One week after Alfio Spina’s Italian Championship in the OK class, another Parolin Motorsport driver was successful on the Sarno circuit. The young Spaniard Christian Costoya triumphed in the 2021 WSK Euro Series in the Mini class. The competition was not easy for any of the team members, but Rashid Al Dhaheri managed to finish in the top five of the OK-Junior Championship.
“We can be proud of Costoya’s success in the Mini class,” said Marco Parolin. “This is a very important category for Parolin Racing Kart where the competition between the teams is very high. The WSK Euro Series represents the highest level for the growing number of young drivers. Our chassis was again used by more than 30% of the field in Sarno, half of the top 10 in the heats and four of them were in the top six in the Final. It is very satisfying to have won the title with Costoya, who was 2nd in the Final, while Orjuela finished 4th. Al Dhaheri made an incredible comeback in Junior to finish 5th in the Championship and Alfio Spina did well in OK.”
The team had already familiarised itself with the new Sarno track, but with temperatures often exceeding 30°, the intensity of the races caused numerous incidents. The first difficulty to overcome was the management of Qualifying Practice, where it is increasingly difficult to bring out the potential of the equipment and the drivers.
First major title for Costoya
Christian Costoya started by returning to the front of the heats after his 13th Qualifying time and lining up a series of five victories, including one with the fastest time, all without making the slightest mistake. He managed the Final stages intelligently with a view to the Championship. Without taking any unnecessary risks, he secured 2nd place in the Final race on the winner’s wheeltracks. Christian reached his goal with a lead of more than 30 points, an exceptional performance when one remembers that the first WSK Euro Series event did not go well in Lonato.
Colombian Matias Orjuela also put in a convincing performance and finished 9th in the Championship. He was in the top three in four of his heats, and in 4th place of the Final he gained four positions with the fastest lap. The Swedish driver Oliver Kinmark started well in the top 10 of Qualifying and the heats, but two incidents in the Prefinal made him lose ground. He made up six positions in the Final to come 17th. The American Jack Illife showed himself to be more and more competitive with a good progression in the Prefinal which allowed him to finish 14th in the Final. His brother Oscar went from 40th in the heats to 27th in the Final. Lithuanian Simas Baciuska followed a similar pattern to reach 26th place. The third American in the team, Alessandro Truchot, showed a good attitude for his first European competition at this level.
Al Dhaheri 5th in the WSK Euro Series Junior
The weekend did not go as planned for Rashid Al Dhaheri. Ranked 72nd in Qualifying, he gave everything to move up 42 places (a record!) at the end of the heats. He continued his incredible comeback to 12th position in the Final and saved the top five of the Championship. Anatoly Khavalkin had made an excellent start to the meeting by rising to 6th place in the heats, but had to retire shortly after the start of the Final. Enzo Deligny also made a good start and finished 7th in his Prefinal before being pushed in the Final.
In OK, Alfio Spina made a convincing performance by climbing back to 8th position in the Qualifying Heats and finished 12th in the Final. Mexican driver Jesse Alejandro Carrasquedo Parada showed great determination in the Final stages and finished the meeting in 26th place after moving up five places.
The fifth round of the Italian ACI Karting Championship has crowned Parolin Motorsport driver Alfio Spina as OK Champion 2021. Around 300 participants from 36 different countries took part in the competition from 18th to 20th June at the Circuito Internazionale Napoli in Sarno.
“We are happy with the OK double from Spina and Rinicella,” said Marco Parolin. “Although the field was not as big as in a European Championship, there were several very high level competitors and it was important to stay ahead of them. I am happy for Alfio, who has been looking for a win for some time now, and also for Valerio, who was back after a long break. Overall it was a positive weekend for the whole team, who also dominated in Mini with wins for Costoya and Orjuela. The rest of the team performed well and in OK-Junior we were not far from the podium with Deligny. Beyond that, it was also very satisfying to be able to manage a double weekend logistically and technically: Sarno for the Italian KZ and Wackersdorf for the European KZ.”
Spina, Italian OK Champion
Alfio Spina won the Italian title unstoppably in a single event by winning the two Final races by more than a second each time. Valerio Rinicella was one of his main rivals after taking pole position, as he finished 3rd in Race 1 and then 2nd in Race 2 to become vice-champion. These performances were achieved against a high level of international field.
Deligny very competitive in OK-Junior
The Frenchman Enzo Deligny started very well with the Junior pole. He maintained his domination in the heats before fighting for the victory in Race 1. Race 2 was more complicated and he had to give up some ground on the way to the finish, while his teammate Shimo Zhang finished in 7th place.
