2020 ROK Cup USA ROK the RIO – Thursday Report
With two practice sessions kicking off Thursday, competitors rolled straight into OMP qualifying in the middle of the afternoon under near perfect weather conditions. With 308 entries all taking to the track during their allotted time blocks, the quickest driver would claim the pole position for the first of four heat races. With all heats progressive, the goal for the rest of the week will be to stay out of trouble, finish every lap and gain as many points as possible to ensure a good starting position on Championship Sunday.
OMP Pole Qualifying
Canadian Ayden Ingratta (Speed Concepts Racing) marched his way to the Junior 100cc pole position with a lap time of 50.062 to edge out Noah Baker (Supertune) by just over a tenth of a second. The Ryan Perry Motorsports duo of Parker DeLong and Danny Dyszelski found their way to the third and fourth positions as Hallie Schroeder (Syntech) was fifth. Perennial frontrunner Thomas Annunziata (Team Benik) narrowly missed the top-five in sixth while Jack Jeffers (Speed Concepts Racing), Logan Vajda (Team Benik) Evagoras Papasavvas (Parolin USA) and Chase Hand (Joey Hand Racing) rounded out the top-ten.
It took only eight laps for Maximilian Opalski (Ryan Perry Motorsports) to climb to the top of the Senior 100cc time sheets in the 47-kart strong Senior 100cc class. In the split session qualifying, it was group two that quickly turned fast laps to move up the running order as they claimed the top-twenty positions in the running order. Oliver Calvo (Leading Edge Motorsports) finished a scant .004 in arrears of Opalski while Nick Ramirez (Nash Motorsportz) was third. Colby Dubato put another Ryan Perry Motorsports driver in the top-five in fourth with Jenson Altzman (Ruthless Karting) and Kyle Hayner (HRT Driver Development) in fifth and sixth. Everest Fedler (FDM), Joshua Fine (Real Fine Racing), Austin Osborne (Ironrock Motorsports) and Liam Letzsch (CB Motorsport) secured top-ten starting positions for heat one.
Matias Orjuela and Christian Quijano put Parolin USA at the top of the Mini ROK qualifying with Orjuela edging out his teammate by .061. 2020 Florida Winter Tour Champion Caleb Grafarar (PSL Karting) was a mere .014 slower than Quijano with Oliver Wheldon (JC Karting) and Enzo Vidmontiene (U-Race) in fourth and fifth. Sebastian Garzon (Orsolon Racing) was able to secure the outside row three starting spot for heat one while John Antonino (Race Factory) was seventh. Rounding out the top-ten was Tristan Young (CZ Racing), Ivanna Richards (HRI Mexico) and Keagan Kaminski (RLV).
Shifter Master ROK
In the first of two gearbox classes to hit the track, it was Ryan Kinnear (PG Racing) that rose to the occasion and snatch the OMP Pole Position. Jordan Musser (PSL Karting) was a close second as they were more than two tenths ahead of the third-place runner of Neil Joseph (Cameron Karting). Vincent Cossard (CRG Nordam) was fourth quick ahead of Ryan Yop (TK America) as Nathan Stewart (Full Gas Motorsports) and Rod Clinard (Ron White Racing) were sixth and seventh ahead of Patrick O’neill (Ron White Racing), Michael Guasch (Phenom) and Kevin Woods (Ron White Racing).
In the 31-kart strong Senior ROK category it was PSL Karting’s Thomas Nepveu who outpaced the Speed Concepts Racing duo of Luca Mars and Luke Lange to score the OMP Pole Position. Jace Denmark-Gessel (RPG) was the fourth quickest driver while Team Crosslink’s Ryan Shehan had a terrific session to be classified fifth. Axel Cabrera (AKT Racing) just missed the top-five with the sixth fastest lap while Filip Niemkiewicz (Performance Kartsport) earned the seventh starting position. Patrick Woods-Toth (Prime Powerteam) will line up outside row four with Jake Drew (GFC) and Brandon Jarsocrak (Mike Doty Racing) ninth and tenth.
Martin Pierce (CompKart) bettered the 2020 Florida Winter Tour Champion and 2020 ROK SuperFinal winner Renato Jader-David (Orsolon Racing) to score the Master ROK OMP Pole Position. Billy Cleavelin (RPG) scored the inside row two starting position while Vatche Tatikan (Phil Giebler Racing) was fourth. Derek Wang (Crosslink) edged Scott Carapellatti (Carapellatti Racing) for fifth with David Pergande (JH Motorsport), Michael Auriemma (Orsolon Racing), Miguel Mier (Team Crosslink) and Chris Carel (RPM) in the top-ten.
ROK Fest East Champion Asher Ochstein (Team Benik) took the Micro ROK pole position with a 54.925 to dominate the session. Clocking a time more than two and half tenths quicker than any other driver, Ochstein is the OMP Pole Position Award Winner. Max Cristea (Magik Kart USA) and Isaac Malcuit (AKT Racing) secured second and third place starting positions with Brody Budelli (Leading Edge Motorsports) and Marco Romero (Zanella Racing) rounding out the top-five. Sarah Bradley (Team Benik) secured the sixth place starting position with Charlie Smith (Nash Motorsportz), Ashton Woon (DDW Partners), Tristan Murphy (Team Kartnick) and Cypress Andruss (GFC) rounding out the top-ten.
It was an intense battle for Junior ROK pole with Alessandro De Tullio (Parolin USA) taking the top spot by .001 over Speed Concepts Racing Jack Jeffers. Michael Costello continued Team Benik’s solid results on the day with a third-place effort while Ayden Ingratta (Speed Concepts Racing) was fourth. Putting another driver in the top-five with Thomas Annunziata, Team Benik is looking strong in Las Vegas. John Burke (Supertune) and Noah Baker (Supertune) were sixth and seventh in the session while Chase Hand (Joey Hand Racing), Leonard Escorpioni (U-Race) and Alex Stanfield (Team Crosslink) ended their sessions with top-ten results.
Carlos Calderon (Aluminos) was clearly the fastest driver in the Master ROK class and with that claimed the OMP Pole Position. Miguel Mier (Team Crosslink) finished .014 ahead of Tim Meyer (HRT Driver Development) while Nick DeGraaf (Mike Manning Karting) turned the fourth quickest lap. Mike Jones (DKC) will start his ROK the RIO from P5 while Patrick Beckley (Speedsense Motorsports) was sixth. Travis Lowe (FDM) was the seventh fastest competitor while Jonathan Silva (Ryan Perry Motorsports), Adam Kasick (Forward Direction Motorsports) and Martin Stone (Goodwood Kartways) were all in the top-ten.
2020 IndyCar Series driver Oliver Askew (GFC) scored the ROK Shifter pole position in his first karting event in quite some time. Outdueling some of the country’s best, Askew turned a fast lap of 45.502 to slot himself on the inside of the front row ahead of Aidan O’Neill (Ron White Racing). Michael Stevens (PSL Karting) was just ahead of Remo Ruscitti (Catalyst) and Hunter Pickett (GFC). Jake French (PSL Karting) was the fifth fastest driver of the session while Andrew Bujdoso (Magik Kart USA) was seventh. Kyle Wick (RPG) was eighth quick just ahead of Keawn Tandon (GFC) and Jace Denmark Gessel (RPG).
Tomorrow will see one warmup and two heat races for all classes. Be sure to follow Live Timing via the ROK Cup USA app.
*All results unofficial results at the time of posting