Curtain down on the 2019 IAME X30 Euro Series as its fourth and final round unfolded in exciting fashion last weekend on the Sologne Karting Circuit of Salbris, in France. Freddie Slater won both the Mini final and title, Freddie Spindlow took victory in the Junior race ahead of Oliver Bearman who claimed the Series’ laurels while Mark Kimber topped the Senior field and kept his crown for the second consecutive season!
A month after the third round at Wackersdorf in Germany, the Euro Series paddock gathered at the International track of Salbris to compete in the closing event of what has been a thrilling season of competition organized by RGMMC!
Drivers and teams enjoyed good weather for most of the event despite some rain threats and mixed track conditions on Sunday morning, that allowed for close battles to take place in the three categories, Mini, Junior and Senior, where the final winners and title claimers were to be named at the end of the weekend.
All action from the entire event was streamed live, in full high definition for watching on computers, mobile devices and Smart TV through RGMMC’s YouTube channel, where also all highlight videos and specials can be found following the Competition.
Provisional leader of the standings before the weekend, Freddie Slater (Fusion Motorsport) arrived in Salbris as the main favorite in the Mini class, filled with 26 drivers, as he demonstrated on Friday setting up the fastest qualifying lap. The Spanish driver Adrian Ferrer Benito (Praga Espana Motorsport) took a close second-fastest lap followed by his countrymen Denis Alexandru Curavale (Kart Republic Spain) and Lucas Fluxa (Praga Espana Motorsport). Saturday’s Qualifying Heats confirmed Slater’s pace as he made good use of his Pole position and took three consecutive victories. With the maximum points, the Brit topped the provisional classification ahead of an impressive Luna Fluxa (Praga Espana Motorsport) whose tally included a third and fifth positions as best personal results. Another Spanish name followed in third place in Juan Cota Alonso (Kart Republic Spain) in front of Roy Shaw (Kartbox.ch) and Curavale, twice in the Top Three. Despite two second place-finishes, Lucas Fluxa was classified seventh due to a DNF in his last race.
On mixed track conditions, Slater kept his momentum going in Sunday morning’s Prefinal as well as in the final race where he took the best start from pole and led from lap 1 to 13 while resisting the pressure from his closest pursuers. Leo Robinson (Fusion Motorsport) tried first to find an open door during the early part of the race before Lucas Fluxa made the connection with the leading duet halfway through the distance after starting eight. Having past Robinson, the Spaniard remained in Slater’s shadow looking for an opportunity that eventually never came as the two youngsters crossed the finish line split by just 0.053 seconds with Robinson not far behind! An epic conclusion to the weekend for the Mini class with Slater taking his third season victory, enough to claim this year’s IAME Euro Series title! Guillermo Delgado Martinez-Aci (Fusion Motorsport) concluded the race in fourth position ahead of Clément Outran, Alfie Slater (Fusion Motorsport), René Lammers (PDB Racing), Sacha Van’t Pad Bosch (Team Driver Racing Kart), Patrice Kowalewski (RSD Karting) and Joan Cota Alonso (Kart Republic Spain). In the season’s definitive standings, where only the three best results in both Prefinal and Final are kept, Freddie Slater collected 267 points, followed in second position by Lucas Fluxa at 244 and Leo Robinson with 241.
The fourth event of the year started well for the Juniors’ provisional leader Oliver Bearman. The British driver from KR-Sport took advantage of improving track conditions in the second of the two Qualifying series splitting the 37-driver field to take the fastest lap on Friday. His teammate Freddie Spindlow (KR-Sport) topped the timesheet in the opening group but had to settle for the second rank with Alfie Rigby completing a KR-Sport Top Three. Bearman remained undefeated in his three Qualifying Heats on Saturday with five of his countrymen following in the provisional ranking as Rigby was classified in second place with one win and two second positions. Despite a 10th-best qualifying time, Oliver Gray (DHR) took one win and ended up provisional third ahead of Tom Lebbon (MLR), second in his last race, Cian Shields (Strawberry Racing), once in the Top Three, and Freddie Spindlow (KR-Sport), winner of his second heat.
