For its return to the gearbox categories, Parolin Racing Kart has chosen to put it’s faith in the talent and experience of Francesco Celenta. The Italian driver has many top results in KZ and KZ2 on his record, notably acquired with Parolin a few years ago.
Marco Parolin said: “We are delighted to officially return to the KZ category. In recent years we have worked hard to establish our reputation in other categories, from Mini to OK. Our aim now is to complement our expertise with a strong KZ programme, again in partnership with TM Racing. We have worked with Francesco in the past and I am convinced that his motivation and experience are important ingredients for this new project.”
For his part, Francesco Celenta could not hide his enthusiasm about taking part in a new and exciting challenge: “I am extremely happy to be back on the track in the colours of Parolin and TM Racing. I am very attracted to this new project which represents a great opportunity for my career. I can’t wait to get on the track with my new team.”
The last international competition of the season, the WSK Open Cup took place as a double meeting from 24th to 29th November on the Adria Karting Raceway. Very solid at the front of the Mini category, Maciej Gladysz won the series classification with a good lead over his opponents. Kai Sorensen did a great job in OK-Junior, and Rashid Al Dhaheri showed good performances.
“These end-of-season competitions allow us to take some good reference points for the year to come for both the equipment and the drivers,” explained Marco Parolin. “We worked well with Lorenzo Travisanutto in OK before taking a two-month break from racing, which will be put to good use at the factory. On a personal level, the first race for the young Kai Sorensen in OK-Junior was extremely positive. Maciej Gladysz finished the year on a high note by winning the Championship in the Mini category. The outcome of this WSK Open Cup is therefore completely satisfactory for us!”
Gladysz closes the season with a title in Mini
Already 3rd in the WSK Super Master series, and recently ranked 3rd in the Andrea Margutti Trophy, the young Polish driver Maciej Gladysz obtained his first big international success in Adria by winning the WSK Open Cup. He first won his Prefinal and the Final of the first round after setting the fastest lap in the race, then he took pole position in the second round before finishing 2nd in the Prefinal and securing a top five Final that guaranteed him the victory in the Championship, in front of 60 international participants.
Colombian Matias Orjuela showed serious potential when he returned to Europe at the end of the season. 7th in the Andrea Margutti Trophy, he took 13th place in the Final of round 1 in Adria and finished 16th in the Championship. The Frenchman Hugo Martiniello discovered the category in Adria and managed to qualify for the Final of Round 2.
Promising start in Junior for Sorensen
After a promising season in Mini, culminating in 5th position in the WSK Euro Series with the Parolin Racing Team, American Kai Sorensen discovered OK-Junior in the WSK Open Cup. Very fast, he drove some good Prefinals and even took a top five in the Final of Round 1, which brought him close to the top 10 in the classification of the series.
Badly rewarded performances for Al Dhaheri
As usual, Rashid Al Dhaheri was competitive in OK-Junior throughout the week. He showed all his talent in the top five of the two Prefinals. Unfortunately, a penalty for overtaking under a yellow flag and a dropped spoiler didn’t allow him to get the results he was expecting in the Finals and he finished 14th in the series, although the top 10 has been well within his reach.
Valerio Rinicella was one of Parolin’s assets in Adria. He registered a progression of 10 places to 15th place in the first Final, but a clumsy move in Round 2 didn’t allow him to continue until the end. Running in the top 10 of Round 1, Giovanni Trentin performed less well in Round 2. Finally, Jesse Carrasquedo could be satisfied with his two Final qualifications which led him to the edge of the first half of the field.
At the beginning of November the FIA Karting OK and Junior World Championship concluded a 2020 season disrupted by serious health problems on a global scale. Everyone worked hard to try to make up for the time lost away from the circuits. Well prepared, the Parolin Racing Team approached the major world meeting with serenity, but the Portuguese weather conditions upset its plans. Tranvisanutto held his place among the best in OK, whereas Wharton ensured a nice comeback in the Final. Al Dhaheri made magnificent progress by finishing on the track in 8th position in the OK-Junior category.
“We are not fully satisfied with the outcome of this World Championship,” said Marco Parolin. “After the great performances of the previous weekend in the Champions of the Future series, we were ready to confirm our strong potential in both categories, but we had to face totally different weather conditions that forced us to fight harder than expected. In the end we managed to place two drivers in the top 10 after the chequered flag in OKJ and OK, but I can’t deny that we were hoping for a better result in this competition. After bittersweet races like this one, the only thing we want is to get back on the track as soon as possible to work on the next event.”
