After the superb performance of Anatoly Khavalkin last week in Sarno, another Parolin Motorsport driver caused a sensation in OK-Junior this weekend in Zuera as Maksim Orlov brilliantly finished 3rd in the Champions of the Future series. Rashid Al Dhaheri also performed well, finishing 8th in the Final race, while Alfio Spina was fighting for the top 10 in OK despite a difficult weekend. This eventful weekend confirmed the ability of the Parolin / TM Racing karts in both categories with a week to go before the conclusion of the European Championship at this same circuit.
“We are very pleased with Maksim Orlov’s result”, said Marco Parolin. “He has been making great moves for a few races now without being able to put them into practice. This weekend everything went well for him and he was able to exploit the potential of his machine until the end. An international podium finish is an important moment for any driver. Rashid Al Dhaheri was also consistent in a very competitive environment and we are delighted that he was able to finish in 8th place. Alfio Spina was well on his way to a good run and he deserved to be fighting at the front in the Final stages. We are confident in our potential and we are ready to face the end of the European Championship next weekend positively.”
OK-Junior: Orlov stars in Zuera
Maksim Orlov put in a string of top performances throughout the meeting. 19th in Qualifying, he progressed to the top 10 in the heats and continued with a comeback to 3rd position in the Prefinal. He then confirmed this by consistently fighting his way into the top three in the Final. His presence on the podium was a fitting reward for his efforts and talent.
Rashid Al Dhaheri’s Final result only partially reflects the energy he spent to get there. He had gone some way in the heats to make up seven places, but his nine-place climb in the Prefinal was crucial. He continued to fight valiantly in the Final to finish 8th. Anatoly Khavalkin had started too far back to make up for his two retirements in the heats. His 21-place recovery during the Repechage proved his great speed.
The Chilean driver Nicolas Ambiado was able to regain 28 places with a good consistency during the heats, but it was not enough to open up access to the Final phases. His other team-mates did not often experience the conditions required to allow them to overtake their delay in Qualifying.
Strong potential for Spina in OK
Alfio Spina has strong competitiveness in OK and he proves it in every race. 9th in Qualifying meant he had the necessity of maintaining the pace without a costly retirement in a three heat format. He nevertheless managed a good Prefinal at the edge of the top 10 with a progression of eight places before having to be satisfied with 16th in the Final. Brando Badoer had more difficulties in the battles before finishing 20th. James Wharton had made up eight places in the Qualifying Heats, but his retirement from the Prefinal after making up 10 places halfway through the race did not work in his favour.
Following on from his excellent performances in the WSK Euro Series, Anatoly Khavalkin had a remarkable run at the front of the third round of the FIA Karting European Championship on the Sarno circuit. Overall, the entire Parolin Motorsport team performed very well in the Neapolitan heat despite the tough sporting clashes that took place at all levels. The Parolin / TM Racing teams are now among the best in both the OK and OK-Junior categories.
“After a sometimes confusing Qualifying Practice, all our drivers made significant progress during the competition,” said Marco Parolin. “We are particularly pleased that Khavalkin was able to follow through on the great potential he showed on the Sarno circuit in the WSK Euro Series. He deserved his 4th place in OK-Junior and even better after his demonstration in the heats by climbing from 13th to 1st position. I think this competition marks an important step in his career. Al Dhaheri also performed well, but his Final was more complicated. We now have two top drivers to defend the team’s chances in OK-Junior. We are delighted to have Brando Badoer back with us. This young man has great potential and we will do everything to support him in his quest for victory. We are building up our strength in OK with the rise of Spina alongside Wharton and the rest of the season looks very interesting.”
Khavalkin, the hero of Sarno
Russian youngster Anatoly Khavalkin has made rapid progress since moving up to Junior at the beginning of the year. Very fast, he has now integrated all the parameters to go for rewarding results. At the European round in Sarno, he had some exceptional runs in the top three with a fastest lap and two wins. He started at the front of the Final and battled with the best with great perseverance to finish 4th.
Rashid Al Dhaheri put in four good runs out of five to come back to 8th position with a gain of 11 places. He fought hard in the Final, but a contact caused him to drop back and he finished only 15th.
Spina finishes on a positive note
Italian Champion Alfio Spina was 24th in Qualifying and improved his position in the heats, moving up to 13th despite being dropped in the fight. He confirmed his international competitiveness with a superb gain of seven positions in the Final to conclude in a very rewarding 6th place. The Australian James Wharton gave his best in the Final by taking nine places to finish 12th. Brando Badoer started his return to Parolin with a very good time in 6th place out of the 62 OK entries. The young Italian suffered slightly in the heats but made up for it in the Final with an 11 place improvement to 13th.
With a very good potential in both categories, Parolin Motorsport is now heading to Spain to compete in the Champions of the Future series at the Zuera circuit next weekend as a prelude to the last round of the European OK and Junior Championship which will take place the following week.
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.
