Sarno, Italy – What a great and exciting day here at the 20th edition of the RMC Grand Finals 2019. After the traditional drivers parade of all the participating nations in the morning, we saw 360 of the best kart-drivers of the world competing for the title. Thrilling and amazing action on the track impressed as one of the closest competitions in the history of the Grand Finals. The deserving winners were crowned this afternoon during the prize-giving ceremony before the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Grand Finals at the Drivers Party.
But let’s have a look at today’s happenings:
The Micro MAX Warm-up was led by Jaxson Burns (1:09.919) with Tommie Van Der Struijs on P2 (1:09.986) and Lenn Nijs on P3 (1:09.998).
The Micro MAX Final lived up to the anticipated showdown Saturday, following the introduction at this year’s event in Sarno of the upgraded cadet-age engine package. Adam Brickley was the pole-sitter with Jay Urwin alongside him, with Jaxson Burns on P3and Macauley Bishop on the next row. Urwin took the lead followed by Bishop, as the two tried to pull away from Dovydas Gudelevicius and Juliusz Ociepa. They were under pressure though by lap 5, as Ociepa took the lead ahead of Gudelevicius and a battle for the first 3 positions carried on for many laps. Urwin dropped back on lap 9 as the action intensified, falling to P4. At times the karts were three-wide as they swapped positions.
Dovydas Gudelevicius took the initial victory from Ociepa in 2nd, having gained11 places, and in a drag race to the line between Bishop and Urwin, the New Zealander finished 3rd.
However, after the race Gudelevicius received a 3-second penalty for a false start and Ociepa 10-seconds by the race officials, promoting Urwin to 1st as the 2019 Micro MAX champion Bishop 2nd and Salvador Trindade 3rd.
The first Mini MAX session of the day was the warm-up with Adrian Malheiro Sune setting the fastest time (1:05.329) before Costa Toparis (1:05.385) and Raphael Rennhofer (1:05.391). The top three were separated by just 0.062 seconds.
The Mini MAX Finals started with Andy Ratel on pole, Jolan Raccamier on the first row beside him. Ratel led the first few laps before Jayden Thien took over. Thien controlled the next 9 laps but had Troy Snyman closing-in on him fast.
By the last lap, Snyman was right behind Thien and into turn 11 went to overtake down the inside. Both drivers collided and spun off on to the grass, allowing Toparis (P3), Raccamier (P4) and Andy Ratel (P5). A last lap, last corner lunge down the inside from Raccamier put him in the best position for the race to the line. Jolan Raccamier secured the win by just 0.023 seconds from Andy Ratel 2nd and Toparis officially classified 3rd. Sebastian Manson finished 6th after starting 28th on the grid.
Junior MAX warm-up was topped by Latvia’s Tomass Stolcermanis (1:01.188) from Gregorio Bertocco (1:01.293) and Lucas Bjoerk (1:01.337).
Oli Pylka started from pole with Charlie Wurz on the outside of the grid on P2. Pylka led for just over half of the 17 laps, with Clay Osborne and Wurz fighting over position 2. on lap 10, Wurz moved into the lead and started to pull a gap over P2. At one stage the difference was over a second, however Luca Mars, Osborne and Fedor Bykonya worked together to close in.
On lap 16 Osborne fought his way into P1, took the lead while Wurz dropped down to 4th position and was handed a start penalty of three seconds as well
The Grand Finals winner and new Junior MAX number 1 is Clay Osborne, in 2nd was Sacha Maguet and Jason Leung 3rd.
Elia Galvanin was fastest (1:00.187) in the Senior MAX warm-up session with Cody Gillis 0.031 seconds behind followed with Shogo Endo in 3rd.
The Senior MAX Final started with Vincent France in pole position with Clayton Ravenscroft on 2nd. Ravenscroft got off to a good start taking the lead. With constant lead changes between Ravenscroft, France, Oakley Pryer, Rhys Hunter, Ryan Norberg, Elia Galvanin. Ravenscroft led the final few laps with Guy Cunnington really riding his bumper in 2nd. On the final lap, Cunnington overtook into turn 2 with Axel Saarniala and Galvanin behind. Cunnington led the final corner but Saarniala went wide to get a run. As the pair lunged at the line, Cunnington appeared to take the win by an incredible 0.003 seconds.
However, after the race, the result was declared as a tie and in the absence of a camera showing a photo finish the drivers fastest laps were used. Saarniala’s fastest was a 59.578 while Cunnington’s was a 59.808, therefore handing the win to the driver from Finland.
The DD2 Masters’ warm-up was led by Fernando Guzzi (59.626) with Leonardo Nienkotter in 2nd. 3rd place was Horacio Torres who set a best time of 1:00.066
Matias Rodriguez and Henrijs Grube started on the front row for the afternoon Final. A disastrous start for Rodriguez dropped him to 4th. Rudy Champion took the lead on lap 2 from Grube until lap 4 when South African Nicholas Verheul passed for the lead and continued controlling the race for 10 laps. Lap 15 would see Rodriguez fight back to take the lead, but on lap 19 Roberto Pesevski pulled a move on the pole-sitter in a hard-fought race to become the 2019 champion.
Rudy Champion was elated to take 2nd and Rodriguez was 3rd.
Warm-up for DD2 was led by Matvejs Makusins, whose best time was a 59.365. He was followed by Cristian Trolese (59.454) and Michinaga Fujiwara (59.464).
The DD2 Final was another nail-biter and started with Petr Bezel on pole position. Xen De Ruwe made an unbelievable move on the outside to pursue his seventh RMCGF title campaign, although Frenchman Nicolas Picot had other ideas and overtook him on lap 6. Bezel regained the places he had lost in the early stages and continued to push hard, and on lap 19 of 20 he re-took the lead.
Petr Bezel took the deserving race win with Picot 2nd and De Ruwe 3rd.
Rotax THUNDeR (DEKM)
The Rotax THUNDeR karts were first on track this morning for their warm-up session.
It was Benjamin Cartery who set the pace with a 1:05.400 secs. Jort Coone was just 1-thousandth behind in P2 (1:05.401) with Jasin Ferati a further 0.055 seconds off the pace.
The Rotax THUNDeR (DEKM) final got underway with Ferati leading the field from Jie Kao.
Bradley Barrett got past Kao on lap 1 for 2nd and Joel Sturm in 3rd. Barret set about closing the gap to Ferati, but despite making up some ground, was unable to find a way past as the leader defended.
Ferati took the Final win and the championship with Barrett 2nd and Strum 3rd.
Luka Wloemer, who retired from the last race of the series due to being ill today, finished just 4 points behind the Swiss driver in this, the second season the Rotax THUNDeR has made history as the first electric karting series. English driver Bradley Barrett was 3rd.