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November 22, 2011 News
EKN.ca Trackside: 2011 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals - Team Canada Tuesday Report



 


The first official day of on-track practice took place today in Al Ain. Drivers from around the globe took to the track for two official timed practices, with all Canadian drivers coming to grips with the official RMCGF spec chassis. With 21 drivers this year, Canada not only has the largest delegation of drivers at this year's Grand Finals, but of all time, topping the 20 drivers the USA competed with last year in Italy.

With two past RMCGF Champions, Canada is on the radar of a lot of stopwatches throughout the paddock. Pier-Luc Ouellette won his Rotax DD2 World Championship at this very location in 2007 and is set to repeat with some excellent speed in his opening sessions. Last yearís Rotax DD2 Masters Champion Scott Campbell has also come to grips quickly in a very stout Masters class, featuring no less than seven past Rotax World Champions.

With a new, and slightly confusing, format for the Rotax Grand Finals Nationís Cup, Canada seeks to repeat the title it won in 2007 here in Al Ain.

Here is a run-down and the times from the final session on track today for each class.
 

Marco DiLeo posted the seventh fastest time in the Rotax Senior afternoon sessions (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media Group)
Marco DiLeo posted the seventh fastest time in the Rotax Senior afternoon sessions
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media Group)

Rotax Junior:
Competing aboard Birel chassis for the first time at the RMCGF, the Rotax Junior field is once again the most unpredictable class at the Grand Finals. 2011 Canadian National Champion Jesse Lazare lead the way for the Canadian drivers posting the tenth fastest time of the afternoon that saw nearly 2/3 of the field covered by less than a second.

10. Lazare, Jesse - 58.828
20. Bedard, Olivier - 58.941
24. Korolev, Artem - 59.034
36. Tsutsui, Kyoichi - 59.132
49. Thompson, Parker - 59.354
51. Guenette, Alex - 59.373

Rotax Senior:

Five Canadian pilots hit the track aboard Sodi-Karts in Rotax Senior. After the chassis debuted at the RMCGF last year for the Rotax Junior class, Sodi has stepped up to the big dogs and will be keeping every driver on their toes. 2011 Eastern Canadian Karting Championship Rotax Senior Champion Marco Di Leo recorded the fastest time of the Canadians, even after making the long trek from Las Vegas on Saturday night arriving in Al Ain Monday. Qualifying tomorrow afternoon will be very key for drivers to survive the heat races, as like the Junior class, there is a very tight gap from the top to the bottom of the charts.

7. Dileo, Marco - 57.697
41. Glover, Chris - 58.141
42. Chudleigh, Luke - 58.166
44. Szigeti, Steven- 58.203
70. Arnold, Reid - 59.122
 

Scott Campbell is making his record eighth Grand Finals appearance and hopes to defend his Rotax DD2 Masters Championship this week in Al Ain (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media Group)
Scott Campbell is making his record eighth Grand Finals appearance and hopes to defend his Rotax DD2 Masters Championship this week in Al Ain
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media Group)

Rotax DD2 Masters:

After posting the second-best time in the morning session, Scott Campbell ended up eighteenth in the afternoon after a gear change sent him in the wrong direction. Back aboard the same Haase brand he won racing on last year, Campbell looks to return to the top of the charts tomorrow, seeking to defend his title.

18. Campbell, Scott - 57.696
21. Clark, Stuart - 57.732
39. Ivichek, David - 58.417, (only completed 2 laps)

Rotax DD2:

With seven drivers competing in the Rotax DD2 class, Canada has not only a great lineup of drivers able to stand atop the podium, but also a great chance to place multiple drivers on the podium. Pier-Luc Ouellette posted the second fastest time in the afternoon session as the sun began to set, but also of note is DD2 rookie Nicholas Latifi posting the thirtieth fastest time. Working off a great performance last year in Rotax Junior, Latifi will definitely be one to watch this week.

2. Ouellette, Pier-Luc - 56.500
13. Latifi, Nicholas - 56.649
17. Herder, Kyle - 56.707
27. Boisclair, Christophe - 56.840
30. White, Darren - 56.861
36. Burkett, Daniel - 56.954
44. McEwan, Tyler - 57.069
 

Pier-Luc Ouellette is seeking his second RMCGF DD2 Championship at the same location he won his first (Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media Group)
Pier-Luc Ouellette is seeking his second RMCGF DD2 Championship at the same location he won his first
(Photo: Cody Schindel - Autosports Media Group)

Wednesday will feature another full round on non-official qualifying practice in the morning before the all-important official qualifying sessions in the afternoon. Drivers will need to work out any final adjustments in the morning in order to ensure a good qualifying effort, where many drivers in the past know, could make or break a weekend.

Be sure to follow the Official Discussion Thread in the eKartingNews.ca forums as well as the eKartingNews.ca Facebook Page for live updates and photo galleries. And full event coverage can be found at the eKartingNews.ca Official Event Page.
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