Decisive for the titles, the third competition of the FIA Karting European Championships - OK & Junior has just started in Germany on the Prokart Raceland circuit of Wackersdorf (DEU) with the strongest field of the season. Antonelli confirmed his level of performance in OK, while Powell highlighted himself in Junior.
The new infection-control protocol put in place by the FIA was well understood by the kart racing community. Everyone did their utmost to comply with the new rules, particularly with regard to the PCR tests now required to enter the circuit. These measures correspond to the current policy of the German authorities in terms of the fight against the upsurge of COVID-19 cases at the end of the summer. As a country known for its natural rigour, as well as for its effectiveness, Germany has set up structures that enable this type of test to be carried out very quickly, thus easing the constraints for travellers from abroad.
With 140 drivers, 65 in OK and 75 in Junior, coming from 37 different countries, the Wackersdorf field is the biggest of the European season. A great success for the last competition of these FIA Karting European Championships - OK & Junior. The presence of numerous drivers entered only for this race thanks to the Wild Cards shows the strength of the international categories in this part of Europe.
Junior pole for Powell
Jamaican driver Alex Powell made the difference in the Qualifying Practice of the FIA Karting European Championship - Junior by setting a time of 48''381 in the second session, nearly one tenth faster than American Ugo Ugochukwu in the third session. Singapore driver Dion Gowda was the fastest in Session 1 and Italy's Brando Badoer set the fastest lap in Session 4. Arvid Lindblad (GBR) finished in 5th position, but Tuuka Taponen (FIN) was only 16th. Valerio Rinicella (ITA) was relegated to 29th position and Freddie Slater (GBR) to 40th. The situation is therefore favourable for Ugochukwu to win the European title, with Badoer and Powell holding some strong cards.
Favourable situation for Antonelli
With nearly 3 tenths advantage on his opponents, Italian Andrea Kimi Antonelli showed impressive potential from the very beginning of the last competition of the FIA Karting European Championship - OK. His direct rival in the standings, British leader Taylor Barnard was down in 13th position. Lorenzo Patrese (ITA) was the fastest in the second session, Luigi Coluccio (ITA) led Session 3 and Norton Andreasson (SWE) Session 4. Joe Turney (GBR) was 5th ahead of Nikita Bedrin (RUS), Juho Valtanen (FIN) was 9th and Laurens Van Hoepen (NLD) only 23rd. With such a starting configuration, the Qualifying stages are unlikely to lack spice.
Eight Qualifying Heats of 13 laps, i.e. 15 km, are on the programme for Saturday in the OK category and 12 Qualifying Heats of 9 laps, i.e. 10 km, for the Junior drivers. This qualification phase will end on Sunday morning with five more heats to run before the Finals.
Provisional schedule for Saturday 12th September
08:00 - 09:40: warm-up (10')
09.45 - 18.40: Qualifying Heats