OK podium (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

OKJ – Schaufler wins a nice final

The Austrian Niklas Schaufler (#301 DPK Racing/KR-Iame-Vega), also the winner of the Prefinal-B, convincingly secured victory in the final after overtaking the Italian Filippo Sala (#327 Ricky Flynn/LN-TM Kart) a few laps into the race. The Belgian Dries Van Langendonck (#328 Forza Racing/Exprit-TM Kart), winner of Prefinal-A, showcased his competitiveness by securing second place in a sprint finish ahead of Filippo Sala.

Niklas Schaufler, 1st OKJ (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

The Dutch driver Rocco Coronel (343 Fath/KR-Iame) claimed the fourth position, while the Spanish driver Christian Costoya (#337 Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM Kart) finished fifth.

1st Niklas Schaufler (AUT)
2nd Dries Van Langendonck (BEL)
3rd Filippo Sala (ITA)

OKJ podium (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

MINI Gr.3 – Blandino dominates

The young Italian driver Cristian Blandino (#550 Kalì-Kart/TGroup-TM Kart-Vega) dominated the weekend in all its phases, from practice to heats and in the Prefinal, ultimately securing victory in the final ahead of the Australian William Calleja (#516 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) and Mark Pilipenko (#522 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame).

Cristian Blandino win Mini (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

Among the top performers was also the Ukrainian driver Oleksandr Legenkyi (#503 Team Driver/KR-Iame), who made a comeback to finish in fourth place, along with his teammate, the Dutch driver Daniel Miron Lorente, securing fifth place at the finish line.

1st Cristian Blandino (ITA)
2nd William Calleja (AUS)
3rd Mark Pilipenko

Mini podium, Australia’s William Calleja 2nd (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

MINI Gr.3 Under 10 – Perico confirms his pace taking the victory in the final too

Niccolò Perico (#526 Energy Corse/Energy-TM Kart-Vega) confirmed his victory in the final, having won Prefinal-A and secured the first position after the heats. The Italian driver crossed the finish line ahead of Leon Chelidze (#504 Team Driver/KR-Iame); however, Chelidze received a penalty.

Perico wins Mini Under 10 (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

Therefore, the Scottish driver Mason Robertson (#513 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) was promoted to P2, with another Italian from BabyRace, Lorenzo Di Pietrantonio, finishing third. The Pole position holder Patrick Bissa (#588 Bissa/EKS-TM Kart), claimed the fourth position, ahead of the American Lucas Palacio (#575 KR Motorsport/KR-Iame).

1st Niccolò Perico (ITA)
2nd Mason Robertson (SCO)
3rd Lorenzo Di Pietrantonio (ITA)

U10 podium (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

OKNJ – Ruykov wins the challenge

The OKN Junior final was marked by intense duels. At the end of the challenge, the Bulgarian Lyuboslav Ruykov (#720 Zanchi Motorsport/Tony Kart-TM Kart-Vega) claimed victory, ahead of the Slovakian Alex Molota (#717 Firefly/OTK-TM Kart) and Romanian Bogdam Cosma Cristofor (#711 Forza Racing/Exprit-TM Kart), who had taken the lead in the final laps. Another weekend protagonist, Italy’s Valerio Viapiana (#702 Team Driver/KR-Iame), finished only 11th. The top positions also included Luigi Cocchianella (#721 Kidix/KR-Iame) in fourth place and the American Drew Walz (#728 Forza Racing/Exprit-TM Kart), who staged a comeback to finish fifth, ahead of the Japanese driver Sara Matsui (#708 KR Motorsport/KR-Iame).

1st Ruykov (BGR)
2nd Molota (SVK)
3rd Cosma Cristofor (ROU)

OKNJ podium (pic – WSK/sportinphoto)

The next round will take place next January 25-28 again in Lonato. This will be the first of the four races of the WSK Super Master Series: