Each in its own way, the two Finals in Franciacorta offered a breathtaking spectacle. However, neither winner became champion. Jan Przyrowski (POL) won in OK-Junior after epic battles full of twists and turns while Alex Powell (JAM) won in OK. It was Anatholy Khavalkin who became FIA Karting European Champion - OK-Junior and Kean Nakamura-Berta (GBR) who won the FIA Karting European Championship - OK after a stroke of fate.
Overall the competition was tough and intense throughout the weekend on the Italian circuit of Franciacorta. On Sunday morning, the Super Heats calmed things down a bit, but then the Finals reached a climax. The titles were uncertain until the end, as the leaders of the provisional rankings failed to fulfil their ambitions in this last event of the FIA Karting European season. The best drivers in the Qualifying Heats were not always able to keep up the pace in the Super Heats and Finals. Some good outsiders managed to win.
Of course the track remained completely dry in radiant weather. The thermometer was 30° and felt higher, but this did not cause any particular problems.
Przyroswki wins an exciting Final
The first lap of the OK-Junior Final set the tone with several contacts and five drivers who did not go any further. Nathan Tye (GBR - Sodi/TM Racing/Vega) started from 11th position and managed to take the lead on the third lap. But his dreams of the title were short-lived, as he quickly lost ground after this great start. He came back to third position with two laps to go, but was forced to retire after a collision. Anatholy Khavalkin (Parolin/TM Racing/Vega) had his nerves put to the test. He ran between seventh and first position before finishing on the third step of the podium with the title in hand. Six different drivers occupied the lead for a while, but it was Jan Przyrowski (POL - Tony Kart/Vortex/Vega) who took the victory with a comfortable margin over the astonishing Zac Drummond (GBR - Parolin/TM Racing/Vega) author of a remarkable 10-place improvement. While Lewis Wherrell (GBR - Exprit/TM Racing/Vega) was chasing Khavalkin in fourth position, Thomas Strauven (DNK - LN/Vortex/Vega) made a strong 31-place comeback to finish in the top five.
The new Champion Anatholy Khavalkin was able to comment on his day:
"I was a bit disappointed at the start of the Final when I got pushed and dropped back to seventh. At that moment Nathan Tye took the lead and I was no longer in a favourable position for the Championship. But so much happened in that race that the situation changed. I concentrated on passing as many drivers as possible. I gradually relaxed when I saw how things were going. I am very happy to have won the European Championship. It is a great reward for the Parolin Motorsport team who worked so hard with TM Racing to help me win the title."
2022 FIA Karting European Championship - OK-Junior final standings
1- Anatholy Khavalkin 86 points
2- Jan Przyrowski (POL) 65 points
3- Nathan Tye (GBR) 64 points
4- Dmitry Matveev 47 points
5- Enzo Tarnvanichkul (THA) 47 points
An intense and surprising OK Final
The Final of the FIA Karting European Championship - OK began with Alex Powell (JAM - KR/Iame/MG) making a lightning-quick climb from ninth to first place. At the same time, Joe Turney (GBR - Tony Kart/Vortex/MG) dropped out of the title fight in 34th and Kean Nakamura-Berta (GBR - KR/Iame/MG) lost ground from the front row of the grid to the outside lane. Evan Giltaire (FRA - KR/Iame/MG) moved up to second place ahead of David Walther (DNK - Tony Kart/Vortex/MG). Enzo Deligny (FRA - Parolin/TM Racing/MG) did not perform as well as he had the day before and could not aim for victory. Nakamura-Berta gradually climbed up to third place on lap 8 before reducing the gap to Giltaire to less than 3 tenths on lap 14. Seeing that the pass was going to put his team at risk, KR Motorsport boss Dino Chiesa asked VDK Racing, who were very close to Kart Republic, to let Giltaire give Nakamura a free hand to ensure a good collective result. Thus, Powell, Nakamura-Berta and Giltaire gave the Kart Republic brand a Final triple. Walther and Deligny completed the top five ahead of World Champion Tuukka Taponen (FIN - Tony Kart/Vortex/MG). Nakamura-Berta won the title ahead of Powell, which ensured a one-two for KR Motorsport.
Kean Nakamura-Berta: "It was a really tough race with a lot of contact between the drivers. I was confident before the start. I thought that the main difficulty would be not to lose too many places at the start from the outside lane. I didn't expect Alex (Powell) to be so fast. It was a game changer, I had to finish second. In front of me, Evan Giltaire was not going to be easy to pass. A team instruction was given and he let me pass. I understand that this is a difficult situation for Alex, I am sorry for him."
Dino Chiesa, founder of the Kart Republic brand and the KR Motorsport team:
"The European competition has not always been very favourable to us. This afternoon we had two drivers capable of winning the title. I didn't expect this situation and had to make a quick decision to preserve the team's chances. I didn't want Nakamura's determination to win in the last few laps to deprive us of a good result. It's tough for Powell, but I'm sure he'll get more opportunities to win titles as he deserves. To achieve a double in the European Championships is very important for us, it's a team strategy."
2022 FIA Karting European Championship - OK final standings
1- Kean Nakamura-Berta (GBR) 82 points
2- Alex Powell (JAM) 80 points
3- Joe Turney (GBR) 79 points
4- Enzo Deligny (FRA) 61 points
5- Evan Giltaire (FRA) 55 points
The next FIA Karting event will take place from 1st to 4th September in Le Mans (FRA) with the World Championship - KZ, the World Cup - KZ2, the Masters International Super Cup, the third round of the Academy Trophy and the Historic Super Cup.
The results of the Franciacorta event can be found on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.