Travisanutto at the forefront in OK
Ranked 7th in Qualifying, Lorenzo Travisanutto completed three good races on Saturday, including one victory, and he was able to secure 3rd place at the start of the Final. The wet track wasn’t really favourable for him, but he nevertheless ensured a solid performance in the leading group by finishing in 6th position. James Wharton wasn’t able to defend his chances as he would have liked during the Qualifying Practice and he had to settle down afterwards with a place in the middle of the pack. He didn’t have many chances in the heats, but he managed two good races, including a convincing 6th place in the last one, in the rain. He was in last place on the second lap of the Final and he started a superb comeback on slippery ground and regained 16 places in 15 laps to finish 17th. Portuguese driver Miguel Silva didn’t have an easy task after his 53rd Qualifying time and he couldn’t join the 36 finalists at the end of the heats.
Al Dhaheri confirms his ascent in OK-Junior
In continuity with the previous weekend, Rashid Al Dhaheri has achieved good results during this World Championship. Only 44th in the Timed Practice sessions, the Emirati driver completed five strong Qualifying Heats, even setting a fastest lap, and he made a spectacular gain of 26 places to qualify 18th. He built his Final on the same pattern. He made a very good start in the rain and was in 10th position from the first lap. He attacked again as soon as the slow procedure was over and kept fighting for 8th position. Unfortunately, a mispositioned spoiler dropped him back to 13th after the finish.
Maxwell Dodds showed his usual determination to regain no less than 21 places during the heats and narrowly qualified in 33rd position. The British driver came back even stronger in the Final race, reaching 11th place with four laps to go, a gain of 22 places in 11 laps of the race. He then dropped back down before being heavily sanctioned. The other drivers of the team had different fortunes in the heats and didn’t manage to join the list of finalists. Valerio Rinicella had nevertheless set the second fastest time in his third race, taking 11 places. Giovanni Trentin was consistent, but was penalised in the rain. Guillaume Bouzar still regained 16 places, Maksim Orlov 15 and Jesse Carrasquedo 10.
A week before the World Championship, the second event in the Champions of the Future series was set to be a dress rehearsal on the Kartodromo do Algarve in Portimao. The Parolin Racing Kart team confirmed a high level of performance in both categories with Travisanutto’s return to the forefront in OK and a well-deserved podium for Al Dhaheri in OK-Junior. The best drivers in the world were among the 164 entered and the confrontation between the contenders was fierce.
“It has been an excellent opportunity from RGMMC to be able to take part in a preparation race just before the World Championship“, said Marco Parolin. “We can be very satisfied with the performance of our equipment. The work has paid off. In OK, Travisanutto found his feet and Wharton was very competitive. They were both in a position to fight for victory. Al Dhaheri made superb progress in Junior with a very nice 2nd place in the Final as a well deserved reward. Rinicella also had a strong card to play, whereas Dodds’ problem in Qualifying prevented him from shining. That said, we are aware that there are still some things that need to be improved and we will work hard on them before the start of the world meeting.”
Everybody was happy to see Lorenzo Travisanutto back to his best for the first time this year. His collaboration with Parolin was very effective during the whole competition. After setting the 6th fastest time, he came back to 2nd position after the heats. It is a pity that he was penalised for his start in the Prefinal. 4th on the finish line, he was ranked 23rd. His comeback of 15 places in the Final proved that he was able to aim for victory. James Wharton did a great job during the heats by taking 4th place out of the 75 participants. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire twice in the Final stages. Miguel Silva started too far back to qualify, but his last two heats revealed interesting potential.
Rashid Al Dhaheri took an important step in OK-Junior. By lining up a fastest time and four results in the top five of the heats, including two 2nd places, he was able to fight at the front of the Final stages and his combativeness allowed him to finish on the second step of the podium. Valerio Rinicella also had a very good start during the weekend, but the Final stages didn’t go as well for him. Deprived of Qualifying Practice, Maxwell Dodds was able to make some good comebacks in the heats, but the challenge was too big for him to qualify. Guillaume Bouzar and Jesse Alejandro Carrasquedo gave their all to come back from their distant lap times in solid heats and regained 12 and 13 positions respectively, but this wasn’t enough.
