For the first time this week at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portimão, Portugal the skies opened up and the rain came falling down. Today’s action would see drivers hit the track for their final heat race, and if needed the Last Chance Qualifiers. Mother nature played games with the wet weather as quick downpours, lots of wind and sunshine and the unpredictability had many mechanics scratching their heads on what setup to choose.
Just as the Rotax Juniors completed their final heat race, the rain began to fall and the Rotax Seniors in Parc Ferme were forced to very quickly switch from their dry setups to wet. A mad scramble to switch tires caused a flurry of action, and unfortunately for many drivers they would not make it onto the grid in time and were out before their race even started. One of those drivers would be Canadian Bryce Choquer and it would ultimately be the end of his third Rotax Grand Finals.
On track, Jesse Lazare fell to fifth at the start of the A vs D heat. However it did not take long for Lazare to regain his pace and work towards the front. By lap three he was into second and in pursuit of the leader, but he would run out of time and finish second at the line.
The B vs C heat featured a strong run by Marco Di Leo. After starting twenty-fourth, Di Leo progressed through the field every lap, finishing in fifteenth.
With the points tallied, Jesse Lazare will start tomorrow’s pre final in eighth place, the same position he qualified. Marco Di Leo ranked twenty-first, and as mentioned, Bryce Choquer did not make the Last Chance Qualifier as he was ranked sixty-ninth.
Tomorrow will have the drivers hit the track for a morning warm-up and pre final before the official drivers ceremony. Following the driver parade, the Rotax Micro-Max demonstration race, Rotax Junior will kick off the official Rotax Grand Finals.