2013 Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals – recap
3 December 2013
The 14th edition of the Rotax Max Challenge Grand finals are over. For the first time, the event was presented in North America, in New-Orleans, Louisiana. Fifteen drivers represented Canada in the international classes (MAX JR, SR, DD2 & DD2 Masters) and twenty represented Canada in the invitational classes (Micro-MAX and Mini-MAX). Again, Team Canada was aiming for the first step of the podium in every classes with a strong team and same place for the Nations Cup.
In the DD2 class, Team Canada had very high expectations with Ben Cooper (3x champion) and Pier-Luc Ouellette (2x champion and 1x vice-champion) but they both couldn’t avoid crashes in the final race. In the DD2 Masters class, Scott Campbell had a slower start at the beginning of the event but manage to start the final race from the 9th spot on the grid. A strong race brought him up to the second place behind the winner Cristiano Morgado from South Africa for the 2nd year in a row. Congratulation Scott!
In the Junior class, Jeffrey Kingsley was in good position for the final phase when he started the prefinal race off pole. He finished the prefinal 11th. The junior class is always very agressive and this bring many contacts during races and Jeffrey was involved in some of them. The score the best finish for Team Canada in 21st position. In the Senior class, Zachary Claman-Demelo was the only one who survived from the heat races. In the prefinal race, we was able to gain few positions and moved up on the grid for the start of the final race but he couldn’t complete a lap in the main race.
In one of the most spectacular final of the event, the Micro-MAX drivers showed to the crowd how good they are. Top 4 drivers crossed the finish line in less than a second. Matthew Latifi was part of the leaders all race long and was leading the race with 2 corners to go but he was passed at the end of the straight away by 3 drivers locked all together. One of the 3 drivers was Patrick Woods-Toth who finished 3rd, just ahead of Latifi. In the Mini-MAX class, the battle was also very close and we saw two Canadian drivers crossing the finished line in the top three when Antonio Serravalle finished 1st and Samuel Lupien 3rd. Unfortunately, Serravalle was excluded from the results but this decision from the Stewards is actually under appeal to the US ASN. Samuel Lupien climbed on the podium without knowing if he finished 2nd or 3rd.
During all the event, Team Canada was on the leaders in the Nations Cup ranking but due to unfortunate results in the finals races, Team Canada finished the event in 6th place, not far from the 3rd place.
For the complete results of the event, videos and pictures, visit the event official page.