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Rok Cup SuperFinal: Team Canada Preview – Part 1


Rok Cup SuperFinal: Team Canada Preview – Part 1

It’s race week in Italy and the world’s best Rokkers have converged on the South Garda Karting circuit in Northern Italy for the Rok Cup SuperFinal.

In total there are just under 400 drivers here competing, and a large number of countries are represented. A number of racers got the chance to get up to speed last weekend during the Rok Cup Trophy, the first time there has been a Rok-exclusive pre-race event.

There has been plenty of sunshine and the track is very rubbered in for the Le Vanto tires as karts have been on track every day for the past few weeks.

Wednesday at South Garda is the official practice day setting up for Thursday’s Qualifying and the beginning of the heat races. Friday will be a full day of heat racing and there is a chance for some weather to really make the day a challenge. With so many drivers entering in Mini, Junior and Senior, they will finish their heat races on Saturday morning to set the grids for the main events on Saturday afternoon.

The top 36 drivers after the heat races will advance to the SuperFinals and the Mini, Junior and Senior classes will also have Trophy Finals for the next 36 ranked drivers. Shifter, Expert and Super Rok will all transfer to their SuperFinals.

Saturday’s Finals will be broadcasted on the South Garda Karting YouTube page and we will share the link on CKN when it’s available.

In total, we have 19 Canadian drivers competing in this year’s Rok Cup SuperFinal. Three provinces are represented and our drivers are scattered throughout the paddock on a number of different teams.

Mini Rok – 6 Drivers

  • David Zhao, #524, Intrepid Racing, Intrepid Kart
  • Quinn Tyers, #551, Intrepid Racing, Intrepid Kart
  • Justin Di Lucia, #555, Intrepid Racing, Intrepid Kart
  • Edward Kennedy, #516, Energy Corse Racing, Energy Kart
  • Decklan Deonarine, #585, Energy Corse Racing, Energy Kart
  • Matthew Roach, #568, Zanchi Racing, Kosmic Kart

Last year Jensen Burnett put Canada on top of the Rok Cup world after winning the Mini Rok SuperFinal, the first Canadian to do.

This may put a little pressure on our six Mini Rok drivers competing this week as 97 Mini drivers are entered in total. That is down from years past, there were once 150 Minis, but still a strong contingent of drivers.

Two drivers are following in Burnett’s footsteps by racing with the Energy Corse factory team this week. Edward Kennedy and Decklan Deonarine have been in Italy for more than a week now and have been preparing very hard for this event, getting lots of track time and coaching from the Energy team. They both made the A Final last week and have a great pace to take on the world.

There is a trio of drivers who qualified from KartStars Canada that have joined the Intrepid Kart factory team for this week and started off their trip to Italy with a visit to the Intrepid factory for a tour and a seat fitting. David Zhao, Quinn Tyers and Justin Di Lucia have been on track since Tuesday and will race with support from Goodwood’s Marco Di Leo and Intrepid’s owner Mirko. They should be fun to watch.

Finally, Matthew Roach will compete this weekend with Zanchi Competition, an Italian team with a massive contingent of racers this week. Roach did have an incident on track Tuesday that required some medical attention and he is currently resting up his hand in hopes of getting back on track ASAP, and we’re hopeful he gets to compete this week.

Junior Rok – 5 Drivers

  • Christian Menezes, #727, Privateer, RedSpeed Kart
  • Jensen Burnett, #794, Energy Corse Racing, Energy Kart
  • Caleb Campbell, #706, Boscaini Racing, TonyKart
  • Zachary Taylor, #777, GP Karts SRL, GP Kart
  • Baz Kedairy, #766, Zanchi Racing, TonyKart

All five of our drivers jumped at the opportunity to drive and race this past weekend and that has given them a leg up coming back for this week’s SuperFinal.

Jensen Burnett was a rocket ship and raced his way forward in the heat races to earn the pole position for the Final. The main didn’t quite go his way but he has regrouped and returns to South Garda focused on taking home his second SuperFinal victory in a row. He’s back with his Energy Corse race team and the most comfortable we’ve seen him in anticipation of a big race.

What a difference a year makes for Caleb Campbell. Late last summer he jumped across the pond and started competing in Europe and it was a steep learning curve. Fast forward a year and Campbell is back in Italy and he’s now a contender. Working closely with a mechanic, he has joined a small Italian team for the weekend, Boscaini Racing, and is ready to battle. He left an impression last weekend and is ready to compete at the SuperFinal.

Christian Menezes had a roller coaster of a weekend at the Rok Cup Trophy. He qualified very well but literally ran into trouble in the heat races. He broke two front ferrings and numerous steering components and learned quickly how much different the racing is over here in Italy. With the support of Kevin Glover and his KGR teammate Robert Soroka, Menezes has shaken it off and can’t wait to race again this week.

We finally got to meet Zachary Taylor yesterday. A former member of the Calgary Kart Racing Club, Taylor now lives in Malta and is competing for full-time in Italy now. Making his first Rok Cup starts at South Garda for this event has been a bit of an eye-opener but he’s in good hands with the GP Karts racing team for this week.

Finally, Baz Kedairy is another Canadian here competing in Italy. Now living in Jordan, Kedairy was very excited when the opportunity to compete in the SuperFinal came up, getting the chance to see his fellow Canadian racers again. Like Menezes, he had a tough go during the Rok Cup trophy, crashing out a couple of times. With a number of teammates at Zanchi Racing, Kedairy has plenty of support to help him move up the time sheets this week as makes the biggest start of his karting career.

Live timing can be found on the Rok Cup SuperFinal website starting Thursday.

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