Super Sunday has arrived at the Rotax Pan American Challenge in New Orleans, Louisiana! The final day of competition at NOLA Motorsports Park was once again held under very hot and humid conditions as drivers hit the track seeking victories and final tickets to next months Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, held back here in New Orleans.
After narrowing the field down to 34 on Saturday, Rotax Junior finally set a full grid on the track on Sunday, and as expected it was exciting. The prefinal saw many potential winners on the sidelines including the UK’s Jai Nijjag (TonyKart) and Jamaica’s Thomas Issa (Kosmic), while others involved in incidents included: Thomas Preining (CRG) of Austria, Kyle Kirkwood (TonyKart), and Brazils Pedro Cardoso (CRG), who led in the opening laps. The prefinal was won by American Juan Manuel Correa (TonyKart) with Guan Yu Zhou (TonyKart) of Japan second.
The final saw Yu Zhou take the early lead, but it was Correa and Rogero getting by and leaving the Japanese driver in third. The front two then pushed away, while further down the field Kirkwood was on the move, and up to seventh only a couple laps in, as Canadian Jeffrey Kingsley (TonyKart) was up to fourth. Up front things didn’t change until the final lap when Rogero made a late breaking pass on Correa at the end of the back straight. The pass forced Correa wide and over the grass of the hard chicane, forcing him into a spin. Rogero would go on to cross the line first with Yu Zhou second and Kirkwood third. Correa would regroup to finish seventh.
Following the race, an interested move by Rogero saw her refuse to go to tech, handing the win to Yu Zhou with Kirkwood and Kingsley completing the podium. We assume Rogero made the decision to allow OGP teammate Kirkwood a spot on Team USA for the Grand Finals, as Yu Zhou already qualified at the Euro Challenge.
With Kingsley on the podium, the remaining Canadians would finish 15th for Coltin McCaughan (Fa Kart), 26th for Christophe Paquet (CRG), and DNF’s for Gianfranco Mazzaferro (TonyKart), Adam Martin (Maranello) and Anthony Tolfa (TonyKart).