Fast all weekend long, the Briton Matthew Graham won an exciting final in the first round of the “U18” World Championship held on the Italian track of Ortona.
The first of the three “U18” (under 18 years old) World Championship events, which was held this weekend at Ortona, offered a great show to the spectators present. Held over 19 laps, the final was exciting to watch and action-packed. The initial leader after his start from the first row, Michele Beccaria (Top Kart) led a group of especially lively Drivers. The Italian’s lead was finally taken by his compatriot Antonio Giovinazzi (PCR), who managed to fly away from his opponents… before being betrayed by his chain. This was to the advantage of the poleman, Matthew Graham (Zanardi), who was strongly recovering from 5th place after a poor start and a minor excursion off the track further to a contact with another Driver. This time, nothing could prevent the Briton, who had already achieved the fastest qualifying practice time, from landing his maiden world victory.
“It was an incredible race”, he explained. “Lap after lap I felt my kart was faster and faster, and I never gave up. It is awesome to achieve a win in this closely-fought Championship. All the engines are identical and there is very intense fighting on the track.”
Behind the British Driver, the competition remained very hard-fought and arose the enthusiasm of the spectators gathered in the grandstands. Starting from the first row the Italian “Speedy” (alias Antonio Fuoco) collided with the Dane Martin Mortensen (Mach 1). In the meantime, Italy’s Federico Savona (Top Kart) secured the second step of the podium by finishing ahead of the Finn Pyry Ovaska (Maranello). Starting from 14th place, Britain’s Henry Easthope (Sodi) achieved the fastest lap time of the race and ended up at the foot of the podium after he got the better of the Dane Jannick Flygenring (Mach 1). One of the strong men of the weekend, Simone Favaro (Parolin), paid dearly a retirement from one of the two prefinals. Only 18th on the grid, the Italian however managed to limit the damage by scoring the points of 6th place ahead of Germany’s Lucas Speck (Mach 1), the Dutchman Dave Blom (Intrepid) and the Finns Tomi Katajmäki and Niclas Nylund (both in Maranello karts). This exciting race makes us want to know what comes next and we look forward to watching the second round at the end of August on the French circuit of Essay.