Rotax Grand Finals: Friday
21 October 2016
New this year, there is no Second Chance Race but two pre-finals instead and top 17 move on the final race on Saturday. This new CIK formula is good for drivers who had problems in the qualifying heats but can be fatal for drivers who finished the heats in top 24 and would normally be qualified for the pre-final and final races.
Micro and Mini MAX
Let’s speak about the Mini MAX pre-final first as Thomas Nepveu did a fantastic race. Starting from P9, he climbed up to the first place to win an exciting race. It wasn’t easy as a light rain started during this pre-final. Even if it was a light rain, this turned the track very tricky. Nepveu kept focus and his driving to win. He will start the final race tomorrow on pole position. In Micro MAX, Anthony Sardellitti brought his kart from 20th at the start to 16th at the checkered flag. He has a good speed during the race and we are optimistic he can reach the top 10 tomorrow.
Ryan MacDermid and Andres De Alba were in the A Group. MacDermid started on first row but an early contact put a lot of damage on his kart and couldn’t follow the pace of the others. On top of that, all drivers but three started on slicks and the light rain turned into real rain shortly after the start. At the opposite, Andres De Alba took the start form the last row. He did a tremendous race to cross the finish line 9th and be scored 6th after penalties applied to others! This secured his place in the final race tomorrow and he will start 11th. Despite his result, MacDermid has to be proud of what he achieved this week, showing to the world he is one of the fastest. In the B Pre-final, Samuel Lupien had a good start and after the first lap, was cleaver enough to not take big chances. He finished 5th but received a 10 second penalty after the race and then scored 9th. Matthew Taskinen had a good start too and even reached P14 but spun on the hard braking of corner 2 and finished out of the critical 17th place with a 19th position.
In the A Group, team Canada had Marco Di Leo, Zachary Claman-DeMelo and Coltin McCaughan. As Lupien, Di Leo drove to stay away from trouble and secured his place in the final race by finishing 8th. Claman-DeMelo had a strong one to reach P10 and join the final race too. McCaughan had to fight hard to achieve his goal to race in the final race but miss it with the 23rd place. In Group B, Kellen Ritter and Gianfranco Mazzaferro had a lot of work to make it to the top 17th. Mazzaferro’s dream ended in the first lap while Ritter tried very hard but finished 24th. So Marco DiLeo, 15th on the grid, and Claman-DeMelo, 19th on the grid, will be the Canadian representatives in the MAX class in the final race tomorrow.
Scott Cambpell was on pole for the pre-final in the B group and had the lead of the race for many laps before he got passed by his old rival Dennis Kroes. He finished 2nd and will start the final race on 3rd place.
The DD2 A pre-final was the point where the rain became out of control. After 9 laps, officials displayed the red flag and used the lunch break to eliminate water with pumps in some areas of the track. After lunch they resumed the race for the last 6 laps. Jeffrey Kingsley crossed the finish line 18th, so missed the final by 1 spot but after the race, penalties applied to some drivers and this would place him 32th on the grid of the final race. This has to be confirmed. Unfortunately for Tyler Kashak, he was running 14th when they stopped the race and in the 2nd part of the race, he lost several positions to finish 26th. In the B group, Marco Signoretti and Alessandro Bizzotto started respectively 4th and 30th. Signoretti lost few spots throughout the race but qualified for the final race, finishing 7th. He will start the final race 13th. For Bizzotto, the challenge was way bigger but he had a good start and went up to P20 before he spun and lost 10 positions and the 2nd lap. He finished 21st.
Don’t forget that you can follow the event via live streaming here. If the schedule doesn’t change, the first final will start at 6h05 am, Toronto time.