• Text: Guillaume Alvarez
  • Photos: Alex Vernardis

As for the season opening’s WSK Champions Cup, heavy clouds, fog, and temperatures below 10°C welcomed the 34 drivers qualified for the OK Final in the first meeting of the WSK Super Master Series. After dominating the morning’s Prefinal B, Joe Turney (Tony Kart/Vortex) started from pole position alongside James Wharton (Parolin/TM), claimer of the Prefinal A.

The British driver led the field through the opening lap ahead of Pedro Hiltbrand (Tony Kart/Vortex) climbing from the grid’s third row to join his Tony Kart teammate at the front. While Wharton quickly fell down the order, Turney, Hiltbrand and Thomas Ten Brinke (Kosmic/Vortex) isolated themselves from the rest of a pack led by Harry Thompson (KR/IAME) in the early stages.

The Sauber Karting Team driver made the connection with the leading trio on Lap 6, overtaking both Hiltbrand and Ten Brinke before increasing pressure on Turney. The two started fighting for the lead, which enabled Kirill Smal (Energy Corse/TM) to close the gap with Dilano Van’t Hoff (Exprit/TM) on his tail. Eventually, the Russian climbed to second and even took the lead from Turney until less than three laps from the chequered flag when a collision sent them both off track!

With the two leaders unexpectedly out of contention for the podium, Hiltbrand was promoted to first place and kept his rivals at bay until crossing the finish line ahead of Taylor Barnard (KR/IAME), recovering from ninth on the grid, and Van’t Hoff completing the podium. Fifth on track in front Turney, Smal was classified seventh due to a post-race front fairing penalty as a result of the contact with the Brit, just like Clayton Ravenscroft (Birel/TM) who went from eighth to 15th.

“It’s been a crazy Final. I’m sad for Joe [Turney], my teammate. He was doing a good weekend and good Final but got pushed and, in the end, I win. I want to say ‘thank you’ to Tony Kart again for the hard work they’ve done and the trust they put into me. Thanks to all of them and to Vortex engines,” declared Hiltbrand on the podium, two months after his last victory at the WSK Final Cup on the same Adria Karting Raceway.

Final Top 10 classification

  1. PEDRO HILTBRAND 20 laps
  2. TAYLOR BARNARD + 0.230
  3. DILANO VAN’T HOFF + 0.544
  4. HARRY THOMPSON + 0.675
  5. LUDOVICO VILLA + 2.539
  6. JOE TURNEY + 3.905
  7. KIRILL SMAL + 7.168
  8. ENZO TRULLI + 7.323
  9. ROBERT DE HAAN + 8.164
  10. LAURENS VAN HOEPEN + 8.300

In the provisional point standings of the OK class, Pedro Hiltbrand logically leads with 61 points in front of his teammate Joe Turney, 49, and Taylor Barnard at 43. The Second Round of the WSK Super Master Series will unfold from February 20th to 23rd at the South Garda Karting of Lonato. Check out The RaceBox for daily results, reports, and live page.

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