Youngsters ready to take on the European Championship in Belgium

Published on Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Youngsters ready to take on the European Championship in Belgium

The circuit of Genk (BEL), the "Home of Champions", will launch the FIA Karting European Championship - OK & Junior from 13th to 16th May 2021. 190 drivers have registered for this grand opening event and the trend towards a younger OK category continues.

The COVID-19 health protocols introduced by the FIA in 2020 to increase safety for all and to ensure the smooth running of the Event will be applied again this year. In the absence of spectators, the responsible attitude and collaboration of all those present at the Event are paramount.

The FIA Karting European Championship - OK & Junior has 190 entries from 42 nations, 107 in OK-Junior and 83 in OK, a very positive number for the quality of the Competitions. Following the recent decision of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, all will be running on Brazilian MG Tyres, the new exclusive supplier for the 2021 FIA Karting Championships, Cups and Trophies. The OK karts will run on "Prime" tyres and the OK-Junior karts on "Option" tyres.

The technical and selective Genk circuit, 1360 metres long, is demanding for the drivers and is a major challenge for the technical teams. It is the favourite track of Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen, who often comes to drive a kart on the circuit when the opportunity arises. To make the races even more complex, the rapidly changing weather situation requires frequent adaptations.

Renewal continues in OK

The 2020 FIA Karting European Champion - OK Andrea Kimi Antonelli (ITA) will be challenging for the title with strong ambitions against Joe Turney (GBR), Rafael Camara (BRA) and Luigi Coluccio (ITA), but the competition will be tough from the rookies who were in Junior last year. Among the most prominent, Ugo Ugochukwu (USA), Arvid Lindblad (GBR), Tuukka Taponen (FIN), Tymoteusz Kucharczyk (POL), Artem Severiukhin (RUS) and Nikola Tsolov (BGR) illustrate the potential of the rising generation. On the other hand, established names such as Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP) and Yannick De Brabander (BEL) are among the only representatives from the previous decade.

A wealth of talent in Juniors

More and more young drivers are showing their brilliance in their first season in international OK-Junior competition. However, drivers with one or two years of experience at the highest level are the logical favourites for the FIA Karting European Championship - Junior. Freddie Slater (GBR), who was crowned World Champion in 2020, is in this category, as are his compatriots Harley Keeble, William Macintyre and Sonny Smith. Rashid Al Dhaheri (AER) has been performing well since the beginning of the season, as have Alex Powell (JAM) and Matheus Ferreira (BRA). Newcomers such as Kean Nakamura Berta (GBR) and Douwe Dedecker (BEL) are already capable of shining in OK-Junior.

Provisional programme of the Genk Event

Friday 14th May
08:00 - 16:35: Free Practice
16:45 - 19:13 : Qualifying Practice

Saturday 15th May
08:00 - 09:40 : Warm-up
09:45 - 17:00 : Qualifying Heats

Sunday 16th May
09:00 - 10:40 : Warm-up
10:45 - 12:20 : Qualifying Heats
13:30 - 15:15 : Finals

The Genk event can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship application for mobile devices and on the website www.fiakarting.com.

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