Travisanutto and Vidales take pole in Bahrain
The World Championships have started in Bahrain with today’s Free Practice and Qualifying sessions, held in the evening local time to avoid the fierce heat.
We were waiting for the last free practice session to get an idea of the drivers at the front of OK-Junior in Bahrain. Indeed, the two sessions at the beginning of the afternoon, run in high temperatures were not necessarily representative of the conditions that await the 92 participants in the Junior World Championship.
Pavel Bulantsev (Tony Kart / Vortex) was the fastest of the day with 51.782s ahead of Ilya Morozov (Tony Kart / Vortex) and Hampus Eriksson (Tony Kart / Vortex). In 4th position, Sami Taoufik (FA Kart / Vortex) was slightly ahead of Victor Martins (Kosmic / Parilla). Although Noah Watt (Tony Kart / Vortex) was 7th, it was thanks to his fastest time in the 2nd session, as he was only 18th in the last session. The CRGs seem to be a bit off the pace with Gianluca Petecof (CRG / Parilla) 19th of the day ahead of Dennis Hauger (CRG / Parilla).
A lot of strategy, not always well mastered, influenced these qualifying sessions for the OK-Junior World Championship, in the evening in Bahrain. By dint of waiting until the last moment to start, then trying to slipstream, some lost a few hundredths, or even more. The situation could even seem dangerous sometimes with very slow groups on the track waiting for the right moment to accelerate and others which slowed down suddenly.
Morozov confirmed the potential shown during free practice by taking pole position of the first timed session with 51.896s, a tenth faster than Hauger. Teddy Wilson (Energy / TM) finished 3rd ahead of Ivan Berets (Kosmic / Parilla) and Ugo De Wilde (Kosmic / Parilla).
Charles Milesi (Tony Kart / Vortex) was long in the lead in the second session, but his teammate David Vidales (Tony Kart / Vortex) was the fastest at the end of the session – 51.848s – ahead of Taoufik, O’Neill Muth (CRG / Parilla) and Petecof. Milesi took 5th place and Milane Petelet (Praga / TM) 13th.
Théo Pourchaire (Kosmic / Vortex) did well to take the lead in the third session and improved on the last lap to 51.894s. Martins was 2nd in front of Eriksson, Oscar Piastri (FA Kart / Vortex) and Jack Doohan (FA Kart / Vortex). Fin Kenneally (FA Kart / Vortex) finished 6th, and Théo Nouet (Energy / TM) 8th.
Bulantsev was the fastest of the fourth session with 52.074s, two tenths ahead of Ivan Shetsvov (Tony Kart / Vortex), Isac Blomqvist (Tony Kart / Vortex) and Caio Collet Birel ART / Parilla). Adam Eteki (CRG / Parilla) took 7th position behind Kiern Jewiss (Exprit / TM).
Provisionally pole position has gone to Vidales in front of Taoufik and Pourchaire, with Morozov 4th, Martins 5th, Muth 6th, Hauger 8th, Milesi 13th, Bulantsev 16th, Kenneally 27th, Nouet 36th, Petelet 39th, Eteki 53rd and Watt 68th.
Noah Milell (Kosmic / Vortex) clocked the fastest time of practice with 50.021s, ahead of Lorenzo Travisanutto (Tony Kart / Vortex) and Alexander Smolyar (Tony Kart / Vortex). But Karol Basz (Kosmic / Vortex) made two consecutive poles in the odd group, which made him a driver to follow closely. Felice Tiene (CRG / Parilla) and Tom Joyner (Zanardi / Parilla) were also among the fastest. There was a good start for Ulysses De Pauw (Kosmic / Vortex) ahead of Pedro Hiltbrand (CRG / Parilla).
Milell posted the fastest lap of the first OK Qualifying session with 50.082s ahead of Smolyar and Basz. Joyner was 6th by 0.289s ahead of Christian Lundgaard (Ricciardo / Parilla), Jean Baptiste Simmenauer (Tony Kart / Vortex) and De Pauw.
Travisanutto took pole in the second session with an impressive lap of 50.001s, 0.169s faster than Valtanen. 3rd place went to Leonardo Lorandi (Tony Kart / Vortex) ahead of Hiltbrand and Bale.
The OK pole logically went to Travisanutto in front of Milell and Smolyar. Juho Valtanen (Kosmic / Vortex) took 4th place ahead of Basz, Lorandi was 6th, Paavo Tonteri (CRG / Parilla) 7th, and Hiltbrand 8th. Joyner ranked 13th, Tiene 15th, Simmenauer 17th, Fraïsse 22nd, but Clément Novalak (Tony Kart / Vortex) was credited with the last time.