2017 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals – Day 7 Report

Team USA remains in the hunt in all but DD2

(Photo: BRP-Rotax)

Hello and welcome to another wonderful day at the track. Today drivers would experience an unofficial morning warm-up practice session and then one race in either Pre-Final Group A or Pre-Final Group B. The determination of whether drivers would be categorized in Group A or B depended on their total number of accrued points based on their finish in the previous three heat races.

Stay updated with live timing by downloading the New App: Rotax Grand Finals for either IOS or Android phones. You can access live timing through the website: http://www.rotax-kart.com/es/Max-Challenge/Grand-Finals/Grand-Finals-2017/LIVE-TIMING

125 Micro MAX Pre-Final Group A
The Micro MAX drivers demonstrated their tactics, skill and strategy in this nine lap race. It was Keanu Al Azhari of the United Arab Emirates who lead Adrian Malheiro of Portugal for the majority of the first half of the race. The two strategically drafted away from the rest of the pack, opening a 6.5 second gap over third place. In the last lap of the race, Malheiro and Al Azhari started fighting with each other for the top spot. Malheiro made a fantastic pass in a hard braking zone over Al Azhari to win the race. Brent Crews of the USA rounded out the top three, finishing almost 8 seconds behind the leaders. The lady of the race, Antonella Bassani of Brazil finished in tenth.

125 Mini MAX Pre-Final Group A
he start of the Mini MAX race saw a crash at the start in the middle of the pack. A new name popped to the of the charts, as Leyton Daniel Fourie of the Republic of South Africa made a splendid pass from third to first. After several corners, Frenchman Marcus Amand took over the lead. Midway through the race, the top three drivers – Amand, Fourie and Jamie Day of the United Arab Emirates broke away from the rest of the pack. As the laps wound down, it was Amand who pulled a very comfortable 1.4 second lead over DayFourierounded out the top three. Josh Pierson of the United States posted the fastest lap time of the race and finished in fifteenth.

125 Junior MAX Group A Pre-Final
The start of the race proved to be clean for the majority of the drivers. It was Senna Van Walstijn of the Netherlands who lead the pack into the last third of the race. Senna lead Ravenscroft by just one or two tenths of a second for a couple of laps, giving the two drivers enough time to separate from the rest of the pack. Tommy Foster of the UK drove his chassis into third place, protecting his position from the attacks of Frenchman Victor Bernier. Ravenscroft did manage to pull off a pass on Van Walstijn. The two leaders started to battle extremely aggressively in the last lap, allowing the top five racers of the group to catch up to the front of the pack. Nevertheless, it was Van Walstijn who took the victory, Ravenscroft who finished in second and Foster who rounded out the top three. The lady, Hannah Greenemeier, of the Junior Category finished in twenty-third position.

125 Junior MAX Group B Pre-Final
This Junior race saw each driver cross the finish line evenly spaced out. After a fairly clean start of the race, Tijmen Van Der Helm of the Netherlands finished in first place, pulling out a 2.3 second gap over Jak Crawford from the United States of America. Jac Preston of Australia rounded out the top three, finishing almost six seconds behind Van Der Helm and 3.4 seconds behind Crawford.

125 MAX Group A Pre-Final
The Senior MAX Group A category saw a very impressive battle among the top five drivers, who consistently swapped position after position each lap. The drivers displayed their passing skills, especially in the hard braking zone areas. About midway through the race, it was the Belgian driver Felix Warge who was leading the pack of five, warding off their consistent passing attempts. Jordan Brown-Nutley of the UK was able to get around Warge on the straight, in lap 14 of 15, only to be overtaken by Warge the following lap again. On the last lap, Warge pulled a 05 second lead over second place and finished first, with Brown-Nutley finishing in second and Filip Vava of Spain rounding out the top three.

