Sarno, Italy – Welcome back to the RMC Grand Finals 2019 Day 4. From day to day the weather becomes hotter, but not only the weather is hot – also on the track, as the first qualifying heats started today. Let’s see what happened on the track today:
Rotax THUNDeR (DEKM)
The Rotax THUNDeR karts were the first to take to the track on Wednesday on the coldest morning we have had yet at 14 degrees. The times were 1 second slower than yesterday with Italy’s Benjamin Cartery setting the best time (1:05.953). He was followed by Bradley Barrett (1:06.011) and Jasin Ferati (1:06.127).
In the second and final non-qualifying practice for the DEKM, it was Ferati who set the pace with a lap time of 1:04.902, Ryan Mills was just six-thousandths behind (1:04.908) and Luka Wloemer finished in P3 (1:04.947).
Qualifying Practice 1 saw Jasin Ferati set the fastest THUNDeR time so far with a 1:04.193 secs on lap 5, only just ahead of Jie Kao’s 1:04.563 and Jort Coone (1:04.713).
As the sun began to go down, Pre-Final 1 started with Ferati on pole position alongside Kao and Coone on grid 3. Ferati took an early lead from Barrett and Kao, until Barrett overtook the Swiss driver in sector 2, but was immediately passed again by Ferati. The top two continued to fight until the last couple of laps, where the leader pulled a gap of 0.721 secs to take the win. Barrett was second ahead of Kao with the fastest lap (1:04.118).
The DEKM with the Rotax THUNDeR will be on track again tomorrow at 10:23 (CET) for the warm-up.
Micro MAX was second out on the slightly damp track this morning and it was Adam Al Azhari who went purple with a 1:10.094 secs. He was followed by Salvador Trindade (1:10.331) and Tommie Van Der Struijs (1:10.404) in 3rd.
Just as the air temperature rose to 22°C the Micro MAX karts started their qualifying, as the majority of the drivers headed straight out on to the track. 8 minutes provided us with many changes in the order and it was an excellent performance from Thiago Falivene (1:09.032) who was the only competitor to improve in every sector on the last lap, securing pole position for the heats with Ben Maier next fastest (1:09.077) followed by Jay Urwin (1:09.222).
The first heat for Micro MAX started with Falivene on pole position. He led the way for 3 laps with a gap of 2-tenths to Urwin in P2, before he spun out of the lead and unfortunately, fell back to 20th place.
The race lead was inherited by Urwin and Macauley Bishop, who battled every lap until the very last. The Kiwi had a slight gap over Bishop, but a mistake in sector three allowed his rival to catch up, and on the last corner of the last lap, the first ever British Micro MAX driver pulled off an impressive overtaking manoeuvre to take the race win with the best lap from Urwin and Timofey Mikhaylov.
A special mention to the young Japanese driver Yuto Nakai who overtook 13 karts in the 7 laps to finish in 14th.
Micro MAX will start again tomorrow at 8:03 (CET).
Mini Max began their day just 1-tenth shy of yesterday’s fastest time with Dutch youngster Jayden Thien setting a 1:05.375. Andy Ratel was too far behind with a 1:05.467 and Harry Hannam was 3rd with a 1:05.567 secs.
The official timed practice went out soon after 11am and the event got a little more serious for the youngsters. With just 10 seconds on the clock, Ratel set an unbeatable time of 1:05.241 secs with Costa Toparis in 2nd (1:05.273) and Raphael Rennhofer’s 1:05.323 ranking him 3rd. .
Ratel led the first Mini MAX race of the 20th annual RMC Grand Finals, before Thien managed a pass using the slipstream along the back straight. For the remainder of the race, Ratel pushed Thien and despite a battle on the final lap, the leader was able to hang on and take the win. The battle for third was won by Jolan Raccamier who had a very close fight with Toparis, Rennhofer and Paul Alberto.
Mini MAX will be out for their warm-up at 8:16 (CET) tomorrow.
