2019 Rok Cup Superfinal – Thursday Report

Sorensen bags P1 in Mini to lead Team USA on opening day of action

Kai Sorensen qualified 1st in the 130-driver Mini ROK division (Photo: ROK Cup USA - CKN)

Over 400 competitors from around the world have converged onto the hallowed grounds of the South Garda Karting facility in Lonato, Italy for the 2019 Rok Cup Superfinal. All different continents and countries are represented, with a solid lineup of North American drivers there representing ROK Cup USA. While many have been on site for over a week competing in a local club race last weekend, the action really turned up with the first official day of competition to be crowned one of six Rok Cup Superfinal champions. All six divisions posted qualifying sessions and opened up with heat races.

Mini ROK

The highlight of the Mini ROK division is Kai Sorensen. The Florida Winter Tour champion set the quickest time of the 130 competitors in the class, trying to become the third USA driver to win the Superfinal. Five drivers in total were within the top-50, including last year’s podium finisher Alex Powell from Jamaica. While Sorensen came up short in his first heat race, Powell won his first on-track battle.

#612 – Salvador Della Vecchia (Exprit)

Warm-up (Group 5): 24th – 1:05.828
Qualifying: 118th – 56.578
Heat Group: I (Row 12)
Heat IvsL: 20th

#632 – Casey William Moyer (Formula K)

Warm-up (Group 5): 21st – 1:02.637
Qualifying: 119th – 56.615
Heat Group: E (Row 12)
Heat DvsE: 20th

#637 – Enzo Deligny (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group 3): 19th – 1:06.138
Qualifying: 42nd – 55.341
Heat Group: F (Row 5)
Heat FvsG: 5th

#655 – Xander Reed (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group 2): 18th – 1:08.250
Qualifying: 62nd – 55.588
Heat Group: F (Row 7)
Heat FvsG: 23rd

#663 – Caleb Gafrarar (Birel ART)

Warm-up (Group 4): 14th – 1:02.614
Qualifying: 58th – 55.534
Heat Group: I (Row 6)
Heat IvsL: 14th

#670 – Kai Sorensen (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group 5): 3rd – 59.765
Qualifying: 1st – 54.755
Heat Group: A (Row 1)
Heat AvsB: 10th +5-second penalty

#697 – Miguel Costa (Kart Republic)

Warm-up (Group 3): 14th – 1:05.262
Qualifying: 41st – 55.331
Heat Group: A (Row 5)
Heat AvsB: 3rd

#704 – Matias Orjuela (Praga)

Warm-up (Group 2): 13th – 1:06.635
Qualifying: 38th – 55.293
Heat Group: I (Row 4)
Heat IvsL: 6th

#710 – Alex Powell (Energy)

Warm-up (Group 3): DNS
Qualifying: 19th – 55.054
Heat Group: E (Row 3)
Heat DvsE: 1st

Super ROK

The lone wolf for ROK Cup USA in Super ROK is Jace Denmark-Gessel. The Californian is coming off a 13th place finish last year, and was among the quickest throughout practice. He remains in the top-10 after qualifying and the opening heat race.

#305 – Jace Denmark-Gessel (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group ): 2nd – 48.164
Qualifying: 4th – 48.308
Heat 1: 7th

Shifter ROK

AJ Myers qualified inside the top-10 in Shifter ROK (Photo: ROK Cup USA – CKN)

There is a solid group of shifterkart drivers from ROK Cup USA in Italy. Florida Winter Tour champion and EKN Driver Rankings #1 AJ Myers is setting the tone, sitting inside the top-10 after qualifying and finishing second in his opening heat race. ROK Fest Biloxi winner Daniel Formal is inching his way up further in the top-20 while the rest are fighting to be in that top-30 range come main event time, including three Challenge of the Americas champions Ron White, Cooper Becklin and Rod Clinard.

#402 – AJ Myers (CRG)

Warm-up (Group 2): 1st – 47.468
Qualifying: 8th – 47.631
Heat Group: D (Row 2)
Heat CvsD: 2nd

#407 – Joshua Conquer (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group 2): 15th – 48.126
Qualifying: 45th – 48.266
Heat Group: A (Row 12)
Heat AvsB: 23rd

#412 – Victor Jimenez (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group 1): 16th – 49.204
Qualifying: 36th – 48.061
Heat Group: D (Row 9)
Heat CvsD: 29th +5-second penalty

#418 – Ron White (CRG)

Warm-up (Group 1): 14th – 49.157
Qualifying: 42nd – 48.224
Heat Group: B (Row 11)
Heat AvsB: 16th

#438 – Daniel Formal (Formula K)

Warm-up (Group 1): 3rd – 48.619
Qualifying: 18th – 47.869
Heat Group: B (Row 5)
Heat AvsB: 14th +5-second penalty

#446 – Andre Martins (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group 2): 30th – 49.065
Qualifying: 55th – 48.579
Heat Group: C (Row 14)
Heat CvsD: 20th

#450 – Cooper Becklin (Birel ART)

Warm-up (Group 2): 21st – 48.368
Qualifying: 50th – 48.457
Heat Group: B (Row 13)
Heat AvsB: 26th

#459 – Rod Clinard (CRG)

Warm-up (Group 2): 24th – 48.616
Qualifying: 56th – 48.634
Heat Group: D (Row 14)
Heat CvsD: 23rd

