Great success for the season final of the ROK Cup Italy at the Cremona Karting circuit, with plenty of drivers and fierce battles for the titles in all six categories running on track. At the end of the day, the following category champions were declared: Shen Zeyu (Mini ROK), Nicolas Marchesi (Junior ROK), David Stefan Dragan (Senior ROK), Sona Ptackova (Expert ROK), Bartosz Grzywacz (Super ROK) and Niki Taylor (Shifter ROK).
Endless surprises in the Mini ROK class, with as many as 49 drivers ready to play for victory in the final round of the championship.
In the qualifyings, Alessandro Nanni records the first pole position in the championship with the best time of 54.490 in Group 1. Sofia Povazhnaia takes the lead in Group 2, but is less quick than her Italian rival and finishes second overall. Zack Zhu and David Moscardi are third and fourth respectively, ahead of Angelo Pecoraro, in fifth, and Kacper Rajpold, in sixth. Vsevolod Osadchyi-Suslovskyi, Giuseppe Noviello, Franciszek Bal and Julian Frasnelli complete the Top 10. The ranking continues with Gabriele Iacomelli, Marcell Zsebo, Shen Zeyu, Norbert Plaszewski, Benjamin Westwood, Luca Muzzolon, Matteo Infantino, Achille Rea, Augustin Feligioni, Nicolò Carrara, Remigiusz Samczyk, Victoria Farfus, Antonio Guglietta, Jean Poujol, Shae Shield, Daniel Hakkinen, Carlo Pongratz, Vincenzo Salierno, Valentino Vivian, Mark Martin Loomets, Ella Hakkinen, Tommaso D'Ambrosio, Lorenzo Zucchetto, Daniel Pasquali, Elias Boullier, Santiago Dia De La Vega, Alberto Masotto, Johannes Buchhammer, Antonio Ianni, Andrea Carbone, Plamen Teliyski, Andrea Saccà, Bryan Filippelli, Nicholas Bertolani, Amine Pantoli, Pietro Chiesini, Leonardo Trombini, Gianmaria Ferretti and Matteo Vatteroni.
As always, the next qualifying heats shuffled the cards on the table. In fact, with a haul of a win and a second place, Moscardi takes the lead in the intermediate ranking, relegating Nanni to second position, despite a win to his credit. Noviello and Frasnelli jump to third and fourth place, while Rajpold moves from sixth to fifth. Povazhnaia, Osadchyi-Suslovskyi, Zeyu, Zsebo and Bal appear in the top ten. Pecoraro 'slips' to 18th place, while Zhu is even in 27th.
The final is exciting right from the start. Moscardi performs well at the start and is able to keep the lead, initially ahead of Frasnelli, Nanni and Rajpold. However, it is just Frasnelli who overtakes Moscardi in the last few corners of the first lap and takes the lead. A quartet quickly formed at the front of the race with Frasnelli, Moscardi, Nanni and Noviello, while Rajpold relegates to eighth place. On lap 4, Moscardi overtakes Frasnelli, but on the next lap he leaves the lead to Nanni and also the second place to Frasnelli. Moscardi does not give up and, on lap 7, takes the lead again and defends it tooth and nail from Nanni. Thanks to a good gap over his rivals on the last lap, Moscardi performs a solo under the chequered flag, while Nanni stops after a collision with Frasnelli, the latter still able to finish second. Noviello gains the third place.
Despite finishing tenth at Cremona, Zeyu celebrates his second consecutive title in the ROK Cup Italy with a total of 316 points. Frasnelli is second with 311 points while Pecoraro is third with 296 points.
The fight for the title in the Junior ROK is fierce right up to the last meter, with a starting grid of no less than 42 drivers attending the Cremona round.
