Thursday at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in New Orleans, USA was race day, as drivers finally got to hit the track for wheel to wheel action. On deck for the day was two of the three rounds of heat races for each class, all to help set the grid for Saturdays main events. The very race-able NOLA Motorsports Park provided some great action for drivers with Canadian drivers doing very well overall.
In Rotax DD2 masters the competition was filled with wheel to wheel action throughout the entire day. The first round of heats saw American driver Alan Rudolph taking P1 after a great start. Rudolph showed excellent pace and was consistent throughout the entire race. Second was Tiago Ribeiro from Portugal, and third was Michael Dauphin of France, who gave Rudolph a run for his money in the early stages. Canadian Francis Mondou finished 18th position overall after a great start, but some fuel pickup issues hampered his pace on the straight away. However following the race he was removed from the results after missing pieces of his rear bumper due to contact. Tough luck.
The second heat race contained two big name DD2 Master Canadian drivers, but it was the South African Cristiano Morgano who was able to secure himself first position. Finishing second was Christoph Adams of France and third was Shintaro Tomomura of France. Both Clark and Campbell got tangled up early on in the race pushing both drivers back in the field. Clark ended up recovering to finish 19th while Campbell finished a respectable 22nd. Both drivers are very capable of advancing those positions and should be excellent to watch throughout the week.
After lunch the action was no less extravagant than the morning. Drivers had to battle with consistently cool temperatures throughout the day adding another element to the ever challenging Grand Finals. DD2 Masters heat three once again saw Rudolph clinching P1, yet another fantastic driver by the American showing that he is more than a contender for championship title. Second was Morgado, who put down some very impressive laps trying to catch Rudolph, and rounding out the top-three was American Mike Jones. Scott Campbell pulled off a 7th place while Francis Mondou secured 9th. Clark who was running consistently in the top-10 all race, suffered a mechanical issue and dropped back to 33rd.
Groups B vs D put on a great show for spectators as Adam Hunter was able to take the victory here at NOLA. Tiago Ribeiro was able to finish second while Brazilian Fernando Guzzi finished third. DD2 Masters is shaping up to be a highly competitive class with a large group of talented drivers.