The Parolin Racing Kart chassis once again showed excellent competitiveness at the double closing meeting of the WSK Euro Series in Lonato in three of the four categories, despite numerous race incidents. A final victory in Mini and three drivers in the top five of the championship, a 4th place in the Final and a 7th place in the Junior championship for Dodds as well as two top 10 and a 7th place in the OK championship for Wharton attest to Parolin’s level of performance.
“We have as many reasons for satisfaction as regrets after this Lonato marathon,” explained Marco Parolin. “When the equipment is as good as ours, we certainly become demanding when it comes to results. Sorensen allowed us to dream in Mini, but he had to settle for a podium and 5th place in the championship. Gladysz delighted us with some great climbs and a top five in the Final. Dodds and Rinicella had strong cards to play in Junior, but with three retirements out of four starts in the Final, it becomes more complicated to succeed! Wharton had arguably his best performance of the year with a consistent presence at the forefront of the OK category, which resulted in two 9th-place finishes in the Finals. That said, it’s hard to complain when our chassis are so competitive in three categories at once! I would like to congratulate our drivers and our technical staff for their total commitment during this long week of intense competition.”
In OK and OK-Junior, there was no question of resting between the last round of the European Championship at Wackersdorf and the start of the WSK Euro Series at Lonato. Like others, the Parolin Racing Team did well to be in place in time at the South Garda Karting circuit.
Sorensen on the Mini podium
American driver Kai Sorensen caused quite a stir in the younger age group by leading the heats in Round 2, winning Prefinal A and fighting his way to the front of the Final before finishing 3rd. He also came back to 2nd place in Prefinal A of Round 3, but dropped to the back of the field in a collision on the last lap of the Final when he was 5th. He still finished 5th in the championship.
Polish driver Maciej Gladysz showed good fighting spirit in the face of adversity. He still moved up six places in the Final of Round 2 and was in the top five. Delayed by an incident at the start of Prefinal A of Round 3, he fought hard to qualify and gained 16 places in the Final to finish 14th. The Italian Samuele Cecchetto made his debut with the Parolin team in this very tough competition.
P4 in the Junior Final for Dodds
In Round 2, Britain’s Maxwell Dodds made a strong impression by moving up from 48th place in Prefinal B to 3rd and continuing to 4th in the Final with an unusual overall gain of 44 spots. The situation was more favourable in Round 3 and this time he reached 2nd place in the Prefinal. He moved up to 2nd place in the Final, but had to retire prematurely due to a technical problem. Maxwell was still 7th in the WSK Series.
The Italian Valerio Rinicella had a very good run in the top 10 in both rounds, but the Finals ended with a retirement each time. The Emirati driver Rashid Al Dhaheri was in a very good rhythm at Lonato. In Round 2, he progressed from 23rd place in the heats to 8th place in the Final, but a penalty in Prefinal A of Round 3 prevented him from repeating his feat in Round 3. Finally, Frenchman Guillaume Bouzar took advantage of the end of the season to move from Mini to OK-Junior.
Wharton consistent in the top 10 of OK
Mastering the OK category better and better as the races went on, Australian James Wharton put in a great performance at Lonato. Fast against the clock, consistent in the heats with notably two victories to his credit, James did not weaken in the final phases. We even saw him take 2nd place at the beginning of the Final on the third lap. His two 9th place finishes allowed him to finish the championship in a rewarding 7th position.
For his part, the Italian Lorenzo Travisanutto continued to give the team the benefit of his experience beyond any expectation of results in WSK. It is a pity that an incident at the beginning of the Final put an end to his claims on the first lap.
In the coming weeks Parolin Racing Kart will concentrate all its efforts on preparation for the OK and OK-Junior World Championship in Portugal at the end of October.
The last round of the European Championship didn’t go very well for Parolin Racing Kart. Little known by the team, the circuit of Wackersdorf offered very different conditions than the two previous competitions and the circumstances weren’t often favourable for the Parolin drivers. Only Valerio Rinicella was able to maintain his position in the Junior class and to finish in 4th place of the Championship, an exceptional result for a rookie. However, the Racing Team took the opportunity to prepare for the World meeting at Portimao.
Shorter, more twisty and more demanding, the Wackersdorf circuit was the opposite of the first two European races, especially as the weather was much cooler than in Spain and Italy. The only constant in the 2020 European Championship was the impatience and excitement of part of the field, which resulted in many incidents on the track throughout the season.