125 MAX Group B Pre-Final
The second 125 Sr. MAX group headed out, onto the track in the late afternoon. This group saw numerous race veterans competing. The top five drivers all competed within a second of each other. The drivers swapped positions almost every lap. Although some drivers were unlucky during the race, others saw luck. Jean Nomblot of France eventually took the win, with a three-tenths of a second gap over Koki Mizuno of Japan. Mizuno made and succeeded in several passing attempts on Nomblot for the top position of the race but didn’t have enough speed to make the passes stick. Ultimately, Nomblot finished in first, Mizuno in second place and Ward in third. Petr Bezel posted the fastest lap time – about six-tenths of a second faster than Nomblot, however Bezel finished in fifth.

125 MAX DD2 Masters Group A Pre-Final
The DD2 Masters Group A class saw a good start, where Charly Hipp lead the field into the first half of the race. Antti Ollikainen however remained steadfast in his pace and determination to pass the Frenchman, which he did accomplish about halfway through the race. Once Ollikainen drove into first place, he immediately pulled a two second gap over Hipp. The South African Michael Stephen pursued Hipp within a tenth of second. As the laps wound down, Ollikainen continued to pull a large gap over second. The battling took place behind first, as the top twelve drivers battled for position, easily all a second within each other. The driving though was clean and fair. Ultimately, it was Ollikainen who won the race by over 5.8 seconds over Hipp and Michael Stephen rounded out the top three. Chittenden finished in eleventh. Manuel Tenschert of Austria posted the fastest lap time –  by about two second faster than Ollikainen – and finished in thirteenth.

125 MAX DD2 Masters Group B Pre-Final
The Argentinian driver, Gabriel Zughella, once again proved his race craft and skill at the track, as he was able to pull a 1.4 second lead over second placed Troy Woolston of Australia. Troy, in turn pulled a 7 second lead over third placed Tommy Helfinger of Germany. Although the top three drivers of the pack did not swap positions and rather had a steadfast finish, the mid pack of the group saw small battles throughout the race.

125 MAX DD2 Group A Pre-Final
The Rotax Max DD2 category proved to be a very exciting race – for second place and back. Cody Gillis of Australia started the Pre-Final Group A event from pole and lead the entirety of the race. Gillis’ consistency allowed the Australian to pull a sizeable gap of 5.5 seconds over second place. Xen De Ruwe representing Slovenia fought off the attacks of the Italian Cosimo Francesco Durante. Joey Alders of the Netherlands, who rounded out the top four, followed closely behind by roughly one tenth of a second. In the end, Gillis – who also drove the fastest lap time of the race – finished in first, De Ruwein second and Durante in third. The reigning Grand Finals champion, Ferenc Kancsar of Hungary finished in ninth.

125 MAX DD2 Group B Pre-Final
The MAX DD2 race for Group B Pre-Final saw a little less action than the DD2 Group A Pre-Final. Christian Sorensen ran ahead of the pack, pulling a 1.2 second gap over Mads Thomsen. Both drivers are from Denmark. After a battle with Nico Bruegger of Switzerland and Gerard Cebrian Ariza of Spain, Max Fleischmann of Germany was able to drive his chassis package to third place, finishing just two-tenths behind Thomsen and 1.4 seconds behind Sorensen.

Stay tuned for our upcoming daily reports, which bring the intense action of the RMCGF to you!

Please note, all results are unofficial and may be subject to change.

For more information about the Rotax MAX Challenge, please visit https://www.rotax-kart.com/en/Max-Challenge/Grand-Finals/Grand-Finals-2017/Information-Grand-Finals-2017

Team USA Results

125 Micro MAX

#3 – Brent Crews
Denver, North Carolina
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (1st)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 6th – 1:10.070 +0.520
Practice 3: 4th – 1:09.082 +0.290
Practice 4: 7th – 1:09.096 +0.364
Practice 5: 1st – 1:10.634
Qualifying: 9th – 1:09.137 +0.342
Heat 1: 2nd +0.044 (1:09.268)
Heat 2: 2nd +0.571 (1:08.443)
Ranking: 2nd
Prefinal: 15th +17.849 (1:08.377) +10-second penalty

