- Text: Guillaume Alvarez
- Photo: WSK Promotion
The European karting community recently started buzzing again with pre-season testing at Lonato and Adria prior to the kick-off event of the 2020 campaign. As a tradition, WSK Promotion has scheduled its first meeting, the Champions Cup, from January 23rd to 26th.
The Mini 60 category, complying with the new international CIK-FIA chassis homologation, features the most crowded field of the weekend with 78 names, followed by OK-Junior at 50 entrants and OK and 45 competitors for a total entry list of 173 drivers.
At the time of writing, weather forecast announces sunny and dry conditions all weekend at the exception of Saturday where a 60% risk of rain might mix up the cards on track, with relatively-cold temperatures below 10°C.
One of the main talking points at the start of a new season concerns drivers changing seats or moving to the upper class. For instance, two of the fresh faces to keep an eye on in the OK category are reigning OK-Junior European Champion Marcus Amand (KR/IAME), still with VDK Racing, and Andrea Kimi Antonelli (KR/IAME) joining KR Motorsport. Both youngsters are certainly more than willing to shine at the senior stage following their fruitful 2019 season.
Teaming up at Rosberg Racing Academy with last year’s Champions Cup Winner Taylor Barnard (KR/IAME) are newcomers Leonardo Bertini (KR/IAME) and Laurens Van Hoepen (KR/IAME). The latter was seen last year in Junior with Ricky Flynn Motorsport where the 2019 World Champion Thomas Ten Brinke (Kosmic/Vortex) will take Harry Thompson’s seat as one of the team’s standard-bearers since the Brit moved to the Sauber Karting Team where he’ll replace Dexter Patterson.
Among other noticeable changes, James Wharton (Parolin/TM) also steps up from Junior as Rafael Camara (Exprit/TM), Nikita Bedrin (Tony Kart/Vortex), who left the Tony Kart Racing Team for Ward Racing, Josep Marti Sobrepera (KR/IAME), now a Kart Republic driver after competing with Tony Kart in 2019, Kirill Smal (Energy/TM), switching from Ward Racing to Energy Corse, and Sebastian Gravlund (Kosmic/Vortex) going to RFM.
The Junior class won’t be lacking interest on track with confirmed names from last year Ugo Ugochukwu, driving re-painted Kosmic chassis of Ricky Flynn Motorsport, and Christian Ho (KR/IAME) but also Robert De Haan (Energy/TM), Arvid Lindblad (KR/IAME), formerly with Forza Racing, and Martinius Stenshorne (KR/IAME) replacing Antonelli at Rosberg Racing Academy.
This year’s pecking order in the class could well be shaken by the arrival of new ambitious contenders from Mini 60, starting with Freddie Slater (Kosmic/Vortex), coming from X30, but also Alex Powell (Energy/TM), Nikola Tsolov (KR/IAME), Maksimilian Popov and Kirill Kutskov (both on Tony Kart/Vortex), Douwe Dedecker (KR/IAME) or Coskun Irfan (Kosmic/Vortex) who distinguished themselves with strong results in last year’s WSK competitions. In 2019, Alex Dunne led a Forza Racing 1-2 ahead of Lindblad.
Full of 78 drivers, Mini 60 confirms once again its high interest amongst teams and drivers. One of the most interesting changes this season is the Sauber Karting Team entering one driver in young Brazilian Miguel Costa (KR/IAME). Overall, chassis brands like Tony Kart, Parolin and Kart Republic share again the cake’s biggest slice by providing almost two-thirds of the entire field, despite the OTK Kart Group’s leading brand not being present with its official team, as in OK and OK-Junior. With such a diversity of forces, all bets are on the table on who will succeed Andrea Filaferro (Tony Kart/TM) in this year’s record books.
Live timing and results
As for each event of the WSK season, The RaceBox provides you with a live timing/streaming page available from Friday at 09:00 am. Reports will be posted on a daily base included the main results per category.
|Friday||09:00 – 12:22 Free Practice|
13:40 – 14:46 Qualifying Practice
15:00 – 17:00 Qualifying Heats
|Saturday||09:00 – 10:25 Warm-up|
10:30 – 18:00 Qualifying Heats
|Sunday||09:00 – 10:25 Warm-up|
10:30 – 12:40 Prefinals
14:00 – 15:25 Finals
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