“We were expecting a difficult competition“, explained Marco Parolin. “But the harshness of the races and frequent crashes didn’t make it any easier for us. James Wharton showed that we had very good performances in OK, as did Valerio Rinicella in OK-Junior. The Qualifying session didn’t turn out to our advantage and we had to regain ground in the heats, which is often a risky exercise. Rinicella was incredible in avoiding all the traps in his races. It’s very satisfying to see him finish 4th in the European Junior Championship in his first season against three much more experienced drivers“.
Rinicella’s performance and foresight in the Junior class
Valerio Rinicella did not make any mistakes in Germany. With excellent concentration, he regularly came back up during the heats and gainef 13 places in a difficult situation. He kept his calm in the Final despite some complicated first laps and fought until the last lap to come back in 12th position at the finish. His very rewarding 4th place in the Championship is a just reward for his efforts and a very encouraging sign for his debut in OK-Junior.
Maxwell Dodds also came back convincingly in the heats and made a great start in the Final, gaining another 12 places in four laps. After he had regained his competitiveness, his climb was unfortunately stopped by an electrical problem that caused him to retire on lap 7. For Giovanni Trentin, the problems multiplied in the heats and he wasn’t able to take part in the Final.
Wharton makes the most of the event in OK
James Wharton qualified for the Final after a retirement and another tough race in the heats. Determined as usual, he regained no less than 13 places in the first eight laps of the Final, but the end of the race was more complicated and a spoiler penalty relegated him to 26th position, far away from his true potential. Hugo Sasse started from very far back after the Qualifying Practice, but he regained ground consistently in the heats although was not able to reach the Final.
“Parolin is delighted to welcome a champion of the dimension of Lorenzo Travisanutto in his official team“, added Marco Parolin. “Lorenzo’s great experience will help to strengthen our project. His arrival was at the last minute, we didn’t have the time to prepare for the Wackersdorf race as we would have liked. His mission was essentially to get his bearings with us and start working towards the World Championship, the flagship event of the season. We are completely confident in his qualities and we will do everything we can to enable him to give the best in our team.”
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.
Parolin Racing Kart travelled to Spain with seven drivers to take part in the first round of the new Champions of the Future series at the Zuera circuit. The performance of the official Parolin-TM Racing karts with LeCont tyres in the same conditions as the next FIA Karting European Championship – OK & Junior was convincing, two weeks before the European grand opening.
“This meeting was an important test for us“, explained Marco Parolin. “On a technical level, we showed that we were perfectly in tune. Morgatto took 9th place in OK and we set two fastest laps in the heats. In the Junior class, Rinicella made a great comeback in the Prefinal and also set the fastest time. That said, this competition was not easy for our drivers. The Zuera track is unique and they had to find their feet while the races were full of incidents. It wasn’t easy to get a good result, but I’m sure it was a good experience for all of us.”
The team’s top-ranked driver in OK Qualifying, James Wharton showed his worth in the heats by finishing 4th, 5th and 3rd. Unfortunately, a technical problem on the first lap of his third heat nullified his efforts. He was sent back to the end of the grid at the beginning of the Prefinal and started his comeback in the Final when another incident destroyed his hopes. Matheus Morgatto started from 25th position in the Timed Qualifying session and was able to count on very good speed in the heats to regain ground and kept improving until he finished 9th, a very encouraging 16-place overall gain. Finland’s Henri Sääskilahti was making his comeback after the Winter Cup with some interesting performances in the heats. He regained 21 places up to a rewarding 17th place in the Prefinal, but did not complete a lap in the Final due to an incident in front of him.
Valerio Rinicella was able to congratulate himself on his performance in OK-Junior. Delayed in his heats, he qualified by winning the second chance heat. He competed in a magnificent Prefinal where he regained 13 places while being the fastest on the track. His great performance ended in 15th place in the Final. Maxwell Dodds remained a little bit behind his usual performance in 22nd position in the Final stages. Giovanni Trentin came back from a modest 37th Qualifying position, but two positive heats out of four with a retirement due to a jostling on the second lap of the Repechage didn’t allow him to reach the Final stages.
In the Mini class, Maciej Gladysz was discovering Zuera’s very fast track and MG tyres. Less at ease during the Qualifying heats, he regained his fighting spirit in the Final by finishing 5th.