• Info & photos: Tony Kart Racing Team

There is a pinch of regret inside Tony Kart’s tent after the opening round of the FIA Karting European Championship. In Belgium, the drivers showed on the track top-level performances during the whole weekend. But this was not enough to get a place on the podium, both in the OK and in the OK-Junior classes with the Tony Kart Racer 401R chassis and the Vortex DST and Vortex DJT engines, due to unlucky circumstances.

After the second and third places gained two weeks ago in the Champions of the Future event, Tuukka Taponen and Joseph Turney came back to Genk with high expectations for Sunday’s Final. Both confirmed by their good performances in Friday’s Qualifying Heats. Unfortunately, bad weather on Saturday shuffled the cards and, despite a sixth position for the Finn and a second position (plus the fastest lap) of the British driver in the last heat on Sunday morning, the two ended up with the last positions of the final grid.

But this is was enough to bring down Turney who performed a spectacular comeback of 19 positions in the 23 laps of the race, combined with the second-fastest lap, up to sixth place. Taponen followed his teammate with a 16-position come back up to 13th.

Due to disqualification at the end of the third Qualifying Heat, Bruno Del Pino could not attend Sunday’s race. It’s a pity, especially since in both Saturday’s Qualifying Heats and races, he showed enough pace to do well.

In OK-Junior, Harley Keeble took the highest place in the Final. The British driver brought home consistent results in the top 10 in the Qualifying Heats and improves by 10 positions his place in the general ranking. In the Final, Keeble recovered more positions than the starting grid and is among the best five drivers at the end of the 19-lap race. James Egozi was always close to the top 5 during the heats and ended his path with a third place as best result. Some collisions didn’t allow him to improve in the Final completed in the top 15.

Alexander Gubenko and Jan Przyrowski entered Sunday’s Final. Both drivers climbed several positions, + 32 for the Russian, author also of a second place, and + 6 instead for the Polish rookie with a fastest lap, despite unlucky Qualifying Heats.

The Tony Kart Racing Team’s next move is the second round of the FIA Karting European Championship – OK/Junior, scheduled from 27th to 30th May, at the International Circuit of Aunay-les-Bois.

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