SMP Racing junior driver Kirill Smal finished fourth in the OK class of the 2019 FIA Karting World Championship. The competition took place on September 6-8 at the Finnish circuit of Alahärmä.In the qualifying round, Kirill was classified fifth among 88 participants, losing only 0.07 seconds to the leader. In the next five qualifying heats, he was three times second and once third fastest and took one victory. As a result, Smal took ninth place on the starting grid on Sunday, was able to gain five places and finish fourth.
“At the start, I managed to immediately overtake five rivals and moved up to fourth already at the first sector,” Kirill Smal said. “Rasmus Joutsimies pursued me for four laps, but then he had a battle with Harry Thompson and I got an advantage. I tried to reduce the gap from my rival in third place and from the fifteenth lap I was already trying to attack him. At the same time, Thompson caught up with me, and we all got close to Juho Valtanen, who was in second place. Four of us fought for second, third and fourth positions, and as a result, Juho made a mistake, and I was fourth at the finish. Less than a second separated me from third place as we continued to fight until the checkered flag. The race turned out to be very interesting and intense, thanks to SMP Racing for the support and the valuable advice of my coach.”
Another SMP Racing junior driver Nikita Bedrin won the qualifying in the OK-Junior class. In the race, he started from nineteenth position, but was able to break into the Top 10 and finish in tenth place.
“It should be noted that our go-kart drivers in juniors and adult groups looked very strong,” Petr Aleshin, director of the SMP Racing junior program said. “Nikita Bedrin won the qualifying among 84 participants, Kiril Smal also took the victory in his group. Unfortunately, Nikita had some further technical issues: in one of the qualifying races the car did not start, but nevertheless, he made a decent performance in the finals, finishing in tenth. As for Kiril, he spent a very strong and stable weekend, and fourth place in the finals of the FIA Karting World Championship is an excellent result.”