A bitter ending for the CRG drivers at the FIA World Championship - OK & Junior

Published on Monday, October 9, 2023

A bitter ending for the CRG drivers at the FIA World Championship - OK & Junior

The most important event of the season for the international direct drive classes (OK Junior and OK Senior) saw the CRG chassis and drivers as great protagonists. During Qualifying Practices in the OK top class Mark Dubnitski took the Pole Position and in the top 6 general classifications, 4 out of 6, were CRG drivers with the 3rd place of Gabriel Gomez, the 5th position of Louis Iglesias and the 5th one of Olin Galli. Simone Bianco securing his 13th place, Francisco Macedo the 18th, and Mattia Colnaghi the 24th one, completed the great team performance in Qualifying Practice. The level of performance was confirmed at the top also in the Qualifying races, where the CRG chassis were among the best in managing the 6 tires available to compete in the Heats and the Super Heats, despite some unfortunate episodes that meant Gabriel Gomez, who also lost a Heat due to a contact with Nakamura, missed the Pole for the Final. Olin Galli was also out in the first Heat due to an engine failure. Despite these episodes, on the starting grid of the Final Gomez earned P4, Dubnitski P8, Galli P9 place, and Mattia Colnaghi P11.

The OK Final therefore started with all the conditions to obtain an exceptional team result and Gabriel Gomez immediately confirmed in the first laps that he would have been the driver to beat, first taking P2 behind Joe Turney and then overtaking the opponent, becoming the leader of the race. Immediately after the overtaking, Turney attempted to react with a risky maneuver that took both off the track. For Gomez and CRG the race and the ambitions of success thus vanished in a few seconds, after the Brazilian driver was setting a race pace that was out of reach for everyone. Unfortunately, the episode also generated a subsequent accident for Turney, who was hit by another competitor, while he was trying to push his kart back into the race. The race was then stopped with a red flag and restarted for the second stage, once again affected by many contacts, including those that knocked out Dubnitski and Galli, while they were fighting in the top positions. Under the chequered flag, therefore, the best of the CRG drivers was Mattia Colnaghi who closed the race in P6, while Iglesias and Maxens Verbrugge finished in P8 and P13 respectively. The title was won by Kirill Kutskov.

In OK Junior the CRG colors did not have a lucky weekend, with many drivers suffering from race collisions in the Heat and none thus gaining the Final, despite Oliver Rasmussen being very fast in many phases of the race in Qualifying Practice. In OK Junior the title went to the Belgian Dries Van Langendonck.

Even among the youngest, CRG experienced an acute thanks to the podium achieved by Asher Ochstein in OK-N Junior category World Cup, as well as the 5th place of François Kerdal also in OK-N Junior.

The FIA ​​World Championship - OK and OK-Junior for CRG essentially ended with a two-sided outcome: on the one hand the great competitiveness demonstrated by the KT2 chassis in the configuration that will be marketed for next year, combined with the excellent performances of the official drivers and of the Iame engines managed by BM Motors, on the other one, the bad luck and the negative episodes that significantly influenced a single round event. Racing also means this and we need to look at the future with the many positive points highlighted by this important international event.

 

CRG drivers’ post-race reactions:

Gabriel Gomez (OK): “I have no words about today. We were the fastest on the track and leader of the race, then an accident caused by such a stupid maneuver wiped out weeks of work by the entire team in just a few seconds. We deserved this title and we demonstrated the great strength of the team, the CRG chassis and the Iame engines from BM Motors. The disappointment is great, but we will come back stronger. Obviously regardless of who was responsible for the accident, what happened to Joe afterwards was very bad and I wish him a speedy recovery”.

Mattia Colnaghi (OK): “I am very happy with the final result because P6 in such an important event is very positive, as well as my performances throughout the weekend from Qualifying, where I scored P5 in my group, up to P11 obtained after the Heats and Super Heat on the starting grid. I am very sorry, however, for the bad luck of my teammates, all involved in race contacts through no fault of their own, when they could have achieved great results. Seeing only 14 drivers at the finish line makes it clear how many participants approached the race in the wrong way".

Asher Ochsten (OK-N Junior): “I am happy with the podium achieved in such an important event. In 10 months I moved from MINI to OK-N Junior, following a path with CRG and my coach that is making me a more complete driver and ready for the challenges that will come next year.  At the moment I'm enjoying this podium and I would like to thank all the team technicians and our engineer Salemi for making it possible".

 

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