#11 – Jack Jeffers
San Antonio, Texas
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (2nd)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 26th – 1:11.017 +1.467
Practice 3: 16th – 1:09.744 +0.952
Practice 4: 26th – 1:09.702 +0.970
Practice 5: 23rd – 1:12.026 +1.392
Qualifying: 8th – 1:09.107 +0.312
Heat 1:12th +7.737 (1:10.297)
Heat 2: 9th +7.519 (1:09.375)
Ranking: 8th
Prefinal: 18th +18.409 (1:09.428)

125 Mini MAX

#108 – Josh Pierson
Wilsonville, Oregon
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (1st)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 2nd – 1:05.509 +0.237
Practice 3: 5th – 1:05.284 +0.585
Practice 4: 3rd – 1:04.739 +0.201
Practice 5: 13th – 1:06.913 +0.949
Qualifying: 2nd – 1:04.939 +0.219
Heat 1: 4th +1.057 (1:04.464)
Heat 2: 3rd +0.780 (1:04.838)
Ranking: 4th
Prefinal: 25th +21.411 (1:03.849) +10-second penalty

#109 – Aidan Fox
Redding, Connecticut
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (2nd)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 23rd – 1:06.126 +0.854
Practice 3: 20th – 1:05.660 +0.961
Practice 4: 17th – 1:05.382 +0.784
Practice 5: 8th – 1:06.668 +0.704
Qualifying: 27th – 1:05.853 +1.133
Heat 1: 22nd +14.747 (1:05.464)
Heat 2: 18th +8.831 (1:05.303)
Ranking: 17th
Prefinal: 11th +11.813 (1:04.362)

125 Junior MAX

#215 – Hannah Greenemeier
Parker, Colordao
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (2nd)
RMCGF Appearances: 2013 (Micro)

Practice 2: 18th (odd) – 1:01.377 +0.585
Practice 3: 25th (odd) – 1:01.125 +0.629
Practice 4: 29th (odd) – 1:01.250 +0.790
Practice 5: 22nd (odd) – 1:02.156 +0.499
Qualifying: 28th (odd) – 1;01.018 +0.926
Overall: 54th – Group B (Row 14)
Heat 1: 28th +22.964 (1:01.316)
Heat 2: 23rd +9.455 (1:01.458)
Heat 3: 17th +9.055 (1:00.673)
Ranking: 47th – 68 points
Prefinal A: 19th +10.542 (1:00.066)
Final Rankings: 46th – 87 points

#216 – Arias Deukmedjian
Orlando, Florida
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: 2016 (Mini)

Practice 2: 20th (even) – 1:01.548 +0.750
Practice 3: 24th (even) – 1:01.294 +0.678
Practice 4: 23rd (even) – 1:01.304 +0.818
Practice 5: 26th (even) – 1:01.963 +0.971
Qualifying: 16th (even) – 1:00.597 +0.679
Overall: 24th – Group D (Row 6)
Heat 1: 4th +3.359 (1:01.112)
Heat 2: 10th +3.059 (1:00.886)
Heat 3: 32nd +35.166 (1:00.738) +10-second penalty
Ranking: 27th – 46 points
Prefinal A: 7th +3.330 (1:00.187)
Final Rankings: 20th – 53 points

#217 – Tyler Gonzalez
St. Cloud, Florida
Qualified: Florida Winter Tour (champion)
RMCGF Appearances: 2013 (Micro)

Practice 2: 10th (odd) – 1:01.204 +0.412
Practice 3: 9th (odd) – 1:00.860 +0.364
Practice 4: 25th (odd) – 1:01.100 +0.640
Practice 5: 14th (odd) – 1:01.931 +0.274
Qualifying: 10th (odd) – 1:00.614 +0.522
Overall: 27th – Group C (Row 7)
Heat 1: 7th +5.766 (1:01.167)
Heat 2: 9th +6.457 (1:00.551)
Heat 3: 27th +16.884 (1:00.751) +10-second penalty
Ranking: 24th – 43 points
Prefinal B: 9th +7.812 (1:00.356)
Final Rankings: 19th – 52 points