#465 – Davide Greco (Exprit)

Warm-up (Group 2): 16th – 48.161
Qualifying: 43rd – 48.240
Heat Group: C (Row 11)
Heat CvsD: 13th

Expert ROK – Plus

Challenge of the Americas champion Derek Wang is top-five after qualifying and opening heat race in Expert ROK (Photo: ROK Cup USA – CKN)

Making his first start at the Rok Cup Superfinal, Challenge of the Americas champion Derek Wang has positioned himself among the contenders in the Expert ROK category. Wang came out of qualifying second, but fell down to fourth in the opening heat. Brazilian Renato Jader-David advanced up to third in the heat race with Florida driver Ariel Castro and Canadian Joe Crupi fighting inside the top-10. Tim Meyer is the lone Expert Plus driver for Team USA, advancing to 18th overall.

#501 – Derek Wang (FA Kart)

Warm-up: 10th – 52.062
Qualifying: 2nd – 49.825
Heat 1: 4th

#504 – Yannick Rolland (Exprit)

Warm-up: 19th – 52.766
Qualifying: 14th – 50.331
Heat 1: 20th +5-second penalty

#505 – Renato Jader-David (Tony Kart)

Warm-up: 4th – 51.556
Qualifying: 7th – 49.977
Heat 1: 3rd

#512 – Ariel Castro (Exprit)

Warm-up: 5th – 51.864
Qualifying: 12th – 50.214
Heat 1: 7th

#519 – Joe Crupi (Tony Kart)

Warm-up: 2nd – 51.481
Qualifying: 8th – 50.006
Heat 1: 9th

#520 – Vatche Tatikian (Birel ART)

Warm-up: 15th – 52.616
Qualifying: 23rd – 50.737
Heat 1: 23rd +5-second penalty

#549 – Tim Meyer (Praga)

Warm-up: 31st – 55.577
Qualifying: 27th – 51.076
Heat 1: 18th

Senior ROK

The North American contingent in Senior ROK sat inside the top-50 after qualifying, led by last year’s B-Main winner Emma Delattre. She advanced her way forward in her lone heat race to sit inside the top-10 with Canadian Nicholas Hornbostel just behind her in 11th. Fellow Canadian Xavier Harris had issues in his opening heat and was force to retire early.

#215 – Emma Delattre (Exprit)

Warm-up (Group 2): 13th – 52.033
Qualifying: 23rd – 49.103
Heat Group: C (Row 6)
Heat CvsD: 9th

#235 – Nicholas Hornbostel (Kosmic)

Warm-up (Group 2): 4th – 51.588
Qualifying: 35th – 49.306
Heat Group: C (Row 9)
Heat CvsD: 11th

#247 – Xavier Harris (Exprit)

Warm-up (Group 1): 19th – 55.106
Qualifying: 48th – 49.539
Heat Group: D (Row 12)
Heat CvsD: 29th DNF

Junior ROK

The best ‘bullets’ for ROK Cup USA may be in the Junior ROK division. Connor Zilisch – the 2017 Mini Rok champion – is leading the way thus far, sitting inside the top-eight. All but one are inside the top-60 after qualifying with Florida Winter Tour champion Luca Mars recording two top-six results in his heat races. Canadian Dale Curran had a poor finish in his opening heat but bounced back in his second which could help to save a transfer spot into the main event should he continue to race inside the top-10. Challenge of the Americas champion William Ferguson improved his position in both heat races, while Canadian Andrew Maciel has as well.

#816 – Connor Zilisch (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group 1): N/A
Qualifying: 8th – 49.845
Heat Group: B (Row 2)
Heat AvsB: 3rd
Heat BvsE: 2nd

#818 – Gianluca Savaglio (Kosmic)

Warm-up (Group 3): 15th – 1:08.359
Qualifying: 36th – 50.065
Heat Group: F (Row 6)
Heat EvsF: 28th +5-second penalty
Heat DvsF: 15th

#837 – Emmo Fittipaldi (FA Kart)

Warm-up (Group 1): N/A
Qualifying: 40th – 50.103
Heat Group: D (Row 7)
Heat CvsD: 13th
Heat DvsF: 19th

#850 – William Ferguson (Exprit)

Warm-up (Group 3): 14th – 1:08.313
Qualifying: 60th – 50.278
Heat Group: F (Row 10)
Heat EvsF: 11th
Heat DvsF: 14th

#853 – Andrew Maciel (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group 3): 22nd – 1:10.373
Qualifying: 47th – 50.181
Heat Group: E (Row 8)
Heat EvsF: 10th
Heat BvsE: 13th

#869 – Luca Mars (Tony Kart)

Warm-up (Group 3): 8th – 1:07.107
Qualifying: 34th – 50.057
Heat Group: D (Row 6)
Heat CvsD: 6th
Heat DvsF: 3rd

#874 – Santiago Biagi (Exprit)

Warm-up (Group 3): 10th – 1:07.516
Qualifying: 72nd – 50.357
Heat Group: F (Row 12)
Heat EvsF: 17th
Heat DvsF: 20th

#875 – Dale Curran (Kosmic)

Warm-up (Group ): 11th – 1:07.594
Qualifying: 20th – 49.946
Heat Group: B (Row 4)
Heat AvsB: 30th
Heat BvsE: 7th

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