The first round of the FIA Karting European OK and Junior Championship, held at Genk from 13th to 16th May 2021, was the scene of intense sporting clashes. The changeable weather conditions during the Saturday heats were particularly difficult for the Parolin Motorsport drivers to cope with, despite the proven potential of the Parolin/TM Racing packages. James Wharton showed excellent competitiveness in OK, while Rashid Al Dhaheri and Enzo Deligny returned to the Final top 10 in OK-Junior.
“This second competition in Belgium was rather tough”, said Marco Parolin. “But thanks to the performance of our equipment and the competitiveness of our drivers, the balance of this beginning of the European Championship remains interesting. We are looking forward to meeting again in France in less than two weeks, on the Aunay-les-Bois circuit, to confirm our very high potential. In OK, James Wharton’s overall performance was very satisfactory and Alfio Spina’s debut in our colours was very promising. In OK-Junior, Rashid Al Dhaheri made a great comeback from his 25th in Qualifying by finishing 6th, while Enzo Deligny followed him in the top 10. Anatoly Khavalkin and Maksim Orlov should soon be able to get the results their talent deserves. We are also sorry that Guillaume Bouzar had so many setbacks during this meeting.”
Wharton on the rise
Young Australian driver James Wharton put in a remarkable performance in the OK category in a difficult situation. In the stormy weather on Saturday, he progressed in each heat with great determination. It is a pity that the last heat on Sunday morning did not enable him to continue his climb beyond 14th position. He made an excellent start in the Final and fought his way into the top five. He crossed the finish line in 7th position, a gain of seven places, before being demoted by a spoiler penalty.
Alfio Spina, a newcomer to the team, was quick to appreciate how his Parolin/TM Racing machine worked. He impressed with his 18-position gain during the heats, but an incident eliminated him from the fight at the start of the Final. Jesse Alejandro Carrasquedo Parada showed his speed qualities with a top five in the third heat, but he lacked the consistency to continue to the Final. Arnur Shabdar had a tough challenge and still needs to get used to this level.
Al Dhaheri and Deligny at the forefront of the Junior fight
Enzo Deligny confirmed his talent against the clock by taking 10th position in the Qualifying Practice. The heats were less favourable to him, in particular when he tried a risky gamble with the choice of tyres. Meanwhile, Rashid Al Dhaheri scored three top three finishes and made up 11 places in the heats. Both drivers made a good start in the Final, with Rashid quickly finding himself in a battle for the top five. Enzo joined him before the halfway point and they both maintained a good pace until the finish line despite the intensity of the battles, regaining eight places each. Al Dhaheri finished in 6th position while Deligny was 9th.
Anatoly Khavalkin had started well with his 13th place in Timed Practice, then his 5th position in the first heat. Unfortunately, he had to retire three times and was severely downgraded in the ranking. Maksim Orlov resisted adversity better, but his distant 52nd time did not allow him to reach the Final. Shimo Zhang also lost ground in the heats, while Guillaume Bouzar had the worst weekend of his career.
The organisation of the Champions of the Future by RGMMC in Belgium has certainly marked an important turning point in the 2021 sporting season. The first international competition of the year to leave Italian territory was accompanied by the discovery of the MG Tyres destined to equip all FIA Karting events, starting with the opener of the OK and Junior European Championship on the same circuit in less than two weeks. The harshness of the races at Genk did not always allow the Parolin Motorsport drivers to show the competitiveness of their equipment, but James Wharton’s comeback in the OK Prefinal and the 7th and 8th Final places for Rashid Al Dhaheri and Enzo Deligny in OK-Junior were a testament to the level of performance of the Parolin chassis, equipped with TM Racing engines.
“The Belgian weekend was not easy to manage, but we are very confident in the effectiveness of our equipment in these new conditions,” explained Marco Parolin. “The grip of the Genk track was not high compared to the Italian races at the beginning of the season. The MG Tyres also worked very differently to those we were used to before. We anticipated these changes and continued to work during the meeting, so we achieved a very interesting level of competitiveness. The last parameter to take into account is the unique track which caused several incidents during the race, especially at the start. This is definitely an important point to take into account when we prepare our drivers.“
Juniors already in the mix
All six drivers in the Parolin Motorsport team qualified for the Finals, which was not an easy challenge given the toughness of the races.
Maksim Orlov and Anatoly Khavalkin were making their return to OK-Junior with Parolin Motorsport after a slow start to the season. There were a lot of habits to learn for these two Russian drivers, but they showed their talent by coming back in the heats. Both qualified through the Repechage, continued to progress in the Final stages and reached 21st and 23rd positions respectively, a gain of over 30 places each.
Rashid Al Dhaheri took a heat win, in addition to two top three finishes and a fastest race lap. Despite a penalty in the last heat, he returned to the top 10 on Saturday evening. Enzo Deligny had a more consistent run, starting from 11th and coming back to 8th in the heats. Rashid and Enzo resisted well in the Prefinal before giving their best in the Final where they both regained five positions in the battle and finally followed each other in 7th and 8th places.
