The wind had blown away the clouds, but it was still warm in Portimão for the OK-Junior Final of the first round of the European Championship. The 36 finalists started in the order determined at the end of the Super Heats, with Dmitry Matveev (Tony Kart/Vortex) and Nathan Tye (Sodi/TM) on the front row.
The poleman got off to a good start ahead of Oleksander Bondarev (LN/Vortex), Anatholy Khavalkin (Parolin/TM) and Tye. Reno Francot (Birel ART/TM) did not finish the first lap. Khavalkin immediately attacked Bondarev while Jules Caranta (Energy/TM) followed Tye with René Lammers (Parolin/TM) in his wake. Tye overtook Bondarev for 3rd place. The two drivers continued to attack each other, which benefited the top two, Matveev and Khavalkin. Guillaume Bouzar (Tony Kart/Vortex) had moved up to 20th, while Andy Consani (Sodi/TM) had dropped 10 places to 25th.
At the halfway point, Khavalkin was 0,168” behind the leader Matveev, 2” ahead of Lammers. Bondarev was very combative and came back in 5th position, ahead of Tye. The duel continued, Tye came back to 5th followed by Kirill Dzitiev (Tony Kart/Vortex). Matveev controlled the threat from Khavalkin with a gap of 3 tenths, 4″ ahead of the pack. Thomas Strauven (LN/Vortex) was back in 3rd place ahead of Lammers and Tye. Khavalkin launched the final sprint in pursuit of Matveev, but the fate was sealed. Matveev won the Final by 4 tenths over Khavalkin. Lammers secured 3rd place 4,5″ further back with Strauven and Tye in the top five. Dzitiev took a nice 6th position after a 12-place climb. Caranta fought until the end to finish 7th ahead of Kirill Kutskov (Birel ART/TM), Martin Molnar (Energy/TM) and Maciej Gladysz (LN/Vortex) who moved up 15 places. Bouzar finished 27th with a 10″ penalty and Consani, penalised by 15″, 32nd.
Info Kartcom with Kartlink / Photos © KSP