With the completion of the CIK KF and KFJ European Championships last weekend, as second major European program wraps up their program this weekend as the Rotax Euro Challenge concludes the Salbris Karting facility in France.
Once again there are four Canadian drivers who will be on track as part of the Euromax, with two of them still in very competitive championship hunts.
Leading the way, Ben Cooper (KMS/Birel) jumps back into a kart after being part of a successful Canadian Championships in Mont-Tremblant. Cooper currently leads the Rotax DD2 division at the Euromax and intends on defending the title he secured last year at the same location. Through three races, Cooper has stood on the podium in all three, but is yet to top the podium, something he plans on changing this weekend in France.
The second Canadian with a legitimate shot at the championship podium and possibly even the overall title is Zachary Claman DeMelo (Intrepid Driver Program/Intrepid) in Rotax Senior. Riding the momentum of his second Canadian title that he earned two weeks ago, DeMelo has also been very fierce in his last two Euromax starts, standing on the podium last month in Spain.
Both Cooper and DeMelo have completed in all four Euromax this season, while Gianfranco Mazzaferro (DHR/FA Kart) and Alessandro Bizzotto (CRG Spa/CRG) are making their third European starts this weekend. Mazzaferro has shown great speed thus far but yet to score the results in Rotax Junior, while Bizzotto has taken on a very tough DD2 division and put forth some great efforts so far. Both drivers will be seeking their season’s best results this weekend in France.
Qualifying for this weekends event kicked off on Friday.
Cooper just missed the pole-position in DD2, lapping just 0.075 seconds behind his championship protagonist Andreas Backmann of Sweden. Also is DD2, Bizzotto posted the 19th quickest time out of the 30 entered drivers this weekend.
In Rotax Senior, DeMelo was 11th overall of the 38 on hand this weekend. DeMelo has always shown his skills in racing over qualifying and he will need to do so in order to make up the ground he needs to hit the championship podium.
Finally, Mazzaferro was 23rd overall in Rotax Junior. With 37 on hand this years Canadian Champion shouldn’t need the LCQ to make the main this weekend, allowing him to focus on his race craft and moving up the ranking.
Saturday will feature a full race day of heat races where each driver will compete in three heats to set the grids for Sunday’s PreFinals and Finals.