FIA Karting European Championship Zuera: Spectacular Qualifying Heats

At Zuera in Spain, Arvid Lindblad took the lead of the provisional Junior standings, while Taylor Barnard confirmed his pole position in OK.

Taylor Barnard
Taylor Barnard. Photo: FIA Karting

After the morning warm-ups in the two categories of OK and OK-Junior, no less than 20 heats followed one another on the second official day of the FIA Karting European Championship, with the same main theme: very close gaps between the Drivers, exciting duels and plenty of overtaking. At Zuera in Spain, Arvid Lindblad took the lead of the provisional Junior standings, while Taylor Barnard confirmed his pole position in OK. However, we will need to wait until the last Heats on Sunday morning to find out the definitive starting order for the Finals.

Getting to grips with the fast Zuera track, the longest of the season at 1,699 metres, remains difficult, especially as the vast majority of Drivers were learning this circuit as part of the FIA Karting Competition. It is true that the previous event at this level for direct drive karts in Aragon was held in 2016. Here, perfect use of the slipstream phenomenon makes it possible to easily gain places, but the slightest difference in racing line can be very costly! Hence the heats that were particularly hard fought in the Spanish heat, with organisation that was put to the test.

On Friday evening, several Drivers were disappointed with the result of Timed Qualifying and were keen to move up the rankings. The hierarchy changed frequently throughout the day and it is still difficult at this stage to predict a potential winner.

Barnard's perfect score in OK

British hopeful Taylor Barnard (KR/IAME/LeCont) took pole position and remained in control in each of the three Qualifying Heats he took part in. With two victories, Hannes Janker (DEU - KR/IAME/LeCont) proved that he had returned to the level he was at when he was crowned European Champion in this category in 2018. Kimi Antonelli (ITA - KR/IAME/LeCont) and Nikita Bedrin (RUS - Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont) each won a heat and remain potential winners.

Both of them racing on Birel Art/TM Racing/LeCont karts in the colours of Charles Leclerc, Oliver Gray (GBR) and Laurens Van Hoepen (NLD) are in ambush, ready to seize the slightest opportunity to move up in the rankings. Marcus Amand (FRA - KR/IAME/LeCont) made one of the best progressions of the day and Norton Andreasson (SWE - Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont) finished with a victory after two difficult heats. Although Maya Weug (Birel Art/TM Racing/LeCont) was the best representative of the Spanish delegation during the Qualifying Practice, the World Champion Pedro Hiltbrand (Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont) took over on Saturday, frequently putting himself in the spotlight.

Three victories each for Lindblad and Badoer in the Junior class

Beaten narrowly by Igor Cepil (CZE - KR/IAME/LeCont) in the first race of the day, Arvid Lindblad managed the next three races perfectly and won with brilliance. Brando Badoer (ITA - KR/IAME/LeCont) put in the same performance by winning three times, but settled for 7th place in one of the races. Valerio Rinicella (ITA - Parolin/TM/ Racing/LeCont), who had been on pole position the day before, held his position despite the pressure of his rivals, finishing his day with two wins and two 2nd places.

Dion Gowda (SGP - Kosmic/Vortex/LeCont), Tuukka Taponen (FIN - Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont) and Nikola Tsolov (BGR - KR/IAME/LeCont) took the other three wins of the day. The contenders for the podium are numerous, including Alex Powell (JAM - KR/IAME/LeCont), Evan Giltaire (FRA - Sodi/TM/LeCont) and Lorens Lecertua (BEL - FA Kart/Vortex/LeCont), who raced with consistency, as did the top Spaniard of the day, Bruno Del Pino (Tony Kart/Vortex/LeCont).

20200802 fia karting antonelli podium ksp
FIA Karting European Championship Zuera: Antonelli and Taponen become the first winners of the season

The fast Zuera circuit was a major contributor to the intensity of the spectacle thanks to its overtaking-friendly layout.

A young driver wears a medical protective mask at the first round of the 2020 FIA Karting European Championship
FIA Karting European Championship Zuera: Barnard and Rinicella on pole position in the furnace of Zuera

In Aragon, close to the historic city of Zaragoza, the expected summer heat is very much in evidence.

20200804 birelart pirrtilahti suit ksp
Birel ART in at the deep end of the European Championship

Top 10's were in reach in the two Finals on Sunday afternoon.

20200804 tonykart fia okj celebration taponen
Tony Kart wins in Zuera

The FIA Karting European Championship of the Racing Team kicks off with the victory.

Luigi Coluccio
An unlucky weekend for Kosmic in the European Championship

The Kosmic Kart Racing Department did not manage to fully realize its potential.

Paul Aron
FA Kart is European Champion in OKJ class

On the French circuit, the Victory S model of the FA Kart range conquered the CIK-FIA European Champ.

20180419 Kosmic Stanek
Kosmic Kart: The European Championship for the OK and OKJ categories starts

Everything is ready, in the Kosmic Racing Department, for the event of April 19th-22nd.

Alex Irlando
Three worthy winners in Adria

Finals report from the 2020 FIA Karting European Championship for KZ, KZ2, and Academy Trophy.

Vortex engines dst djt presentation
Victory and third place for Vortex at the European Championship in Zuera

Vortex reached the podium in both classes in the first round of the FIA ​​Karting European.

Pedro Hiltbrand at PFI
CRG
Another podium for Hiltbrand, the new leader of the European Championship

Pedro Hiltbrand and CRG got again on the podium in the second round of the European OK and OK-Junior Championship in England at PFI. This third place is great for the Championship. Bortoleto the best of CRG drivers in OK-Junior.

Gabriel Bortoleto
CRG
CRG third in the OK and OKJ European Championships

CRG colors came third in the two European CIK-FIA Championship at the end of the closing round held in France. Pedro Hiltbrand was third in the OK European Championship, while Gabriel Bortoleto did the same in the OK-Junior's and claimed a podium in Essay.