Ethan Simioni couldn’t help but keep smiling after practice on Wednesday at the Rok Cup International Final. It’s his first race in Europe and he’s appreciating every moment of it so far. Teamed up with the BirelART Junior Team and supported by Trevor Wickens and Kenneth O’Keefe of Prime Powerteam, Simioni has been on track in Italy the last two days and is blown away with what he’s experienced so far.
“So far I’m really enjoying it! Without a doubt, it has to be the biggest and most professionally run event I’ve had the privilege of participating in. Not only that, but the track and facilities are top notch!” Exclaimed Simioni to CKN.
Keeping his intentions in check, Simioni knew it was going to be tough racing this week against the international group of drivers, but it has caught him off guard simply how competitive it really is. He’s had a chance to reflect on those he’s racing against on track and really noticed the difference in the driving mentality he’s found in Italy.
“Honestly, I was expecting the competition to be tough, but I didn’t expect it to be on this level!”
“I’ve only had a couple of days to acclimatize to the track, but so far my time on track has been really positive and I feel as if I am constantly improving. A lot of my competitors spend most of the year logging hundreds upon hundreds of laps on this circuit, and only having two full days to catch up definitely hasn’t been easy.”
He’s also getting a first-hand look at what it’s like to have the support of a factory race team as many representatives of BirelART are in Italy to support their drivers. As a member of one of only two BirelART race teams at the event, most of that attention has been shown to him and his fellow Canadians, Mackenzie Clark, Gianfranco Mazzaferro and Christian Gysi. And at the same time, having his fellow Canadians under the tent has given him a sense of home.
Qualifying starts tomorrow (Thursday) and after two full days of testing, Simioni is ready for it.
“Regardless, I have a solid team of guys around me and I don’t have a doubt in my mind that we’ll be there come race day.”
Follow along with our live ticker from the Rok Cup International Final, where we will post the results, updates, and photos from the race all week long.