It was a hard-fought weekend, difficult and thrilling at the same time for the drivers of the CRG Racing Team at the FIA Karting European Championship – OK/Junior in Kristianstad, Sweden.
Pedro Hiltbrand was one of the protagonists of this third round in the OK class, on CRG/IAME, starting with the 4th time in his qualifying practice group, then always at the forefront in the heats, including one victory, and in the Final as well where his determined drive brought to our memories the success achieved in KZ2 in 2016, when he won the CIK-FIA International Super Cup.
In the OK Final, from the 5th place on the starting grid, Hiltbrand managed to get first and lead the race in the opening laps until a power drop forced him to give up positions. In the end, the Spaniard fought hard to finish in the Top Ten with a respectable 9th place ahead of his teammate Gabriel Bortoleto, himself putting a good performance in 10th place after an excellent recovery of nine positions from the 19th place on the grid.
Good performance for Ayrton Fontecha as well, unlucky after an accident at the start of one of the heats. But he recovered very well until finishing 17th after the qualifying races. In the Final, the CRG Spanish driver lost some positions during the race fight, ending 24th but confirming great competitiveness during the whole weekend.
In OK-Junior, Enzo Trulli and Lucas Pons proved to be competitive in different qualification stages but unfortunately didn’t manage to qualify for the final due to some race problems during the heats.
The fourth and last round of the FIA Karting European Championship – OK/Junior is scheduled at Le Mans on July 21st, but before, on June 16th there will be the second and crucial round of the FIA Karting European Championship – KZ/KZ2 on the Naples International Circuit in Sarno.
The drivers’ comments
Pedro Hiltbrand (OK): “Once again, we proved to have the speed and pace of the best drivers. In the Qualifying practice and heats we made an excellent work, but unfortunately in the Final something didn’t work as we expected. We started well, but after a couple of laps the feeling wasn’t good and I dirtied the tires in the scuffle, so I lost some positions, besides the possibility to fight for the podium. We have to analyze well the data in order to understand exactly what didn’t work, in any case, the balance of the job done this weekend is still positive.”
Gabriel Bortoleto (OK): “I lost the last heat on Saturday, so I had to start from the back in the Final but I recovered well and our pace was good from the beginning until the end. I managed to end in the Top Ten and the weekend balance is for sure positive, even if we got less then we deserved as a team.”
Editing: Guillaume Alvarez