The first heats have been run as well with several drivers coming to the fore in MINI, KZ2, X30 Junior and X30 Senior.
Established champions, along with many emerging young talents and rookies of WSK events, are among the 200 protagonists of the opening race of the WSK Open Series for categories MINI, KZ2, X30 Junior and X30 Senior taking place at the South Garda Karting in Lonato.
On the first official day, Friday, March 10th, the qualifying practice and the first qualifying heats have already produced many potential winners for this first race, but the journey is still long. On Saturday, qualifying heats will continue, but only the final stages on Sunday, March 12th will decide the winners, with the Prefinals and Finals of each category, broadcast live on Live .
The pole positions in qualifying practice.
MINI GR.3 – Calleja posts the fastest time.
An immediate comparison between the top rivals of the category took place in the first series of MINI Gr.3 qualifying. The Canadian Ilie Crisan Trisan (#526 Tony Kart Racing Team/Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega) came out on top by 0.042s completing his best lap after 53.463s over the Turkish Iskender Zulfikari (#502 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame). The surprising American Asher Ochstein (#546 CRG Racing Team/CRG-TM) took third place, 0.084s behind. The Englishman Noah Baglin (#521 IKart/KR-Iame) was fourth at 0.160s and was followed by the Chinese Zeyu Shen (#574 AV Racing/Parolin-TM) in fifth place, who was 0.168s behind, and the Swiss Riven Esteves (#512 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) sixth at 0.194s. The seventh went to another top contender in the category, the Dutchman Dean Hoogendoorn (#501 Kidix/KR-Iame), who was 0.246s adrift, while his teammate, the Panamanian Gianmatteo Rousseau (#504), who won the last race in Sarno of the WSK Super Master Series, posted the 13th time at 0.415s.
In the second session, the fastest was the Australian William Calleja (#516 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) in 52.948s. He lead his teammates, the American Keelan Harvick (#513) by 0.031s and the Peruvian Mariano Lopez (#509) by 0.095s. The Italian Pietro Bagutti (#577 AV Racing/Parolin-TM) also had a solid day, taking fourth place at 0.181s. The other top contenders in the category were close behind: Vladimir Ivannikov (#522 Gamoto/EKS-TM) with the sixth best time at 0.194s, the Romanian Bogdan Cosma Cristofor (#539 Team Driver/KR-Iame) in seventh place at 0.307s and the Englishman Max Endacott (#505 Kidix/KR-Iame) with the eighth best time at 0.309s, who ended ahead of the Spaniard Bosco Arias Chavarri (#503 Team Driver/KR-Iame) for 0.325s.
MINI U10 – Truchot to the fore, he is the fastest but by just 0.004s.
In the smallest category, MINI Gr.3 Under 10, the Frenchman Alessandro Truchot (#553 Parolin Motorsport/Parolin-TM-Vega) took the spotlight in the first session posting the absolute best time in 53.203s, but he was only 0.004s ahead of the Ukrainian Andrii Kruglyk (#607 Tsunami/Parolin-Iame) who snatched second place from the Belgian Henri Kumpen (#549 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame), who was third at 0.110s. Edoardo Colucci (#563 CMT/Parolin-TM) posted the fourth time at 0.115s, the Italian Mattia Padoan (#557 Padoan/KR-Iame) the fifth at 0.118s. The winner of last week's race in Sarno, Maximus Unt (#569 Ward Racing/Tony Kart-TM) was tenth at 0.283s. In the second session, the Ukrainian Nikita Botte (#520 Novalux/Lenzokart-LKE) claimed the best performance in 53.220s and was followed by the Swiss Albert Tamm (#510 BabyRace/Parolin-Iame) at 0.216s. Among the best, the Belgian Antoine Venant (#572 Kidix/KR-Iame) confirmed his position with the third time at 0.283s, while the Polish Wiktor Stalmach (#534 Team Driver/KR-Iame) was fourth at 0.378s and the Australian Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi (Tony Kart Racing Team/Tony Kart-Vortex) was fifth at 0.388s.
KZ2 – Great battle in qualifying, Van Walstijn is leading the pack.