Giulio Mazzolini shows off during the qualifying heats, scoring his first pole position of the season with a chrono time of 48.779 seconds, in Group 2. Matteo Berruti takes the second place in the combined ranking, after being the fastest in Group 1. Riccardo Brangero and Adam Sydor run in the third and fourth positions, followed in the ranking by Amelia Wyszomirska, fifth, Rafael Kamal, sixth, Qarrar Firhand, seventh, and Travis Teoh, eighth. Knud Nielsen and Ettore Sanesi are also in the top ten. The ranking continues with Alex Desario, Adriano Roggero, Nicolas Marchesi, Riccardo Repetto, Maksymilian Rafalik, Alex Laghezza, Stefano Zamponi, Andrea Fiocco, Emilio Tedesco, Jan Blazic, Leonardo Monzani, Guido Bruno Bidoli, Antoni Kosiba, Ilias Mitaki, Augustus Toniolo, Matteo Rainalter, Franciszek Czapla, Milosz Smuk, Christian Romeo, Davide Pretosi, Anh Tu Ranghetti, Selina Bau, Zachary Taylor, Luca Spagni, Stefano Ferrari, Andrea Thej, Andrea Savoldelli, Alessandro Merigo, Ettore Di Domenico, Piotr Maluszynski, Enrico Pietro Villa and Rikardo Bakaj.
In the eliminatory heats, Mazzolini keeps the first position thanks to a victory and a fourth place, although Sydor, second in the intermediate ranking, obtains the exact same result as the Italian. Firhand climbs to third, with Berruti, fourth, Teoh, fifth, and Brangero, sixth, behind him. Marchesi and Desario reach the Top 10, seventh and eighth respectively, ahead of Wyszomirska and Rafalik.
The final on Sunday afternoon sees the first false step of Mazzolini, who starts badly from the pole position: this benefits Firhand, who takes the lead, followed by Teoh and Marchesi. However, on lap 2nd the 'slow' regime imposed by the race direction temporarily stops the race and the group regroups. After two laps, the final restarts and Teoh passes his team-mate Firhand, while on the next lap it is Marchesi who gets the better of the Indonesian driver. Marchesi tries hard to close the gap on Teoh, but the latter does well to keep the Italian at a distance and takes the victory, the second consecutive after Franciacorta. Marchesi and Firhand complete the podium, while Desario and Brangero (author of the fastest lap) precede Mazzolini.
The championship ranking smiles on Marchesi: the Italian driver is crowned new champion with 374 points, against 325 points for Firhand and 278 points for Czapla, second and third respectively.
Cremona is also the venue for the Senior ROK, with two different winners in both races of the weekend.
The qualifying heats see once more the supremacy of David Stefan Dragan, in his seventh pole position of the season with a time of 48.291 seconds. Filippo Tornaghi finishes second, while Riccardo Salemi and Andrea Giudice take the third and fourth place respectively. Simone Taccola and Gianmarco Cortopassi are on the third row, while the Luca Perelli-Mattia Jentile duo are behind them in fourth. The ranking drawn up with the chrono practices continues with Colin Würthenberger, Edoardo Proglio, Alessio Migliucci, Alexander Panaev, Luca Bettoni, Alberto Bernardi, Sachel Rotge, Antonio Parlapiano, Pietro Fioravanti, Matteo Zaffarano, Daniele Guenzi, Federico Biagioli, Ludovica Miceli, Rebecca Guarguaglini, Adrian Labuda, Ruben Pistolato, Lorenzo Lenzi, Giovanni Tiberio, Emanuele Romanelli, Mattia Severino Marchiante, Noah Massa, Riccardo Chiodo, Cristian Lovi and Mattia Sergio Limena.
A perfect start for Dragan in Race 1, soon in the lead at the first corner and ahead of Salemi, while behind them a tussle for third between Tornaghi, Cortopassi, Taccola and Giudice is taking place. Dragan sets his own pace from lap one: at least initially, Salemi seems to keep up with the Romanian driver but after several laps he slowly losts ground on the race leader. At the end of the 16 laps scheduled, Dragan celebrates the victory at the waving of the chequered flag, with a 2.234-second gap over Salemi, able to take the place of honour. Tornaghi gains the lowest step of the podium, beating Cortopassi, Giudice and Taccola.
