Back in action for the second day of competition, the 2013 Rotax Pan American Challenge returned to NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA to more humidity, sunshine, and great racing action. Saturday played host to the second and third round of heat races for all classes and was capped off by a Last Chance Race for Rotax Junior.
After just missing the pole-position in Qualifying, American Ashley Rogero dominated the heats races on Saturday in Rotax Junior. Rogero swept all three runs she was in, all by a decent margin, to earn the pole-position for Sunday’s Prefinal.
In the A vs C heat, Americans Juan Manuel Correa (TonyKart) and Kyle Kirkwood (TonyKart) waged a great battle for the lead, that saw Correa pull off the heat win, while Ferdinand Habsburg (Energy) of Austria third ahead of Columbian Christian Munoz (TonyKart) and Canadian Gianfranco Mazzaferro (TonyKart). Coltin McCaughan (FA Kart) and Anthony Tolfa (TonyKart) finished seventh and eighth, as Christophe Paquet (CRG) and Adam Martin ended up 11th and 14th.
B vs D had Rogero check out, while Brazilian Pedro Cardoso (CRG) moved into second by the finish of the seven lap flight, beating the Brit Jai Nijjar (TonyKart) to the line. Jeff Kingsley (TonyKart) was the lone Canadian in the heat and he finished sixth.
In the final round of heats, A vs D saw Austrian Thomas Preining (CRG) push Kirkwood away the competition right from the get go. Waiting until the final lap to make his move, Preining easily disposed of Kirkwood to the take heat win after trouble in his second heat. American Austin Garrison (TonyKart) ended up third, ahead of Christian Brooks (TonyKart) and Habsburg. All three Canadians had tough starts, with Mazzaferro finishing tenth, Kingsley 12th, and Tolfa 13th.
Rogero had some competition in the B vs C heat as Correa gave her a run for her money, but she still managed to pull out to a 0.6 second win. A nice run by Austin Versteeg had him finish third behind Correa, with Japans Guan Yu Zhou (TonyKart) and Rinus Van Kalmthout (Energy) of the Nederlands rounding the top-five. McCaughan was pushed wide on the start and had to recover to 11th, with Martin and Paquet 13th and 14th.
Crunching numbers with the heat results, Rogero will lead the way on Sunday with Kirkwood holding onto a front row start. Nijjar and Garrison fill row two, and Cardoso and Correa on row three. Zhou and Versteeg line up on row four while Habsburg and Estonian Juri Vips (Energy) capping the top-ten. Mazzaferro will start 12th, Kingsley behind him in 14th, McCaughan 17th, and Tolfa behind in 19th while Paquet will start 25th. Adam Martin needed the LCQ to drive his way in, and he will start 34th.
Sunday will feature a Prefinal and Final for all classes to determine the Pan American Champions as well as the final tickets to next months Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.