Last October, Dale Curran was one of the fastest Rok Junior drivers in the world. Competing in the Rok Cup SuperFinal in Italy, he qualified fifth overall, won a heat race and competed up front all weekend long until a heartbreaking early end to his Final. On the pace lap, his nosecone became dislodged and when the lights went out his sixth place starting position was all for naught, as he was forced to retire before the lap was even completed.
Using the experience as a motivator, every race he entered in 2019 was to get him back to Italy and prepare him to have a second shot at proving his worth.
Starting the season Canadian Curran was in a class of his own in the MotoMaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship, sweeping the season opener at Goodwood. He also won a SKUSA Pro Tour race in California early in the year before jetted off to Biloxi, Mississippi for the Rok Cup Festival. Leading late laps in the Final, he nearly scored the victory, but surrendered the lead on the final lap and settled for second, knowing that was still good enough to win the ticket to the SuperFinal.
After confirmation of his ticket, Curran decided to step up to Rok Senior for the remainder of the Canadian season, looking for a little more competition. He went from a grid of ten to over twenty, some of whom with many more years of experience. It helped him and he nearly won the ASN Canadian Championship in the division, leading the field to the finish line, but lost the title to a penalty for contact early in the brawl of a National Final race.
Now, he’s ready to return to Italy and he’s focused on finishing what he started a year ago. He will compete in his final race as a Junior and he’s looking to go out with a victory on the biggest of stages.
Here’s what he had to say to CKN before he jets off to South Garda Karting for the 2019 Rok Cup SuperFinal.
First off, what experiences from last year at the SuperFinal will help you get up to speed quicker this year?
Last year at the SuperFinal I was able to learn so much and I feel that I will be able to get up to speed quite quickly because I have already had the opportunity to learn the configuration of the track. I have also had experience with the grip levels on the track which are much different than at any Canadian track.
What advice can you give your fellow Racing Edge Motorsports teammates going to this special event for the first time?
For the Rok Cup SuperFinal, I will be racing with Lennox Racing Team, so I won’t be pitted with my REM teammates. I am very excited to work with World Champion Jordan Lennox Lamb throughout my time in Italy.
The advice I would give to my REM teammates would be to enjoy their time in Italy while also recognizing their accomplishment to be at such a high-level event and to anticipate the intense levels of grip that will be on the track for all of the races. Good luck to Gianluca [Savaglio] and Nicholas [Hornbostel] attending the SuperFinal.
You’ve had a very busy season, competing in a number of events and even stepping up to Senior Rok competition in Canada. Was this all to prepare you for the SuperFinal?
Yes, I have had a very busy season competing at different events in both the United States and Canada. We made the decision to compete at different levels of karting in both Junior and Senior to ensure that I had the most practice with as many different competitors as possible because at the SuperFinal I will be competing against racers from all over the world and I felt this was the best way to prepare for the event.
Did getting your ticket early in the year at the Biloxi Rok Festival take the pressure of your Canadian season to get a ticket?
After winning the ticket in Biloxi at the Rok Cup Festival it definitely took the pressure off of my Canadian season as I no longer had to win the Canadian Nationals or Ron Fellows to secure a ticket. At this point, we decided to compete in Rok Senior because I was able to compete with more experienced drivers which helped me improve my driving and racecraft throughout the remainder of the Canadian season.
Finally, what do you remember about Italy, not at the track, that has you excited to return?
Some of the things I am looking forward to besides the racing in Italy is the food I had there last year, it was amazing! I am also looking forward to returning to Italy as it is a beautiful place with lots of interesting scenery. I had a lot of fun exploring the town we were in last year and I am excited to get the opportunity to experience it all over again. Hopefully, I will get a chance to visit the OTK factory as well.
CKN will be trackside at South Garda Karting for the Rok Cup SuperFinal in Italy. Be sure to follow all of our content as we keep our readers informed on how our Rok Cup Canada contingent is doing at this spectacular event.