Eight teams each comprising two drivers will battle for Karting Slalom Cup gold tomorrow after 20 National Sporting Authorities (ASNs) were eliminated during today’s qualifying session and top-16 shootout, which took place on two specially constructed layouts at Vallelunga.
Germany’s Janina Burkard and Florian Benedik progressed with the fastest combined time of all – a 3m19.256s featuring just one 2s penalty – after comfortably beating Slovakia in their last-16 match-up. They now face slowest qualifiers, Portugal, in the first of tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
Russia’s Olesia Vashchuk and Vladislav Bushu were just 4.1s shy of the Germans after also incurring two faults in their battle against Kuwait. They will go head-to-head with Croatia who squeezed past home favourites Italy by just 4s.
However, the closest last-16 tie was fought out between Poland and eventual winners the Netherlands who were separated by only 1.7s. Nina Pothof and Bastiaan Alexan ultimately progressed as the third fastest qualifiers despite the best efforts of Krzysztof Kacper Gardziel who set the fastest time of anyone around the first course.
The Netherlands now await Austria in the last-eight after Jorden Dolischk and Charlie Wurz dumped out Friday practice pace-setters, Georgia.
That leaves Belgium and Belarus to contest the fourth and final quarter-final. Both despatched their respective opponents, Lithuania and Ukraine, with relative ease en route to similar overall times.
Both drivers from each ASN will now face their opposite numbers over both courses to determine the final-four teams ahead of the gold medal showdown at 13:30 tomorrow.