The 2019 edition of the FIA Karting European Championship found its conclusion on Sunday afternoon on the Le Mans International Karting where the 34 best drivers of the OK category produced a thrilling spectacle during the 22 laps of their weekend’s final race.
Third in the standings stepping on French soil, Gabriele Mini’ (Parolin/TM) knew he had nothing to lose Championship-wise. From fourth on the grid, the Italian rose to first in the opening laps of a race that he dominated until the chequered flag. A first season victory that made him climb the overall ranking up to the Vice-Champion spot for his maiden year in the OK class!
Second on track, the Brit Joseph Turney (Tony Kart/Vortex) was given a five-second penalty (front fairing) that allowed Lorenzo Travisanutto (KR/IAME) to climb one more step onto the podium. A happy outcome for the CV Performance Group driver who came close to settle for fifth place before a last-corner contact between Luigi Coluccio (Birel ART/TM) and Taylor Barnard (KR/IAME), who had gone past the Italian for third in the penultimate lap, gave him an unexpected podium-finish!
Fourth on the finish line, Barnard moved to third ahead of the penalized Turney. Having made up ten positions on track, Nikolas Pirttilahti (KR/IAME) benefited from a 5-second penalty (front fairing) affecting Dino Beganovic (Tony Kart/Vortex) to be classified fifth while the Swede tumbled down the order to 11th. Kas Haverkort (CRG/IAME) saw the chequered flag in sixth while Kobe Pauwels (KR/IAME) saved the seventh position at the end of a difficult Final. Starting from Pole position after a string of wins in his heats, the young Belgian took the best start but then struggled in the early stages of the race and couldn’t avoid contact with a charging Dexter Patterson (KR/IAME) whose last hopes in claiming the European title were put to an end with an early retirement!
Dilano Van’t Hoff (Exprit/TM) overtook eight of his opponents to finish eight with Kai Askey (KR/IAME) and Sebastian Montoya (Tony Kart/Vortex) closing up the Final Top Ten of this year’s European Championship.
In the overall point standings, Lorenzo Travisanutto is crowned European Champion for the first time in his career with two wins (Genk, Kristianstad) and 97 points. Gabriele Mini’ ends as runner-up with 84 points ahead of Dexter Patterson who stayed at 82.
The next installment of the FIA Karting calendar will be the World Championship – OK/Junior taking place in Alahärmä, Finland, on September 7th-8th.
Text: Guillaume Alvarez
Photos: Alex Vernardis