The Ricky Flynn Motorsport team further enhanced its competitiveness in the opening round of the FIA European Karting Championship in Genk. In addition to Freddie Slater’s outstanding performance, which was rewarded with a clear Final victory, two other drivers from the British team, Dion Gowda and Maxim Rehm, finished in the top ten. However, the weather conditions proved to be tricky during the Qualifying Heats on Saturday and the battles were fierce throughout the weekend.
The rise of RFM has been confirmed both in terms of drivers and equipment. It is a team at the cutting edge of performance in European competition and the unceasing efforts of the technical team are bearing fruit in every situation, while there was no lack of work to adapt to the rapid weather changes at the Genk meeting. Furthermore, the development of the drivers remains a priority at all times thanks to the constant professionalism of the team.
Slater masters the situation
Freddie Slater once again showed himself to be in full control. Already victorious at the Champions of the Future event, the young Briton had a perfect opening to the OK-Junior European Championship on the same Belgian track. Progressing from 4th position in Qualifying Practice, he took three victories in the heats, avoiding all the traps of the weather, and started on the front row at the beginning of the Final. With little advantage due to his position on the outside lane at the first turn, Freddie quickly climbed to the front and opened up a growing gap to his rivals. A clear victory rewarded his efforts and at the same time he moved up to 1st position in the classification.
Dion Gowda started with the 3rd fastest time, won a heat and was 5th before the Final. He started the decisive race in 3rd position, but then lost ground in the battle to finish 11th on the line and take 7th place in the Championship. 4th in the DJKM at the opening race in Kerpen the week before, Maxim Rehm made good progress during the heats, notably setting a fastest lap in the race. He finished in the top 10 and is 9th in the ranking.
Maxens Verbrugge put in some very good performances, starting with his 8th position in Qualifying. He then won two heats, with a fastest lap in the race, but a retirement limited his chances of success. He was in the second half of the field in the Final and had to retire in view of the finish line, but not without having set the fastest time. Edgar Anpilogov made a superb 21-place recovery during the difficult heats. He started well in the Final and fought bravely in the top 15 before losing positions in the battle. The three other drivers of the team did not manage to qualify among the 36 finalists after the heats. Enea Frey had made good progress during the heats, while Salim Hanna and Tobias Clausen were held back by multiple retirements in these very tricky conditions.
Rintaro Sato was again unlucky in OK in a similar pattern to the Champions of the Future series two weeks earlier. Once again 24th in the 69-strong OK field, Rintaro had two successive retirements in the tough heat challenge and could not reach the Final.
Ricky Flynn Motorsport will now head to France and the Aunay-les-Bois circuit for the second round of the European Championship from 27th to 30th May.