The fourth and final round of the FIA Karting European Championship took place at Le Mans in a tense atmosphere between the protagonists. After unsettling times, many incidents have enamelled the races. Ugo Ugochukwu managed to reach the third step of the podium in front of Martinius Stenshorne, while Thomas Ten Brinke finished 3rd in the Championship despite a very difficult weekend.
Generally hot and beautiful, Le Mans weather was watered by a rain Saturday afternoon, which did not bother the Ricky Flynn Motorsport drivers. The competition was played on the times, then the incidents and the penalties more than on the pure performances which were regularly excellent on the part of the FA Kart / Vortex of the British team.
Stenshorne and Ugochukwu at the top in Juniors
In France Martinius Stenshorne achieved the best performance of his first year in OK-Junior. After taking pole position in Timed Practice, he won three Qualifying Heats to start at the front of the Final. He lost a few places in the fight, but managed to take the finish in 4th position, which earned him a spectacular jump of more than 40 places to 13th place in the European rankings. Ugo Ugochukwu also got off to a good start with his 2nd fastest time. He was unfortunately ousted in the first heat, but kept his chances by finishing 7th in the qualifying phase after two wins. He completed a superb Final by quickly moving into the top three and climbed on the third step of the podium with an 8th position in the Championship.
An impossible challenge for Ten Brinke
Ranked among the favourites with his 2nd place in the provisional standings, Thomas Ten Brinke was delayed by a disappointing time in the slowest session because of a track covered in dust. He tried to come back from his 63rd time and regained many places in each heat. However, he was penalised twice for passing under the yellow flag and failed to qualify for the Final. His lead in the Championship still allowed him to console himself with 3rd position in the European rankings.
Laurens Van Hoepen was performing consistently after his 19th in Qualifying, but a penalty in the final run prevented him from coming back in the Final. He still gained seven places and finished 11th in the decisive race. Christian Ho reduced his starting handicap by regaining 15 positions during the heats and finishing 17th in the Final. Conrad Laursen was off to a good start with the 6th fastest time and two 2nd places in the heats, but a crash caused him to retire in the last. He came back quickly 8th early in the Final, but then lost several places in the tough battles.
The weekend had not started very well for Harry Thompson in OK. He was in the slower session in Qualifying and his 4th place put him in 28th overall. The heats did not allow him to improve his score, his two 3rd places not enough to compensate for a retirement and two penalties. Harry, however, concluded with a beautiful comeback in which he is an expert. He moved up 16 places to finish 12th after an excellent effort.
RFM will now participate in the fourth round of the German Championship at Genk in early August before plunging into preparation for the most important meeting of the year, the World Championship, which will take place from 6th to 8th September in Finland on the Mika Salo circuit at Alahärmä.
Info Kartcom / © Photo KSP