The final day of the 2013 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals brought excitement and ambience to the NOLA Motorsports Park facility as Saturday played host to six Grand Finals, crowning world and Invitational Champions. It was the best weather New Orleans has given us all week with off and on sunshine throughout the day. After a great opening ceremony in which Aretha Franklin sang the American National anthem, followed by a flyover from the local US Air Force it was time to go racing.
Rotax Senior Max was one of the more aggressive finals today in New Orleans. After a wild prefinal that saw the race get red-flagged for a chat with race director Nigel Edwards, the Seniors continued to mix it up in the Final. As signs of rain began to show just before the Final, drivers and teams scrambled to make a decision on tires. This increased the intensity of an already focused group of Senior Max drivers. Zachary Claman DeMelo, the only Canadian to compete in championship Saturday started 20th in the Final. DeMelo had his eyes on the front of the pack when the green flag was waved and he made great progress on the opening tour. However he was tangled up in a small wreck in the final corner on the first lap, resulting in a 34th place finish. This was yet another upset for Canadians, as one of their promising drivers was required to end his day early.
It was the UK driver Oliver Hodgson who was ultimately able to capture the championship title after a dominating performance. Aavo Talvar of Estonia was able to secure a second place finish after a hard fought battle with his fellow competitors, pushing Hodgson but not challenging him enough for the spot. But the drive of the day went to Oliver Askew. The American driver had a fantastic drive after starting in the 30th position and ended up on the Grand Finals podium in third. Askew battled the entire race to give himself and Team USA a well deserved podium spot.
There was enough action all over the track to give race Fans at NOLA enough entertainment to keep them on the edge. Weather conditions, driver battles and rivalry between countries kept race fans engaged for all 20-laps of this Grand Finals feature.