Junior MAX started their final practice before qualifying and in the odd-numbered group, it was Mike Van Vugt who set the fastest time (1:01.058) followed by Lucas Bohdanowicz (1:01.076) and Aqil Alibhai (1:01.119).
The even-numbered group went next and it was Marcel Surmacz from Poland who went fastest with 1:01.030 secs, then Charlie Wurz (1:01.110) and Fedor Bykonya (1:01.133 secs) .
With all Junior MAX drivers pushing hard to achieve the best lap, Rasmus Andersen set the initial pace with a 1:02.760. Unfortunately, on the out-lap, Jose Andres Cordova stopped in sector 2 with an issue bringing out the yellow flags for the first few laps. After all, laps had been completed, it was Oli Pylka who set the fastest lap of 1:00.581 secs with both Van Vugt and Miska Kaskinen just one-thousandth off (1:00.582). The top six drivers were all separated by just 0.092 seconds.
The even-numbered karts followed with all eyes on Pylka’s time for pole position. Karts 232, 254 and 238 all went out immediately leaving everyone else to follow around 30 seconds later. This group was faster, with Clay Osborne taking pole position (1:00.311) leaving Charlie Wurz 6-hundredths behind in 2nd and Huge Barter in 3rd (1:00.516)
In a dramatic lap 1 of the Junior MAX race, Osbourn led the way from Reinaerdts. Using the slipstream again down the back straight and into the first braking zone of the track, Reinaerdts was able to take the lead. With two laps to go, Osborne began to defend from Wurz and Fedor Bykonya, allowing Reinaerdts to pull a gap of over half a second and take the victory.
Another dramatic lap one left Dozono leading the way from Haanen and Barter. An 8-kart battle for P1 quickly became a 3-kart battle with Barter leading. In a scrap at turn 9 on the fifth lap between Dozono 2nd and Haanen 3rd, the Aussie took full advantage to draw his lead out to 1.3 seconds. So it was Barter who took the win from Beau Pronesti and Jenic. Lucas Da Silva Mendes passed an incredible 23 karts in just 10 laps finishing in 9th.After the race, Pronesti received a front fairing penalty of 5 seconds pushing him back to P7 promoting Jenic to 2nd and Oli Pylka up to 3rd.
Junior MAX begin again Thursday at 8.29am (CET)
With qualifying just around the corner, the drivers were tweaking their set-ups going into non-qualifying practice 7. It was yet again Paul Fourquemin who clocked fastest lap (1:00.025) in the odd-numbered group, followed by Matteo Richter (1:00.025) and Vincent France (1:00.074) 3rd quickest.
The even-numbered karts were slightly faster, as Tereza Babickova set the pace with a 59.965, closely trailed by Cesar Gazeau (59.983) and Oakley Pryer (59.995).
With the slipstream being worth a lot down the back straight, nobody wanted to be first on the track in the Senior MAX class. Gustavo Gomez was first on track followed by everybody else a few seconds later. The odd-numbered group ended up fastest with Elia Galvanin taking pole position with a time of 59.588. 2nd overall went to France (59.687) and P3 to the fastest of the even-numbered session Ryan Norberg (59.715).
Race 1 for the Senior MAX’s started with Galvanin on pole position and France alongside on row 1.
France and Pryer got the jump into turn 1, through to lap 7 when Pryer overtook into turn 1. France attempted to regain his spot at the end of the back straight, but consequently allowed Cody Gilis and Galvanin through, pushing Pryer back to 4th. Gilis went on to take the win from France and Galvanin.
After the race, Gillis received a front fairing 5-second penalty, relegating the former Junior RMCGF champion to 8th and promoting France to the race victory.
The race got underway with Fourquemin leading and Guillaume Treillard De Qu close behind in 2nd. On lap 2, the 304 of Norberg took the lead but 5 laps later Ravenscroft passed Norberg around the outside down the straight and into turn 2 to take the lead. Guy Cunnington in 3rd pushed with Axel Saarniala in 4th to catch Norberg. On the last lap, Cunnington overtook Norberg down the back straight for P2, although it was Ravenscroft who eventually won the race by 0.693 seconds.
