Trinec, a landmark venue
Much has been said or written about the Steel Ring circuit in the Czech Republic, which was the scene of a good FIA Karting meeting last weekend. The track can be described as difficult, twisty, hilly, spectacular or interesting, but perhaps it is its selectivity that best characterises it.
In any case, the competition reached a level of excellence in circumstances that were complex for both drivers and teams to master. The three winners of the weekend largely deserved their success. Hats off to Brazilian Gabriel Gomez, licensed in Italy, who dominated the European OK Championship, and to the official CRG team, which has regained the competitiveness of its heyday. Congratulations to the Ukrainian Oleksandr Bondarev (KR/Iame) who won the European OK-Junior Championship one year after a serious accident in Zuera and to Dino Chiesa’s KR Motorsport team which knows how to adapt to all tracks. Finally, welcome to the Norwegian Marius Barry-Berg who has been propelled onto the international scene thanks to his overall performance and Final victory in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy.
A special mention to the members of the Czech organisational team who provided high quality services with a smile and dynamism during the entire weekend. Thanks to them, the meeting took another dimension in the eyes of the competitors and the supporters. Everyone will be pleased to come back soon to Trinec…
Good start for OK-N in the Italian Championship, but…
The first round of the Italian ACI Karting Championship has just taken place on the Cremona circuit. It was the first time that the OK-N and OKN-Junior took part in a national event. The number of 61 karts, 25 OK-N and 36 OKN-Junior, among the 280 participants in this event, was very interesting for a debut. Five engine manufacturers were represented, with a majority of TM Kart with 31 engines, 10 Modena Engines, 8 Vortex, 6 LKE and 6 IAME. The performances of these engines were very close without one brand taking the advantage over another.
What can we learn from this first event?
The relatively large participation reflects the Italian desire to successfully launch the two new categories created by FIA Karting. Several drivers with experience in international competition set a benchmark in the overall level of the competition. Most of the participants entered under the colours of professional teams, or even factory structures. The performance gaps between the top and bottom teams were significant, but the frequent rain undoubtedly accentuated this phenomenon.
Two chassis and two engines are allowed for each driver. The homologated tyres are Vega Option XH3 for slick and W6 for rain. As with the other categories, two sets of slick tyres and two sets of rain tyres were allowed for the event.
In conclusion, it should be noted that although this launch was a success in terms of the number of participants, the spirit of the OK-N imagined by the FIA Karting as a more widely accessible category was not completely present. The number of chassis, engines and tyres, the three-day race format, the massive participation from professional teams and the presence of very experienced drivers distorts the picture somewhat and leads one to wonder about the interest and the future of these two categories considered from this angle. On the other hand, if it is a question of replacing the brand cups at national level with categories open to all manufacturers, that is another story to consider.
Info Kartcom Selection / © Photo KSP