Day 2 of Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals heat race competition is now in the books. With two heats races complete in all categories today, we got to see the true strength of all the drivers. Qualifying can show speed, but the heat races remind us why we are all here. Well there was no shortage of action today as Heats A vs B, C vs D, A vs C and B vs D really gave us a variety of results. Some drivers wanted to prove their point with aggressive scare tactics, while others may have looked a bit more relaxed only wanting to score consistent conservative results that would not risk their heat race points tally to determine their pre final starting spot.
Zachary Claman DeMelo looked to give Canada it’s first heat race with at the 2012 Rotax Grand Finals as he lead a majority of the Rotax Junior A vs B race. However, a last lap accident while battling for second, resulted in a DNF for DeMelo. He will have his work cut out for him and will need two solid finishes in his remaining heats. In the same heat, Zachary Scalzo was able to move forward from his twentieth starting spot to finish ninth.
In the C vs D heat, a wild start created plenty of action for the Juniors to maneuver. Forcing his way through, Parker Thompson about to move as high as fifth, before being pushed back to ninth. At the finish, Thompson would cross in sixth, while Tommy Lemaire-Ouellet would manage to finish fourteenth.
Lemaire-Ouellet was the lone Canadian Junior in the A vs C heat race, he had a twelfth starting position, but was not able to maintain that spot. As the 7 lap heat race went on, Lemaire-Ouellet found himself back in twenty first at the checkered flag.
The final Junior race of the day was another exciting one. The B vs D heat race consisted of DeMelo, Thompson and Scalzo. DeMelo starting third, Thompson sixth and Scalzo in nineteenth starting spot. The lead pack was quick to form including DeMelo and Thompson. Both drivers appeared to have their chance to challenge for the lead as the speed was definitely there, while Scalzo was having his own battle mid field. When the checkered flag dropped DeMelo promoted himself from third to Second, Thompson fifth to fourth and Scalzo ended the race near his starting spot in eighteenth.
UPDATE: Following the race and as the result sheets were posted, Parker Thompson was given a 6 position penalty in heat race B vs D for a “race start infraction”.
With two solid heats, Thompson currently leads the Canadians in the points standings.
Tomorrow is the third and final heat race and if all goes well, the four Junior Team Canada members will be finding themselves advancing directly to the Pre Final and avoid the treacherous LCQ race. Fingers crossed as we wish them luck.