FIA European Round 1 in Valencia: Gomez nailed it in OK. Van Langendock confirms as No.1 in OKJ

Columns: Races
The Final confirmed Gomez's dominance and that of CRG in OK in the first round of the European thanks also to Louis Iglesias's deserved second place. Wherrell claims the podium. In OKJ, Van Langendock (Forza Racing/Tm) staged a remarkable comeback that ended up overshadowing the Austrian Schaufler (photo Fotocar13)

Gabriel Gomez made an indelible mark in this first round of the FIA Karting European Championship by winning everything there was to win. The Brazilian's performance was flawless in every aspect, reflecting the driving qualities demonstrated in the past season. The duel with Turney did not materialize despite the Englishman occupying the front row. But right from the start of the final, Gomez stepped on the gas, gaining about 1” on his closest pursuer. While the Brazilian extended his lead significantly, a skirmish unfolded behind him culminating in contact between Turney and Pavan, with the Italian from Tony Kart forced to retire due to consequent mechanical failure. Iglesias, who was closely following the two, seized the opportunity to claim the second position, holding onto it until the checkered flag. Wherrell also performed well, navigating through the chaos to deserve the third step of the podium. Worth noting is Ramaekers' performance, climbing up to fifth from the 14th position. Bondarev did not finish.

In OKJ, Dries Van Langendock (Forza Racing/Tm Kart) showed that last season's world championship win was certainly not a fluke. The Belgian started from fourth position just because the outside position hindered the chance of doing better without risking an accident, while Schaufler led ahead of Costoja. But the Spaniard was caught off guard by Lehtimaki, creating a stalemate phase favoring the Austrian leader's extension, who after a few laps found himself with almost 2” advantage over Van Langendock, who meanwhile managed to emerge from the battle. The Belgian chipped away at least 2/10 per lap until catching up with Schaufler a few laps before the end of the race. Between the two, there was another change of position, but Van Langendock had more in him and left Schaufler to deal with the opponents who nonetheless kept pace with the world champion. And while Van Langendock crossed the finish line, the Austrian was already out of the race along with Lehtimaki due to a collision. On the podium alongside the Belgian, a brilliant Minns and the aggressive Arias, who was the fastest in the final, climb up. Fourth is Costoya, fifth is Sala.

Created by: cggiuliano - 24/03/24

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