Birel ART Racing confirmed its excellent level of performance in the second round of the WSK Super Master Series at Lonato this weekend as the battle raged in all categories. Within an exceptionally large field, the Red Army showed great bravery despite the not always favourable circumstances. Hiltbrand was very consistent in the top five in KZ2, Pasiewicz and Keeble were close to the top 10 in OK while Kutskov was the fastest in the OK-Junior Final.
Riccardo Longhi Team Manager Birel ART Racing:
"We are continuing our development work at a good pace. The competition was intense this weekend with so many competitors which is an interesting situation to be in, as it requires us to take on new challenges and this helps to strengthen the team. Our performances were again very positive in all three categories. In this context, Pedro Hiltbrand's 5th position is very satisfying, especially as he often fought at the front. Giuseppe Palomba also had very good speed and Alessio Piccini made strong progress. We are very pleased with the podium for Matteo Vigano with Team Leclerc by Lennox Racing and with the total of six Birel ART chassis in the Final top 10 which attests to the quality and performance of our products. In OK, the retirement of Cristian Bertuca in the Final is a disappointment, but it is part of racing. Karol Pasiewicz and Harley Keeble were up to the task, approaching the top 10. Finally, Kirill Kutskov proved to be solid in adversity in OK-Junior. Our efforts are now focused on the next important event of the season, the Champions of the Future Winter Series, which will take place in Franciacorta in two weeks' time, where we will prepare the European FIA Karting OK and OK-Junior season."
In beautiful but still fresh weather, 351 drivers competed in Lonato for the second round of the WSK Super Master Series: a record! During the very lively races, the high level of participation was accompanied by a significant number of minor incidents and penalties that affected the Final results.
KZ2: Hiltbrand fulfils his mission with incredible consistency
Pedro Hiltbrand led the team to the top of the rankings, matching his most formidable opponents. His experience allowed him to highlight the performance of his Birel ART /TM Racing at every opportunity. Twice 2nd in the heats, he was 3rd on Saturday evening and continued to fight in the Final stages to finish 5th in the Final and 5th in the series ranking. Giuseppe Palomba was in the top 3 of the heats several times to come back from 12th to 8th position. He continued to attack during a superb Final and finished 6th on the line before being demoted to 10th because of a front fairing in the wrong position. Alessio Piccini made a strong comeback of 20 places during the heats. He was pushed at the start of the Final race, but managed to get back into the race and finished 12th before being delayed by a spoiler penalty. Moritz Ebner finished the Final five places up in 18th.
Three drivers in the mix in OK
Cristian Bertuca opened the race with a bang, setting the 4th fastest time in Timed Practice. A retirement meant he lost the benefit of a victory and a 2nd place in the heats. He started the Final with great ambitions and regained nine places in four laps. 7th was a very promising position before he had to retire. Karol Pasiewicz developed positively in the heats and regained three places in the Final to finish 12th. Harley Keeble was a little behind in Qualifying, but he made up ground despite having to withdraw in the Prefinal, and climbed 12 places in the Final to finish 13th.
Kutskov delayed but convincing
Kirill Kutskov lost ground due to a retirement and a penalty in the heat while he proved to have the ability to fight in the OK-Junior top five. He confirmed his speed with the fastest lap in the Final before finishing 15th. Reno Francot and Zoe Florescu Potolea were unable to reach the Final due to two DNFs each, but their efforts were otherwise convincing.