Anatoly Khavalkin, European Champion thanks to his willpower

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On the circuit of Franciacorta, a fortnight ago, closed perhaps the most uncertain and exciting edition of the last FIA European Karting OK and OKJ Championships.

It was an endless fight that took place on the Italian track, a worthy showcase to put the spotlight on yet another fight for the continental crown. If in Junior it was the constancy of Nakamura-Berta that won by a whisker over the other champion of constancy, Alex Powell, in OK Junior the story was quite different. 

Anatoly Khavalkin was able to write his name on the FIA roll of honour, in the midst of the best names in international motorsport, thanks above all to his own willpower and exponential growth in competitiveness and above all maturity. 

In fact, it is worth remembering that the newly crowned European Champion won in some ways 'against the odds', especially due to the impossibility of reaching the Spanish track of Zuera for the second round. After the great test at Portimao (first round of the year), closed in second place, it was in fact more than legitimate to expect Khavalkin in the fight of the best, expectations decidedly more uncertain right after Zuera. 

That episode, albeit unrelated to the sport and dictated by the bureaucracy of the historical period we have been living in for months now, allowed the driver to make that vital mental shift. After that double 'zero in the standings', Anatoly knew very well that he had the only imperative in his mind to get back into the fight, and that was to win. 
Speaking precisely of victory, in retrospect and titles awarded, we can say with certainty that Khavalkin made his first European title in Sweden his own with a weekend like a 'predestined' as they say in these cases, literally perfect and resoundingly heavy in the standings so much so as to come back from that gap that had become deep and even touch the first position for more than half the race. Khavalkin on that occasion had the hunger and determination to believe again, to go out on track to win and to take advantage of the black weekend for Nathan Tye, who was also the protagonist of the season and also one step away from the dream. 

The four-point gap between the two at Franciacorta then, inevitably, evolved into a clash that will remain in the historical archives with a fierce, never trivial and beautiful final from start to finish with Khavalkin and Tye directly at loggerheads and not just engaged in long-distance battles. With third place as the 'survivor' of a final where, at one point, it seemed everything was worth it, Khavalkin was able to celebrate his success not only on the track but also mentally, as few have shown they know how to do. 

The World Championship at Sarno will be a different story, all to be written, where, however, it is not to be ruled out to expect the second act of a very high karting fight. 

S.Corradengo
Photo: FIA Karting Media_KSP

Created by: scorradengo - 19/07/22

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