MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR TONY KART AT THE GENK EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
The first round of the FIA Karting European Championship 2022, in Belgium, reserved for the KZ and KZ2 categories, ends with results that were totally below expectations considering the performances shown on track by the drivers of our Racing Team.
On the occasion of the first weekend valid for the 2022 season of the FIA Karting European Championship KZ-KZ2, on the Belgian track of Genk, our Tony Kart Racing Team goes to the track with the technical package world champion in force: the Tony Kart Racing 401 RR powered by the Vortex RTZ/RSZ, engines designed and manufactured by the "engine division" of OTK Kart Group.
In KZ, the Finnish duo made up of Tuukka Taponen and Simo Puhakka opens the weekend of our Racing Team with positive notes. Taponen is immediately at ease at his debut in the master category of the shifter karts: after the best time in the first free practice session, the reigning OK world champion gets the fourth place in the official qualifying session, while his compatriot Puhakka, champion of the Champions of the Future Winter Series, is immediately behind him, fifth. Taponen continues smoothly in the qualifying heats and remains stable in the Top 5; on the contrary, Puhakka obtains a remarkable haul of two podiums and two fast laps (clear indicators of his competitiveness), but an unfortunate stop (due to a rival who puts him out of the running) in the second heat prevents our driver from climbing to the top positions. The bad luck, unfortunately, also persists in the Sunday's animated super heat, with Taponen and Puhakka both retired due to accidents caused by others.
The final sees seven of our drivers at the start. After a solid run throughout the Belgian weekend, Adrien Renaudin proves to have high coolness in difficult situations and grabs a Top 10, while Taponen closes his KZ debut two positions behind his French teammate. Juho Valtanen is also in the Top 15, finishing just behind Taponen. An accident in the super heat greatly reduces the chances of a good result for the reigning KZ world champion Noah Milell, who finishes behind the KZ vice world champion Lorenzo Camplese. Good first race also for Mario Ljubic with our colours, author of a recovery of 8 positions. Final to forget especially for Simo Puhakka: as said, the Finnish driver showed several times during the weekend to have the pace to run for the victory of the race, which, however, ended with another stop.
In KZ2 category is Jean Luyet our best driver of the weekend. The Swiss driver gets twice on the podium in the qualifying heats and recovers 11 positions in the overall standings, but a stop in the A super heat spoils his plans. In spite of the obstacle along the way, Jean performs several overtakes which send him to the top 10 in the final. Convincing performance also for Norton Andreasson, at his first race with the official suit of our Racing Team. The Swedish driver grows steadily throughout the weekend and scores a Top 5 in the A super heat and a Top 10 in the final. Samuel Luyet also emerges from the group with four Top 5 finishes in the four qualifying heats, plus a hopeful third place in the B super heat. Unfortunately, a collision in the final puts an early end to the Swiss's dreams of glory.
From Belgium, our Tony Kart Racing Team moves towards the North of Europe: in fact, on next weekend (19th-22nd May) he will be on track at Kristianstad (Sweden) for the third seasonal appointment of the Champions of the Future, reserved to the OK and OKJ classes.