At Portimão the first ciak of the 2022 FIA Karting season

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The Fia Karting European Championship is about to start with the first OK/OKJ round on the Portimao circuit, a stage in Portugal which has already been exciting and unpredictable at the 2020 World Championship and, above all, in the third round of the 2016 European Championship.

In the hope that the weather conditions will be favourable, thus avoiding an event with little credibility for the image of karting (as happened at the 2020 World Championship run with rain due to bad weather), the kartodromo do Algarve is ready to offer emotions, the same we experienced in 2016 on the occasion of the OK Continental event. Portimao has always collected appreciations and enthusiastic opinions from the paddock, both for the location, the layout and above all the prestige of the facility adjacent to the F1 circuit. 

Starting from the last competition held at Portimao, the 2020 World Championship, the first of the COVID-19 era, the first without a public and above all with the rain variant as a 100% protagonist. An edition full of meaning that probably had the merit of marking the return of Portimao to the exclusive circle of FIA Karting tracks. In 2020, as said, it was the rain that dominated and created a few problems, with the frightening accident at the start of the OK final involving Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Maya Weug. The first to cross the finish line was Callum Bradshaw, while in the Cadets Freddie Slater made the difference, again on a wet track, duelling with Arvid Lindblad and winning the world title.



So on this nostalgic occasion we again asked Callum Bradshaw about the world championship win at Portimao.
«I remember we were fast from the start, especially in the wet tests, so I was confident for the final. The feeling I had with the team I will always remember. Portimao is a difficult track where you have to bring most of the speed into the corners and think about the exits. If you realise this I am sure there is no reason why you can't be the fastest. Of course, being a British rider, in wet races, helps. Our "typical weather" is known for rain. I raced a lot in the rain in England before coming abroad, it's well known that the British are very good in the wet and I think that's true, judging also by the arrival of the 2020 World Championship with four British drivers in the top five!»



It was in 2016 that Portimao made its entrance into Cik Fia competition by hosting the third round of the OK/OKJ European Championship, which turned out to be even more compelling thanks to the different protagonists on the list to win the title.
That season in addition to Tom Joyner, winner of the final, and Pedro Hiltbrand, who won the continental title, shone the star of Marta Garcia, the Spanish driver who left an indelible mark thanks to her performance, being as fast as her peers. She set record times in practice during the 2016 European Championship and, to this day, is still the fastest girl of the new millennium. At Portimao, in addition to her best time of 55"681 in practice, Marta Garcia also shone on Saturday's heats, winning two out of two, thus starting on pole in Sunday's pre-final. Unfortunately, the Spaniard was unable to complete the feat, finishing fifth in the pre-final and fourth in the final, behind Joyner, Hanley and Hiltbrand, ending the European Championship in fourth place. An enviable result, especially for the whole weekend and also the whole course of the 2016 European Championship.

Marta Garcia (W Series driver): «I remember the weekend of 2016 very well. I had taken pole position and also won both heats, staying in first position. I was really really happy with what I had done, especially because it was at the European Championship and because I was among the only girls. To be first in front of all the best was like saying "I'm here!". Normally in this sport you don't always believe in girls and that's why I was really proud of myself and to have proved to be the best. After the pole position a mix of emotions rained down on me. I've always liked the track from the beginning, the corners are all special and you have to be good at interpreting them. I think the second corner is one of my absolute favourites, but the whole track in general. The third sector has some beautiful and challenging corners in sequence. You have to be on the limit all the time, and you have to slide your kart a lot. I don't think there is a real secret to going fast, but more a combination of many things. For sure you have to drive very clean and smooth, the last two corners are probably a critical point because the harder you drive the faster you will go on the straight because it's very long until the second corner. I think a smooth drive is the key to everything. 
I hope to come back to the track to try these new karts, I like them a lot and they are good for training even now. I will probably come to see some races, maybe KZ. Driving a KZ is really an incredible thing and the races are really hard. Many years have passed but there are so many friends and people, I think I would need to find some speed to be competitive again but I would like to. When I think about karting, everything comes back to me and there are really good moments that I will always carry with me, along with the people. I really love the Portimao track anyway, I can say it is one of my favourites together with Lonato or even Kristianstad I liked a lot». 
 
 
S.Corradengo
Photo: FIA Karting Media/Vroom Archive 

 

Created by: scorradengo - 06/04/22

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