Kai Sorensen had done well in the heats, including two top fives, and had made up 13 places since Timed Qualifying. Unfortunately he crashed in the battle of the Prefinal and crossed the finish line 25th before being penalised. Guillaume Bouzar, consistently in the top 10 of the heats, regained another 10 places to 11th in the Prefinal before being eliminated at the start of the Final.
Good potential in OK
James Wharton showed great fighting spirit to regain nearly 20 places in the heats and more than 15 in the Prefinal. The Final was less favourable to him and he had to be satisfied with reaching the finish in 24th position before a penalty for a dropped spoiler. Jesse Alejandro Carrasquedo’s progress was confirmed on the demanding Genk track. Starting from an encouraging 12th place, the young Mexican avoided most of the race pitfalls to finish in 22nd position. Arnur Shabar, in his third OK event with Parolin, was not able to qualify for the Final stages.
Good results at the Margutti
Meanwhile, another part of the Parolin Motorsport team took part in the 32nd running of the Trofeo Andrea Margutti at the Lonato track. Slavik Putiatin set the 11th fastest time in KZ2, dropped back due to a retirement in a heat and then brilliantly came back from 22nd to 5th position in the Final stages.
In Mini, the poleman Christian Costoya dominated the beginning of the meeting, even in the rain. He finished his good performance on the podium in the Final. Matias Orjuela did not have the same speed against the clock or the same success in the heats. This did not prevent him from moving up 15 places in the Final stages to reach 7th position with the fastest lap in the race. Oliver Kinmark was consistent to finish 14th.
The fourth and final round of the WSK Super Master Series was very satisfying for the Parolin Motorsport team. The success of Rashid Al Dhaheri in OK-Junior, dominating the Lonato meeting and winning the Championship, was not the only positive point of this competition. The Mini drivers were also very successful with Christian Costoya finishing 3rd in the Championship, brilliantly won by René Lammers on a Parolin chassis with the Baby Race Driver Academy, as well as Matias Orjuela’s 7th position. Francesco Celenta’s debut in KZ2 confirmed the team’s return to this category, as did Slavik Putiatin’s progression to the top ten.
“We are delighted to be able to shine in three of the four international categories in this first part of the season,” said Marco Parolin. “The competition has been very tough and some incidents deprived us of a more complete success, but that’s the law of racing. First of all we congratulate Rashid Al Dhaheri who showed an exemplary fighting spirit in OK-Junior despite some difficulties linked to the pandemic. We are happy to have been able to provide him with the equipment to triumph over formidable opponents in very close races. Enzo Deligny’s rapid progression and Kai Sorensen’s potential are important assets.
“Our decision to return to KZ/KZ2 has been rewarded by the top performances of Francesco Celenta at each event. His retirement in the Lonato Final has of course had a negative impact on his position in the Championship, but our competitiveness has been confirmed on many occasions among the top teams in the field.
We are also pleased with the continued success of our chassis in Mini where we remain the most represented brand in terms of number of entries as well as in the top 10 of the Finals and in the series standings with five Parolin karts in the top eight, including the champion René Lammers. We are aware that the OK is giving us lesser results at the moment and that we need to strengthen the potential of the team in this category.”
Al Dhaheri wins and takes the Junior title
The young driver from the United Arab Emirates has once again achieved an admirable result. Thanks to his four victories in the Qualifying Heats, he took the lead in OK-Junior and never let it go. Faced with strong competition, he had to fight hard to win his Prefinal and then the Final in Lonato. Despite his absence for the third round in Sarno, Rashid emerged as the overall winner of the 2021 WSK Super Master Series with a significant lead over his rivals.
Enzo Deligny’s performance was more than encouraging as the Frenchman made a strong comeback in the heats before finishing 11th in the Final and 10th in the Championship. Kai Sorensen also set a strong pace in his heats as well as in the Prefinal before being eliminated at the start of the Final. Guillaume Bouzar managed to reach the Final despite being far behind in practice and suffering several spoiler penalties.
Celenta among the best in KZ2
Francesco Celenta started in 2nd position in Timed Qualifying and kept his position after the heats thanks to two victories and two fastest laps in the race. He was also 2nd and fastest in his Prefinal, but had to retire shortly before the finish of the Final. He had to settle for 7th position in the Championship which only partially reflects Parolin’s potential at this level. Slavik Putiatin’s progress was confirmed with a spectacular comeback in the Final stages. After two retirements in the heats, he returned to 12th place in the Final, his best result of the year, with a total gain of 34 places.
Pole position and top three in the Mini Championship
Christian Costoya started very well as the fastest of the 100 participants during Qualifying. He continued with three heat victories, but then lost ground despite the fastest time in the Prefinal. He was again the fastest driver in the Final and made up 12 places to finish in the top 10, which earned him a place on the Championship podium. Matias Orjuela was 6th on Saturday night with a win, two 2nd places and a fastest lap in the heats. He was in the lead for the first half of his Prefinal before falling back in the battle. Oliver Kinmark had two good heats in the top five, but was pushed around in the last lap of his Prefinal and missed out on a deserved Final qualification.