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James Wharton 2021 – A race full of lessons learned

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James Wharton (Foto ©KSP Photo Agency)

Two weeks after his performance in KZ2 at the WSK Euro Series, James Wharton returned to the Lonato circuit, as well as to his OK kart, in order to prepare for the upcoming European events. The last round of the WSK Super Master Series allowed the Australian to demonstrate his fighting spirit in a difficult context and his 24-place improvement from Qualifying to the Final did not go unnoticed.

Thanks to his double programme in OK and KZ2, James Wharton is currently gaining a significant amount of experience, which will be of great use to him when the motor sport hopeful moves into single-seaters. “It’s great to be able to race in two classes at the same time this season with the Parolin Motorsport team,” said James. “Going from a kart with no gearbox and no front brake to another kart that has both of these technical features is not so easy, but I have to admit that it is an exciting and thrilling challenge.”

In search of the best possible set-up

In OK, James Wharton was coming back from frustrating experiences and this meeting at the South Garda Karting in Lonato didn’t get off to the best start for the young Ferrari Driver Academy recruit. “Despite all the work I did with my team during Free Practice, on Friday morning I was immediately in trouble. In both the warm-up and the official timed session I was not able to exploit the new tyres as much as we would have liked. Being 43rd out of a field of 66 drivers was not the best way to start this event.”

The Australian is focused on closing the gap to his rivals and his efforts are paying off. In each of the Qualifying Heats, he managed to gain many places by showing a singular fighting spirit and a lot of confidence. He therefore gained 15 places in total in the heats. His full strength was confirmed in the Prefinal. “I lost some positions in the rush at the start, but I was still able to catch up with several rivals to win my place in the Final by. We’ve definitely made progress in tyre management, which has helped boost my performance.”

Further progress for the Australian

The first few laps of the Final proved to be very competitive, proof of the undeniably high standard of the WSK Super Master Series. All the drivers were fighting hard for their places, while wanting to move forward in a pack that was still very compact. James Wharton became more and more competitive as the laps went on and finally managed to move up from 26th to 19th position. “Of course my ambitions were higher, but we recorded a lot of information on the difficult track of Lonato, with this almost summer weather. I’m looking forward to May with the start of the European Championship in Genk, Belgium.”

To prepare for this, the All Road Management driver will take part in the Champions of the Future series, which will be held at the Genk circuit on the weekend of 2nd May, two weeks before the first major event of 2021. “Since the beginning of the season I have only raced in Italy. I want to see other horizons and especially to fight for the best places…”

JAMES WHARTON

James Wharton is a 15-year-old Australian kart driver, currently competing in his first international season in the KZ2 class alongside the OK class, a dual programme with the official Parolin Motorsport team.
James started racing karting in Australia at the age of seven. He then shone in the most important single-brand world challenges before making his debut in FIA Karting competition. 13th in the World Junior Championship in his first season in 2018, he also won the KA 100 Junior class in Las Vegas at the SKUSA SuperNationals.
In 2019, in his first full season in OK-Junior, he achieved top results: 9th in the European Championship, 4th in the Italian Championship and 2nd in the legendary Winter Cup in Lonato. He was again victorious at the SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas in the X30-Junior category.
An official driver for the Parolin Motorsport Srl team, James is involved in the development and tuning of the equipment thanks to a very good rapport with Albino and Marco Parolin. Despite a 2020 disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, he has rapidly progressed in the category hierarchy and is aiming for a season rich in results.
Thanks to his competitiveness and fighting qualities, James Wharton was selected to join the prestigious Ferrari Driver Academy. Managed by All Road Management, Nicolas Todt’s company, James Wharton will continue his career in karting in 2021, before taking the plunge into single-seater racing in the near future.