Pole position and top-5 finish for Jimmy Helias at the ultimate international level!

Published on Friday, July 15, 2022

Pole position and top-5 finish for Jimmy Helias at the ultimate international level!

Jimmy Helias has just finished his first full European campaign in OK-Junior, a category in which he’s part of the strongest world hopes at the age of only 13! He has made rapid consistent progress to the point that the young Frenchman was battling for the podium in the final event of the FIA European Karting Championship in Italy after clinching a spectacular pole position! Two weeks earlier the official Tony Kart driver celebrated his first top-five finish in Junior in the Champions of the Future Euro Series.

The 2016 season in which Helias made a name for himself in karting by winning the French Minikart Championship aged seven now seems a long time ago. Thanks to this precocious success he was spotted and was able to race in his first full international season in 2018. “The Tony Kart Racing Team and I put together a programme over several years and today I’m reaping the rewards,” smiles Jimmy. “After several top-five finishes in the 60 Mini category in which there are around one hundred entries on a regular basis, we decided to take the plunge in OK-Junior in the 2021 season.”

Since then, Jimmy’s speed, technical understanding and strategic nous have all progressed, which has also been the case for his physical fitness and mental soundness. This was confirmed in the 2022 FIA European Karting Championship with his eye-catching ascension at each event. In Zuera in Spain he qualified for the final and fought his way up from 30th to 17th place in the final itself. He then created a sensation by setting the third-best time in qualifying practice on the Kristianstad circuit in Sweden. “Starting on the front row in each of the qualifying heats was an enriching experience, and it helped me gain even more confidence.”

Jimmy won two heats and then success seemed to elude him, but he had the opportunity to show all his backers that he had clearly moved up a step in OK-Junior. He concretised this in the Champions of the Future Euro Series at Franciacorta. “That day I only set the 44th-quickest time, but I managed to move up the time sheets progressively in the qualifying heats.” Having made it up to 14th place after the heats thanks to a remarkable flawless display there was no way Helias was going to stop when things were going so well. He finished fifth in the final on the Italian circuit, which almost immediately afterwards hosted the final of the European Championship. And this time the Tony Kart-Vortex official driver set pole! “It was a great reward for all the work done with all the technical team members over several months. There are several drivers of different nationalities in the Italian squad and we push one another to try and score the best possible result. It’s really positive!”

He managed to hold on to his position in the leading group in all the heats and the intensity stepped up a notch in the final. “I made an excellent start to the race and I led for a few laps. Then I got hemmed in pretty brutally when a driver overtook me and I lost a few places. At the end I was one of the quickest drivers on the track and I felt that the podium was within my reach, but the guy I’d just overtaken punted me up the rear and we collided!”

While Helias obviously bitterly regretted this outcome, he clearly proved that he’s one of the best juniors on the international scene and one of the most promising French hopes of his generation. “From every aspect, the European Championship has been enriching for me. I’d like to thank all the people who’ve supported me starting with Mr. Roberto Robazzi who’s put his trust in me for five years, all the members of the Tony Kart team, the Vortex engineers, Marco Ardigo for his advice, my mechanic, Christophe my manager, Julien Abelli from Simumotion who I’ve been working with on the simulator and honing my physical and mental fitness without forgetting the Greco Genève time pieces. Today, I’m doing everything I can to prepare in the best possible conditions for the OK-Junior World Championship that will take place from 14th to 18th September on the international circuit at Sarno near Naples in Italy. It’s my major objective of the season!”

 

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