#218 – Jak Crawford
Conroe, Texas
Qualified: Challenge of the Americas (champion)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 7th (even) – 1:01.100 +0.302
Practice 3: 12th (even) – 1:00.858 +0.242
Practice 4: 8th (even) – 1:01.027 +0.541
Practice 5: 4th (even) – 1:01.105 +0.113
Qualifying: 18th (even) – 1:00.680 +0.762
Overall: 33rd – Group A (Row 9)
Heat 1: 7th +4.221 (1:01.128)
Heat 2: 8th +6.159 (1:00.726)
Heat 3: 7th +2.570 (1:00.571)
Rankings: 6th – 22 points
Prefinal B: 2nd +2.348 (1:00.571)
Final Rankings: 6th – 24 points

125 MAX

#330 – Kyle Dupell
Wilsonville, Oregon
Qualified: Can-Am Karting Challenge (vice-champion)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 26th (even) – 1:01.259 +0.676
Practice 3: 33rd (even) – 1:01.275 +1.015
Practice 4: 30th (even) – 1:01.253 +1.017
Practice 5: 32nd (even) – 1:01.378 +0.929
Qualifying: 31st (even) – 1:01.234 +1.185
Overall: 64th – Group D (Row 16)
Heat 1: 26th +23.685 (1:00.987) +10-second penalty
Heat 2: 23rd +15.010 (1:00.494)
Heat 3: 16th +9.171 (1:00.799)
Ranking: 43rd – 65 points
Prefinal A: 35th +7 Laps (1:00.709)
Final Rankings: 54th – 100 points

#331 – Stephen Mallozzi
Woolwich Township, New Jersey
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 32nd (odd) – 1:01.378 +1.033
Practice 3: 28th (odd) – 1:00.956 +0.819
Practice 4: 29th (odd) – 1:01.127 +0.758
Practice 5: 23rd (odd) – 1:01.011 +0.459
Qualifying: 31st (odd) – 1:00.598 +0.811
Overall: 50th – Group B (Row 13)
Heat 1: 32nd +23.446 (1:00.901) +10-second penalty
Heat 2: 36th +10 laps
Heat 3: 20th +10.231 (1:01.308)
Ranking: 66th – 90 points
Prefinal B: 30th +25.399 (1:00.846) +10-second penalty
Final Rankings: 67th – 120 points

#332 – Luke Selliken
Portland, Oregon
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (1st)
RMCGF Appearances: 2013 (Junior), 2015 (Senior)

Practice 2: 1st (even) – 1:00.583
Practice 3: 11th (even) – 1:00.638 +0.378
Practice 4: 14th (even) – 1:00.897 +0.661
Practice 5: 4th (even) – 1:00.563 +0.114
Qualifying: 11th (even) – 1:00.312 +0.263
Overall: 29th – Group A (Row 8)
Heat 1: 8th +3.182 (1:00.718)
Heat 2: 8th +1.823 (1:00.467)
Heat 3: 24th +12.120 (1:00.450) +10-second penalty
Ranking: 23rd – 40 points
Prefinal A: 9th +3.355 (1:00.029)
Final Rankings: 19th – 49 points

125 MAX DD2 Masters

#518 – Ariel Castro
Hialeah, Florida
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (1st)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 14th (even) – 1:00.363 +0.707
Practice 3: 30th (even) – 1:00.403 +0.932
Practice 4: 18th (even) – 1:00.121 +0.652
Practice 5: 35th (even) – 1:02.760 +3.313
Qualifying:  20th (even) – 59.712 +0.482
Overall: 36th – Group D (Row 9)
Heat 1: 12th +5.166 (59.775)
Heat 2: 11th +8.333 (59.790)
Heat 3: 10th +6.054 (59.886)
Ranking: 17th – 33 points
Prefinal A: 8th +8.263 (59.410)
Final Rankings: 15th – 41 points

