2018 Rok Cup International Final – Friday Report

More heat race wins for North America drivers in Lonato

(Photo: Rok Cup Global)

The success continues for the North America contingent at the 2018 Rok Cup International Final. The second day of official action saw solid results for Team USA and Team Canada drivers in the Junior and Mini categories around the South Garda Karting circuit in Lonato, Italy. With over 400 drivers competing in the seven classes, the success leading up to the final day of action tomorrow bids well for their attempt to leave with hardware and respectable results.

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Time Table

Entry List


Mini ROK

Alex Powell remains the driver to beat in Mini (Photo: CKN)

Overall top qualifier Alex Powell retained that position with two heat wins on the day. After coming in second in his first heat yesterday, the Jamaican made sure to not gain any heat race points by finishing both at the front. Florida driver Nikita Johnson added a race win of his own while Carson Morgan, Kai Sorensen, and James Egozi ran inside the top-five. Four more heats remain on the schedule before the final point standings. Of the 11 drivers, Noah Baker is done with heat races, sitting with 63 points, which should be low enough for the B-main.

#602 – Jack Jeffers (Parolin)

Heat Group: E (Row 4)
Warm-up (Group 2): 10th – 55.984
Heat CvsE: 16th
Heat BvsE: 16th

#603 – Kai Sorensen (Tony Kart)

Heat Group: D (Row 2)
Warm-up (Group 1): 8th – 55.958
Heat BvsD: 3rd
Heat AvsD: 10th

#638 – Carson Morgan (Energy)

Heat Group: E (Row 3)
Warm-up (Group 4): 13th – 55.834
Heat CvsE: 5th
Heat BvsE: 3rd

#639 – James Egozi (Tony Kart)

Heat Group: A (Row 5)
Warm-up (Group 1): 11th – 56.264
Heat AvsC: 5th
Heat AvsD: 6th

#645 – Alex Powell (Energy)

Heat Group: A (Row 1)
Warm-up (Group 1): 6th – 55.823
Heat AvsC: 1st
Heat AvsD: 1st

#654 – Frankie Esposito (Birel ART)

Heat Group: A (Row 11)
Warm-up (Group 3): 23rd – 57.339
Heat AvsC: 24th
Heat AvsD: 24th

#680 – Miguel Costa (Parolin)

Heat Group: H (Row 3)
Warm-up (Group 4): 8th – 55.684
Heat FvsH: 17th +5-second penalty
Heat HvsL: 6th

#743 – Noah Baker (Energy)

Heat Group: G (Row 7)
Warm-up (Group 5): 11th – 55.813
Heat GvsI: 11th
Heat GvsL: 12th

#746 – Paul Bocuse (Energy)

Heat Group: E (Row 5)
Warm-up (Group 1): 19th – 56.505
Heat CvsE: 14th
Heat BvsE: 17th

#749 – Elliot Cox (Vemme)

Heat Group: D (Row 11)
Warm-up (Group 4): 23rd – 56.557
Heat BvsD: 16th
Heat AvsD: 16th

#751 – Nikita Johnson (Energy)

Heat Group: E (Row 2)
Warm-up (Group 5): 9th – 55.695
Heat CvsE: 1st
Heat BvsE: 5th


Junior ROK

Team USA driver and defending Mini champion Connor Zilisch scored his first heat win (Photo: CKN)

The lone heat win today came from North Carolina’s Connor Zilisch. The Junior rookie won his first and ran second in the other. The Canadian Dale Curran remains to be on fire. After winning his opening heat race, Curran followed it up with two more top-three finishes with one more tomorrow. Challenge of the Americas champion Ugo Ugochukwu has three-straight runner-up finishes heading into Saturday’s last round of heat races. Top qualifier – Florida Winter Tour champion Matheus Morgatto – has the bulls-eye on him, shuffling back in both heats but still remaining inside the top-eight. Colorado’s Joseph Brienza now has three top-10 finishes to keep him in the hunt for the main event. Alessandro De Tullio bounced back from a poor opening heat on the day. Barrichello and Canadian MacKenzie Clark continue working their way forward in the order.

