For the second time in a row, Kirill Kutskov joined the top 10 of an FIA Karting European Championship event in OK-Junior. Already very successful in Portugal, he played an important role again on the international circuit of Zuera by climbing energetically to 7th position. In OK, Cristian Bertuca and Harley Keeble were in a position to achieve a similar result after being at the forefront in the Super Heat, but incidents unfortunately thwarted their performance in the Final. In Spain, the competitiveness of the Birel ART-TM Racing packages deserved a better outcome.
The Champions of the Future Euro Series, organised two weeks before the big event, allowed the Birel ART Racing Team to adjust its equipment perfectly to the particularities of the Zuera circuit, which is the longest of the season and one of the fastest. “We are currently very satisfied with the behaviour of our chassis, both in OK and OK-Junior,” said Riccardo Longhi, the Italian team manager. “As for the TM Racing engines, there is no doubt about their competitiveness. However, in a meeting as competitive as this one, the sporting side of the event needs to run without any major problems. Unfortunately, this was not always the case. Some drivers were not as successful as they would have liked in the Qualifying session. Others suffered from racing incidents. I think that everyone’s efforts will pay off in the end.”
OK-Junior: +24 places for Kirill Kutskov
Between his 31st position in Timed Practice and his 7th place in the Final, Kirill Kutskov made every effort to move up in the hierarchy. He managed to gain positions in each of his five heats, then reached 5th place in his Super Heat on Sunday morning. In the Final, Kirill fought with determination and ended up scoring important points in the European Championship. His position of 7th could have been even better if he hadn’t lost some places after a heated duel in mid-race.
Caught in the collision at the start of the Final, Reno Francot was not able to take the chequered flag. It was a pity, because his runs to 5th, 6th and 7th positions showed the progress and potential of the fast Dutchman. Indian Abhay Mohankumar had a meeting to forget, while Romanian Zoe Florescu Potolea and Czech Jindrich Pesl had to deal with a difficult Qualifying session. In the heats, the young Pesl twice managed to move up ten places, confirming that he will be a driver to watch in the future.
OK: Keeble and Bertuca in the top five in the Super Heats
Cristian Bertuca was forced to retire twice in a row right from the start of the Qualifying Heats. However, the Italian did not give up. He was able to come back successively to 3rd, 3rd and 7th in the three following heats, before finishing 5th in the Super Heat. Determined to continue his momentum in the Final, he found himself in the middle of the fight, which resulted in losses of places, exacerbated by a penalty.
Harley Keeble was full of hope after his consistent run in the heats and his remarkable 3rd place in the Super Heat with excellent lap times. In the Final, his speed allowed him to get into the points at the halfway point, before stabilising in 19th position.
Karol Pasiewicz started his Qualifying Heats with an encouraging 8th place and even finished 5th in another one. But race incidents followed each other in the last part of his meeting, depriving the Polish hopeful of a deserved place in the Final. For her first full season in OK, Ella Stevens has learned a lot. The British driver is diligent and increasingly capable of matching the performances of the best.
The Birel ART Racing Team will now head to Genk to take on new challenges when the FIA Karting European Championships in KZ and KZ2 start from 12th to 15th May 2022.
Birel ART – Press release / Photo © KSP