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Baxter and Ingratta Duke it Out in Rok Junior


Baxter and Ingratta Duke it Out in Rok Junior

The second round of the Motomaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship was a great preview of what we’re expecting to see at the upcoming Canadian Karting Championships in Rok Junior. Through two days of competition, we saw a number of drivers lead the pack and showcase that no less than five drivers could come away with the victory in any given race, leaving us guessing who would come out on top each time Rok Junior hits the track.

On Saturday it was two drivers that led the field in Qualifying as Caleb Campbell (Prime/BirelART) blistered off the fastest lap just ahead of Ian Qiu (BBR/TonyKart), who has travelled from BC to Ontario for the August events. Overall, the top-seven were within 0.132 seconds.

The two front-row starters had a tough time getting the PreFinal started and when the green flag finally flew, it was a very slow acceleration for Campbell, losing five places before he made it through the first corner. The veteran Juniors worked their way forward with Callum Baxter (REM/Kosmic) taking the win over Marcello Paniccia (PRO/CL Kart) and Ayden Ingratta (AI Motorsports/RedSpeed).

The Final was exciting from the drop of the green as Baxter and Paniccia both wanted to lead early, while Ingratta was mixing it up with Frankie Esposito (Prime/BirelART) for third, with Yuchen Ye (Ben Cooper Racing/BirelART) and Christian Menezes (KGR/RedSpeed) right there too.

Baxter led from lap three to six until Ingratta’s charge to the lead came knocking. He moved by on lap seven and Esposito followed him by and the race settled down from there.

Ingratta led the remainder of laps to the checkered flag, ahead of Esposito and Baxter, with Paniccia just holding off a charging Logan Pacza (Prime/BirelART) at the line.

Unfortunately, early race action activated the pushback bumpers of both Ingratta and Esposito, adding five seconds to their finishing times and moving Baxter to the top of the podium, with Paniccia and Pacza in second in third.

MRFKC2 Rok Junior Saturday Final Results

1Callum Baxter
2Marcello Paniccia2.239
3Logan Pacza2.395
4Ayden Ingratta2.904
5Frankie Esposito4.261
6Yuchen Ye10.962
7Caleb Campbell12.615
8Ryan Maxwell13.170
9Joseph Launi14.769
10Ian Qiu16.563
11Nicole Havrda17.499
12Christian Menezes17.844
13Anthony Raducanoiu18.649
14Samuel SpurlingDNS

On Sunday, Ingratta got his revenge.

Pacza was the early race leader after a great start, but he was under heavy pressure from a train of karts. He defended the position until he left the door open enough for Ingratta to sneak up the inside of corner twelve. Joseph Launi (Powerhouse/RS Kart) and Baxter followed through while Qiu got alongside before the final corner. Contact on the exit of the corner sent Pacza hard into the barriers, ending his race abruptly.

Pushing towards the front, Baxter slipped by Launi for second and on lap six, powered by Ingratta on the main straight to gain the lead. Giving him a push for two laps, Ingratta opened up a gap to third place and at the halfway mark, returned to the lead.

Baxter kept on his rear bumper all the way to the finish, but Ingratta defended perfectly and didn’t allow any chance for a pass en route to the win.

From the rear of the field, Esposito charged back to a podium finish in third, closing in on the leaders while they battled on the final lap, while Paniccia and Ye were five seconds back of the leader at the finish.

MRFKC2 Rok Junior Sunday Final Results

1Ayden Ingratta
2Callum Baxter0.588
3Frankie Esposito0.628
4Marcello Paniccia5.618
5Yuchen Ye5.762
6Christian Menezes6.345
7Caleb Campbell7.638
8Joseph Launi7.639
9Ryan Maxwell7.855
10Nicole Havrda14.330
11Anthony Raducanoiu16.473
12Ian Qiu12 laps
13Logan Pacza15 laps
14Samuel SpurlingDNS

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