This weekend marks the final chance for drivers from around the world to qualify for the 2013 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, held this year in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. The Rotax Pan American Challenge will invade NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans with this weekends event being held on the same circuit and configuration as the Grand Finals.
Attracting drivers from around the world; some already qualified and testing for next months Grand Finals, some still seeking their ticket, the Rotax Pan American Challenge is sure to be exciting this weekend and a handful of Canadians have made their way south to join the action. As of the conclusion of the pre-entry, 23 different countries will represented in New Orleans.
Canadians have been pretty successful at the Pan American Challenge in years past, as in 2011 Canada swept all seven tickets up for grabs when the event was held in New Castle, Indiana, while in 2012 in Centennial, Colorado only a few Canadians were in attendance, but still showed plenty of pace.
Taking a look at the pre-entry list, we reflect on Rotax Junior Max and Senior Max today, while the DD2 and DD2 Masters set for Wednesday. If you missed our Micro-Max and Mini-Max preview, be sure to check it out too.
CKN will be trackside for this weekends event in New Orleans, with our coverage beginning on Friday October 11 with Qualifying. Saturday will feature an array of heat races before Sunday’s Prefinals and Pan American Championship Finals.
Rotax Junior Max
Last year in Colorado, Rotax Junior provided some of the seasons best racing at the Pan American Championship and looking at the entries thus far, it looks as though we are in for a dandy with 32 drivers already registered. Drivers from all over the world are entered, including five Canadians, three of which already have major victories this year.
Canadian Champion Gianfranco Mazzaferro (Ferrolati Corse/TonyKart) is joined by Western Canadian Champion Coltin McCaughan (Apollo/TonyKart) and Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Champion Jeffrey Kingsley (TonyKart). While Anthony Tolfa (Summit GP/TonyKart) and Adam Martin (Prime/Maranello) have been fast all season and are still looking to secure their ticket to the Grand Finals.
Notable entries include last years Pan Am Champion Ashley Rogero of the USA, Jamaican Thomas Issa, Brazillian Pedro Cardoso, Austrian Thomas Preining, a handful of American’s who will be hoping to gain a home-field advantage, among many others.
Rotax Senior Max
Like Rotax Junior it is truly an international affair in Rotax Senior Max. Although only 27 drivers are confirmed based on pre-entry, the class should exceed 35 drivers come race time and like always, Rotax Senior promises to fill the fences.
Five Canadians are set to take part, but only one driver has secured his ticket to the Grand Finals; 2013 Canadian and ECKC Champion Zachary Claman DeMelo (IPK/Praga). ECKC front runners Johnny Flute (Mosport/Kosmic), Zacharie Scalzo (KGK/TonyKart) and Nathan Kelly (PSL Karting/CRG) will represent the East while Adam Dowler (Apollo/TonyKart) is the lone ranger from the West. All four have their eyes set on joining Team Canada in what is possibly the most competitive Rotax class.
There is lots of International talent filling the grid in Rotax Senior this weekend including CRG factory pilot Jordan Lennox of the UK, 2013 Florida Winter Tour and Rotax Euro Challenge Champion Charlie Eastwood of Ireland, Philip Morin and Jessica Bäckman of Sweden, as well as Americans Andrew Palmer, Nick Neri, Jack Weprin, Phillip Arscott and Sam Beasley.
Be sure to check out our Micro-Max and Mini-Max Preview as well as our DD2 and DD2 Masters Preview on Wednesday.