#803 – Dale Curran (Kosmic)

Heat Group: E (Row 1)
Warm-up (Group 1): 1st – 50.688
Heat CvsE: 2nd
Heat AvsE: 3rd

#804 – Ugo Ugochukwu (Tony Kart)

Heat Group: F (Row 1)
Warm-up (Group 1): 2nd – 50.893
Heat BvsF: 2nd
Heat CvsF: 2nd

#837 – Matheus Morgatto (Parolin)

Heat Group: A (Row 1)
Warm-up (Group 1): 5th – 51.017
Heat AvsD: 8th
Heat AvsE: 4th

#841 – MacKenzie Clark (Birel ART)

Heat Group: A (Row 11)
Warm-up (Group 3): 28th – 52.131
Heat AvsD: 29th +5-second penalty
Heat AvsE: 14th

#854 – Alessandro De Tullio (Tony Kart)

Heat Group: F (Row 2)
Warm-up (Group 1): 24th – 51.640
Heat BvsF: 23rd
Heat CvsF: 4th

#878 – Joseph Brienza (Tony Kart)

Heat Group: D (Row 2)
Warm-up (Group 2): 12th – 51.097
Heat AvsD: 4th
Heat BvsD: 7th

#879 – Connor Zilisch (Tony Kart)

Heat Group: A (Row 2)
Warm-up (Group 2): 5th – 50.879
Heat AvsD: 1st
Heat AvsE: 2nd

#882 – Fernando Barrichello (Exprit)

Heat Group: C (Row 9)
Warm-up (Group 3): 15th – 51.479
Heat CvsE: 7th
Heat CvsF: 15th


Senior ROK

Emma Delattre starts the Senior B-Main from the pole position tomorrow (Photo: Rok Cup Global)

The Senior ROK division has wrapped up its heat racing for the event with the main event grid decided. Of the North American contingent, Eduardo Barrichello is the only driver to make it. The Brazilian who resides in Florida will start 13th tomorrow. The last two years, USA has finished eighth (Braden Eves) and seventh (Ryan Norberg). The rest are in the B-Main, where the best finish was in 2015 with a victory by Morgan Healey. USA driver Emma Delattre was one spot away from making the A-main, thus starting from the pole position. Canadian champion Xavier Harris is P13, while Challenge of the Americas champion Jim McKinney and Marco Di Leo will have to come from outside the top-20.

#221 – Eduardo Barrichello (Exprit)

Heat Group: C (Row 4)
Warm-up (Group 2): 4th – 49.598
Heat AvsC: 8th
Heat BvsC: 8th
Heat Points: 13th – 22 points

#247 – Marco Di Leo (Exprit)

Heat Group: A (Row 13)
Warm-up (Group 2): 30th – 51.311
Heat AvsC: 32nd
Heat AvsD: 25th
Heat Points: 55th – 79 points

#256 – Emma Delattre (Exprit)

Heat Group: D (Row 6)
Warm-up (Group 2): 19th – 50.236
Heat BvsD: 21st +5-second penalty
Heat AvsD: 18th
Heat Points: 35th – 54 points

#257 – Jim McKinney (Exprit)

Heat Group: B (Row 12)
Warm-up (Group 1): 21st – 51.041
Heat BvsD: 29th +5-second penalty
Heat BvsC: 28th
Heat Points: 54th – 79 points

#260 – Xavier Harris (Exprit)

Heat Group: C (Row 14)
Warm-up (Group 2): 23rd – 50.429
Heat AvsC: 28th
Heat BvsC: 23rd
Heat Points: 47th – 70 points


Expert ROK / Expert ROK Plus

Ariel Castro starts the Expert main event from the front row (Photo: CKN)

An inaugural victory could be on the horizon for Team USA. Ariel Castro leads the squad with three runner-up finishes in the heat races to start from the front row in tomorrow’s main event. Challenge of the Americas champion Erik Jackson is the second bullet in the gun, starting the main in seventh. SoCal driver Tim Meyer is fourth overall in the Expert Plus category, fighting inside the top-10 overall thus far. Giuseppe Crupi and Adrian Donkers are the top two for Team Canada, going from Row Six tomorrow.