#525 – Derek Wang
Seattle, Washington
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: 2010, 2011 (DD2), 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (DD2 Masters)

Practice 2: 15th (odd) – 1:00.208 +0.407
Practice 3: 6th (odd) – 59.740 +0.231
Practice 4:18th (odd) – 1:00.107 +0.712
Practice 5:
Qualifying: 1st (odd) – 59.202
Overall: 1st – Group A (Row 1)
Heat 1: 2nd +0.192 (59.505)
Heat 2: 2nd +0.543 (59.372)
Heat 3: 29th +1 Lap (59.491)
Ranking: 16th – 33 points
Prefinal B: 8th +10.696 (59.514)
Final Rankings: 16th – 41 points

#526 – Billy Cleavelin
Shell Beach, California
Qualified: Challenge of the Americas
RMCGF Appearances: 2016

Practice 2: 21st (even) – 1:00.605 +0.949
Practice 3: 25th (even) – 1:00.238 +0.767
Practice 4: 24th (even) – 1:00.258 +0.789
Practice 5: 21st (even) – 1:00.324 +0.877
Qualifying: 32nd (even) – 1:00.613 +1.383
Overall: 63rd – Group C (Row 16)
Heat 1: 19th +11.607 (1:00.222)
Heat 2: 28th +18.164 (1:00.255)
Heat 3: 25th +16.376 (1:00.195)
Ranking: 52nd – 72 points
Prefinal B: 21st +18.156 (59.711)
Final Rankings: 49th – 93 points

#527 – Scott Roberts
Winter Park, Florida
Qualified: Florida Winter Tour
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 24th (odd) – 1:00.602 +0.801
Practice 3: 36th (odd) – 1:16.799 +17.290
Practice 4: 29th (odd) – 1:00.495 +1.100
Practice 5:
Qualifying: 29th (odd) – 1:00.438 +1.236
Overall: 60th – Group D (Row 15)
Heat 1: 18th +11.530 (1:00.298)
Heat 2: 28th +19.681 (1:00.124)
Heat 3: 20th +15.194 (1:00.303)
Ranking: 45th – 66 points
Prefinal A: 34th +10 Laps (1:00.154)
Final Rankings: 55th – 100 points

125 MAX DD2

#417 – Michael McCarthy
Clearwater, Florida
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: none

Practice 2: 28th (odd) – 1:00.188 +0.868
Practice 3: 28th (odd) – 59.899 +0.828
Practice 4: 21st (odd) – 59.756 +0.766
Practice 5:
Qualifying: 36th – 1:00.118 (odd) +1.494
Overall: 71st – Group C (Row 18)
Heat 1: 23rd +15.679 (59.554)
Heat 2: 29th +15.333 (59.010)
Heat 3: 34th +28.737 (59.545) +10-second penalty
Ranking: 63rd – 86 points
Prefinal A: 29th +10 Laps
Final Rankings: 64th – 115 points

#428 – Nathan Mauel
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016

Practice 2: 35th (even) – 1:00.624 +1.278
Practice 3: 34th (even) – 1:00.253 +1.147
Practice 4: 33rd (even) – 1:00.161 +0.922
Practice 5: 27th (even) – 59.698 +0.580
Qualifying: 35th (even) – 59.615 +0.974
Overall: 67th – Group C (Row 17)
Heat 1: 33rd +24.825 (59.465) +10-second penalty
Heat 2: 34th +39.366 (59.241) +10-second penalty
Heat 3: 30th +19.807 (59.654)
Ranking: 71st – 97 points
Prefinal A: 31st +11 Laps
Final Rankings: 71st – 128 points

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