The double OK World Champion Lorenzo Travisanutto has decided to give a new direction to his career by joining the official Parolin Racing Kart team.
“We are happy to announce the arrival of Lorenzo in the team. A driver of his experience really adds value to our team,” said Marco Parolin. “Lorenzo is highly motivated and his ambitions are in line with ours. We are ready to take on this new challenge at the next European Championship event at Wackersdorf.”
Lorenzo Travisanutto will continue his international season under the Parolin colours at the German round of the FIA Karting European Championship – OK at Wackersdorf. The OK World Championship will be his main objective in November at Portimao.
Lorenzo added: “I am very happy to be part of this team with which I have had an excellent relationship for so long. I am very keen to be back at the forefront in the chase for titles and I have found the same expectation in the Parolin Racing Kart team, which has always been competitive in every category over the years. Thank you very much to Parolin and TM Racing for the opportunity I have been given. I am convinced that I will be able to adapt to this new organisation without delay and be able to quickly bring the team the results it is hoping for.”
With another pole position and a top six for Maxwell Dodds in OK-Junior at Sarno, Parolin Racing Kart was looking like they would achieve the Zuera scenario again. However, the circumstances were very different in the second round of the OK and OK-Junior European Championship. Parolin’s performances and results in this very difficult competition were much more consistent in both categories. Three drivers in the top five of the Timed Qualifying and five victories in the Junior heats were outstanding aspects. In OK, despite numerous hazards, James Wharton in particular highlighted himself with a brilliant comeback of 15 places in the Final.
“It was a very tough weekend on the track“, commented Marco Parolin. “But our overall competitiveness was even better than at Zuera. The drivers and the team did a great job and the balance is very positive. Dodds had an outstanding run at the front of the OK-Junior class and I am convinced that he would have been able to finish in an even more convincing position. Rinicella proved that he is now to be counted on in the top 10. Trentino’s 4th fastest time and his two heat wins are also very encouraging. Al Dhaheri has made a successful debut in the Junior class despite adversity. In OK, Wharton was in great form, undoubtedly able to finish in the top five, but he was a victim, like many others, of numerous crashes that changed the face of this event. Anyway, Parolin showed its strength in both categories and this is very positive for the rest of the season.”
Dodds in the spotlight in OK-Junior
Maxwell Dodds opened the score with a magnificent pole position among the 66 participants of the Sarno race. He confirmed with two race wins and three top three finishes, which allowed him to take 2nd place overall and to start from the front row for the Final. This place sometimes turns out to be a poisoned chalice. This was the case on the Neapolitan circuit because the young Briton was baulked on the first lap and only finished the first lap 10th. He reduced his handicap as the laps went by before being involved in a crazy fight in the very last laps. His 6th position allowed him to join the provisional top 10 of the Championship.
A hero of Zuera two weeks earlier, Valerio Rinicella was again convincing at Sarno. He started in 5th position in Qualifying and held the rhythm in the heats with among others a victory and two 2nd places. 6th at the beginning of the Final, he was attacked several times and was dropped, but he came back up each time and finished 9th with the 5th fastest time of the race. Thanks to his perseverance, he is now 4th in the Championship.
Two other Junior drivers from Parolin Racing Kart also managed to qualify for the Final, which can be a great achievement considering the number of incidents that marked this competition. Giovanni Trentin had started in 4th position in the Qualifying Practice which allowed Parolin to count three drivers in the top five. He then won two heats, but two crashes sent him back to 24th position for the beginning of the Final. He was pushed on the first lap, but he came back up again before another incident forced him to retire. Rashid Al Dhaheri was taking part in his first race since the restart, but also his first race in OK-Junior. Despite some problems in the pack, he drove two interesting laps and finished positively by regaining eight places in the final. Nicolas Ambiado showed a good level of performance with his 29th Qualifying time, but several contacts in the heats deprived him of the Final.
OK: Wharton emerges from the turmoil
James Wharton was on his way to an excellent performance with his 8th fastest time. He achieved two good Heats, including a 2nd place. Unfortunately, two crashes caused him to fall back to 27th place for the Final. Despite the intensity of the race, he made an incredible comeback of 15 places by finishing 12th. Henri Sääskilahti was also delayed by a retirement in one heat. 25th on the Final grid, he had a difficult race and didn’t reach the finish line. For his return to international competition after two years away, the Italian Mario Schettino was confronted with a chaotic situation in which he didn’t manage to qualify.
Parolin Racing Kart caused a sensation in Zuera with the remarkable competitiveness of its official karts. Rinicella’s pole position in OK-Junior was like a thunderbolt in the Aragonese desert, and the rest of the competition confirmed the Italian brand’s leading potential. The many ups and downs of a very eventful competition then turned the tables, but Rinicella finished 6th in the Final, while Morgatto and Sääskilahti deserved to be congratulated for their formidable comeback in the OK heats.
“We have a lot to be happy about at the start of the European Championship,” said Marco Parolin. “It was a tough competition and there was no shortage of disappointments in the on-track clashes. However, Rinicella’s rise to prominence is a sure sign. He confirmed that his pole position was not due to luck by staying in the top three in the Junior heats. Trentino confirmed our excellent competitiveness with a solid run in the category. In OK, our drivers were not able to confirm in Qualifying the performances they were capable of during Free Practice. Despite this unfavourable starting situation, the fact that Morgatto and Sääskilahti were able to gain more than 20 places each and qualify for the Final is a very good thing for the team. Our objective is to learn from this event and to approach the Sarno meeting with greater ambitions.”
The revelation of Rinicella in OK-Junior
The young Italian driver had already made a name for himself in Champions of the Future, but he took another step forward during the first round of the European Junior Championship. Thanks to good management of the Qualifying session, he was able to show the speed of his Parolin-TM Racing kart by taking pole position with a lead of a tenth. He followed up with four good heats, two wins and two 2nd places. He crashed to 15th at the beginning of his last heat, but managed to regain eight places in four laps. The battle was fierce during the 15 laps of the feature race. Rinicella fought first in the top three, led the race for three laps before conceding a little bit of ground afterwards. His 6th position at the finish and in the provisional standings gives him great opportunities for the rest of the season.
Also fast during Qualifying, Giovanni Trentin has also made good progress since Champions of the Future. After consistent heats, he crossed the finish line in 13th place before dropping four places after a penalty for leaving the lane at the start. Maxwell Dodds was well on his way up from his modest 36th Qualifying position, but had to interrupt his run after the fourth heat. Chilean Nicolas Ambiado was discovering the Junior category after a few European races in 60 Mini in previous years and was completing a strong apprenticeship at European level.
Wharton out, Morgatto and Sääskilahti take over
James Wharton’s 17th fastest time in Qualifying gave the Australian hope of a comeback during the heats. Unfortunately, two unfavourable results out of four races prevented him from reaching the Final. Hugo Sasse also narrowly missed out on the Final, which was decided by an unhooked spoiler penalty.
Matheus Morgatto’s chances looked slim with his 42nd position in Qualifying. However, the Brazilian perfectly exploited the potential of his machine to regain 22 places during the extremely competitive heats and reached 21st place in the Final with a great fighting spirit. The Finnish driver Henri Sääskilahti had a similar scenario, as he brilliantly negotiated his heats in the second half of the field and climbed from 56th to 32nd position in this difficult exercise. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire in the Final.