Portugal 2012: Cooper champion!
1 December 2012
Team Canada leaves Portugal with a total of 4 podiums including a world final champion title with Ben Cooper’s win in the DD2 class.
In the first final race, the Canadian driver with the best spot at the start was Parker Thompson who was in the 18th position on the grid. After one lap he was already 14th and never looked back throughout the whole 18 laps. He was in 4th place when he crossed the line for the final lap and after an epic battle with UK driver Ross Gunn he was able to finish ahead of him to clinch third and a place on the podium. He also got the fastest lap of the race. The winner was Harry Webb (UK), followed by Janneau Esmeijer (NED). As for our other Canadian drivers, Zachary Claman-DeMelo who was starting 23rd finished in 10th spot and Zachary Scalzo in 29th position.
The DD2 Masters final was next and expectations were high as Scott Campbell was starting from 4thplace. He battled throughout the race as part of a pack of three drivers leading the race for the first half and a pack of four drivers in the second half of the race. He was unable to pass the winner Cristiano Morgado (RSA), but finished just ahead of
third place driver David Griffins (UK). Luc Sauriol did a great race and finished 8th. Stuart Clark finished 22nd.
In Max Senior it was Marco DiLeo and Jesse Lazare’s job to try and obtain a podium. It was a heart stopping race and when it got to the checkered it was Irish driver Charlie Eastwood who crossed it first. Marco DiLeo finished in 12th place while Jesse Lazare finished 16th.
The last race of this 2012 edition of the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Final was in the DD2 category. The race kept everyone holding their breaths partly because of the numerous overtakings. Ben Cooper took command of the race but could not outdistance his opponents. He even lost the lead a few times but was able to take it back every time. It was only with three laps to go when the drivers behind him startled fighting amongst themselves that he was able to put a gap and get little bit of breathing room. He crossed the finish line with less than a second lead in front of Konstantins Calko from Lituania and Matias Detige from Belgium. As for Zacharie Richard-Robichon he finished 8th and Nicholas Latifi finished 13th.
At the end of the final races, Team Canada took second place in the Nations Cup which was won by Great Britain with Australia completing the podium.
In the morning the pre-finals had not been very favorable for Team Canada in general. In the first pre-final, Zacharie Scalzo lost his nosecone at the start of the race and was forced to come in the pits. Parker Thompson slipped all the way to 27th place on his second lap but was able to move back up to 18th. As for Zachary Claman-DeMelo, he crossed the finish line in 12th place but was penalised 10 seconds which finally put him in 23rdplace.
In Max Senior, Marco Dileo who was starting from the 21st position was able to move all the way up to 10th during the race but had to settle for the 14th spot at the checkered. As for Jesse Lazare, he lost around 15 spots at the start and he finished in 20th position having started in the 8th position.
In DD2 Masters, Scott Campbell had a good start and stayed in second place till the 7th lap but was unable to follow the pace. He finished 4th. Luc Sauriol lost a lot of spots in the first lap but was still able to move up to the 16th position. Stuart Clark also did not have lady luck with him at the start and finally finished the race in 30th position.
In DD2 Ben Cooper had an excellent start and was able to forge a comfortable lead in the first part of the race but Belgium driver Xen De Ruwe caught up to him. Cooper was able to resist De Ruwe’s push and won but a margin of only 0,075 seconds. Battling in traffic did not go to Nicholas Latifi’s advantage. He was starting in 4th place but finished in 15th. It was a great race for Zacharie Richard-Robichon who starting from the 27th spot on the grid was able to climb his way up to 14th.
With 4 podiums and a total of six drivers finishing in the top 10, the 2012 edition was the most productive in the history of Canada along with the 2007 edition presented in Al Ain, UAE.
Today’s video is an interview with the three Canadian drivers who finished on the podium. They are Parker Thompson, Scott Campbell and Ben Cooper.