Following Wednesday’s Qualifying sessions, drivers got their first taste of wheel-to-wheel competition with the first round of heat races. It was an eventful afternoon with plenty of action all over the Napoli International Circuit.
Luck wasn’t much on Team Canada’s side with many of our drivers getting caught up in the melee’s that occurred, including Jason Leung who started his Junior Max heat from P3 on the grid and was spun in the first corner from contact, falling back to nearly last. His recovery was very impressive though, making it back to tenth at the finish and then gaining three more spots due to penalties ahead of him. Justin Arseneau had to take evasive action to miss Leung and other karts who were spinning, also falling lower than 30th, and only able to recover to 23rd.
Kieran Hartley was another driver who lost everything on the first lap in the Mini Max heat. But he put his head down and fought back to finish eighteenth.
There was some positivity in Senior Max as both Patrick Woods-Toth and Griffin Dowler moved forward. Woods-Toth would have finished even higher than 16th, had he not had a bumper penalty, while Downer jumped thirteen spots in his run to finish 20th.
Jared Freeston slipped down the order in his DD2 Master’s heat race, dropping ten spots, while Alexandre Gauthier also fell down three spots in the same heat.
Noel Dowler bounced back from his dismal qualifying effort to jump up 15 spots in the Rotax DD2 heat race, a great drive for him. Isaac Marritt also had a solid run, finishing in tenth after advancing up eight spots. A bumper penalty for Davide Greco knocked him down from where he started in his heat race, ranking 27th.
Two more heats races are on tap for tomorrow, let’s hope for the best.