#501 – Giuseppe Crupi (Exprit)

Qualifying: 8th – 50.076
Warm-up: 7th – 52.639
Heat 2: 5th
Heat 3: 23rd
Heat Points: 11th – 39 points

#505 – Ariel Castro (Parolin)

Qualifying: 3rd – 49.857
Warm-up: DNS
Heat 2: 2nd
Heat 3: 2nd
Heat Points: 2nd – 6 points

#507 – Erik Jackson (Tony Kart)

Qualifying: 13th – 50.586
Warm-up: 6th – 52.624
Heat 2: 14th +5-second penalty
Heat 3: 5th
Heat Points: 7th – 25 points

#509 – Adrian Donkers (Tony Kart)

Qualifying: 11th – 50.485
Warm-up: 9th – 52.676
Heat 2: 19th
Heat 3: 13th
Heat Points: 12th – 39 points

#562 – John Cariati (Exprit)

Qualifying: 10th – 50.327
Warm-up: 12th – 53.038
Heat 2: 12th
Heat 3: 14th
Heat Points: 15th – 44 points

#563 – Francisco Costa (Tony Kart)

Qualifying: 20th – 51.395
Warm-up: DNS
Heat 2: 16th
Heat 3: 18th
Heat Points: 20th – 54 points

#565 – Tim Meyer (Exprit)

Qualifying: 13th – 50.586
Warm-up: 13th – 53.045
Heat 2: 8th
Heat 3: 10th
Heat Points: 8th – 27 points

#573 – Kurtis Breeding (Vemme)

Qualifying: 21st – 52.855
Warm-up: DNS
Heat 2: 22nd
Heat 3: 22nd
Heat Points: 23rd – 65 points


Super ROK

JDG still looking to break into the top-10 in Super Rok (Photo: CKN)

There was no improvement in track position for California driver JDG. After the three heat races, Jace lost four spots and will start tomorrow’s main event from Row 9. Ryan Norberg also has the best finish in this category for Team USA, placing 10th in 2015.

#302 – Jace Denmark-Gessel (Tony Kart)

Qualifying: 13th – 48.264
Warm-up: 8th
Heat 2: 16th
Heat 3: 13th
Heat Points: 17th – 56 points


Shifter ROK

Formal still in the hunt for the Shifter Rok podium (Photo: CKN)

Daniel Formal and Canadian Isaac Marritt are the only two North Americans to transfer to the main event in Shifter Rok. Formal, the five-time US Rotax Grand Nationals champion, did not improve his position on the day, ending up 10th to start from Row Five in tomorrow’s main event. Marritt improved one spot from where he qualified to make it into the big show. USA has won the B-Main before with Andrew Bujdoso winning in 2016. Martins, Firestone, Canadian Luik and former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello are among those in the Vortex Trophy race.

#402 – Daniel Formal (Tony Kart)

Heat Group: B (Row 3)
Warm-up (Group 2): 3rd – 47.595
Heat BvsD: 6th
Heat BvsC: 8th
Heat Points: 10th – 20 points

#411 – Isaac Marritt (Birel ART)

Heat Group: A (Row 8)
Warm-up (Group 2): 9th – 48.068
Heat AvsC: 13th
Heat AvsD: 17th
Heat Points: 28th – 46 points

#420 – Justin Luik (Birel ART)

Heat Group: D (Row 12)
Warm-up (Group 1): 18th – 48.455
Heat BvsD: 18th
Heat AvsD: 22nd
Heat Points: 45th – 66 points

#421 – Andre Martins (Tony Kart)

Heat Group: C (Row 12)
Warm-up (Group 1): 14th – 48.333
Heat AvsC: 17th
Heat BvsC: 24th +5-second penalty
Heat Points: 41st – 60 points

#439 – Nick Firestone (Tony Kart)

Heat Group: D (Row 14)
Warm-up (Group 2): 29th – 49.241
Heat BvsD: 25th
Heat AvsD: 25th
Heat Points: 56th – 73 points

#440 – Rubens Barrichello (Exprit)

Heat Group: A (Row 7)
Warm-up (Group 1): 7th – 47.899
Heat AvsC: 19th +5-second penalty
Heat AvsD: 23rd
Heat Points: 39th – 60 points

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