In France, the international circuit of Aunay-les-Bois offered good conditions this Friday afternoon for the Qualifying Practice of the second round of the FIA Karting European Championship - OK & Junior. Good weather and mild temperatures allowed all the participants to show their talent without hesitation using MG Tires slick tyres. British Driver Slater took the Junior pole position and Brazilian Camara set the fastest time in OK.
The Competition brought together 166 Drivers from 40 nations on the 1215 metre long Normandy layout. The track conditions did not vary much over the eight eight-minute sessions. Although the weather was favourable, not everyone was equally at ease on French soil due to a technical circuit that requires a certain amount of skill to master. The overall performances were very close, with Drivers being separated by a hundredth or even a thousandth of a second. The top three in both categories finished within a tenth of a second of each other, while 57 of the 62 OK and 78 of the 82 OK-Junior were separated by less than a second. The battle is well underway at this second European meeting behind the two leaders of the classification of each category, taking their respective pole position.
Slater takes Junior pole position
The leader of the FIA Karting European Championship - Junior, the British Driver Freddie Slater had already shown his speed during the Free Practice session. He solidified his ambitions during the fourth and last timed session where he was the only one to be able to go under 48'', and this on three occasions. He took a superb pole position by concluding with a lap of 47''937. Latvian Tomass Stolcermanis achieved the best performance of his career with his time of 48''020 in the third session, which gave him second place in the cumulative ranking ahead of British Driver William Macintyre - 48''058 in session 2 - and Frenchman Arthur Poulain, the fastest in the first session with 48''126. Germany's Maxim Rehm could have been on the top, but an incident during Free Practice meant that his fastest time of 48'004 was canceled. He was nevertheless 6th behind Alex Powell (JAM). Further back, the positions were quite contrasting for many well-known Drivers, which will ensure an interesting show during the Qualifying Heats from Saturday morning onwards.
Camara the deserving poleman in OK
46''200 was the best lap set by Brazilian Rafael Camara in the first Timed Qualifying session of the FIA Karting European Championship - OK in Normandy. Despite the efforts of his rivals, he held on to pole position until the end. Italian Andrea Kimi Antonelli came within 8 thousandths during the second session, while Russian Artem Sevriukhin clocked a 46''286 in the next. Frenchman Evan Giltaire proved to be the fastest in the last session with a time of 46''434 and took 4th place in the ranking. Arvid Lindblad (GBR) was 5th ahead of Nikola Tsolov (BGR), while former top Driver Yannick De Brabander (BEL) was 8th behind Martinius Stenshorne (NOR), but ahead of Timoteusz Kucharczyk (POL) and Juho Valtanen (FIN).
Programme of the Aunay-les-Bois Event
Saturday 29th May
09:00 - 10:40: Warm-up
10:45 - 19:00: Qualifying Heats
Sunday 30th May
09:00 - 10:40: Warm-up
10:45 - 11:00: Handikart Prefinal
11:05 - 12:40: Qualifying Heats
13:00 - 15:35: Finals
The Aunay-les-Bois event can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.