In Essay (FRA), 24 Qualifying Heats were run under increasing heat this Saturday, 4th August, 2018. The sporting intensity grew in parallel with the rise in temperatures as we approach the end of this crucial phase of the 4th and last FIA Karting European Championships Competition for OK and OK-Junior. Junior poleman Bedrin remained in control, while Patterson and Thompson dominated the OK category. Six heats remain on the programme for Sunday morning before we will know the 34 finalists of the two categories in the running.
Under the hot Normandy sun, the programme of the day included 24 of the 30 Qualifying Heats of the French Kart Grand Prix, deciding the FIA Karting European Championship for OK and the FIA Karting European Championship for Junior. The races went out in quick succession, producing a quality sporting spectacle on the 1215m of the international circuit of Aunay les Bois / Essay whose new tarmac caused a net gain in performance. Penalties for front fairings in the wrong position at the finish decreased, but the tension enhanced over the course of the day with an increasing number of non-serious incidents. The early fitting of new sets of tyres by some Drivers concerned about their chances of qualifying for the Final also animated the Races. The various title contenders are far from all in a good position for the Finals.
Junior: Bedrin still in charge
The OK-Junior Qualifying hierarchy continued for the top four OK-Junior Drivers. Nikita Bedrin (RUS) kept the lead with three wins in four heats, followed by Victor Bernier (FRA) and Kai Askey (GBR), both winners, and by Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA), who also won. The day was more difficult for the leader of the Championship Paul Aron (EST) who lost several places while his direct pursuer Gabriele Mini ‘(ITA) was back in the top five. The young Alfio Andrea Spina (ITA) was noticed for a beautiful rise, along with another revelation, Sebastian Gravlund (DNK). Dilano Van’T Hoff (NLD) was in trouble in around 30th.
Patterson and Thompson tied in OK
Already side by side in the Qualifying Practice, Dexter Patterson (GBR) and Harry Thompson (GBR) finished the day on a perfect tie with four wins each. Zane Maloney (BRB) was back in the top three, with Callum Bradshaw (GBR) following in his footsteps ahead of Jonny Edgar (GBR) and Nicklas Nielsen (DNK). Kas Haverkort (NLD) lost some ground while Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA) slipped more drastically out of the top 10. The leader of the provisional classification of the Championship Hannes Janker (DEU) stayed at the same level as in Qualifying ahead of David Vidales Ajenjo (ESP). 2nd in the Championship, Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP) has not yet recovered the situation and is primarily aiming at qualification, a problem similar to that of Juho Valtanen (FIN).
This Qualifying Phase will end on Sunday morning with the last six remaining heats. Then it will be the turn of the 34 Drivers qualified in each category to compete for the titles in the Final. The weather should be similar to previous days with clear skies and maximum temperatures above 30°. The verdict and the 34 Finalists will be known from 12:00, while the Finals will be held from 13:45 in Junior and 14:45 in OK. The results and live timing are available on www.cikfia.com, while the live streaming on www.cikfia.tv allows you to follow the Competition remotely.