The European season kicked off in Adria (Italy) last weekend with the brand new OK Junior and OK classes featuring along with KZ2 and 60 mini
Kiern Jewiss – WINNER
In our preview to the event we said it’s going to be hard to predict where Kiern will finish as he is scarily quick at adapting to new classes, as proven in 2015. But I don’t think anyone expected him to win, including himself!
69 of Europe’s finest entered the class and Kiern’s weekend didn’t get off to the best start as he qualified 40th overall.
A 9th in Heat one was a promising start, but that unfortunately followed with a 23rd after Kiern’s bumper dropped down in Heat 2 giving him a 10 second post race penalty. However he was able to follow that up with a 15th and 8th to recover for some half decent points.
This put Kiern 13th on the grid for his Pre Final where he was able to finish 5th, showing some impressive pace. With the rain now falling the Ricciardo driver seemed to be growing in confidence!
So then it came to the final, Kiern was starting p10 but with the track soaked anything could happen.
Kiern stayed out of trouble before quickly moving his way up into the top 3. Next on his list was the Tony Kart Factory Driver Charles Milesi before it was only Ricky Flynn Motorsport’s Timothy Peisselon left. But Kiern was patient, he waited and waited trying to calculate where he was faster than the French man.
Then on the last lap with 3 corners to go Peisselon left the door just slightly open and Kiern came through to steal victory on his debut in the class and with the Ricciardo Kart Team
On the victory Kiern commented “A tough start to the weekend didn’t make life easy for myself after receiving the 10 second penalty in heat 2. But i’ve always been told to keep pushing forward and make the best of a bad situation, I feel the pre final went smoothly and just made up as many places as possible to come through to 5th. For the final I was obviously going for the win, but due to the weekend I was having I would have been happy with a top 5 in the main final, but because the team gave me such a fantastic kart for the main final I found myself fighting in the top 3. On the last lap I saw the opportunity to take the lead, and didn’t think twice about taking it. I have to say a massive thank you to my team for working closely with me and continuing to push. The result shows how good we are as a team and I look forward to the next race”
From MB Partners Mark Blundell commented: “This weekend has shown that if you have enough grit and determination you can achieve anything. Although at times Kiern found himself down the order, he never gave up, the same can be said about the team. A fantastic job all round and we can’t be happier for Kiern and Ricciardo Birel ART. We will all continue to work hard between now and the winter cup to continue this run of form.”
Fin Keneally – 3rd
Like Kiern this was also Fin’s debut in the OK Junior class and also with the Ricky Flynn Motorsport Team. Fin has certainly chosen when it comes to teams, RFM have a proven track record, especially over the last few years, and there’s no doubts that someone of Fin’s capability was going to do well.
Fin had a hugely consistent weekend and was never lower than 7th throughout all of the qualifying, the heats and finals.
It was 7th in qualifying for Fin before taking two 3rd’s, a 4th and 5th in the heats. This put him on the fourth row for his Pre-Final where he came through to win by over two seconds giving him pole for the Final.
However he was not able to hold on to the lead for long. Fin quickly dropped down to 4th place which was where he remained for the whole race before he was able to snatch a podium away from Charles Milesi with just two laps to go.
A solid weekend for Fin and after the consistency and pace shown throughout the weekend there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll challenge for titles this year!
On his 3rd place Fin commented: “I really enjoyed my first weekend racing with RFM and in OKJ. It’s been a challenge to adapt to the new engine, track and tyres but I’m really happy with my progress and I know I will only get better. I had the pace all weekend both in wet and dry conditions and really believe that I’ve demonstrated my driving skill and adaptability. I was delighted with my overall performance at Adria and was consistent throughout. Although 3rd place was a great achievement, I would of course have loved the win!”
In the OK class it was American driver Logan Sargeant who was able to hit the ground running. Despite being his debut in the class it seems becoming Junior World Champion has given him all the confidence to adapt to the senior class quickly.
From row two the RFM driver won by over 3 seconds with the reigning World Champion Karol Basz 2nd and, 2015 Junior European Champion, Christian Lungaard 3rd.
Tom Joyner – 8th
Tom Bale – 15th
Clement Novalak – 31st
Like OK Junior it was a move on the last lap that decided the KZ2 race. In this case it was Paolo De Conto on the CRG that was able to clinch victory from Kiern Jewiss’ team mate Rick Dreezen with just 0.3 seconds between them across the line.
The pair were both able to pass Tony Kart’s Marco Ardigo. Jorrit Pex and Lorenzo Camplese were next along but a mention must go to Jonothan Thonon who was able to gain 17 places despite a 10 second penalty
Jordan Lennox-Lamb – 32nd
So with two British drivers on the OK Junior podium we look in very good to crown a British European or maybe even World Champion this year but if that were to happen who of the two would it be…