The final round of the WSK Super Master Series has just finished at the Sarno circuit, with mixed feelings for the Birel ART Racing Team. The Italian factory's official drivers put in some remarkable performances, but the Final results fell short of the team's expectations. Two drivers stood out during the weekend by taking 1st place in the heats, as well as in the Prefinals. Kirill Kutskov in OK-Junior and Pedro Hiltbrand in KZ2 were undeniably very successful. Despite his Final disappointment, Hiltbrand was able to climb on the podium of the first championship of the season.
The last round of the WSK Super Master Series took place from 10th to 13th March 2022 at the Circuito Internazionale Napoli with a strong field of 271 drivers. The weather was very nice at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, but the temperatures did not exceed 12-13°. As usual, the competition was very tough in Sarno, a demanding track for the mechanics as well as for the drivers.
Riccardo Longhi Team Manager Birel ART Racing:
"We can be satisfied with our current competitiveness in the three international categories. However, the whole team has to continue its efforts to ensure that the performances translate into the results we really deserve more often. Luck was not on our side this weekend, when we were well placed to win in OK-Junior and in KZ2 with Kutskov and Hiltbrand. The retirement of Pedro Hiltbrand, the big favourite of the race and of the championship, and of Giuseppe Palomba and of Moritz Ebner in the KZ2 Final were difficult to live with, but the return of Alessio Piccini to 8th place made us very happy. The nine-place gains made by Kajus Siksnelis and Oscar Targett in the Final were a positive element of the weekend. We congratulate our friends from the Leclerc by Lennox Racing team for their victory and their winning double in the Final with Birel ART chassis which enabled Matteo Vigano to finish 2nd in the series.
Cristian Bertuca encountered too many setbacks at the beginning of the meeting to be able to fight at the front of the OK as he should have been able to do, but he finished with a rewarding five-place improvement in the Final. Karol Pasiewicz had made a good 10-place recovery in the Final before being penalised for his badly positioned front fairing. Ella Stevens showed great perseverance to regain six places in the heats without making any mistakes.
Kirill Kutskov was our hope in OK-Junior. He won three of his heats, secured 2nd position with the fastest time in the Prefinal and started from pole position for the Final. He finished 5th after having fought hard until the end. A retirement in a heat did not make it easier for Zoe Florescu Potolea to come back, but she once again showed her unwavering determination.
Our next objective is to prepare well for the FIA Karting European Championship at the first round of the Champions of the Future in a fortnight's time in Portimao (PRT)".
Birel ART Racing Team, WSK Super Master Series #4, Sarno
Pedro Hiltbrand: 3rd in Qualifying, once 2nd and three times 1st with a fastest lap in the heats. Won his Prefinal with the fastest lap, uncontested leader of the Final until lap 9, then retired. 3rd in the WSK Super Master Series.
Giuseppe Palomba: 23rd in Qualifying, 15th after the heats (+8pl), 2nd in his Prefinal, 9th at the start of the Final, retired on the first lap of the Final, 10th in the championship.
Alessio Piccini: 14th in Qualifying, 6th after the heats (+8pl) and 8th in the Final.
Cristian Bertuca: 18th in Qualifying, 5th place and a retirement in heats, 7th in Prefinal (+8pl), 19th in Final (+5pl), 11th in the championship.
Karol Pasiewicz: 34th in Qualifying, 31st after the Prefinals, 21st at the Final finish line (+10pl), then 27th after penalties (spoiler)
Kirill Kutskov: 7th in Qualifying, three heat wins, 2nd in Prefinal and leader of the ranking, 5th in Final, 6th in the championship.