2015 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals – Team USA – Friday Report

Dozen United States of America drivers transferring into Championship Saturday

(Photo: Rotax-Kart.com)

Today was judgment day for the 288 drivers taking part in the 2015 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at the Kartodromo Internacional Algarve in Portimao, Portugal. Another picture perfect day of weather allowed for the final round of heat races and the last chance qualifiers to run without any weather related issues. The challenge for the racers was to qualify for one of the 34 starting positions on Championship Saturday, either by earning enough points to finish 28th or higher after the heat races, or earn one of the top six spots in the Second Chance Heat.

Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals 2015 logoTeam USA saw 12 drivers transfer in Championship Saturday, with eight drivers seeing their experience at the RMCGF come to an end. Derek Wang and Luis Schiavo remained at the front of the field in DD2 Masters. Wang won his final heat race, and will start from the second position for Saturday’s Prefinal. Luis Schaivo will start directly behind him in the fourth position, however, the outside lane has been trouble for many drivers so their first task will be to get through the start unscathed.

Luke Selliken and Trenton Estep are the top drivers in the Senior and Junior categories, both starting their Prefinal from the seventh position. Both finished all three heat races in the top-10. Selliken will be joined by Christian Brooks, Kyle Kirkwood and Matt Solarcyzk who won the Second Chance Heat. Estep has Darren Keane and Mathias Ramirez-Barrero with Michael Mischoff making it four Team USA drivers into Championship Saturday.

Jake French suffered a poor result in his final heat race, however, was able to transfer into the action Saturday without going into the Second Chance Heat. Nathan Adds overcame a fuel pump issue in qualifying, starting last in all three heat races to be ranked 28th and earn a spot in Championship Saturday.

Racing begins at 9:30am (Portugal time) with Mirco and Mini Max as the RMCGF categories begin at 10am (5am Eastern). The main events start with the two support categories at 1:10pm (8:10am Eastern). Below is a recap of the Team USA performances. Head over to Rotax-Kart.com for more information on the event, including live timing and live video links.

Junior Max

Trenton Estep (Photo: Challenge of the Americas)

Trenton Estep (Photo: Challenge of the Americas)

#111 – Mathias Ramirez-Barrero
Age: 13
Hometown: Bradenton, Florida
Qualified: Florida Winter Tour Vice-Champion
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 1:03.214 (19th)
AvsD: 29th (25th) – 10 second penalty (finished 12th)
Points: 52 (26th)

#112 – Trenton Estep
Age: 15
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 1:02.713 (17th)
BvsC: 7th (4th)
Points: 17 (7th)

#113 – Michael Michoff
Age: 15
Hometown: Roseville, California
Qualified: Can-Am Karting Challenge Vice-Champion
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 1:03.210 (19th)
BvsC: 22nd (25th)
Points: 58 (35th)
LCQ: 1st (7th)

#114 – Sting Ray Robb
Age: 13
Hometown: Boise, Idaho
Qualified: Rotax Challenge of the Americas Champion
RMCGF Appearances: 1 (2014)

Warm-up: 1:02.708 (16th)
BvsC: 32nd (11th)
Points: 76 (57th)
LCQ: 12th (29th)

#117 – Anthony Gangi Jr.
Age: 13
Hometown: Brookville, New York
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals Champion
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 1:02.625 (7th)
BvsC: 14th (19th)
Points: 61 (43rd)
LCQ: 8th (15th)

#118 – Darren Keane
Age: 15
Hometown: Boca Raton, Florida
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals – Third Place
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 1:02.325 (3rd)
AvsD: 13th (10th)
Points: 31 (13th)

Senior Max

Luke Selliken (Photo: Challenge of the Americas)

Luke Selliken (Photo: Challenge of the Americas)

#207 – Jake Craig
Age: 17
Hometown: Mission Viejo, California
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals – Third Place
RMCGF Appearances: 3 (2011, 2013, 2014)

Warm-up: 1:02.169 (30th)
AvsD: 20th (20th)
Points: 64 (40th)
LCQ: 20th (12th)

#210 – Christian Brooks
Age: 15
Hometown: Santa Clarita, California
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: 1 (2014)

Warm-up: 1:01.378 (19th)
BvsC: 7th (10th)
Points: 44 (22nd)

#214 – Kyle Kirkwood
Age: 16
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
Qualified: Florida Winter Tour Champion
RMCGF Appearances: 1 (2013)

Warm-up: 1:01.500 (21st)
AvsD: (36th) – spun around on Lap 3
Points: 48 (24th)

#222 – Matt Solarczyk
Age: 16
Hometown: Ashbury, Virginia
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals Vice-Champion
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 1:01.138 (15th)
AvsD: 11th (12th)
Points: 56 (33rd)
LCQ: 1st (5th)

#241 – Artie Carpenter
Age: 19
Hometown: Oregon City, Oregon
Qualified: Can-Am Karting Challenge Champion
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 1:02.266 (32nd)
AvsD: 29th (33rd)
Points: 73 (54th)
LCQ: 21st (26th)

#249 – Luke Selliken
Age: 16
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Qualified: Rotax Challenge of the Americas Champion
RMCGF Appearances: 1 (2013)

Warm-up: 1:02.169 (27th)
AvsD: 7th (9th)
Points: 15 (7th)

DD2

Jake French (Photo: Challenge of the Americas)

Jake French (Photo: Challenge of the Americas)

#305 – Nathan Mauel
Age: 31
Hometown: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals – Third Place
RMCGF Appearances: 5 (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009)

Warm-up: 59.370 (11th)
AvsD: 27th (32nd)
Points: 84 (63rd)
LCQ: DNQ

#317 – Nathan Adds
Age: 17
Hometown: Caddo Mills, Texas
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals Champion
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 59.989 (29th)
BvsC: 22nd (35th)
Points: 52 (28th)

#329 – Jake French
Age: 19
Hometown: Sachse, Texas
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: 1 (2009)

Warm-up: 59.183 (4th)
AvsD: 25th (12th) – opening lap incident
Points: 48 (24th)

#332 – Sabre Cook
Age: 21
Hometown: Grand Junction, Colorado
Qualified: Rotax Challenge of the Americas Champion
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 59.983 (22nd)
BvsC: 30th (18th) – opening lap incident
Points: 80 (58th)
LCQ: 11th (30th)

DD2 Masters

Derek Wang (Photo: Challenge of the Americas)

Derek Wang (Photo: Challenge of the Americas)

#406 – Scott Roberts
Age:
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals Champion (Masters Max)
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 1:00.696 (23rd)
AvsD: 26th (32nd)
Points: 76 (56th)
LCQ: 20th (28th)

#409 – Luis Schiavo
Age:
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals Champion
RMCGF Appearances: 2 (2010, 2014)

Warm-up: 100.395 (25th)
AvsD: 4th (5th)
Points: 8 (4th)

#413 – Derek Wang
Age:
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: 4 (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)

Warm-up: 59.480 (1st)
AvsD: 1st (1st)
Points: 5 (2nd)

#420 – Paul Bonilla
Age:
Hometown: Cypress, California
Qualified: Rotax Challenge of the Americas
RMCGF Appearances: None

Warm-up: 1:00.053 (13th)
AvsD: 20th (27th)
Points: 73 (49th)
LCQ: 11th (21st)

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