Tony Kart in contention for the top at the European in Valencia

Published on Thursday, March 28, 2024

Tony Kart in contention for the top at the European in Valencia

During the inaugural race of the FIA Karting European Championship OK-OKJ in Spain, the Tony Kart Racing Team contended for top positions in both categories, but two accidents hindered Sebastiano Pavan and Sebastian Lehtimäki from achieving optimal results.

The Tony Kart Racing Team commenced the 2024 FIA Karting European Championship season, designated for the OK and OKJ categories. Held at the Kartodromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero in Chiva, a few kilometres from Valencia (Spain), their Tony Kart Racer 401 RR consistently featured in the rankings of both classes, powered by the Vortex VTS and VTJ engines (designed and developed by the “engine division” of OTK Kart Group). However, two accidents during the finals prevented us from attaining the anticipated results.

In the OK category, Sebastiano Pavan emerged as a primary contender from the outset. Following the third-best time in his qualifying group, the Italian driver secured two victories and two podium finishes in the qualifying heats. Additionally, he claimed fourth place in Superheat B, having been the fastest in Sunday morning's warm-up. Starting from third place on the grid, Pavan maintained his position at the beginning of the final race and, during subsequent laps, successfully overtook for second position on the track. Nevertheless, on the fourth lap, Pavan was struck by an opponent, resulting in significant damage to his chassis and forcing an unfortunate withdrawal.

The highest-ranking of their drivers in the final standings was Xavier Avramides. The Australian narrowly missed out on the Top 5 three times in the qualifying heats and concluded super heat A among the top 10. However, a withdrawal in the first heat prevented him from starting from the front rows in the final. Despite this setback, Avramides exhibited a cautious, error-free drive, gaining a total of six positions and finishing the weekend in the Top 15. David Walther achieved three Top 5 finishes (including a second-place finish as his best result) in the qualifying heats and also set the fastest lap in the first heat. Unfortunately, he was involved in an accident on the first lap of Superheat A, affecting his position on the grid for the final race and preventing him from achieving a significant result in the decisive race of the weekend.

Xiaoyu Sun made notable progress during the Spanish event, securing three places among the top 10 in the qualifying heats, setting the best time in Saturday morning's warm-up, and finishing sixth in superheat A, comfortably securing a spot in the final. Making his debut in the European championship, Nash Blake advanced by 25 positions in the rankings and eliminatory heats and gained 14 positions in superheat A, all of which are positive performances in anticipation of future races. Tiziano Monza demonstrated consistent improvement throughout the weekend, recording the fastest lap in the second heat. Thomas Quincé also participated in the weekend's events, working tirelessly with their staff.

In the OKJ category, Sebastian Lehtimäki swiftly rose to the top of the rankings with the best time in Group 2 of the qualifiers. The Finn, displaying tactical acumen, navigated his way through the qualifying heats, securing a victory, and excelling in the Sunday morning super heat B. In the decisive race on Sunday afternoon, Lehtimäki held the second position from the outset and engaged in a continuous battle with the leading group for the lead. However, a few laps before the end, an unfortunate accident dashed his hopes of victory.

Scott Kin Lindblom delivered a standout performance in the final, staging an impressive comeback of 15 positions to secure a place in the top ten in the rankings. Prior to this, the Swede climbed a total of 40 positions in the qualifiers and qualifying heats, setting the fastest lap in the last heat on Saturday. At the onset of the FIA Karting European Championship, Ilie Tristan Crisan demonstrated strong performance throughout the weekend, achieving a fifth-place finish as his best result in the qualifying heats, and relentlessly contending for a spot in the Top 15 in the final race on Saturday afternoon.

Scott Marsch and Joel Pohjola posted promising times in the eliminatory heats. Lastly, August Toniolo and David Minciuna made their championship debut sporting their official colours.

The Tony Kart Racing Team will take a brief break before resuming activities on track from April 4th to 7th at the first event of the WSK Open Series at the Franciacorta Karting Track in Castrezzato (Italy), featuring drivers from the MINI and KZ2 categories.


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