The second round of the FIA Karting European Championship – OK & OK-Junior, which has just finished in Zuera, could well play a major role in the destination of the titles. The situation has changed considerably since Portugal. Two British drivers won on the track, Nathan Tye in OK-Junior and Joe Turney in OK, and at the same time as they made the difference in the provisional ranking of the two Championships.
The races remained intense until the end of the event on the Zuera circuit, a formidable selector on which there were many twists and turns. The very fine weather continued in the region with temperatures often above 20°. The sporting spectacle was superb on Sunday with breathtaking Super Heats and grandiose Finals. The winners deserved their reward against very competitive opponents, while the tension was palpable from the start of the Finals.
Tye the big winner of the OK-Junior Final
Already noticed in Portugal for his performances, Nathan Tye (GBR – Sodi/TM Racing/Vega) moved up a gear in Spain. His victory in Super Heat A earned him a place in the top three of the Final intermediate ranking. From his position on the third row of the Final starting grid, Tye took the lead of the race from the second of 15 laps. He started to distance himself from the middle of the race and the multiple battles between his pursuers allowed him to fly away to victory with a record lead of more than 3,5”. In pole position at the start, Arthur Dorison (FRA – Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega) was third before coming back to second position. A long duel started with his team-mate Enzo Tarnvanichkul (THA – Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega) which turned to the advantage of the Thai driver on the last lap. He finally took second place by less than 2 tenths against the Frenchman. Only one driver was able to join the leading trio: René Lammers (NLD – Parolin/TM Racing/Vega) had started ninth, but he kept on gaining positions. With five laps to go, he was back in fourth position, 1,7″ behind the third driver, which he reduced tenfold by the finish line. The podium was very close. Finally, Jules Caranta (FRA – Energy/TM Racing/Vega) confirmed the progress he made in Portimão. After his second place in Super Heat B, the start of the Final did not go in his favour. 14th the first time over the line, he progressively increased the pace and proved to be very effective in the second half of the race. A top five finish rewarded his efforts.
The leader of the Championship after Portugal, Dmitry Matveev (Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega) had reached the sixth place of the Final to conclude a complicated weekend. A penalty for an incorrectly positioned front fairing at the finish line relegated him to 12th place, just ahead of his team-mate Guillaume Bouzar (LUX-Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega), who was poleman in Qualifying and a brilliant second afterwards. Zac Drummond (GBR – Parolin/TM Racing/Vega) was one of the OK-Junior revelations in his first year in the category with a fine sixth place in the Final. Only 31st in Qualifiying Practice, Kirill Dzitiev (Birel ART/TM Racing/Vega) managed to reach the seventh place in the Final while the top 10 was completed by Marcus Saeter (NOR – Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega), 40th in Qualifying, Maciej Gladysz (POL – LN/Vortex/Vega) and Miguel Costa (BRA – KR/IAME/Vega).
Provisional 2022 FIA Karting European Championship – OK-Junior standings after Round 2
1- Nathan Tye (GBR) 53 points
2- Dmitry Matveev 39 points
3- René Lammers (NLD) 38 points
4- Jules Caranta (FRA) 29 points
5- Enzo Tarnvanichkul (THA) 26 points
OK: Experience and perseverance rewarded for Turney
Second in the FIA Karting European Championship – OK at the first round, Joe Turney (GBR – Tony Kart/Vortex/MG) knew that he should not miss the opportunity to make his mark in Spain. He took the lead in the heats, then won the Super Heat before taking the overall victory. Enzo Deligny (FRA – Parolin/TM Racing/MG) briefly challenged him for first place at the start of the race, but Turney then took the lead. However, Arvid Lindblad (GBR – KR/Iame/MG) made the most of his return to competition after an injury at the beginning of the season and showed himself to be increasingly fast. He finished second, just a few tenths behind Turney at the finish line, before dropping back to ninth due to a penalty for a badly positioned front fairing. Deligny was able to take the second step of the podium ahead of Alex Powell (JAM – KR/Iame/MG) while Kean Nakamura-Berta (GBR – KR/Iame/MG) secured important points in fourth position and Gabriel Gomez (BRA – CRG/IAME/MG) finished fifth.
Sixth in the Final as well as in the provisional ranking, the reigning World Champion Tuukka Taponen (FIN – Tony Kart/Vortex/MG) is still among the seeds. Young Ean Eyckmans (BEL – Tony Kart/Vortex/MG) made his debut in the top five of the Championship with his seventh Final position ahead of Evan Giltaire (FRA – KR/Iame/MG), who is ahead of him in the standings. In his home country, Adrian Malheiro (ESP – CRG/TM Racing/MG) showed a strong fighting spirit to finish 10th in the Final.
Provisional 2022 FIA Karting European Championship – OK standings after Round 2
1- Joe Turney (GBR) 70 points
2- Enzo Deligny (FRA) 42 points
3- Kean Nakamura-Berta (GBR) 40 points
4- Evan Giltaire (FRA) 32 points
5- Ean Eyckmans (BEL) 31 points
FIA Karting European Championship Calendar – OK & OK-Junior
2nd – 5th June: Kristianstad (SWE)
7th – 10th July: Franciacorta (ITA)
Full results of the Zuera event can be found on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.
FIA Karting – Press release / Photo © KSP