Matvey Maslov, the young participant of the SMR Racing programme which supports and develops the Russian motor sports, stepped on the podium in the new karting season of the European WSK Champions Cup.
The first round of the WSK Champions Cup was held on March 1–2 in the south of Italy on the International Circuit La Conca. 66 participants from 22 countries lined up in the KF Junior class. Russia was represented by 12 drivers with two of them participating in the SMP Racing programme — Alexander Vartanyan and Matvey Maslov.
During qualifying and further heats Vartanyan and Maslov were keeping to the leading group. Matvey Maslov was fifth in qualifying and eighth after four preliminary heats. Alexander Vartanyan was a few positions behind his teammate being ninth in qualifying and taking 15th place on the semifinal grid.
All pilots were divided in two groups meeting up in the final. Alexander Vartanyan had the 8th starting position in the A semifinal but fell victim to a crash dropping out of the struggle for tournament points. Matvey Maslov was fourth in the second line of the starting grid of the B semifinal. Matvey was able to overtake one of his competitors even before the first corner but the fight in the leading group was so tight that by the end of the first lap the Russian pilot was crowded out to the seventh position. Lap after lap Matvey was looking for a possibility to attack his competitors and in his last lap he managed to break out to the third position. He was just 2 seconds behind the seminfinal winner Enaam Ahmed on the finish line.
Matvey Maslov was fifth on the final grid and was already second by the end of the first lap being just 0.2 sec behind Ahmed. A group of pursuers was right behind him. The most intense competition broke out between him and the British pilot Daniel Ticktum. For a couple of laps Matvey succeeded in holding back the rivals but nevertheless the British driver was able to overtake him. Ahmed took advantage of the situation and managed to create a comfortable gap securing the victory. The duel between Daniel Ticktum and Matvey Maslov continued till the chequered flag with only 0.2 seconds separating the pilots on the finish line. Following the results of the final round, the Russian pilot Matvey Maslov clinched the third podium step. In the overall championship standings he is now taking the fourth position. The second and final round of the WSK Champions Cup will be also held on the Circuit La Conca next week-end on March 8–9.