SSC EAST: USA ROTAX REVIEW Shawano, Wisconsin -- September 16, 2008 -- SSC East had a full tent and another weekend of great results at this past weekend's Rotax Max Challenge USA Grand Nationals held at the USA International Raceway in ...
SSC EAST: USA ROTAX REVIEW
Shawano, Wisconsin -- September 16, 2008 -- SSC East had a full tent and another weekend of great results at this past weekend's Rotax Max Challenge USA Grand Nationals held at the USA International Raceway in Shawano, Wisconsin. Two team pilots scored qualifying results and will now travel to the Rotax Max Challenge World Finals that will take place at the La Conca International Circuit in Muro, Leccese, Italy in late November.
Leading the charge were Rotax Senior competitors Arie Ouimet and Garrison Masters. After progressing nicely through the heat races and setting up good starting positions for the final, both Ouimet and Masters put on a wet weather driving clinic as they finished first and third. Along with the win and all expense paid trip to Italy, Ouimet also claimed the second quickest lap time of the 19 lap main event while on cruise control ensuring he hit his marks and avoiding any mechanical failures.
Ouimet was dominant in the Rotax Senior class as his SSC East's prepared CRG chassis led all but two laps the entire weekend. After qualifying on pole and winning all three heat races, Ouimet claimed the prefinal victory by eight seconds before claiming the final win by eleven seconds.
"Heading to Wisconsin, we were extremely excited," claimed SSC East's Dave Davies. "We went there with several drivers and were looking to do well in all of our classes as well as have fun. I think we attained our goals and now will be heading to Italy with two drivers."
Senior competitor Anthony Llopiz had an impressive run in Senior Max as he finished eighth in the prefinal after starting 30th. Looking to move forward again in the final, Llopiz did so and while running in the top five ran into some engine issues that hindered any chances of a podium result.
Two combinations of brothers were in competition under the SSC East tent with Mike and Salvie Zaccaria and Brian and John Moody. The Zaccaria duo garnered the better results with Mike and Salvie both making the final. Mike began his run in the 11th position but was involved in the large first corner incident that took out several serious contenders. Salvie was also involved with minimal damage and was able to carry on for a few laps before being forced to retire from the event.
Brian Moody had a rough start to his week as a major engine failure forced him to run on a borrowed powerplant. Missing some on track sessions, Brian was forced to run the last chance event and while in position to transfer to the final, spun taking himself out of contention. If it were not for bad luck the Moody brothers would not have had any luck, as a rib injury earlier in the event eliminated John from seeing any competition during Friday and Saturday's racing action.
Massachusetts resident Thomas Young competed in his first Rotax Nationals with mixed results. With a client's business operation less than 30 miles away, Young was taken away from the track to tend to business needs providing little time for practice and testing. With the limited track time, Young withdrew from the main event as he did not want to affect the outcome of the feature. Thomas Young vowed that he will be back next year.
Masters competitors Russ Hamel and Gary Hattersley were in competition and looking to score the win in Rotax Masters. Though both drivers qualified in the front half of the pack, Hamel's weekend was interfered with by charging racers. After being involved in incidents that were no fault of his own, Hamel finished the weekend with some uncharacteristic results. Hattersley steadily improved through out the race weekend getting quicker with each passing session. Looking for a solid top ten result, Hattersley's day ended on the opening lap of the final with an unexpected engine failure.
The second largest class contingent under the SSC East tent was the Junior Max category. Two time champion Jarvis Gennari was strong all week and ran upfront in each and every heat race. Staring fourth in the final, Gennari was involved in a corner three incident that resulted in his chain coming off in his quest for his third trip to the Rotax World Finals.
Another strong competitor emerged from the SSC East squad as Mark Pellegrini was on the move. After a clutch failure in parc ferme before the prefinal, Pellegrini and crew were allowed to fix the problem but would be forced to start from the tail of the field. Advancing forward nicely, Mark scored a solid 11th place result in his first Rotax finals.
Harrison Bird returned from last years Grand Nationals with another year of karting under his belt. It was a tough week for Harrison as a crash earlier in the week resulted in a totaled chassis, but that didn't get Harrison down. The talented junior prepared a new chassis and kept working on his setup for the rest of the week. Starting in 22nd for the final and hoping to finish in the top 20, contact with another kart resulted in a 27th finishing position.
Kristina Vorndran was another first timer at the Rotax Grand Nationals as she has only been racing competition karts for less than a year. With a goal to finish in the top 20, Kristina started the feature in 21st position. Running in 20th late in the race, Kristina spun in the tricky wet conditions ending her day.