First Benchmarks at Rotax Euro Challenge in Italy
Today the beautiful track of “7 Laghi” at Castelletto Di Branduzzo witnessed some exciting and close qualifying sessions during the second round of the ROTAX MAX Euro Challenge 2015. The Italian weather made for sunny and perfect conditions on the 1.256 metres long circuit near Milan, where the first benchmarks of the three categories of juniors, seniors and DD2 were revealed.
In the junior category the second of two groups proved to be the quicker one, taking the top positions in the total classification. Consequently Scott Symons (KR Sport) from the UK, who set the best time in group one only ended up in twelfth position! The fastest youngster on track was Dean MacDonald (Aim Motorsport) from the UK, while his fellow countryman Alex Quinn (CRG SPA) followed in second position by a quite big gap of 0.170 seconds. Third place went to Alain Delon Thompson (BirelART/KMS) from South Africa ahead of Indonesia’s Perdana Minang (Strawberry Racing) and Fin Kenneally (Aim Motorsport) from the UK. Very unlucky was championship leader Jack McCarthy (Strawberry Racing) in the qualifying session. The opening round double winner only managed position nine in his group behind his championship chaser and teammate Kiern Jewiss. In the overall ranking McCarthy even slipped back to 22nd place while Jewiss did slightly better by taking 19th position.
The senior’s qualifying turned into a dominant show of the Dutch delegation. The top positions went to the Netherlands with Leonard Hoogenboom (Strawberry Racing) setting the best time of the grid. By only 0.001 seconds he was quicker than Luc Willemse (Team TKP) in second place, while the reigning junior vice champion Richard Verschoor (Team TKP) impressed by a brilliant third place. But after the session Verschoor was excluded due to under weight. So it was Championship leader Pierce Lehane (Strawberry Racing) from Australia moving up to third place, which clearly kept him within the leaders’ grasp. That did not apply to John Stewart (Strawberry Racing). Lehane’s teammate and championship rival had to be satisfied with place 30, while Edward Brand (CRG SPA) from the UK and Italy’s Alessandro Trombelli (MKS srl) came up with some promising results complementing the ranking in fourth and fifth spot before the heat races.
On home soil Paolo DeConto (CRG SPA) had a perfect drive in the DD2 qualifying. The man from Italy drove the wheels off his kart by a fastest lap time of 47.955, being the only driver to break the sound barrier of 48 seconds. Yet the gap to his chaser Rasmus Markkanen (VRT) from Finland was not really big, counting only 0.078 seconds. In third position followed Hungary’s Ferenc Kancsar (BirelART/KMS) ahead of championship leader Anthony Abbasse (Sodikart) from France and the Finn Roope Markkanen (VRT).
In the Masters classification Cristiano Morgado (Sodikart) lead the way. The ROTAX icon from South Africa finished the session on a remarkable eighth place in the overall grid ahead of his Masters opponents Igor Mukhin (CRG SPA) from Russia and Tamsin Germain (DG Racin) from the UK, who established themselves in 13th and 22nd position after qualifying.
On Saturday the qualification phase takes the next step. 18 qualifying heats are on the agenda in order to ascertain the final grids for the decisive races on Sunday. So stay tuned on the official website www.rotaxmaxeurochallenge.com or rgmmcmedia.com, where you get all information regarding reports, photos, results and live TV stream.