After all but securing the championship with his victory on Saturday, Sting Ray Robb (BBR Karting/TonyKart) blistered off the fastest lap in Sunday mornings qualifying session before declaring that he would sit out the remainder of the day to avoid any possible penalty. This opened up the doors on Championship Sunday of the Rotax Challenge of the Americas for some new drivers to step up along with the return of Nick Brueckner (Orsolon/TonyKart) who was forced to sit out Saturday’s racing.
The shake up saw Michael Michoff (RPG/Kosmic) and Annie Breidinger (VRP/Kosmic) claim the top-two positions in the PreFinal over David Ilavia (J3 Competition/COMP Kart) and Carter Herrera (RPM/TonyKart), all four of whom were still looking for their first major international victory.
The action continued in the Final as Michoff went to the early lead until he surrendered it to Ilavia before the first lap was complete. Michoff fired back on lap two with the leaders trailed by Zoey Edenholm (Kosmic), Kellen Ritter (BBR Karting/Kosmic) and Brueckner.
Michoff, Brueckner and Ilavia traded the lead often until Ilavia faded back and lost the draft through the middle stages of the 25-lap final. Out front the two did not hold back, trading the lead back and forth, most often in corner one.
But when the final lap flag flew, Michoff made a brilliant move into corner five after the tricky tic-tac-toe section to retake the lead. Possibly catching Brueckner off guard, the move was enough to create a cushion all the way to the finish line where Michoff scored the first major victory of his career.
Brueckner settled for second while the race for third really heated up in the final laps when Ilavia was swallowed up by the second pack of drivers. Edenholm arose first from the final corner to claim the third step of the podium, another career best finish, while Breidinger also beat Ilavia to the finish line.
As Sting Ray Robb watched his fellow competitors duke it out, he waited until the podium ceremony to celebrate his title and confirm his position on Team USA at the Rotax Grand Finals, held this year in Portimaõ, Portugal.