Things were rokking and rolling at Goodwood Kartways on Saturday as the much-anticipated debut of the Rok Cup Canada took to the track as part of the Champion Ron Fellows Karting Challenge season finale.
With two events on tap, the Rok classes were merged with the Rotax classes and ran throughout the day in championship format with the race winners in Junior, Senior and Masters Rok earning an invitation to represent Canada at the Rok Cup International Finals in Italy. The interest in the Rok program was quickly proven with 16 of the 17 Junior drivers hitting the track with Rok power, many of them who raced a Rotax all season long. It was a similar sight in Senior with 13 of the 16 entries on the Vortex Rok engine.
Mackenzie Clark (Prime/BirelART) kicked off Qualifying in the early afternoon with the pole-position and he also drove home the first heat win. Mark Davis (REM/Kosmic) bettered Clark in the second heat as well as the PreFinal and looked to have the pole-position for the Final. But it was deemed he jumped the start and so Kai Dalziel (PRO/Intrepid) and Clark lined up on the front row for the all important Final.
With the sun setting and the temperatures cooling off, the track was quite slippery when karts rolled out for the Final. Clark actually spun on the pace lap but was able to regain his second place starting spot before the green flag waved.
Taking advantage of Dalziel on the opening lap, Clark led the pack through the opening circuit. Dalziel, Xavier Harris (Goodwood/Intrepid), Davis and Nolan Bower (TonyKart) followed suit initially until Clark and Dalziel began to pull away.
It was smooth sailing from there as Clark opened up a gap in the middle of the race and even though Dalziel closed in on the final laps, he wasn’t able to get close enough to make a pass, meaning Clark steered to the win and the Rok Cup Finals invitation. Davis completed the podium.
Qualifying saw Ryan MacDermid (REM/Kosmic) blister off the fastest lap time, eclipsing Marco Di Leo (Goodwood/Intrepid) and the rest of the field by one and a half tenths of a second or more.
It the heats MacDermid was in cruise control out front, easily winning both of them. But it all changed in the PreFinal. It was quite exciting on the slick Goodwood circuit. Nicholas Hornbostel (REM/Kosmic) worked his way to the front and in the race for second, it was a mix up between Di Leo, MacDermid, Emma Delattre (REM/Kosmic) and Marco Signoretti (Energy Corse/Energy). With two laps to go, Delattre was being passed and ran wide on the exit of turn one and clipped the exit barrier hard, ending her race and chances in an instant. Hornbostel won followed by Di Leo and Signoretti while MacDermid was fifth behind Dante Lerra as he struggled on the final laps with no brakes.
Di Leo got the jump on Hornbostel at the start of the Final and like Junior, it was quickly a two kart breakaway as Hostbostel slotted in behind.
MacDermid fell to sixth on the opening lap but worked his way back to third on lap six of the twelve lap main event and while he was able to close in on the leaders, he ran out of time. Di Leo managed enough of a gap to Hornbostel to stay out front for the entire race and with it, he took home the victory and the trip to Italy. Hornbostel settled for second in his best drive of the year.
It wasn’t a large turnout, but there were four drivers in the Master’s category that utilized the Rok engine, including the reigning Canadian Rotax DD2 Masters champion Joe Crupi. Crupi was the class of the field all day long and even though he was pressured early in the Final by Dan Bender, Crupi eventually pulled out to a half-second win over Bender while Alessandro De Luca was third.
Crupi, along with Di Leo will represent Team Canada at both the Rok Cup International Final in Italy and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal this Fall. In addition to Clark, Crupi and Di Leo, Team Canada will consist of Ethan Simioni and Antonio Serravalle, who will race in the Rok Shifter class at South Garda Karting on October 11-14.