The Franciacorta track in Italy has hosted the last of the 4 Rounds of the FIA European Championship OK & OK Junior. After the races which took place in Portugal, Spain and Sweden, the Italian track awarded the titles to the Russian Khavalkin (OKJ) and the Japanese Nakamura-Berta (OK).
The CRG drivers have demonstrated great speed and excellent performances on many occasions during this Championship, especially with Gabriel Gomez in OK and Nikolas Roos in OK Junior. The last race was not lucky for the CRG Racing Team, though, because on one hand the South African Roos had to miss the race to renew his visa and on the other Gabriel Gomez was involved in an accident in the first qualifying heat that cost him the fracture of 2 fingers of the hand and the withdrawal from the race. Gomez had started the weekend very well in Franciacorta, obtaining P6 in qualifying after having always been among the fastest in free practice. This is the positive aspect that the team will bring home from this last weekend: the awareness that the newly approved KT2 chassis and the Iame engine are a technical package capable of being competitive on any circuit.
After Gomez retired, in the OK category the responsibility for a significant sporting result passed to Olin Galli and Adrián Malheiro. The Brazilian has paid for the fact that he did not take part in the pre-race tests and did not know the track, so he has done an in growing weekend with two heats finished in the top ten and then a placement outside the points in the Final, due to a penalty for the spoiler. Adrián Malheiro, on the other hand, paid a negative qualification and the fact that he has always started in the middle of the group, a factor that after a good P8 in the first heat, cost him 3 contacts and failing to qualify for the Final.
Same fate in the race for the CRG drivers of the Junior class, for whom the main objective was to gain experience.
Now the focus for the OK and OK Junior categories will become the approach path to the FIA World Championship in September in Sarno and already next weekend we will be back on track for the WSK Euro in Lonato, an excellent opportunity to start preparing the technical materials in view of the most important appointment of the season.
Drivers’ post-race reactions
Gabriel Gomez (OK): “I am very disappointed because I was really confident of having a good race. In free practice we had completed the planned work and the performance was very good, as was the management of the tires. In qualifying I got a good P6 in my group, but my potential was to do even better. Unfortunately in the first heat the accident put an end to our weekend. The prognosis will be about a month to recover at 100% and so I will focus on the World Championship in Sarno, even if I will not be able to take part in the WSK races in July, which represent a good opportunity to prepare for this important race from a technical point of view. Now I will come back to Brazil and as soon as possible I will return to drive to train. I want to thank the whole team for the great work they are doing and our engineer Iame Boscaini: I am sure that we will soon get the satisfaction we deserve”.
Olin Galli (OK): “The first day I paid for the fact that I had never tried or raced on this track and this small handicap affected my performance in the qualifying phases a bit, but not the part of the work we had planned on the chassis and engine. As we had no ranking interests, we could concentrate on small evolutions of the KT2 chassis that we are testing for the Sarno World Championship, also testing the KT5 chassis version. In the end, the balance of the weekend was not positive from the point of view of the result, but we had the feedback we were looking for from our tests and we have clear ideas about the work to be done from now until September”.