The 2019 European season ended in France on the Le Mans circuit with a very successful performance from the official Parolin Racing Kart team and its #1 driver Gabriele Minì in OK, while James Wharton secured a very convincing top five in OK-Junior. Race after race, Parolin affirms its advantageous position among the best thanks to its extremely effective chassis in all conditions.
“We are very happy with our progress in the European Championship,” commented Marco Parolin. “The team has worked well to exploit the potential of our chassis on very different tracks, regardless of the types of tyres used. At Le Mans, the competition was very tough against formidable opponents, but we can be proud to have given the maximum to get ahead and take an indisputable victory. Gabriele Minì deserves our gratitude for reaching 2nd place of the OK Championship. In Junior, it was a great reward to be able to reach 5th position with James Wharton who was only competing in his 2nd race with us. We are very much looking forward to the big world meeting in Finland in early September.“
The weather was still warm for the fourth and last meeting of the FIA Karting European Championship at Le Mans. Only a short downpour reduced grip on Saturday in the early afternoon without affecting the efficiency of the Parolin / TM Racing karts. The tension continued to rise during the Qualifying Heats where there were many incidents, while the free management of tyres complicated the running of the races on Sunday morning. The Finals were fiercely contested and there was no shortage of twists. The calmness of the drivers and the Parolin team allowed them to obtain the best results possible.
In the wake of his victory in the French OK Championship two weeks ago, Gabriele Minì once again completed a clear round. 4th fastest among the 67 participants, he did not leave the top two in the heats and resisted many opponents starting on new tyres with his 6th place in the last heat on Sunday morning. Starting from the second row of the Final, Minì took 1st place after six laps and managed his lead perfectly for another indisputable win. After this remarkable performance, Minì gained a place in the Championship and finished 2nd.
With little to his advantage during Timed Practice, Hugo Sasse performed well in the heats to regain 12 places. Very effective in the Final, the German driver was back in 7th place with a gain of 10 positions when a collision demolished his hopes on the penultimate lap of the race.
The young Australian James Wharton has confirmed his good performance at the French Cup in OK-Junior. Already 10th at the end of Qualifying, he made a good comeback in 4th place in the heats with a win. He started the Final in 3rd position before being pushed and falling back to 10th. James continued to fight and managed to return to the top five after many adventures, achieving a top performance for his second race with Parolin.
Brando Badoer was not in the best position to shine after a complicated Qualifying session in which he finished 31st. He proved more and more competitive in the last heats, but had to give up on the second lap of the Final. Mateo Rubio Luengo started with a very good 16th place and two finishes in the top 10 of the heats before falling in the rain and then giving up in a crash at the start of the last heat, which deprived him of qualification for the Final.
Well represented at Le Mans during an FFSA meeting preceding the conclusion of the European Championship, the official Parolin Racing Kart team was in the public eye once again. Gabriele Mini’ dominated the OK category and added an undisputed victory to his record while new rookie James Wharton made a convincing debut in OK-Junior.
“We decided to take advantage of the FFSA event to get our bearings on the Le Mans circuit before the last meeting of the FIA Karting European Championship,” declared Marco Parolin. “Victory was not our main goal, but it’s always a good sign when one of our drivers wins. Gabriele Mini’ once again fulfilled his mission by climbing onto the top step of the podium. That said, we will continue our work to improve our performance. The other reason for satisfaction is the arrival of an excellent Junior driver in our team. The young Australian James Wharton quickly felt confident with our equipment and he was able to take a 4th place in his first participation with Parolin. It’s very encouraging for him and for us!“
The field was of a sufficiently high standard at Le Mans in the French OK Championship for the confrontation to be significant. Parolin Racing was able to gather a lot of information on the French track and the LeCont tyres to prepare its Parolin / TM Racing karts equipped with LeCont tyres for the European Championship. Already 2nd in Timed Qualifying, Gabriele Mini’ then won all the heats, the Prefinal, and the Final after a close battle. At the same time, Hugo Sasse was more and more successful and finished in an interesting 6th position.
James Wharton did not take long to adapt to his new team, as he was already in 2nd place in Timed Qualifying in the French Cup for OK-Junior against 54 participants, including several seeded in the category. 7th at the end of the heats, he came back to 3rd in the Prefinal before finishing with a quite significant 4th place in the Final. The arrival of a driver of the standard of Wharton provides an excellent opportunity for the team to progress in Junior too. The competition was not easy for everyone, but we can note the beautiful comeback of 11 places by Mateo Rubio Luengo. Much delayed by two retirements in the heats, Brando Badoer, 8th in Qualifying, could not qualify for the Final.
In less than two weeks at the Le Mans circuit, the fourth and final round of the European Championship promises to be particularly interesting for Parolin. Currently 3rd in the provisional standings, Mini’ will have a great card to play while Wharton will be able to demonstrate the full extent of his talent with his new team.
The 2019 WSK Euro Series ended on 30th June at the Adria Karting Raceway with a semi-nocturnal event marked by very hot weather. The overwhelming competitiveness of Parolin Racing Kart since the beginning of the season was rewarded with the win for Rashid Al Dhaheri overall in 60 Mini, while Gabriele Mini’ achieved a remarkable race in OK and dominated the Final stages of the competition.
