The 2013 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals officially got under way on Wednesday with official Qualifying. After a day and a half of practice and testing, Qualifying capped the days activity in New Orleans, USA as drivers from around the world battled for the best time in their respective classes and the all important pole-positions. The four official Rotax classes were on track today while the Micro and Mini Max classes were supplied their karts for their invitational races later this week. The day was highlighted by extreme winds and very cold temperatures, things not expected in the south of United States.
Rotax Junior Qualifying was the first to hit the track with drivers divided up into two groups, odd numbers and even numbers. Three Canadians were in the first group as Jeffrey Kingley was joined by Gianfranco Mazzaferro and Devlin Defrancesco, while Coltin McCaughan was in group two. Leading up to qualifying the Canadian drivers were all over the time sheets as chassis, track and weather changes throughout the week have thrown a curveball to those in attendance.
Kingsley led the way in group one, posting the second quickest time just behind American Kyle Kirkwood. Mazzaferro was next up for the Canadians, posting the 21st best time in the group with a late session flyer while Defrancesco struggled to hit his marks managing only the 29th best time.
Group two hit the track and it appeared nobody was going to touch the top two of Kirkwood and Kingsley. With time winding down, Tom Harvey of the United Kingdom continued to better his time lap after lap and with the checkered flag flying he bettered his time to just beat Kingsley. Also on his final tour, McCaughan pulled off an incredible lap to post the second quickest time in session.
When the groups were combined, Kirkwood was the fastest followed by Harvey while Kingsley and McCaughan sat third and fourth, earning them from row starting positions for their heat races in groups C and D respectively. Mazzaferro ended up 44th placing him in group D, with Defrancesco 57th overall in group A.