From 4th to 7th February 2016 at the Adria Raceway Karting (ITA), the WSK Champions Cup hosted the first international Competition of the new OK and OK-Junior categories on the circuit that will host a European Championship Competition in June. Satisfaction was in good supply when the time to sum up arrived.
The first positive point is the popularity of this opening event organised by WSK Promotion. The competitors were present in numbers despite a very early date: 38 Drivers in OK and 67 Drivers in OK-Junior were on track at Adria, significantly larger numbers than the previous events for KF and KF-Junior.
Whether on a dry track or in the rain, no particular safety problems were encountered at the entrance to the track during the starting procedures or during racing.
The Qualifying Heats and Finals were praised for their intensity and fairness. Spectacular battles, plentiful overtaking, a few skirmishes, is what was observed. The new engines bring notably increased performance in OK, in the range of 5/10 per lap at Adria, with a more measured but perceptible evolution in OK-Junior. A last comment is that the four engine brands represented at Adria (Vortex, Parilla, TM Racing and LKE) appeared to be very close in performance.
Here are some testimonies collected during the Competition at Adria.
Alessandro Ferrari, Race Director at the WSK Champions Cup
"I admit I felt a little apprehensive for the emergence of the new OK engines in WSK. From the starts early on, I realised it was a success. Everything went well regarding safety, including for Juniors, which was crucial. I systematically gave two practice laps for Drivers to regroup, but they still need to make progress on this. Otherwise, we witnessed some very competitive and fair races. Penalties for front spoilers were not very common in the dry. I am convinced of the success of the OK generation."
Dennis Hauger, age 12, Norwegian, former 60 Mini Driver and OK-Junior rookie, CRG-Parilla
"I love the OK-Junior. I did some tests in KF-Junior and I feel that the new category is faster. I have not tried to start my own kart, but I intend to prepare myself soon. The hardest thing for me is to get used to the intensity of the struggle in Junior, the machine is not a problem, anything but!"
Gianni Palmieri, Vice-World Champion in Formula C in 1997, European Champion in Formula Super A in 1999, professional mechanic for 15 years.
"The OK resembles in many respects the old 100cc, they are real racing engines, but with reliability worthy of our era. The kart is lighter, the front brakes are gone, performance has increased, it is a very good thing. For us, mechanics, the work is easier and it should normally be cheaper for customers. I'm glad that everything worked well for the first race. The push start is not a real problem, it's only a matter of habit. We will have to look after our physical fitness too!"
Tom Joyner, World Champion in KF in 2013
"This first experience racing the OK engine was quite satisfactory. The different running with prototypes over the course of last season had not impressed me. Now that the engines are in their final configuration, it is something else. We can take advantage of the removal of the front brakes and the decreased weight. The kart is really efficient and very quick. It is a delight to drive. We still need to work to understand the intricacies of these new engines, but I'm sure in a few weeks we will be in focus."
Ralf Schumacher, Team KSM
"We are very pleased with the first races in OK and OK-Junior. The Winterpokal at Kerpen was a successful test shot as both drivers did well, but we were mainly present to show the potential of the new engines and support their rapid implementation. To start with, everything has gone well. The starting of the engine poses no particular problems, except perhaps when pushing on the track for some, and the performance is already there waiting. As we have seen at Adria, the parc fermé and the track entrance need to be adjusted accordingly. The progress of these first races should reassure the skeptics."
Info CIK / © Photo KSP
The Andrea Margutti Trophy, race organized as usual by Parma Karting, is on the launch pad to run its 27th edition that will be held next 11 - 13 March 2016 at the South Garda Karting circuit of Lonato del Garda.
The event will see this year the new categories OK and OK Junior on track, as well as KZ2 and 60 Mini. The maximum number of acceptable drivers for 60 Mini, OK and KZ2 is set to 54, while the cap is of 72 drivers for OK Junior. All categories will fit Vega tyres, as 60 Mini will use "SL9"compound, OK Junior will use "Option" tyres, while OK and KZ2 "Prime".
Entry forms are available at the website www.trofeomargutti.com. Filled forms will have to be sent by email to email@example.com including the entry fees payment receipt specifying the payee Parma Karting ASD.
The racing programme of the 27th Andrea Margutti Trophy includes Qualifying Practice, Heats, Second Chance Races, Prefinal and Final.
Info Parma Karting Press Office
The WSK Champions Cup won its personal duel with the bad weather and the rain. The heated finale of the event was followed by a huge attendance hosted by the Adria Karting Raceway.
Paolo De Conto beats all in KZ2.
The Italian Paolo De Conto (CRG-Maxter-Vega) was simply irresistible: he pursued the leader of the race, his fellow countryman Marco Ardigò (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega). De Conto was slowed down by a contact with the Czech Patrik Hajek (Kosmic-Vortex-Vega) during his attack to the leader. After a spin, He closed the gap with Ardigò, this time together with the Belgian Rick Dreezen (Ricciardo-Parilla-Vega). The latter took the leadership and kept the head of the race until the last lap. Unfortunately for him, the last metres of the race were fatal and De Conto won the race thanks to a terrific overtaking on Dreezen.