Sunday morning allowed for the Portuguese driver Santiago Ribeiro (Escola Karting Oeste) to shine. Originally not qualified in the top 28 after the heats, he finished fourth in the Second Chance Heat then climbed up the field from 32nd to first position in a Prefinal run in semi-wet conditions! However he was unable to maintain this impressive momentum in the weekend’s closing race where he finished a distant 19th. The Final of the Junior class came down to a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle between Freddie Spindlow and Oliver Bearman. From the opening lap until the chequered flag, the two isolated themselves in the lead and kept teasing each other during 16 laps at the end of which they crossed the line split by just 0.083 seconds! Rigby followed further back in third place but was later penalized with five seconds for a incorrectly positioned front fairing, allowing Josh Rowledge (Mick Barrett Racing) to complete the podium. Behind Rigby in fourth, Gray climbed up nine positions up to fifth in front of Marcus Luzio (DHR), Aaron Walker (Strawberry Racing), Maximus Mayer (Fusion), Lebbon and Lorens Lecertua. In the season’s definitive standings, Bearman was crowned winner of the class title with 252 points, despite not having won a single race, against 241 for Gray and 231 for Luzio.
With 42 drivers, the Senior class was the most crowded at the closing round of the IAME X30 Euro Series in Salbris. Sean Butcher (KR-Sport)kicked off his weekend well by setting the fastest lap in Friday’s Qualifying where he found the right pace in the first of the three Series in front of the standings’ provisional leader Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing). Callum Bradshaw (Fusion Motorsport) took the third-best lap ahead of Lewis Gilbert (Persistence) and Morgan Porter (Msport). On Saturday, Kimber had a strong string of Qualifying Heats and rose to the top of the provisional classification with two wins and a second place. Gilbert went through a similar fruitful day and was classified second overall in front of Butcher who claimed a win and two second positions like Bradshaw in fourth place. Mathilda Olsson (Strawberry Racing) finished three times in fourth position and reached the overall Top Five while Joey Van Splunteren (Team Evolution), still in contention for the title but penalized by an uneasy Qualifying (14th), made up positions in each of his heats with a third-place as best performance.
On Sunday, Butcher won the Prefinal then took the best start of the Final in front of Bradshaw. Keeping a close watch on his rival in the opening stages, the Brit went for the move on Lap 3 and led the majority of the race until Kimber, who had started from the second row of the grid, went past his countryman five rounds from the chequered flag. From then on, the reigning Euro Series winner was quick to build a gap from his pursuers and crossed the finish line victorious of both the race and his second consecutive IAME X30 Euro Series title in Senior! Butcher had to make do with the second place, followed by Bradshaw, Gilbert, Porter and Ruben Moya (PSR) who had a strong recovery run from 18th on the grid, with Filip Vava (KR-Sport), Thomas Fleming, Henkie Kalteren (JJ Racing) and Elie Goldstein (VDK Racing) completing the Top Ten, the latter having climbed the entire field from the 30th position! Pushed to the back of the grid after a difficult Prefinal, Van Splunteren was forced to an early retirement because of mechanical troubles. In the season’s definitive classification, Kimber kept his crown for the second year in a row with 256 points ahead of Bradshaw who ended up on his tail at 248 and Gilbert in third with 229.
Live Streaming, Highlights, and media galleries
The fourth and closing event of the 2019 IAME X30 Euro Series enjoyed great video and commentary coverage during all official sessions, which was available via the YouTube live stream provided by Telemundi Media.
All races, as well as interviews and highlights, were made available on YouTube on Telemundi’s Media’s channel https://www.youtube.com/telemundimedia.
Sessions and races highlights can be found on the websites of the IAME X30 Euro Series www.iameeuroseries.com, Telemundi Media www.telemundi.comand the IAME X30 Euro Series Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/x30euro/.
Text: Guillaume Alvarez
Photos: Alex Vernardis / The RaceBox