Costoya and Orjuela victorious in Mini
In the presence of almost 80 Mini drivers, Christian Costoya started from pole position and went on to win four Qualifying Heats and take two fastest laps. He also won Race 1 and finished 2nd in Race 2 with a new fastest lap. Matias Orjuela was already fast in the Qualifying Heats, but it was in the Final stages that he really shone. He started by gaining seven places with the fastest time in Race 1 and went on to win Race 2. Oliver Kinmark also put in a solid performance with a double top five in the Finals. Between them the three Parolin Motorsport drivers had a total of nine fastest race laps over the weekend. The young American Jack Illife was also in the top 10 ahead of his brother Oscar.
The two Parolin Motorsport KZ2 rookies, James Wharton and Lorenzo Travisanutto, finished the first meeting of the 2021 European Championship on a very positive note. After a worse than expected start to the competition, they recovered in the Final to both finish in the top 10. Francesco Celenta was aiming for a top five finish in the KZ class, but was unable to finish the meeting due to injury.
“We are very happy with the fast progress of Wharton and Travisanutto in Wackersdorf,” explained Marco Parolin. “The team worked hard to adapt to the new MG tyres used for the first time in the gearbox categories. We were able to start the FIA Karting meeting in Wackersdorf with strong competitiveness that we continued to develop over the event. Our performance in the KZ2 Final showed that we are on the right track. It was a great achievement to have two of our drivers with little experience in this category able to reach the top 10. It is a real shame that Celenta was not able to continue in KZ, because he certainly had a great card to play in the Final.“
The management of Qualifying on MG tyres had not yet been fully mastered by most teams. The concentration of 32 drivers on a track of less than 1200 m during the KZ2 timed sessions did not make things any easier. The battles were then tough during the Qualifying Heats. James Wharton nevertheless managed to stay in the top 10 most of the time, while Lorenzo Travisanutto climbed up to 21st position. It should not be forgotten that the young Australian is just starting out in KZ2 and alternates with an OK programme, whereas the Italian champion was only in his second international race in the category. Viacheslav Putiatin managed to regain 16 places in the heats, but among 95 participants, this was not enough to open the door to the Final.
Wharton and Travisanutto managed to get through the group collision on the first lap of the Final and then pushed their advantage by getting faster and faster as the laps went by. James was able to overtake many of his rivals to reach 8th place at the chequered flag with an impressive gain of 18 places. He was also 8th in the Championship. Lorenzo followed a similar pattern until he reached 10th place at the finish line, a gain of 11 places. He is 11th in the provisional standings.
Francesco Celenta was improving his ranking in the heats after his 7th fastest time, when a crash forced him out of the last heat on the first lap. He was still 11th in the intermediate classification and could have been in contention for a return to the front during the 26 laps of the Final. Unfortunately, this scenario was not to be and Francesco had to withdraw from the Final with several broken ribs after the incident of the last heat.
The arrival of warm summer weather coincided with a number of new and rewarding performances for the Parolin Motorsport team at Adria Karting Raceway. The second round of the WSK Euro Series, which took place from 10th to 13th June 2021, saw Christian Costoya shine at the top of the Mini class, while Francesco Celenta showed his competitiveness in KZ2 at the circuit which will host the final round of the European Championship in August.
“Francesco Celenta had the potential to fight for the KZ2 victory”, analysed Marco Parolin. “He was delayed in his last heat, but he was able to regain a lot of places in the Final stages and was close to the top five, while Lorenzo Travisanutto made an interesting debut in this category. I am confident ahead of the European Championship next week. It was a tough battle for our drivers in OK and OK-Junior. I am sorry that Alfio Spina could not take part in the OK Final, while James Wharton came back to the top 10. Rashid Al Dhaheri had put in a good performance in the heats and in his OK-Junior Prefinal. Enzo Deligny and Anatoly Khavalkin were both in the top 10. René Lammers’ first race in the Junior category showed good potential. Finally, Christian Costoya and Matias Orjuela were very fast in Mini. Christian finished 2nd, 8 hundredths behind the winner, Matias climbed up to 7th position after dropping out of a heat and Oliver Kinmark completed his best performance of the year. Our newcomers did not disappoint. In the Mini class, the Parolin chassis continued to prove their worth. They represented more than 30% of the field, dominating the top four in Timed Qualifying and the top five in heats. Five Parolin chassis finished in the top eight in the Final.”
WSK Euro Series in Mini is back on track for Parolin
The Parolin Motorsport team set five fastest race laps, including the Final fastest lap, in the Mini class with three different drivers. Christian Costoya won two heats and his Prefinal before taking the 2nd position in the Final, 8 hundredths behind the winner. He is now in 3rd place in the Championship. Matias Orjuela made up 10 places in the Final stages to finish 7th. Oliver Kinmark climbed 12 places to 3rd in the heats and Oscar Iliffe climbed to 23rd in the Final in his first Mini competition in Europe.
