Two young Canadian drivers are making history this week at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Sarno, Italy.
In the sixteenth edition of the event, the Rotax Micro-Max and Mini-Max categories are officially part of the big show. While the categories have been a part of the race weekend before, they were only tabbed as support classes, getting the less than ideal track time and short sessions. This year, they are an official class and run the entire week right alongside the big classes.
In Micro-Max, Anthony Sardellitti of Toronto, Ontario is the lone Canadian, making the biggest start of his young career.
“It is a very exciting feeling to represent Canada in the biggest race in the world. I’m extremely thrilled and thankful for this opportunity,” explains Sardellitti.
At only ten years old, Sardellitti is very well composed at the race track and this weekend is all about opportunity to learn and to enjoy.
“I plan to go to the Grand Finals with an open mind. I will definitely be sure to enjoy every moment and I will take this experience with me for the future. Obviously I would like to do well.”
And like many Canadian karters on Team Canada this year, he too has an Italian background making the trip to Italy that much more enjoyable.
“This will be my first visit to Italy. Italian is my heritage background and I plan to do some sight seeing. I am very exited to visit Rome and to see the Coliseum.”
In the Mini-Max category, Thomas Nepveu is representing the maple leaf after a dominating season in Canada in which he won all seven of the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship races.
While he is on a BirelART chassis, the same brand as he races back home, it is the smaller chassis than he’s usual which means he will have to adapt. The Micro and Mini categories also utilize a smaller front tire.
He did race on the smaller chassis earlier this year at the SKUSA SummerNationals, driving from last to second in the Mini Swift Final.
Nepveu was part of the Micro-Max invitational in 2013 when the Rotax Grand Finals were in New Orleans, USA, so he has a bit of international Rotax experience, but this will his first race outside of North America. He learned a few things at that race in NOLA in which he remembers quite well going to Italy.
He explains, “I need to be patient! In NOLA I wasn’t patient enough and I drove the pack to the front and at the finish line I was sixth because they passed me like a train on the final lap.”
And ultimately he wants to be on the top of the podium but in keeping his expectations in check, a top-five will be quite satisfying as well.
“I want to win, but to be honest, to be part of the top-five would be great!”