'Roth and Roll' at Mosport! Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship presented by Toronto Star Wheels Roth, Wickens, Hinchcliffe, Mascoll, Oakman and Herder take wins in season opener MOSPORT, ONTARIO - The season opening rounds of the Sunoco...
'Roth and Roll' at Mosport!
Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship presented by Toronto Star Wheels
Roth, Wickens, Hinchcliffe, Mascoll, Oakman and Herder take wins in season opener
MOSPORT, ONTARIO - The season opening rounds of the Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship presented by Toronto Star Wheels kicked off on the May 10-11 weekend at Mosport International Raceway - with over 300 entries for the two-day event.
On Saturday, the only SRFKC class on the schedule was Formula Junior. Hurricane Racing's PTK (Paul Tracy Kart) driver, Guelph's Robert Wickens dominated both rounds over First Kart's Nelson Mason and Birel's Daniel Morad.
"I was hoping things would go as well as last year," defending Formula Junior Champion Wickens said. "The PTK was great and this is a good way to kick off a title defense."
Sunday's scheduled called for two rounds for each of the remaining five classes, but Mother Nature played a big part in the decision to shorten the schedule to one round for double points and double money. The rain and fog had settled in, calling Mosport home for most of the day.
By mid afternoon, teams were presented with a drying track, just in time for Canada Senior to take to the track.
From the drop of the green flag, Canada Senior was a two-driver race for the win between Gold Kart's Rob Oakman and Marc Stehle, with Oakman taking the win by just .051 of a second. Third place finisher, CMP's Frank Launi came from 15th on the grid to take a well-deserved podium.
Canada Junior defending champion, Birel's Daniel Morad had two podiums in Saturday's Formula Junior races, but Morad's title defense got off to a bad start. "It was a last minute decision for us to run Canada Junior," the defending champ from Markham said. Problems in qualifying, and a spin early in the race, left Morad with a 19th place finish. The battle for Canada Junior win was between Gold Kart's Pearce Herder, CMP's Michael Glaze and Saturday's Formula Junior winner Robert Wickens. The three battled all race long and Glaze took the lead from Herder with just a few laps to go. Herder battled back to take the win by a scant .160 of a second over Glaze, with Wickens third.
"I didn't think they had enough to draft by me," Herder said after the race. "But I just went back to work and got the lead back." Herder also took home the day's GM Racing award for 'displaying outstanding competition skills and sportsmanship'.
RotaxMax is one of the new classes for 2003 and an impressive field of 75 drivers showed up to contest the class. Pfaff Motorsports pole winner, Gold Kart driver Aaron de heus spun on the warm-up lap sending him to the back of the field, where he was joined by several other drivers that had also spun on the warm up lap.
First Kart's James Hinchcliffe jumped into the early lead and he held it until the red flag came out for an incident involving third place runner Jason Robar and a lapped kart that ended the race. Second went to Shawn Gardner, Robar hung onto third as a result of the official scoring going back to the final completed race lap. "It was a mess out there,"
Hinchcliffe said. "So much traffic, thankfully my First Kart would go where I put it. I am so lucky to have missed that spinner."
World Formula is the other new class to the series and PTK's Justin Mascoll went flag-to-flag for the win. CMP's Sal Ditta was second and Don Brett was third. Winnipeg's Jennifer Carlson was on a charge in her Birel. Starting 24th, she come home seventh.
The headline class of the Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship presented by Toronto Star Wheels is the Formula Senior class that features 120 mph six speed shifter karts. Birel's Mike Roth was in the championship hunt until the final race in 2002, and at Mosport he served notice that he was a serious contender for the 2003 title. Roth took the Pfaff Motorsports pole, and then led every lap to take the win.
"I am happy to get the year off to a good start," the Birel driver said. "I pushed hard the first couple of laps, then I looked back and saw Juliana [Chiovitti] and James [Hinchcliffe] fighting for position, so I just backed off a bit to save the equipment."
Behind Roth the battle for second was fierce. Chiovitti had her Birel in second spot and she wasn't giving it up to Formula Senior rookie Hinchcliffe. "It was a good fight," Chiovitti said. "But I wasn't leaving the track with James ahead of me."
Twice Hinchcliffe got past Chiovitti on the way into the sharp left-hand turn eight under braking, and twice Chiovitti re-passed Hinchcliffe on the exit of the turn.
"I tried it twice, but with all the rain in the morning, it was really slippy on the outside of the track and she got back by me," Hinchcliffe said after the race. Rounding out the top five in Formula Senior were Frank Launi, who started back in 20th and Cale Meeks.
The Pratt & Miller Engineering award for the 'participants who exhibit the highest levels of teamwork in the areas of presentation, preparation and results' went to the Hamilton Kart club, who showed up with a total of 96 drivers - most of whom competed in the two new classes, RotaxMax and World Formula.
For a complete schedule of the event, visit www.asncanada.com or for directions to Mosport visit www.mosport.com. Future events will be held at Innisfil on May 31 - June 1, The Grand Prix of Barrie on June 20-22, Sutton on July 5-6, Hamilton on July 19-20 and the series finale will go at Goodwood on September 27-28.
The objective of the SRFKC is to help foster a professional environment for kart drivers; help create a positive attitude towards appearance, conduct and discipline; help foster the employment of the best practices for the safe and fair running of competitions; and help kart drivers to move up the racing ladder to automobile racing.
At the end of the season, eight drivers will be selected from the series, plus two drivers from the ASN Canadian National Championships. They will be invited to a one-day evaluation test at the Bridgestone/Firestone Racing Academy at Mosport, provided they are 16 years of age prior to the date of the test. Out of those 10 drivers, two will earn a full scholarship to the 2004 the 2003 Bridgestone / FormulaCar Magazine F2000 Racing Series.