Team Canada was cut in half on Friday at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals as the event set the grids for Saturday’s Main Events. It was a hectic day in Portugal as each driver competed in a PreFinal race to earn their final round of points, which in turn was tallied and the top-36 from Junior, Senior, DD2 and DD2 Masters moved on while the week came to an end for the rest.
It was tense for a number of Canadian drivers who were on the brink of qualifying, patiently waiting for the official results to be posted in order to see who snuck into the final few grid spots. This includes two Canadian drivers, Junior Patrick Woods-Toth and DD2 driver Tyler Kashak, who endured nosecone violations in their PreFinal that many thoughts ended their chances of advancing. But when the results finally came out, they were each ranked 32nd overall and will race on Saturday.
Unfortunately for DD2 drivers Davide Greco, Ethan Simioni, Zachary Claman DeMelo and Natael Cantin, along with DD2 Masters driver Joe Crupi, Senior Max driver Logan Cusson and Junior Max driver Jason Leung, their Rotax Grand Finals have ended, with each of them enduring a challenging event.
On the flipside, in addition to Woods-Toth and Kashak, Ryan MacDermid, Marco Signoretti, and Kellen Ritter maintained their impressive pace in Senior Max to make the Final. They will start ninth, eleventh and eighteenth respectively and each has what it takes to stand on the podium.
In Mini-Max, Justin Arseneau was a victim of traffic jam start that knocked his nosecone back and from there bounced around just outside the top-ten for the remainder of the race. After his penalty was accessed, he will start the Main from eighteenth on the grid with high hopes to break into the top-ten and hopefully higher.
And finally Marcello Paniccia had by far his best drive of his week thus far, advancing from twenty-eighth to fourteenth in his PreFinal, but he too made contact with a train of drivers on the start and pushed back his nosecone, basically eliminating all of his hard work and putting back in twenty-ninth. No doubt Paniccia will be charging forward in Saturday’s Final.
We will be back online Saturday for the final day of competition at the 2017 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal. Be sure to tune into CKN to watch the live video stream of the races, along with our live ticker with updates on the Canadian drivers throughout their races. We will also host our Facebook Live videos during the day as well so be definitely tune in when you see CKN go live. You never know who our next guest could be.