Thanks to the upturn of the top eight drivers in Race 1, Bernardi has the chance to start on pole position in Race 2 and he does not waste it: in fact, the Italian starts well and keeps Taccola behind, overtaken after a few corners by Giudice. However, Bernardi does not last long ahead and, on lap 3rd, fails the attack of a wild Giudice. In a short time, Giudice takes the lead over his rivals, setting the fastest lap of the race and finishing first, 2.693 seconds ahead of Bernardi, good at defending his second place from Cortopassi, third at the finishing line. Taccola ends the race in fifth position.
The final championship standings are clear: Dragan wins the title with a wonderful score of 485 points, Jentile second with 232 points and Labuda third with 225 points.
Also, the Expert ROK, which is the 'expert' category of the ROK Cup Italy, closes its season in Cremona.
Back in pole position is Alessandro Viganò, author of the best time of 49.417 seconds in Sunday morning's qualifying session. By just 44 thousandths of a second, Sona Ptackova takes the second, while Filippo Repetto and Michele Zampieri are third and fourth, respectively. Fifth place for Antoni Bal, followed by Luca Fiorenti, in sixth, Tino Donadei, in seventh, and Luca Beretta, in eighth. The ranking continues with Gian Paolo Rinaldi, Pier Giuseppe Di Landro, Andrea Piero Angelo Tronconi, Riccardo Pedrola, Alberto Franchini and Leonardo Grassini.
Viganò makes no mistake at the start of Race 1 and holds the lead, with Ptackova, Bal, Repetto and Zampieri as his first pursuers. In just a few corners, Viganò achieves a good gap over the Ptackova-Bal duo who, in turn, have a good margin over the rest of the attendands in the category. On lap 4, Zampieri is overtaken by Fiorenti, after which he parks his vehicle at the edge of the track on the next lap and retires. Looking back at the leading positions, Viganò is unable to overtake Ptackova, but the Polish driver does not close the gap on the leader. Finally, Viganò wins by 1.068 seconds over Ptackova, while Bal is third. Repetto and Fiorenti complete the Top 5.
In Race 2, Beretta makes the most of the pole position gained with eighth place in Race 1 and the grid inversion: after the start, he leads the race, but has to deal with a tough Donadei right from the start. Meanwhile, Viganò and Zampieri retire. Making his way through the group in the next few laps is Bal. He first overtakes Donadei and then also Beretta. The Polish driver becomes unreachable for everyone, even for his teammate Ptackova, who manages to move into second place on lap three. In the end, the success goes into Bal’s hands, while Ptackova 'settles' for the place of honour and the fastest lap. Repetto achieves the lowest step of the podium, while Beretta slips back due to a spin. Donadei retires.
With 384 points gained, Ptackova is the new queen of the Expert ROK class. Donadei is vice-champion with 313 points, just 3 more than Viganò, third.
The Super ROK category, the best performing single-gear category of the ROK Cup Italy, gives us two thrilling races.
Third pole position this season for Cristian Comanducci, first with a chrono time reference of 47.934 seconds. Chiara Bolognini surprises everyone with her second position, 31 thousandths behind Comanducci, while in the next two positions we find two other girls: Lynn Neuhaus, in third, and Gaia Cardinali, in fourth. Third row is for Brando Pozzi and Riccardo Martinello, followed by Sergio Koch and Alessandro Zini. Finally, Antonio Lagrotteria, Edoardo Montoro and Christian Giovanni Signoretta complete the starting grid of Race 1.
