The 2012 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals are right around the corner, and CKN can’t wait to touch ground in Portimao, Portugal for the event. CKN will have exclusive coverage of Team Canada as they pursue their sixth Rotax World Championship, and hope to improve in the Rotax Nations Cup after finishing second in 2011.
In the coming days, CKN will break down all the members of Team Canada, class-by-class. today, CKN looks at our Senior Max team members. This year’s team is a little smaller than the impressive six entries Canada had in 2011, but nonetheless it still packs a punch. Team Canada is still seeking it’s first victory in what is quite possibly the toughest class every year at the Grand Finals.
The trio of Canadians all have ability to make the Final, but will need to work together off the track to make it happen.
2012 ASN Canadian National Karting Champion
In 2012, Jesse Lazare became the first Canadian ever to win the Rotax Mini-Max, Junior Max and Senior Max Canadian Championships. His picture-perfect run at the Canadian Championships was one for the ages as the rookie Senior didn’t make a mistake en route to victory.
Lazare spent 2012 racing in both karts and cars, opting to test and begin racing in a Formula Ford, while racing karts in the ECKC and Canadian Championships. With his focus steered towards a car racing career for 2013, this years Grand Finals could be Jesse’s last chance at a Grand Finals title. At the 2011 Grand Finals, Lazare made a name for himself early while competing in Rotax Junior, qualifying up front and winning a heat race, but troubles in the final knocked him out early.
CKN Prediction: Jesse has fought off all the adversity he was faced with in 2012, making his Senior debut at the Florida Winter Tour (and winning in only his third race), as well as competing in Rotax DD2 and Formula Ford. If he can bring the same amount of focus he brought to the Canadian Championships, he can easily find himself inside the top-ten and potentially seeking the victory.
2012 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Champion
Marco Di Leo continued his dominance in the Rotax Senior class in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship, earning his third title in as many years and winning another trip to the Grand Finals. Opting to test a Praga kart at the Canadian Championships may have hurt his chances at the National Championship, but he still showed the pace to be up front.
Di Leo has the ability to be fast in anything he drives, so adapting to the Sodi-Kart for the Grand Finals shouldn’t be an issue for him. We just hope after a very long week in Las Vegas running his massive IPK North America operation, Marco still has some gas in the tank to fully focus on the Grand Finals.
CKN Prediction: Marco has had troubles in past Grand Finals qualifying and then getting into trouble in the heat races. He will need to qualify well to stay up front, but nonetheless will make the Final and pending any action up front, will have a shot at a top-ten.
2012 Rotax Western Canadian Championships Champion
Coming from the West, Bryce Choquer seems to fly under the radar often. After winning the Rotax Western Canadian Championships, Choquer traded in his familiar TonyKart for a powerhouse SRA Karting Birel at the Canadian Championships and impressed many, staying low-key and racing to a third-place result.
In 2011, Choquer did the same at thing at the Grand Finals, qualifying seventh, nearly winning a heat race, and running a clean Final to finish in the top-ten. As the dark horse on the team, Choquer will be without the support of his brother at the Grand Finals for the first time, but with the support from SRA Karting, he shall do just fine.
CKN Prediction: If Choquer can qualify up front, he will have another successful Grand Finals. Troubles in qualifying could set him back, but his race craft should be able to help him make it to the Final and put forth a great result.
What Canadian do you think will do the best in Rotax Senior Max at the RMCGF?
- Jesse Lazare (62%, 77 Votes)
- Marco Di Leo (26%, 33 Votes)
- Bryce Choquer (12%, 15 Votes)
Total Voters: 125