Team Israel recorded their first Karting Sprint Junior Qualifying Heat victory of the FIA Motorsport Games at Circuit Paul Ricard this morning. Belgium, meanwhile, cemented a pole position start for the all-important Medal race with a second Heat win.
Karting Sprint Junior
Yam Pinto finally got a much-deserved break to convert pole position into his first Heat win at the Circuit Paul Ricard kart track. The Team Israel driver took charge of the 11-lap race to lead Team France and Team Brazil from the start, as the top three soon made a break from the pursuing pack.
Although the order remained unchanged up until the halfway mark, with two laps to go, France’s Jules Caranta decided to make a move and go wheel-to-wheel with Pinto. With that move not paying off, Brazil’s Gabriel Koenigkan took the opportunity to pounce, briefing moving into second before Caranta launched a successful counterattack on the final lap.
At the line, it was Pinto 0.8s clear of Caranta, who will start on pole for the medal-deciding race later this afternoon. Koenigkan finished third ahead of Mikkel Gaarde Pedersen (Denmark), Andreas Cardenas (Peru), and Mark Dubnitski (Estonia), who moved up five places to finish sixth.
The Karting Sprint Junior medals will be decided during a 25km race taking place at 12:30 this afternoon.
Karting Sprint Senior
The final Senior Qualifying Heat proved equally exciting, as Belgium’s Elie Goldstein led away from the lights with Sweden’s Joel Bergström and Spain’s Nacho Tuñon in close pursuit.
With those drivers featuring in the top three over the two previous races, the third Heat looked to be following a similar path as the trio battled at close quarters. But disaster for Sweden three laps from the end of the 16-lap race bumped Bergström down the order from third to eighth.
That left Goldstein to take a second victory of the event, after the Belgian inherited yesterday’s second Heat win by dint of Bergström being handed down a post-race penalty. Consequently, Goldstein will start on pole position for the all-important 30k Medal race at 13:05 this afternoon.
Ariel Elkin enjoyed a better run of luck to finish second for Team Israel ahead of Spain’s Nacho Tuñon. Germany’s Maximilian Schleimer notched his best result of the event so far in fourth, ahead of Oscar Wurz, who bounced back from yesterday’s non-finish in Heat two to climb six places and finish fifth. Sri Lanka’s Yevan David completed the top six.