In the first race of the weekend, Comanducci jumps excellently, unlike his rival Bolognini, who relegates to the back of the group. Neuhaus and Pozzi are involved in a tight duel for second place, but a collision between them favours Cardinali. In the early stages, Comanducci has an encouraging gap of more than a second over Cardinali, but the Monegasque girl gradually narrows the gap to the Italian. Comanducci, however, is able to manage the situation perfectly and crosses the finishing line first, with Cardinali second and author of the best lap. After duelling with Martinello, Pozzi ends the race in third place, while Zini is fourth, favoured by a spin of Martinello himself.
In Race 2, Lagrotteria starts ahead of everyone and immediately gains a large margin over his pursuers Pozzi, Martinello, Zini and Cardinali. As early as lap 2 comes the coup de théâtre: after a tough vis-à-vis, Zini and Cardinali come into contact and go off the track, also involving Koch: the three retire from the race immediately. The episode favours the comeback of Comanducci who, on lap 6, gains the second place and launches himself in chasing Lagrotteria. The winner of Race 1 achieves the race leader in the final stages, in the last few corners he actually performs a spectacular overtaking on Lagrotteria and wins the sprint. Pozzi completes the podium, ahead of Bolognini and Neuhaus.
Despite his absence in the last round, Bartosz celebrates the Super ROK title with a total of 352 points. Comanducci finishes second in the championship with 322 points, while Cardinali is third with 305 points.
Breathtaking duel between Niki Taylor and Riccardo Rigodanza for the Shifter ROK title, both with the same score in the championship standings on the eve of the Cremona round.
The qualifying heats reward Fabrizio Morardo, the fastest overall with a chrono time of 47.527 seconds. Taylor takes the second position, exactly one tenth behind Morardo, while Rigodanza qualifies fourth, with Boris Cutaia ahead of him in third place. Massimiliano Pezzucchi is fifth, followed by the Marco Acquarella-Marco Daziano pair and Davide Cugini. Next we find Federico Squaranti, Giacomo Pellegrino, Edoardo Sabatino, Phillip Ehrensberger, Davide Spagni, Pietro Gobbi, Damiano Pio Sapio, Alessio Foresto, Ferruccio Alacqua, Victor Martin Odin, Lorenzo Celetti, Thomas Consonni, Riccardo Orlando, Jan Krencisz and Leonardo Saba.
When the traffic lights went off in Race 1, Morardo got off to a better start than anyone else and immediately took the lead, with Taylor, Cutaia, Rigodanza and Squaranti behind him: among the pursuers, Squaranti was immediately knocked out after a few corners. Morardo, Taylor and Cutaia quickly formed a compact trio at the front of the race, until, on lap 4, Cutaia moves into the second place of Taylor. Morardo is able to keep Cutaia away perfectly over the next few laps, until the latter receives a five-second penalty for not respecting the starting procedure. In the end Morardo wins, with Taylor a few tenths ahead of Rigodanza, third, and Daziano, fourth. Cugini, Sabatino and Ehrensberger are ahead of Cutaia, who is relegated to eighth position.
In Race 2, Cutaia does not make a brilliant start from the pole position, unlike Cugini who takes the reins of the race after a decisive overtaking move on Ehrensberger. Cugini, however, is unable to get away from the group, creating a long train formed by him, Ehrensberger, Daziano, Rigodanza, Cutaia, Morardo, Taylor and Sabatino. In this situation, Cugini keeps cool and, after 14 endless laps, gains his first victory in the category. Ehrensberger and Daziano make it onto the podium, while Rigodanza and Cutaia complete the Top 5 ahead of Taylor and Morardo, with the Canadian driver able to overtake the Italian on the last lap. But the ranking changes post-race: Rigodanza gets a penalty of 5 seconds for his front spoiler in the wrong position and therefore relegates to tenth position, while Cutaia and Taylor are promoted to fourth and fifth places, respectively.
The results at Cremona reward Taylor with the Shifter ROK title. The Canadian driver scores 361 points, compared to his rival Rigodanza with 351. Squaranti is third with 304 points.