However, after the race, both Norberg and Saarniala received front fairing penalties, so the final result was 8th and 9th for the pair, handing Guilherme De Oliveira 3rd.
Warm up is scheduled for 8.55am (CET) tomorrow for Senior MAX.
In the first and final practice session of the day for Rotax DD2 Masters, it was Antti Ollikainen from Finland who once again topped the timesheets with a 59.285 secs, then Matias Rodriguez (59.424) and Roberto Pesevski (59:436). In the even-numbered group, Nicholas Verheul with 59.532 went fastest with Arto Savenius (59.771) in 2nd and Rudy Champion (59.820) 3rd.
It was Pesevski (59.412) who secured pole position in the qualifying from Ollikainen (59.452) and Matias Rodriguez (59.561) in the opening group. The next group saw Verheul P1 with a 59.526, but only rank 3rd overall, followed by Savenius (59.622) and Joao Oliveira (59.640).
In an action-packed first heat for the DD2 Masters, Pesevski lost out at the start to Ollikainen, Grube and Eriks Gasparovics, as the trio quickly moved up into the top 3 places ahead of the Austrian. The flying Finn went on to win the race and post the fastest race lap by 0.358 seconds from Grube.
Verheul started on pole beside Rodriguez with Savenius and Oliveira lining up on row 2, as the front-runners got off to a great start, while Jari Koivisto slotted into 3rd. Verheul was the pace-setter (59.850) and crossed the line ahead of Rodriguez and Koivisto.
DD2 Masters will be back on the Sarno circuit briefly in preparation for the next heats at 9.21am (CET).
With the track temperature continuing to rise, it was the DD2s who headed out for their final practice session. The odd-numbered group was led by Jonathon Marcusson (58.647 secs) then came Petr Bezel (58.737) and Dimitris Vasileris (58.936). In the even-numbered group, it was Daniel Machacek (58.592) clearly quickest from Christos Oikonomou (58.760) and Cristian Trolese (58.770).
The initial DD2 qualifying session ended prematurely, with Alejandro Herrera and Freddie Carlsson failing to set a time and bringing out yellow flags. It was the seasoned Czech driver Bezel who went fastest with 58.758 secs to Lucas Joly (58.852) and Vasileris (58.963). In the even-numbered class, it was Oikonomou (58.790) who lead the pack from local entry Luca Munaretto (58.807) and Frenchman Nicolas Picot (58.841). Bezel was too good, setting the top time ahead of the 2019 RMC International Trophy champion Munaretto.
In the first heat for the DD2, it was Petr Bezel who started pole. Lap 4 saw a 5-kart battle for the lead against Bezel, Trolese, Kacper Bielecki, Munaretto and Machacek, setting the pace (59.123). By lap 6, Bezel had a break of nearly 2 seconds from Bielecki and Munaretto, going on to take the chequered flag with a lead of 0.628 seconds from Munaretto and Machacek, as Trolese set best lap (58.980).
In Qualifying Heat 1 for the drivers in group C+D, it was Picot who led the field from Lucas Joly and Ville Viiliainen, maintaining P1 for a start-to-finish victory 1.4 seconds ahead. Matvejs Makusins lined up on grid 34 and advanced 12 places on lap 1, obviously bringing him back into the fight for positions. Meanwhile, Christos Oikonomou gained 13 spots and set the fastest lap (59.152) in the process.
DD2 kicks off at 9.47am (CET) for warm-up before Heats 2 & 3.
OVERALL FASTEST LAP TIMES
Micromax: 1:09.032 | Thiago Falivene | No. 16
Minimax: 1:05.241 | Andy Ratel | No 128
Junior Max: 1:00.311 | Clay Osborne | No. 206 |
Senior Max: 59.588 | Elia Galvanin | No. 371 |
DD2: 58.592 | Daniel Machacek | No. 436
DD2M: 59.412 | Roberto Pesevski | No. 541
DEKM: 1:04.118 | Jie Kao | No. 604