Harry Thompson got his season off to a good start with a podium at the WSK Champions Cup yesterday. Held at the Adria International Raceway in Italy the Ricky Flynn Motorsport driver was not quite able to pass his teammate Paul Aron (EST) in the latter stages of the race, but will no doubt be more than satisfied with his weekend’s work.
One name yet to be mentioned is Gabriele Mini (ITA), who looked almost unbeatable throughout qualifying and the heats. The 2017 60 Mini WSK Super Master Series Champion has taken to the OK Junior class with ease remaining in the hands of the Parolin Kart Racing Team. After qualifying on pole, he had an almost perfect set of heats with three wins and one second place finish. As for the Pre-Finals they went to Mini and Barnard respectively making it a front row complete with Cadet graduates!
However, the final certainly through up one or two more surprises! Call it misfortune or lack of experience in the class, but Mini did not have a good start to the final quickly being shuffled down the order with Thompson taking an early lead. He was quickly joined by teammate Aron who wasted no time in going past the Brit. Thompson did briefly take the lead back a few laps later, but Aron drove faultlessly throughout the final and took a deserved win! Thompson was 2nd and had a three second gap back to Ward Racing’s Kirill Smal (SWE).
Zak O’Sullivan – 4th
Zak will be very pleased with how his season got underway with the young Ricky Flynn Motorsport driver finishing in 4th place. Adria has always been a happy hunting ground for Zak who finished 8th at this event last year, but with a performance like that you feel this year could be one where Zak is challenging for podiums on a regular basis.
Kai Askey – 14th
In a field of 76 drivers Kai Askey got his debut season in the OK Junior class off to a very good start with a strong 14th place finish. Kai showed good consistency in the heats with two 4th place finishes followed by a 6th and an 8th. European racing at this level can be difficult to adapt to for a number of reasons, but Kai looks pretty comfortable already!
Joseph Taylor – 15th
Misfortunes in the heats left Joseph Taylor a lot of work to do come the Pre-Final and Final come Sunday but the Fullerton driver had a good Pre-Final to put himself on the eighth row for the Final. Racing in the mid-pack makes things extremely difficult, especially in a win or bust event, but as Taylor posted on social media ‘there was plenty of positives to take away for a strong 2018’!
Luca Griggs – 21st
There was certainly some huge improvements made from Luca at the Champions Cup in comparison to his 2017 season as a whole. He was 47th in the Super Master Series last year and his switch to the new Lennox Racing Team (Jordan Lennox-Lamb) saw him breeze into the A Final in a grid of 76 drivers setting some impressive lap times.
Taylor Barnard – 30th
Although his result would suggest Taylor did not have a good debut weekend in OK Junior Taylor was arguably the most impressive of all the Brits. Racing Dino Chiesa’s new Kart Republic chassis Taylor’s worst result in the heats was 4th place! Taylor then went on to win his Pre-Final to start the race on the front row, but unfortunately twelve laps in whilst running in 7th his race came to an end. It may not be a memorable result, but it was a memorable performance over the weekend!
Alex Dunne – 27th (Pre-Final A)
Similar to Barnard on his debut in the class Alex Dunne put in some hugely impressive performances despite misfortunes come Sunday. Alex qualified a hugely impressive 6th place and had a 6th and 4th place in two of his heats. The other two saw non-finishes, but the Forza Racing driver could be one to watch in the upcoming Super Master Series!
Matthew Rees – DNF (Pre-Final B)
It’s hard to make any sort of analysis on Mathew Rees’ weekend as the young Cadet graduate was below the weather for the whole event which would have certainly affected his performance. Despite this he did have some notable performances including gaining eleven places to finish 11th in his very first OK Junior race!
Written by Chris McCarthy