Matveev and Stolcermanis take the pole positions in Portugal

Published on Saturday, April 9, 2022

Matveev and Stolcermanis take the pole positions in Portugal

The conditions were excellent early on Friday afternoon, 8th April, at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve for the FIA Karting European Championship - OK & OK-Junior Qualifying Practice. After the six timed sessions, Dmitry Matveev (ITA) was the fastest in OK-Junior while Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA) set the fastest time in OK.

Despite the unstable situation that is currently affecting parts of Europe, there were few absences among the entries and participants present in Portimão. The first of the four events of the FIA Karting European Championship - OK & OK-Junior, which has just started in Portugal, could therefore count 40 nations and five continents represented.

Following Free Practice the day before and in the morning, Qualifying took place on a dry track under variable skies with pleasant temperatures of just under 20°. Strategy played a large part in the Qualifying session. For the first time, the duration of the sessions had been reduced to six minutes, but the competitors only used half of it to show their potential. Two laps in OK-Junior with Vega tyres and three laps in OK with MG Tires were enough to determine the first hierarchy of the weekend. However, the exercise was risky in such a short time and some under-performances ensued. The differences between the top drivers were always very small.


Matveev confirms a solid start to the season
Under an Italian licence, Dmitry Matveev set the fastest time in Qualifying for the FIA Karting European Championship - OK-Junior in the third session. With 57''403, he was 51 thousandths faster than the fastest driver in the second session, Poland's Jan Przyroswki, and one and a half tenths faster than the Hungarian Martin Molnar, the unexpected leader of the first session. The Peruvian Andres Cardenas was 4th ahead of Kirill Kutskov and the Dutchman René Lammers. Adam Hideg (HUN), Anatoly Khavalkin, Jules Caranta (FRA) and Luviwe Sambudla (ZAF) made up the top 10.

"I already had a good speed during free practice," explained the poleman in the press conference. "The difficulty in Qualifying on a circuit like this is to position yourself to do the best lap possible by catching another driver to benefit from his slipstream. I managed to get into a good position on the first lap and I was able to concentrate on my speed on the following lap. The goal was reached, even though I did not improve my sector 2. I trust my team Koski Motorsport to provide me with a kart capable of performing as well over several laps in the upcoming Qualifying Heats."


Stolcermanis true to his reputation
In his first season in OK, Latvian Tomass Stolcermanis has already had the opportunity to show that he can be as fast as last year in OK-Junior. He made the most of the opportunity to confirm this by taking the pole position of the FIA Karting European Championship - OK in Portugal. He set a third lap of 55''908 in the third session, while Frenchman Evan Giltaire was only 14 thousandths off the pace in the second session. Best performer in the first session, Belgian Ean Eyckmans was more than a tenth behind. Two very fast drivers followed in the top five: the reigning World Champion Tuukka Taponen (FIN) and David Walther (DNK), with Oscar Pedersen (SWE) in 6th place. Artem Severiukhin (ITA) was considered as one of the favourites, ahead of the experienced Joe Turney (GBR), then the young American Luis James Egozi (ITA) and another of his team-mates, Juho Valtanen (FIN).

The words of the poleman in the press conference:
"I was quite fast yesterday in Free Practice, but perhaps it wasn't enough yet. We continued to work with the Energy Corse team. The most important thing to succeed in Qualifying is to be behind a fast driver. I managed to do that on my second lap and I improved on my third to take pole position. It's a great advantage to be able to start every heat in 1st position."


Portimão race schedule (local time UTC +1)

Saturday 9th April
08:30 - 09:15: Warm-up
09:25 - 18:20: Qualifying Heats

Sunday 10th April
09:00 - 10:05: Warm-up
10:10 - 11:45: Super Heats
13:25 - 14:50: Finals


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