At the FIA Karting European Championship in Kristianstad, the Birel ART technical team managed to perfectly combine the information gathered during the Champions of the Future Euro Series two weeks earlier with that of the Free Practice sessions preceding the Qualifying session, in order to prepare particularly competitive material for its drivers entered in OK and OK-Junior. Several of them appeared at the front of the field after the Timed Practice, but continual race incidents deprived the Italian team of a better result. Kirill Kutskov was 3rd at the chequered flag before being demoted due to a penalty.
The third of the four races of the 2022 European Championship started under excellent auspices for Birel ART, especially in OK-Junior with Kirill Kutskov and Reno Francot ranked 4th and 7th respectively in Timed Practice. "Kirill and Reno were already very fast in the Free Practice on Friday morning and they were able to confirm it afterwards. They both managed a faultless run during their five Qualifying Heats," said a delighted Riccardo Longhi, team manager.
Unfortunately, things went wrong on Sunday. Reno Francot was involved in a collision in the Super Heat and lost any chance of doing well afterwards. Kutskov continued to build on his success and gained his place in 6th position on the grid for the Final thanks to a magnificent 2nd place in the Super Heat. Stuck on the outside at the start, he only finished the first lap in 8th position, before gradually coming back to 3rd at the very end of the race on a very high pace. A ten second penalty following a contact with another driver unfortunately pushed him back to 18th position with many regrets.
As for his team-mates Jindrich Pesl and Zoe Florescu Potolea, they continued their learning process in this very competitive international Championship.
A 19-place jump for Bertuca in the Final!
In OK, Karol Pasiewicz, Harley Keeble and Cristian Bertuca had high ambitions after a promising Free Practice. All of them were capable of finishing in the top 10 in the Qualifying Heats. On Sunday, a penalty for incorrect front fairing position in the Super Heat denied Pasiewicz a place in the Final but
Keeble and Bertuca made a strong comeback. The British driver moved up from 28th to 23rd place, while the Italian made an excellent start, before overtaking many other drivers. He finally gained a point for 15th place despite his distant 34th position on the grid.
"Cristian set very fast lap times throughout the meeting, the Red Power was in him," commented Riccardo Longhi. "It's a pity that the collision at the beginning of a heat on Saturday prevented him from starting in a better position in the Final. Overall, the potential of our Birel ART-TM Racing packages was high and the aim will be to deliver in the final round at Franciacorta in July."
With the exception of a good second heat finishing in 14th position after a gain of six places, Britain's Ella Stevens clearly lacked success in Sweden.