The FIA Karting competition organised for the first time on the Steel Ring circuit in Trinec, Czech Republic gave rise to some exciting races in front of an audience that was enthralled by the quality of the show. Gabriel Gomez (ITA) in OK, Oleksandr Bondarev (UKR) in OK-Junior and Marius Barry-Berg (NOR) in Academy were the victors of the weekend.
The Czech organisers spared no effort to welcome the participants, attendants and officials of the second round of the FIA Karting European Championship - OK & Junior and the first round of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy, with FIA Karting President Akbar Ebrahim and Vice President John Ryan in attendance.
The 1223-metre Steel Ring track, with its winding, hilly layout, offered challenges for the drivers and technicians, especially amid changeable conditions.
Barry-Berg takes the lead in the Academy Trophy
The identical Exprit/Vortex karts supplied by the OTK Group and their Vega tyres proved their worth in training and spotting talent in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy. Norwegian Marius Barry-Berg was the leader of this one-design category from the Qualifying session onwards and remained at the top of the standings despite his fourth place in the Super Heat. He had to face some tough opponents in the Final with Australian Max Walton who took the lead for three laps and with Spaniard Hugo Marti who didn't make it easy for him at the end of the race.
Light rain made the track slippery in mid-race. Barry-Berg finished 5 tenths ahead of Marti, followed by Walton. French driver Lisa Billard showed excellent control to move up to fourth place ahead of Japan’s driver Ruytaro Sakai. Markas Silkunas (LTU) was seventh, Klara Kowalczyk (POL), the driver reprensenting the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission eighth.
Provisional standings of the 2023 FIA Karting Academy Trophy after the first race:
1- Marius Barry-Berg (NOR) - 55 points
2- Hugo Marti (ESP) - 48 points
3- Max Walton (AUS) - 41 points
4- Ruytaro Sakai (JPN) - 27 points
5- Lisa Billard (FRA) - 26 points
Barry-Berg joins the FIA International Karting Ranking (IKR) in the Academy Trophy category in first place.
Bondarev makes a strong impression in OK-Junior
Oleksandr Bondarev (UKR-KR/IAME/Vega) was unbeatable in the Junior catategory. Considered the favourite at the start of the Final, he lived up to his status by leading from start to finish despite the challenge of Lewis Wherrell (GBR-Exprit/TM Kart/Vega) in the final laps. Less than two tenths separated them at the finish line. Zac Drummond (GBR-Parolin/TM Kart/Vega) take third position. From Thibaut Ramaekers (BEL-KR/IAME/Vega). Dries van Langendonck (BEL-Exprit/TM Kart/Vega) completed the top five ahead of an improving driver, Jack Iliffe (USA-Parolin/TM Kart/Vega). Kit Belosky (GBR-Birel ART/TM Kart/Vega) made up 10 positions to finish 11th ahead of Andy Consani (FRA-Parolin/TM Kart/Vega) who moved up 13 places.
Ramaekers and Bondarev both advanced up seven places in the FIA International Karting Ranking (IKR) to second and third respectively from all categories. Bondarev retained his first position in OK-Junior while Wherrell moved up three places to second.
Provisional 2023 FIA European Karting Championship - Junior standings after Round 2:
1- Oleksandr Bondarev (UKR) - 142 points
2- Thibaut Ramaekers (BEL) - 126 points
3- Lewis Wherrell (GBR) - 115 points
4- Zac Drummond (GBR) - 92 points
5- Taym Saleh (DEU) - 58 points
OK-Junior team ranking after Trinec
1- KR Motorsport (ITA) - 200 points
2- Forza Racing (GBR) - 169 points
3- Parolin Motorsport (ITA) - 142 points
4- VDK Racing (BEL) - 126 points
5- Ward Racing (SWE) - 59 points
OK: A long awaited victory for Gomez
Gabriel Gomez (ITA-CRG/IAME/MG), who was denied victory in the first round of the FIA Karting European Championship - OK in Valencia, dominated the Final in Trinec, winning by almost 4.5" over his main rival Rene Lammers (NLD-Parolin/TM Kart/MG). Sebastiano Pavan (ITA-Tony Kart/Vortex/MG) took third position (+ 6 places) on the podium after Alex Powell (JAM-KR/IAME/MG) was penalised because of a badly positioned front fairing. Ean Eyckmans (BEL-Tony Kart/Vortex/MG) finished fifth ahead of Fionn Mc Laughlin (IRL-KR/IAME/MG) and Kean Nakamura-Berta (GBR-KR/IAME/MG).
Nathaniel Tye (GBR- Sodi/TM Kart/MG) was well placed at the start but did not have the success he had hoped for, finishing 11th. Shimo Zhang (HKG-KR/IAME/MG) made the biggest improvement in the Final, moving up 18 places to 13th. Winner in Valencia, Joe Turney (GBR-KR/IAME/MG) finished 15th with a front fairing penalty.
Lammers became the highest placed OK driver in the FIA International Karting Ranking (IKR) with his 12th position from all categories, an increase of 12 places. He leads the OK category ahead of Stolcermanis and David Walther (DNK).
Provisional 2023 FIA European Karting Championship - OK standings after Round 2:
1- Gabriel Gomez (ITA) - 150 points
2- Rene Lammers (NLD) - 136 points
3- Alex Powell (JAM) - 96 points
4- Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA) - 86 points
5- Nathaniel Tye (GBR) - 60 points
OK team ranking after Trinec
1- CRG (ITA) - 184 points
2- Parolin Motorsport (ITA) - 164 points
3- Prema Racing (ITA) - 129 points
4- Tony Kart Racing Team (ITA) - 119 points
5- Energy Corse (ITA) - 88 points
The results of the Trinec event are available on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.