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Kart: Matveev remains leader in OK-Junior Severiukhin takes control of the OK heats
Reportagem: FIA Karting Media

Since Friday's Qualifying Practice, the FIA Karting European Championship - OK & OK-Junior has featured a total of 30 Qualifying Heats to determine an initial ranking before Sunday's Super Heats and Finals. Dmitry Matveev in OK-Junior and Artem Severiukhin in OK came out on top in this important phase.

CIK-FIA President Akbar Ebrahim, from India, and Britain's Vice-President John Ryan were present at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve to watch the event in the context of their new responsibilities and to establish a first contact with the main players in the field.

The heats were held in Portimão on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th April 2022 in fine weather and on a dry track. Always anxious to obtain the best possible result, the drivers also had to avoid any incidents, the consequences of which are often harmful for the rest of the competition. Tyre management was also one of their concerns, but it turned out that the OK-Junior Vega and OK MG tyres did their job very well. The only major option was to choose the best time to change to new tyres depending on the situation. The races were always lively and spectacular with frequent overtaking at all levels and few incidents.

Virtually faultless run for Matveev in OK-Junior

Pole-sitter Dmitry Matveev (ITA) continued his winning ways in the FIA Karting European Championship - OK-Junior. The advantage of starting at the front in every race does not explain everything. Matveev proved to be a formidable attacker who took four good wins. Assured of keeping the lead, he wisely chose to be cautious in his last race to secure second position as well as the overall leadership. Two drivers stood out behind him. First of all, Nathan Tye (GBR) put in the best performance of his young career by moving up from 14th to second place with a lot of talent and audacity. Oleksander Bondarev (UKN) did justice to his strong rating by coming back from 11th to third place in a clever mix of fighting spirit and calmness.

In fourth place, René Lammers (NLD) took the lead over Jan Przyroswki, who set the second fastest time in Qualifying and was very consistent, while Jules Caranta (FRA) continued to surprise with his superb performance in sixth place. Anatoly Khavalkin could have expected a better result without a penalty that deprived him of another good result to add to his three wins. Martin Molnar (HUN) finished 8th, five places lower than in Qualifying, Alfie Slater (GBR) moved up to ninth and Adam Hideg (HUN) remained in the top ten.

OK: Close battles benefit Severiukhin

The outcome of the Qualifying Heats of the FIA Karting European Championship - OK was undecided for a long time. At the end of the battle, two experienced drivers, ranked seventh and eighth respectively in Qualifying, finished tied at the top of the intermediate standings with three wins each. Artem Severiukhin (ITA) was finally in the lead ahead of Joe Turney (GBR). Reigning World Champion Tuukka Taponen remained in a strong position in third place with three wins to his name. Poleman Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA) was slightly behind, but kept his chances in fourth place ahead of Ean Eyckmans (BEL).

Evan Giltaire (FRA), who was second against the clock, took a win and three second places in sixth place, ahead of Luis James Egozi (ITA) and Juho Valtenen (FIN), who were not too far behind. Kean Nakamura-Berta (GBR), who was crowned FIA Karting World Champion - Junior in 2021, caused a sensation in ninth place with a 35-place improvement that is rare at this level, especially for a rookie. Oscar Pedersen (SWE) completed the top 10.

Sunday will open with the first ever Super Heats, which will have an interesting impact on the hierarchy of the two categories.

Portimão event schedule (local time UTC +1)

Sunday 10th April
09:00 - 10:05: Warm-up
10:10 - 11:45: Super Heats
13:25 - 14:50: Finals

The Portimão event can be followed on the official FIA Karting Championship app for mobile devices and on the website with live-timing and live-streaming.


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