The changing weather conditions at the third round of the Champions of the Future Euro Series in Kristianstad enabled the Birel ART Racing team to gather a large amount of data in OK and OK-Junior. Drivers and technicians had to adapt constantly to ensure their competitiveness, which was certainly good training for the third round of the FIA European Karting Championship which will take place in Sweden in a fortnight.
There was no shortage of good performances and comebacks in the Euro Series from 19th to 22nd May at the Åsum Ring, despite the many incidents that punctuated the races throughout the meeting. Harley Keeble represented the colours of Birel ART best by winning back 17 places in the rain during the OK Final. Dry on Friday for Qualifying and the first heats, the weather was changeable on Saturday with several light rainy spells, leaving the competitors to deal with constantly changing grip. While the Super Heats were run in dry conditions on Sunday, rain interrupted the Junior Final which started on slick tyres, while the OK Final started on a progressively wet track.
"We had to work at an intense pace this weekend in Sweden," said Birel ART Racing Team Manager Riccardo Longhi. "The next few days will not be any quieter as we analyse our performance in all the conditions we encountered and prepare for the next round of the European Championship. Our drivers have had to deal with a lot of setbacks in the Euro Series, with on-track incidents being frequent at Kristianstad. However, the overall performance level of the team was very interesting. The potential of the Birel ART chassis combined with the excellent TM Racing engines prepared by GFR bodes well."
Keeble makes progress to the end of the OK Final
Cristian Bertuca and Karol Pasiewicz proved themselves capable of finishing in the top five of the OK class right from the start of the event. After a retirement in the heat and a complex Super Heat, Bertuca missed out on qualification for the Final by just two points. Pasiewicz started from the sixth row and fought his way into the top 10 until a race incident broke his momentum and forced him to retire. Harley Keeble made a superb 15-place recovery during the heats, but retired at the beginning of his Super Heat. He qualified in 31st place for the Final and was very comfortable in the rain. He made up 17 places to 14th on the finish line, before dropping back to 16th due to a penalty for a wrongly positioned front fairing.
OK-Junior: Kutskov so close
Harsh race conditions masked the true level of performance of the Birel ART drivers in OK-Junior by preventing them from reaching the finish on several occasions. Kirill Kutskov increased the pace after two consecutive retirements in the heat and finished with a 4th and a 6th position in the last two heats. He came very close to the Final, only three points away. Two retirements in the heats and one in the Super Heat interrupted Reno Francot's run, who had shown good speed in Qualifying. Jindrich Pesl also had to deal with a number of hazards in his way.
Birel ART Racing congratulates Zoe Florescu and Ella Stevens for their progress in adversity.
The young Spanish hopeful Aaron Garcia, member of the Leclerc by Lennox Racing team, got himself noticed several times in OK-Junior, bringing his Birel ART / TM Racing to 4th place in Super Heat 1 after a nine-position climb.