If the ‘zero in the standings’ after Zuera seemed to have taken Khavalkin out of the title fight, this was not the case for the same Anatoly who was more determined than ever in Sweden during the third round, a key element of his journey. Winning all the heats and especially the final, allowed the Parolin driver to arrive at the Franciacorta weekend with only four points behind the top and to be able to go all out again.
In Italy, Khavalkin has always proved to be at ease, especially on the Franciacorta circuit. Friday’s qualifying had rewarded the speed of the Parolin driver, albeit not in pole position but sure of a second row start in every heat run. A starting position exploited to perfection with four wins out of five heats and a second place in both the last heat and the Super Heat on Sunday, totally harmless and valid in any case for the pole position in the Final.
The start for the OKJ Final was not an easy one for Anatoly, who was sucked into the group and then forced into a great battle with all the top drivers who constantly exchanged leading positions. Khavalkin had the strength to resist his rivals’ attacks and to take a few extra risks, which was crucial in the end. With his third place on the podium, Anatoly then became the new OKJ European Champion for the first time in his career thanks to two podiums and a victory out of three races.
A.Khavalkin: “This moment is really incredible. Together with the team we worked hard to achieve it despite some difficulties, and in the end we succeeded. It was a very tough race at Franciacorta, but I finished on the podium by managing the points. I want to say a big thank you to Parolin Racing, Marco Parolin, Carmine Petillo, GFR, Felice Tiene, all my family, the sponsors and the people who supported me, thank you all!”