Joyner wins three-way battle to take European Championship lead

CRG driver Tom Joyner was victorious in the penultimate CIK-FIA European Championship round at Portimao and will enter the season finale as the points leader.

Joyner wins three-way battle to take European Championship lead

Kicking off the race in second, Joyner got ahead of polesitter Ben Hanley after the start but was passed by Pedro Hiltbrand.

Not allowing the Spaniard to shake him off, Joyner overtook his teammate on Lap 3.

Hiltbrand then fell behind Hanley as well, allowing for a British duel in the second half of the race.

However, despite the gap between Joyner and Hanley remaining at less than half a second throughout, Joyner had a trouble-free run to the finish.

Hanley and Hiltbrand were followed by top rookie Marta Garcia and Ward Racing's Alexander Smolyar.

Finishing only 11th, Karol Basz lost his championship leader status to Joyner, with Hiltbrand and Garcia also not far off ahead of the showdown.

OK class top 10:

1  Tom Joyner CRG  
2  Ben Hanley Croc Promotion  +0.486s
3  Pedro Hiltbrand CRG +1.469s 
4  Marta Garcia Privateer  +1.739s 
5  Alexander Smolyar Ward Racing  +3.201s 
6  Lorenzo Travisanutto Ward Racing  +4.778s 
7  Christian Lundgaard Ricciardo Kart +6.400s 
8  Marcus Armstrong Tony Kart  +6.450s 
9  Hannes Janker CRG  +6.583s 
10  Clement Novalak Tony Kart Racing Team +6.631s 

Martins stuns OKJ field

Rookie Victor Martins took a dominant flag-to-flag victory in the OKJ final, putting himself in contention for the title.

Martins, who was 12th and 32nd in the previous two rounds, took advantage of Dennis Hauger having to defend from a host of drivers for second and won by 7.1s.

Hauger, another newcomer to the class, had passed Kiern Jewiss on Lap 3 to take over in the runner-up spot.

Jewiss then made contact with fellow Briton Teddy Wilson, the duo dropping outside of the top 10 as a result.

Despite several drivers constantly putting him under pressure, Hauger held on to second for the majority of the race only to be passed by Caio Collet in the very end.

The Brazilian Birel ART driver made his way up from 13th to repeat his result from the previous round.

Hauger ended up fourth, having also been passed by Muizzuddin Gafar, with reigning WSK Super Masters champion Sami Taoufik completing the top five.

Championship leader Noah Watt finished seventh but still increased his points lead as main rival Isac Blomqvist was only 17th.

With one round left, Watt's lead is 16 and 17 points over Collet and Blomqvist respectively.

OKJ class top 10:

1  Victor Martins VDK Racing  
2  Caio Collet Birel ART +7.152s
3  Muizzuddin Gafar DR +7.184s
4  Dennis Hauger CRG +7.549s
5  Sami Taoufik Ricky Flynn Motorsport +7.743s
 Hampus Eriksson Ward Racing +7.965s
7  Noah Watt Baby Race +8.369s
8  Ville Uitto Privateer +8.729s
 Oscar Piastri Ricky Flynn Motorsport +9.723s
10  Pavel Bulantsev Ward Racing +11.021s

Handsaeme wins Academy race despite penalty

Belgian driver Xavier Handsaeme confidently won the second CIK-FIA Academy Trophy round, keeping his victory despite a time penalty for jumping the start.

Starting second, Handsaeme dropped back to fourth, while Lithuanian Kasparas Vaskelis took the lead.

However, Handsaeme quickly made two overtaking moves and then rapidly erased Vaskilis' two second-gap to take the lead.

He easily pulled away afterwards, stretching his advantage to 3.2s, just enough to stay ahead following a three-second penalty.

Despite sitting second for most of the race, Vaskelis had to settle for third as he was passed by polesitter Callum Bradshaw in the end.

Ruben Saura and Alfred Nilsson completed the top five, both less than two seconds adrift.

After taking first and second in the first two rounds, Bradshaw is confidently leading the standings.

Academy class top 10:

1  Xavier Handsaeme  
2  Callum Bradshaw +0.237s
 3  Kasparas Vaskelis +0.539s 
4  Ruben Saura +0.951s 
 5  Alfred Nilsson +1.557s 
6  Oliver Clarke +3.921s 
7  Kaito Tsukada +3.931s 
8  Thomas Imbourg +3.967s 
9  Ellie Goldstein +7.532s 
 10  Valters Zviedris +8.331s 
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