Competitiveness and combativeness are the two words that could sum up the weekend of the talented driver James Wharton, racing in the FIA Karting European Championship in the OK category. During the second event in Sarno, Italy, the young Australian made one of the best progressions of the 36 finalist drivers, coming back from 27th to 12th place! James Wharton has scored his first points and doesn't intend to stop there...
For James Wharton, the race at Sarno started with significant performances in the Free Practice sessions. "Throughout the sessions we have constantly improved our lap times thanks to the important work done with the Parolin Racing Kart team", said the Australian driver. "Everything was in place for the Timed Practice and I was able to set the 2nd fastest time in my group, which placed me 8th overall out of a total of 55 competitors."
On the very fast international circuit of Naples, the Qualifying Heats were to be much harder than usual, with many crashes in the pack. "A lot of drivers were very nervous this weekend. Generally, it is important to ensure consistent results in the heats to ensure a good place on the starting grid for the Final. For my part, I was involved in incidents twice, which meant I dropped to 27th in the intermediate classification." However, his result in the A/C heat showed his level of performance, with 2nd place under the chequered flag.
On Sunday afternoon, James Wharton continued his effort throughout the 30 km of the Final of the OK category. "My start was excellent! Afterwards, I raced at a fast pace and I gained several more places. All in all, it was a good race. Thank you to the team, to my engine builder and to all my partners!"
With 12th after starting from 27th place, James could be proud of his progress in this very tough situation. At just 14 years old, he is taking part in his first OK season and was able to register his first four points in Italy in the FIA European Karting Championship. Next stop Wackersdorf in Germany from 9th to 13th September for the final event...
ABOUT JAMES WHARTON
James Wharton is a 14-year-old Australian kart driver currently competing internationally in his first season in the premier class, OK, with the official Parolin Racing Kart factory team.
James started racing karting in Australia at the age of seven. He then shone in the most important single-brand world challenges before making his debut in FIA Karting competition. 13th in the World Junior Championship in his first season in 2018, he also won the KA 100 Junior class in Las Vegas at the SKUSA SuperNationals.
In 2019, in his first full season in OK-Junior, he achieved top results: 9th in the European Championship, 4th in the Italian Championship and 2nd in the legendary Winter Cup in Lonato. Despite an injury, he was fighting for victory in 2nd place in the World Championship when he was stopped by a mechanical problem. He was again victorious at the SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas in the X30-Junior category.
An official Parolin Racing Kart driver, James is involved in the development and tuning of the equipment thanks to a very good rapport with Albino and Marco Parolin. His discovery of OK, the top category in karting, was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. He restarted competition in July 2020 with the aim of making it into the international top five.
James Wharton plans to continue his career as a single-seater driver with a first step into F4 as soon as he reaches the required age.