A comparison between champions took place in KZ2. The Dutch driver Senna Van Walstijn (#1 Sodikart/Sodi-TM-LeCont) in Session-1 and the Italian driver Paolo Ippolito (#21 KR Motorsport/KR-Iame) in Session-2 put on a show in front of equally strong opponents. Senna Van Walstijn clocked the best time in Session-1 in 45.324s, and led the Italian driver Danilo Albanese (#20 KR Motorsport/KR-Iame) by 0.110s and the Dutch Stan Pex (#13 SP Motorsport/KR-TM) by 0.137s. Paolo Ippolito had the upper hand in Session-2 with a time of 45.414s, beating the French driver Emilien Denner (#2 Sodikart/Sodi-TM) by 0.086s. The fourth position of Session-1 went to the German driver Luis Laurin Speck (#23 TB Kart Racing Team/TB Kart-TM) at 0.197s and the fifth to the Ukrainian driver Viacheslav Putiatin (#10 LA Motorsport/Falcon-TM) at 0.263s.
The third best time of the second session was posted by the Italian driver Matteo Zanchi (#26 Zanchi Motorsport/CRG-Modena) at 0.129s. His young teammate, Samuele Leopardi (#24), was also among the fastest, finishing fourth at 0.140s. The fifth best time went to the French Thomas Imbourg (#6 CPB Sport/Sodi-TM) at 0.145s, while the Italian Andrea Dalè (#19 Dale/CRG-TM) finished sixth.
X30 Junior – Coronel on top in X30 Junior.
In the single qualifying session of X30 Junior, the pole position went to the Dutch driver Rocco Coronel (#704 VictoryLane/Red Speed-Iame-MG). The Italian Riccardo Ferrari (#712 Zanchi Motorsport/Tony Kart-Iame) took the second position, 0.117s behind, ahead of the Swiss drivers Georgiy Zasov (#713 Zanchi Motorsport/Tony Kart-Iame) at 0.258s and Tiziano Kuzhnini (#707 Team Driver/Tony Kart-Iame) at 0.262s. The Italian Angelo D'Ortensio (#701 D'Ortensio/IPK-Iame) was fifth fastest, 0.367s behind the leader.
X30 Senior – Carenini takes the pole by a whisker.
Italian drivers led the way in the Senior’s qualifying practice, with Danny Carenini (#801 Energy Corse/Energy-Iame-MG), a multiple champion in the category, setting the fastest time in 48.151s. However, he was closely followed by several drivers separated by just thousandths of a second. These were led by the fast Erika Lavazza (#803 Virus Racing/Tony Kart-Iame), only 0.026s behind. Another Italian driver, Andrea Giudice (#804 Marra/Tony Kart-Iame), was 0.030s shy of the lead, Matteo Giaccardi (#828 Nato/LN Kart-Iame) 0.044s, Christian Canonica (#828 KGT Motorsport/Tony Kart-Iame) 0.045s and the German driver Maximilian Schleimer (CV Performance/KR-Iame) 0.05s behind.
The winners of the heats held on Friday afternoon:
MINI Gr.3: #513 Keelan Harvick (C-E); #522 Vadimir Ivannikov (B-D).
MINI U10: #572 Antoine Venant (A-B; #511 Leonardo Gorski (C-D).
KZ2: #21 Paolo Ippolito (A-B); #2 Emilien Denner (C-D).
The program of WSK Open Series, Round 1, Lonato:
Saturday, March 11: warm up from 8:45; qualifying heats from 10:50.
Sunday, March 12: warm up from 8:45; Prefinals Live on TV and Streaming from 10:50, Finals from 13:50 (MINI U10 at 13:50, MINI GR.3 at 14:20, KZ2 at 14:50, X30 Junior at 15:20 and X30 Senior at 15:50).
The complete calendar of the WSK Open Series 2023:
1st Rd – 12/03/2023 Lonato / MINI - X30J - X30S - KZ2
2nd Rd – 02/04/2023 Cremona / MINI - X30J - X30S - KZ2
3rd Rd – 16/04/2023 Castelletto / MINI - X30J - X30S
4th Rd – 25/06/2023 Sarno / MINI - OKN - OKNJ – KZ2