Big Victories for Arseneau and Nepveu in Palm Beach
Canadian drivers were on display on Sunday, taking three of the six race victories on Sunday at the second round of the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge in West Palm Beach, Florida.
There was only nine in the category but there was no shortage of excitement.
Justin Arseneau started from the pole-position after cruising to an easy victory in the PreFinal and when the group reached turn one, only two drivers escaped unscathed as Arseneau and Aidan Fox slipped through while the rest were stuck in a traffic jam created by the spinning Dale Curran.
And just like that it appeared the race could be over as Arseneau built a quick lead, only to spin out in corner one on lap two on what appeared to be a dirty track. This moved Fox to the lead while Arseneau scrambled to resume before the chasing pack arrived.
Throwing down a flyer on lap three, Arseneau made up for his hiccup and not only tracked down but passed Fox to regain the lead while the rest were still battling for third.
It was over from there for the top-two as Arseneau ticked off fast laps to build up a big lead with Fox holding his own in second.
The race for third would see Curran come back through to snag the final podium spot, relegating both Santiago Trisini and Elio Giovane outside the top-three.
Undoubtedly, Rotax Junior was the show on track at PBIR this weekend with 31 karts in the class and no shortage of crashes, questionable passes and general excitement that only the Juniors can provide.
For the Final it was Team Ocala Gran Prix vs Team PSL with an OGP trio starting in first, third and fifth while PSL drivers were second, fourth and sixth.
Zachary Hollingshead led the way from the pole while Ryan MacDermid wasn’t able to escape the first corner cleanly from the front row after being turned on the exit and claiming his teammate Yuven Sunduramoorthy with him. However MacDermid got his kart pointed in the right direction before the entire pack passed by, and resumed.
Out front, a group of six quickly formed led by Dylan Gennaro and Eduardo Barrichello. Tyler Gonzalez was also on the move forward after starting fifteenth as the fastest qualifier was spun in the PreFinal. Also in the mix was Thomas Nepveu, who only a day earlier was involved in a very scary flip that ended with the driver sliding on his helmet for a significant distance before coming to a halt.
Bouncing off each other with plenty of moving and shaking within the top-six it was a dogfight that ultimately saw Gonzalez move into the lead after moving Barrichello out of the lead in the back section. Nepveu advanced to second with five laps remaining, but he was unable to mount an attack on Gonzalez before the checkered flag.
At the line, it was Gonzalez, Nepveu and Gennaro until a five-position penalty was accessed to Gonzalez for moving Barrichello out of the way, opening up the top step of the podium for Nepveu who was competing in only his second Junior race. Genarro took second while Henri Cubides was third after starting sixteenth.
MacDermid recovered to finish twelfth, two spots ahead of Thomas Simard while Mackenzie Clark was twenty-second in his Junior Max debut.
James Egozi and Emerson Fittipaldi went head-to-head in the Micro-Max Final with Egozi showing his experience to outsmart his competitor and take the victory. So excited, the youngster returned to the start/finish line for a victory lap with the checkered flag only to have it get caught up in his sticky tires, ending the life of the checkered flag. Alex Powell completed the podium. Georgie Zouein was eighth with Frankie Esposito twelfth.