In our first of thirteen Team Canada Rotax Grand Finals driver previews we take a look at Gianfranco Mazzaferro, the 2014 ASN Canadian National Rotax Junior Champion.
Mazzaferro returns to the Rotax Grand Finals for the second time in as many years after getting his feet wet last year in New Orleans, USA as a rookie in the Junior category.
2014 was a much different year for the Montreal, Quebec driver as he dominated in every Canadian competition he entered. His success didn’t end at the Canadian Championships either, as four victories and a steady run of podium appearances also secured him the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship title and a clean sweep of the major Canadian championships.
To help prepare himself as a complete driver and for the Grand Finals, Mazzaferro’s season also sent him to Europe where he competed in three of the four Rotax Euro Challenge races. While the results didn’t quite show his potential, it opened his eyes to what he will expect at this years Grand Finals in Spain and hopefully allow him hit the ground running.
Name: Gianfranco Mazzaferro
Division: Rotax Junior
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
Years Racing: 6
Race Team: Ferrolati Corse
Past Trips to RMCGF: 2012 Portugal (guest) 2013 New Orleans, 2014 Spain
Career Highlights (To date): Canadian Champion 2012 (Mini-Max), 2013 (Junior Max), 2014 (Junior Max). ECKC Champion 2012 (Mini-Max), 2014 (Junior Max). Coupe du Quebec Champion 2013 (Junior Max)
After securing the Canadian title at Mont-Tremblant this August, Mazzaferro was quite relieved to confirm his ticket to the Grand Finals. “I was very happy to be Canadian Champion for the third year in a row, but also to know that I didn’t have to fight for my ticket at the ECKC finale.”
“My goal is to finish top-10. I learned that qualification is probably the most important thing! Also to finish all the heats no matter what!”
Mazzaferro will continue to work with his driver coach and mechanic William Allen when he gets to Spain. Allen really helped transform Mazzaferro in 2014 into a more complete driver and the Grand Finals will mark one year that the two have been working together.
In preparation for the Grand Finals, Mazzaferro did take the opportunity to travel to Spain and get a taste of the track he will be racing on, mentioning that the main chicane section is very tricky, but the track suits his driving style. “Its tough and you need to do it perfectly to be quick.”
While he’s never driven the SodiKart that all the Rotax Junior drivers will compete on, he is happy that everyone has equal opportunity when using the spec chassis. “I like the idea of everyone being on the same chasis because we are all on equal equipment.”
Being the only Junior driver on this years team with previous Grand Finals experience, he does have some advice for his teammates. “Qualifying is so important, so qualify the best you can. And finish all of your heats, no matter what. Every point counts.”
Through the month of November CKN has full coverage of the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals and Team Canada. CKN will be trackside in Valencia, Spain from November 23-30 to bring you all the action on http://canadiankartingnews.com and on our social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.