Winning debut for Sargeant in the OK.
The American Logan Sargeant (FA Alonso-Vortex-Vega), the 2015 World Junior Champion at his debut in the category, challenged the other CIK-FIA Champion, the Polish Karol Basz (Kosmic-Vortex-Vega). However, the fastest driver in the Final was the Danish Christian Lundgaard (Energy-TM-Vega), followed by Sargeant and Basz. The American immediately laid his cards on the table and took the lead of the race, with Basz right behind him and Lundgaard in third position. The three drivers finished the race keeping this order.
In OKJ Jewiss wins in the last metres.
The OKJ had his winner only on the last lap, when the British Kiern Jewiss (Ricciardo-Parilla-Vega) overtook the French Timothy Peisselon (FA Alonso-Vortex-Vega) and won the Cup. At the start, the French Charles Milesi (Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega) took the lead and kept it until half race; then he got overtaken by Peisselon and, after few laps, also Jewiss passed Milesi. Jewiss then closed the gap with the leader and passed him, crossing the finishing line in first position. In the last phases of the race, the British Fin Kennelly (FA Alonso-Vortex-Vega) scored the third position passing Milesi.
Paparo wins in 60 Mini.
He was always among the protagonists and, eventually, he won the race: the Italian Michael Paparo (IP Karting-TM-Vega) managed to win the Final ahead of his fellow countryman Francesco Pizzi (Energy-iame-Vega) and of the Czech Dan Skocdopole (CRG-TM-Vega). The latter, after the end of the race, was obliged to leave his position to the Polish Tymo Kucharczyk (Tony Kart-TM) because of a ten second penalty.
Info WSK Promotion
Com uma partida perfeita, Marco Ardigo (Tony Kart/Vortex) afasta-se imediatamente na frente para a final KZ2 da WSK Champions Cup. A chuva parou, mas a pista de Adria mantém-se escorregadia, principalmente fora da trajectória. Paolo De Conto (CRG/Maxter) cede rapidamente face à Alexander Schmitz (Tony Kart/Vortex), puis face à Rick Dreezen (Ricciardo/Parilla). Vindo do fundo da grelha, Jonathan Thonon (Praga/Parilla) não demora a ganhar terreno. Stan Pex (CRG/Vortex) não termina nenhuma volta. Sobreexcitado, Dreezen alcança o 2º lugar à 7ª volta, mas Ardigo já se encontra a cerca de 3''. De Conto força a passagem para recuperar a sua posição, Patrik Hajek (Kosmic/Vortex) aproveita para se inserir em 3º na frente de Dreezen, o que deixa ainda mais o campo livre ao líder. Durante esse tempo, Jorrit Pex (CRG/Vortex) e Leonardo Lorandi (Tony Kart/Vortex) disputam o 7º lugar atrás de Lorenzo Camplese (Parolin/TM).
Após a meia corrida, a diferença entre Ardigo e de Conto diminui sensivelmente. Não é fácil para o piloto da Tony Kart devido às dores nas costas e costelas desde o início do encontro, mas ele defende-se corajosamente e é De Conto quem cai para 4º num deslizamento com Hajek. Dreezen está cada vez mais ameaçador junto da meta e De Conto não demora a alcançá-lo para a luta final. Ardigo tem de se contentar com o 3º lugar, De Conto coloca-se novamente na frente de Dreezen e vence a corrida na última volta. Pex é 4º e Camplese 5º.
Info Kartcom / © Fotografias KSP
The Czech Dan Skocdopole (CRG / TM) opened the hostilities in 60 Mini with the pole position of the 2016 WSK Champions Cup at Adria. He then maintained his advantage in the qualifying heats against the Italian Michael Barbaro Paparo (Formula K / TM), while the Polish Tymoteusz Kucharczyk (Tony Kart / TM) came back to 3rd position. Skocdopole won Prefinal A in front of the Estonian Paul Aron (Tony Kart / TM), with Paparo winning Prefinal B ahead of Italy's Francesco Pizzi (Energy / IAME). In the Final, Paparo took the lead ahead of Skocdopole who was being attacked by Pizzi. After the application of penalties, Kucharczyk finished in 3rd place ahead of Leonardo Caglioni (Evokart / TM) and Luigi Coluccio (Tony Kart / Vortex) with Paparo winning by more than 5'' ahead of Pizzi with the fastest lap.
In the French clan, the three drivers present were rookies. Loris Cabirou, not spared from conflict at the start of the meeting after 57th in Qualufying, made amends in a superb Prefinal A, 10th with 16 places gained on a wet track and finished the 10th in the Final, a very encouraging position. Evann Mallet (CRG / TM) started with 30th in Qualifying and regained no less than 10 places in Prefinal B. He lost some ground in the Final but still finished his performance with 15th. Things were more complicated for the youngest Benjamin Cartery (Formula K / TM) 76th in the heats for his first attempt in 60 Mini.
Info Kartcom / © Photos KSP