Qualified on the front row alongside Martinius Stenshorne (FA Kart/Vortex), one of the weekend’s surprises, Andrea Kimi Antonelli (KR/IAME) jumped well at lights out and engaged in a fierce battle in the openings laps opposed to the Polesitter. The Italian then took the upper hand on Lap 3 and wouldn’t be caught in the remaining of the 19-round Final despite a strong charging run by his countryman Alfio Spina past the halfway mark.
Still, Antonelli contained Spina for 0.3 seconds on the finish line. The American Ugo Ugochukwu (FA Kart/Vortex) rallied the chequered flag in third position (+1.720) preceding his Ricky Flynn Motorsport teammate Stenshorne.
Jamie Day (Exprit/Vortex) had kept his title hopes alive against Marcus Amand (Kosmic/IAME) entering the class Final but a tenth place on the grid, the consequence of an up-and-down weekend, obliged him to drive through the field in chase of the top positions. The driver from the UAE stick to his plan climbing up to fifth but a post-race penalty (front fairing) dropped him back to 12th. William Silverholm (Tony Kart/Vortex) suffered a similar setback and fell from sixth to 13th.
James Wharton (Parolin/TM), therefore, inherited the Top Five in front of Amand whose strategy consisted of staying out of trouble while securing the highest possible place-finish to grab the title. And the French-Finn driver won his bet by taking the ten extra-points he needed to keep both Day and Antonelli away in the standings where he claimed his first European Championship title, the second for his VDK Racing Team! Arvid Lindblad (Exprit/TM) put up one of the recoveries of the race from 17th to seventh, followed by Nikita Bedrin (Tony Kart/Vortex), Maksim Soldatov (Energy Corse/TM), and Rafael Chaves Camara (Exprit/TM).
In the OK-Junior final Championship standings, Marcus Amand kept his lead until the end with 70 points ahead of Andrea Kimi Antonelli (63) and Thomas Ten Brinke (58) whose Le Mans journey turned into a nightmare as the Dutchman missed his qualification for the Final after a complicated weekend.
Next stop for the OK participants: the FIA Karting World Championship in Alahärmä, Finland, from September 6th to 8th.
Text: Guillaume Alvarez
Photos: Alex Vernardis