Al Dhaheri in 3rd place in the Junior ranking
The weekend was not easy for Rashid Al Dhaheri. He regained 17 positions during the heats after a distant 46th position in Qualifying and made up another seven places in his Prefinal. Unfortunately, a collision prevented him from completing the first lap of the Final. Enzo Deligny started well in 4th position in the Timed Qualifying, and completed three heats in the top five, one of which he won. However, a retirement in the battle and a penalty pushed him back to 19th place. The Frenchman nevertheless climbed back up to 8th in the Final. Anatoly Khavalkin moved up 22 places during the heats, despite a retirement, thanks to three magnificent top 3s and two fastest laps in the race. He finished 9th in the Final and confirmed his development within the team. For his first race in OK-Junior after a great run in Mini, René Lammers was very competitive in his first three heats. Two successive retirements did not allow him to reach the Final, but his potential is already promising.
Missed opportunity in OK
Despite a retirement in the third heat, Alfio Spina was 12th in the Prefinal with strong ambitions for the Final, but he had to retire after a mistake on the formation lap. James Wharton finished 12th while Arnur Shabdar recovered 8 places to 17th in the Final.
Celenta confirms his potential in KZ2
Francesco Celenta started with the 2nd fastest time and continued with the fastest time of his first two heats. Too light on the scales of the third heat, he lost the benefit of his 2nd place on the finish line and fell to 19th in the intermediate classification, although the top five was within his reach. Celenta did not give up and climbed up to 6th place in the Prefinal and then to 6th place in the Final by setting the 2nd fastest time each time.
Lorenzo Travisanutto gradually got to grips with his new class and finished 22nd in the Final before being penalised for a loose spoiler. Slavik Putiatin put in a solid performance to finish 19th in the Final.
The intense work carried out by Parolin Motorsport undoubtedly showed its effectiveness in terms of performance during the second round of the FIA Karting European Championship – OK & Junior. The Junior results were very consistent for Rashid Al Dhaheri and Anatoly Khavalkin but the OK drivers did not manage to perform well in the Final.
“We have reasons to be satisfied with the Aunay-les-Bois meeting,” said Marco Parolin. “But adaptation to the unique circuit was not easy. The performance took longer to come in OK and the battle in the heats starting from quite a distance didn’t allow us to reach our objectives in the Final. The results we obtained in Junior are more convincing, even though several hazards thwarted our progress. In short, it was not an easy weekend to manage and we are delighted with the performance of Anatoly Khavalkin at the brink of the top 10. Rashid Al Dhaheri was very good, as usual, Enzo Deligny and Maksim Orlov met several obstacles on the way and were unable to defend their chances in the Final. We have further enriched our experience and we are looking forward to racing again in Sarno to strengthen our competitiveness in the third round. In the meantime we will have started the European KZ Championship in Wackersdorf, which is a very exciting challenge.”
With its unusual layout, the Aunay-les-Bois circuit presented new conditions to master both technically and in terms of driving. While the technical work progressed throughout the meeting, the harshness of the battles on the track sometimes created problems for the drivers, particularly in terms of overtaking opportunities.
Khavalkin finds his bearings in Junior
Anatoly Khavalkin, who was 22nd in Qualifying, showed himself to be solid during the heats with a 3rd and a 5th place. A penalty in the third heat delayed his progress, but he made up for it in the Final. Anatoly put in a good effort at the beginning of the race, avoided any incidents and maintained a good pace to secure 11th place with a gain of 12 places at the finish. This excellent result allowed him to gain more than 30 places in the Championship standings.
11th in Qualifying, Rashid Al Dhaheri was on the list of contenders. He was forced to restart three times due to jostling at the start from the outside lane, but managed two 2nd places and a fastest lap in the race. Despite having recovered more than 10 positions, his chances of fighting for the Final victory were compromised. Rashid started cautiously to avoid the troubles at the beginning of the Final, but he started to come back to 8th position, then he was sanctioned for one of his passes and ended up only 13th. Enzo Deligny was less comfortable than usual and a retirement in the third heat made his task more difficult. He was caught up in a collective collision at the start of the Final and did not complete a lap. Maksim Orlov and Guillaume Bouzar had several setbacks in the heats and did not reach the Final.
Unfinished business in OK
Jesse Alejandro Carrasquedo Parada set the fastest time for the team before losing positions in the heats. James Wharton started to make the kind of comeback he is famous for with three good heats, but he just missed out on a place in the Final after problems in his third heat. Alfio Spina was fast and consistent enough to take the start of the Final after a nice 13 position improvement in his heats. Caught in a collision shortly after the lights went out, he was unable to complete even the first lap.