“We have many good reasons to celebrate the WSK Euro Series,” said Marco Parolin. “The quality of our chassis has been confirmed in the face of strong competition which reinforces the value of our success at Adria. Gabriele Mini’ was ahead of the rest in OK and the way he won an indisputable victory gave us a lot of joy. In 60 Mini, Rashid Al Dhaheri made a remarkable run to secure the title. Finally, the progress of Mike Van Vugt in OK-Junior is very important for our team.“
The Adria meeting took place in the heatwave with temperatures reaching 40°C at the height of the day. Fortunately, the unique timing of the event meant most of the races at night with less heat thanks to the powerful lighting of the Adria circuit.
Al Dhaheri crowned in 60 Mini
Rashid Al Dahehri has fulfilled his mission with great intelligence. 5th fastest in Qualifying among the 76 entries, he took the lead in the category by winning three heats out of four. He then showed some caution in the Final stages while remaining very fast. In particular, he ensured 2nd place in the Final by minimising the risks to establish himself as the undisputed leader of the WSK Euro Series. Qualifying Practice at night with one or two quick laps at maximum had baffled many drivers. Starting 27th after Qualifying, Keanu Al Azhari made a superb return to 6th place in the Final. Maxens Verbrugge also came back and managed to qualify to fight in the top 20 of the Final.
Again well represented, the Parolin chassis won five heats as well as five fastest laps in the race before monopolising the top three places in the Final ranking of the WSK Euro Series.
Mini flies ahead of the OK category
More motivated than ever after the incident that had ousted him from the Final a few days earlier at Lonato, Gabriele Mini’ performed a real demonstration of his talent and the potential of his machine at Adria. He started by taking pole position in Qualifying and finished 2nd in the heats with relative carefulness in the fight. The Final stages would give him the opportunity to shine indisputably. Gabriele took the lead halfway through the Prefinal and won with a 2.4″ lead and the fastest time. He then dominated the Final from start to finish to win with a lead of more than 2.7” on his opponents. He was 4th in the WSK Euro Series after his disappointment at Lonato and mounted the final podium of the ACI Karting Italian Championship. But we will especially remember his incredible level of performance in the Finals at Adria as a positive sign for the rest of the season.
OK-Junior: Van Vugt gains confidence
Mike Van Vugt’s performance in OK-Junior shows he has great prospects in the 12-14 age group. After his 11th place in Qualifying, the young Dutchman proved very fast and reached the 5th position at the end of the heats. 5th in his Prefinal, he lost places in the scramble of the closing laps of the Final, which did not detract from the quality of his performances. The other four Junior drivers of the team also qualified for the Finals. Very fast, Brando Badoer and Matteo Rubio however had to retire due to racing incidents.
The Parolin Racing Team is now turning to the preparation for the Final meeting of the FIA Karting European Championship – OK & OK-Junior which will take place at Le Mans (FRA) from 19th to 21th July as well as the preparatory FFSA Karting competition scheduled two weeks earlier.
In the third round of the WSK Euro Series held at Lonato, Rashid Al Dhaheri took 3rd place on the 60 Mini podium while returning to 2nd place in the Championship. In OK, Gabriele Mini’ had an incredible mishap when he was due to achieve an excellent result. The common point of these two outcomes remains the high standard of performance of the Parolin / TM in international competition.
“It is impossible not to be disappointed by the mishap that hit Gabriele Minì,” said Marco Parolin. “Losing a piece of bodywork in the middle of the Prefinal when we were closing on the leader is still a painful moment. Fortunately, our competitiveness was once again excellent this weekend. And Rashid Al Dhaheri managed to race well in the 60 Mini category despite tough battles.“
The demonstration continues
The chassis manufacturer Parolin Racing Kart can once again be congratulated on its top position in the 60 Mini category with 40% of the WSK Euro Series field at Lonato. Success was also there with the two fastest times of Qualifying, the leadership of the Qualifying Heats 12 wins out of 15 and 11 fastest laps in the race set by seven different drivers. The competition continued with both wins in the Prefinal and the Final victory with the fastest lap in the race. In addition, Parolin placed five of its chassis in the top six.
Al Dhaheri shines in adversity
The 60 Mini competition was even livelier than usual in Qualifying. After setting the 12th fastest time, Rashid Al Dhaheri drove four very good heats, but gave up in the last. 17th in the intermediate classification, he performed magnificently by taking 2nd place in his Prefinal and continued his momentum reaching 3rd in the Final. With this important result, Rashid has progressed to 2nd place in the Championship.
Very effective in the heats, Keanu Al Azahri set two fastest times and finished with a 2nd place and a victory, which gained him 10 positions over his Qualifying position. Although he was a little ahead in Prefinal A when his line started less well, Keanu fought bravely to gain ground in 12th place in the Final. Among the other three drivers of the team qualified for the Final, Giovanni Trentin finished 17th with a gain of 20 places since Qualifying and Maxens Verbrugge took 35 places to finish 22nd.
Unrewarded effort for Minì
Gabriele Minì’s justifiable ambitions in OK flew away with his bodywork in Prefinal A of the WSK Euro Series. This is all the more regrettable because he was extremely competitive at Lonato. Twice 2nd and once victorious in the heats, he set two fastest times. He came back to 2nd in the Prefinal and was close to the leader when he was forced to stop. Hugo Sasse, meanwhile, made a promising comeback to 8th in the Final with a total gain of ten places during the weekend. The results for the young OK-Junior drivers were less eloquent, with only Brando Badoer managing to qualify for the Final after three strong heats.
The Parolin Racing team will have little time to breathe before heading to the Adria circuit for the last round of the WSK Euro Series from 27th to 30th June.