Double victory for KR at Valencia: Fionn McLaughlin in OK and Rocco Coronel in OK-Junior

Published on Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Double victory for KR at Valencia: Fionn McLaughlin in OK and Rocco Coronel in OK-Junior

The Champions of the Future Euro Series couldn't have got off to a better start for the KR brand, which won both categories represented in Valencia with Fionn McLaughlin in OK and Rocco Coronel in OK-Junior, while Oleksandr Bondarev and Niklas Schaufler secured two magnificent one-two finishes! Numerous drivers from the official KR Motorsport team proved to be highly competitive, but the Italian chassis can also count on the support of benchmark private teams such as VDK Racing, Prema Racing, Victory Lane and DPK Racing. With just a few days to go before the start of the FIA Karting European Championship, the indicators are green for the KR Global Motorsport Company group. In both dry and wet conditions, the KR-IAME packages performed extremely well with the new Maxxis tyres, both in the "option" and "prime" versions.

 

Six chassis in the top seven in OK-Junior

Kenzo Craigie (Prema Racing), who made his Rotax debut last year, got off to a brilliant start in the category by claiming the best performance of the KR chassis-equipped drivers in the Qualifying session on slick tyres, which were also used in all the Qualifying Heats. After that, Craigie wasn't the only one to shine: Schaufler, Coronel, Pradier, Kraeling, Baglin, Nikishov and Martinese regularly fought it out at the front, as did Burnett, Belofsky, Hoogendoorn, Arias and Hattemer in the Super Heats. In the second Super Heats, the top six was made up entirely of KR-IAME karts!

In the Final, the rain tyres were out and the KR chassis confirmed their performance. Starting 5th, Rocco Coronel clearly made the difference to give the Victory Lane team its first victory in OK-Junior. WSK Super Master Series champion Niklas Schaufler (DPK Racing) confirmed his current form with 2nd place. Iacopo Martinese (KR Motorsport-Cetilar Racing) came close to completing the podium for KR from 11th place with the fastest lap of the race, before retiring after a collision. However, Dean Hoogendoorn (AKM Motorsport), Kenzo Craigie (KR Motorsport), Kit Belofsky (Fusion Motorsport) and Nikita Nikishov (VDK Racing) all finished in 4th to 7th position. Belofsky moved up 25 places in the Final!

 

McLaughlin's turn to win in OK

Irishman Fionn McLaughlin (VDK Racing) had been chasing an OK win for some time. In Valencia, he won the Final after having been the driving force throughout the meeting, whatever the conditions. He was one of the Qualifying Heat winners, along with Belgian Thibaut Ramaekers (VDK Racing), Portugal's Noah Monteiro (KR Motorsport) and Dmitry Matveev (KR Motorsport). British driver Joe Turney (KR Motorsport), who had finished 34th in Timed Practice, had taken advantage of the opportunity to move up the order and find himself in a position to win the Final, as had Oleksandr Bondarev (Prema Racing).

After several upsets, McLaughlin went on to win ahead of Bondarev. Luna Fluxa Cross (Prema Racing), who started 18th, was unable to improve her position after retiring at the start of the Final, which saw Salim Hanna make a superb comeback from 30th to 13th.

 

The comment from Dino Chiesa, Head of KR Global Motorsport Company

"Many of us were waiting to see how the Maxxis tyres would perform in their first official competition in OK and OK-Junior this season in Europe. I'm pleased to see that our KR chassis proved competitive in both categories. The tyres proved to be consistent throughout the heats, as well as from driver to driver. I didn't hear any complaints in this respect in our awnings, which is rather reassuring. This situation was confirmed in the rain in the Final. The weather may be different at the FIA Karting European Championship and we must remain cautious, even if we can be satisfied after these two victories and two one-twos. I'd also like to congratulate the VDK Racing and Victory Lane teams on their success. Victory Lane has chosen to work with Kart Republic for its entry into the OK and OK-Junior categories in 2024 and has just celebrated its first victory at this level. Congratulations also to RGMMC for the excellent organisation of this event."

 

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