It was another dark and gloomy day at the Kartodromo Lucas Guerrero in Valencia, Spain as drivers returned to the track for their fourth day of action. It was decision day as the final heat races determined those who would transfer to the main events on Saturday and those who would need the Last Chance Race to sneak in.
Wet weather loomed in the region all day long but it held off until the Last Chance Races, ensuring everyone competed heat #3 on dry tires.
Rotax Junior Heat A vs D:
There is never a dull moment when the Rotax Juniors are on track and the A vs D heat was no exception. The leaders duked it out in the late stages of the heat allowing the pack behind to catch. Action was found all over the track with incidents happening on almost all seven of the laps. Rooks Baciuska of Lithuania wrapped up a stellar run in the heats with his second win to secure the pole-position for Saturdays PreFinal. He was pushed across the line by David Wooder (Great Britain) with Deniz Beckers (Netherlands) winning the crazy battle for third. Dean McDonald (Great Britain) and Juri Vips (Estonia) were fourth and fifth.
Canadian Gianfranco Mazzaferro was running inside the top-ten and destined for a direct transfer to the Final when he was involved in an accident on lap four. He wound up 26th, while Christian Brooks salvaged a 20th. Clay Van Eerd had crossed the finish line behind Mazzaferro, but he was accessed a ten second penalty for contact and was scored 32nd.
Rotax Junior Heat B vs C:
Sandy Mitchell (Great Britain) scored the win over Max Timmermans (Belgium) and Luc Williemse. Thomas Preining (Austria) who fell back to nearly tenth on lap one and fought his way back forward to finish fourth and Bryce Fullwood (Australia) completed the top-five.
Sting Ray Robb (USA) once again led the North American contingent as he finished eighth with Ryan Norberg (USA) four spots behind in twelfth.
Rotax Junior Last Chance Race:
Only two drivers from North America were able to directly transfer to Saturday as Sting Ray Robb and Christian Brooks were ranked in the top-28 after all three heats. For the rest, they had to battle their way through the Last Chance Race with hopes of continuing their Rotax Grand Finals week.
To make things a little more difficult, rain began to fall while the drivers were getting their fuel and tires in Parc Ferme, sending mechanics scrambling to get everything done before the gate closed to access the grid, where a couple drivers were forced to sit on the sidelines.
In the wet and wild adventure of a race, Nathan Hedouin of France came out on top over Mariano Pires (Portugal), Shogo Endo (Japan), Pedro Cardoso (Brazil), Max Hofer (Austria) and Lisard Santos of Spain.
Lupien was spun on lap one, and Mazzaferro found trouble on lap two. Norberg and Garrison were right in the thick of the action, as was Van Eerd but none of them were able to break through and catch the lead six, who nicely pulled away from the mayhem. Also missing the cut was Austin Versteeg who ends off a disastrous weekend of racing.
So only two remain in Rotax Junior. Saturday will feature a Prefinal and a Grand Finals Title determining Final.