Finding out in a rather unusual way that he qualified for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals turned out to be a major sigh of relief for North York, Ontario’s Marco Signoretti. Competing in the Florida Winter Tour to kick off his season, Signoretti was just outside the championship hunt entering the final weekend in March. But a hurricane of events on the Final day of competition saw Signoretti end the championship as an international race winner and vice-champion, confirming his position on Team Canada for the Rotax Grand Finals in Italy after the championship winner declined the invitation.
The confirmation removed a major weight off his shoulders for the season back home in Canada, knowing he was already qualified for an event he has wanted to compete in for nearly his entire karting career.
“Once I received news that I had qualified to be a part of Team Canada and attend the Grand Finals I was ecstatic,” elated Signoretti. “This has been one of my dreams ever since I began karting. To have achieved one of my biggest goals is extremely satisfying especially when I think about the large amounts of time that myself, Darren White, my Dad and George Michaels have sacrificed over the years in order to help me be successful.”
As the season progressed, Signoretti raced his fellow Rotax DD2 competitors knowing at least two of them would be his teammates in Italy this fall.
Following the Canadian Championships in September the final members of Team Canada were confirmed there was one significant difference between them, Jeff Kingsley, Alessandro Bizzotto and Tyler Kashak, and Signoretti; they have all competed at the Grand Finals before, meaning he was the only DD2 rookie on this years squad.
“Because I have never attended the Grand Finals before I am preparing for the race a little differently than I regularly do, whereas my DD2 teammates have been able to get a previous taste of the distinct European style of racing,” Signoretti continued. “I am thankful to have such great teammates like [Alessandro] Bizzotto, [Tyler] Kashak and [Jeff] Kingsley; all of whom have been generous enough to share their past experiences with me adding to my knowledge of the event.”
“I understand that a large portion of my success in Italy depends on my ability to adapt quickly to the distinct racing culture. As a result I have studied many hours of archived footage from past events allowing me to differentiate and pinpoint the aspects that are crucial for a good clean race in the hopes of making my transition as smooth as possible.”
Being a rookie isn’t stopping Signoretti from setting strong goals for the Rotax Grand Finals, aiming for a top-ten result in a category that Canada has dominated in years past, winning it four years in a row.
“Going into the Grand Finals I plan to approach the race weekend the same way we do now. We look to maintain our positive mindset and to continue focusing on the big picture throughout the week as well as working efficiently making the most out of the limited track time we have. Our immediate goal is to make the Final, but I believe that if we stick to our routine that at the end of the weekend we will potentially be in a position where we can achieve our goal of a top ten finish.”
And as if racing in the biggest race of his young career isn’t enough to focus on, Signoretti is also a full-time student at Trent University and the Grand Finals just happen to fall during the first round of exams for the year meaning up until the moment he sits down on the plane to fly to Italy, his mind will be focused on everything but karting.
“This year the Grand Finals are a month earlier then in the past. It’s just my luck that my University mid-terms fall on the same week as the race.”
But it’s not all rough for the nineteen year old as a short break from school after the event has allowed him to spend a little extra time in Italy, taking in the views and catching up with his Italian relatives.
“Although I have a heavy workload to tackle before leaving for Italy, conveniently the week after the race I have no school. My whole family is making the trip and after the event we have plans to visit relatives and sightsee. Personally I look forward to touring the Ferrari factory in Maranello as well as the Energy Corse factory in Milan.”
The Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals runs from October 16 to 22 in Sarno, Italy. Team Canada has qualified 17 drivers to compete in the event and CKN is the official media partner for Team Canada covering every aspect of the event. Tune in often as we preview members of the team travelling to Italy.