A field of 30 Rok Senior drivers started the weekend at the Motomaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship but after a very heated Saturday of action, not all of them made it to Sunday.
Saturday Qualifying saw 25 drivers all post their fastest time within a second, including the top-16 within four-tenths of the overall leader. Needless to say, it was very close competition in one of the best Senior grids we’ve had in Ontario in decades.
After a very well-behaved PreFinal, Saturday’s Final was chalked full of chaos.
Robert Soroka (KGR/RedSpeed) jumped out to the early lead from the outside of the front row with Patrick Woods-Toth (Prime/BirelART) getting into second on the opening lap from sixth on the grid.
Pressure from Adam Ali (REM/Kosmic) saw him slip by Woods-Toth on lap four and it set off a chain reaction of drivers looking to take advantage. Wheel-to-wheel action followed in nearly every corner until it eventually stopped a lap and a half later when Austin Boyle (RTB/EOS Kart) went for a wild ride in the final corner and required assistance, bringing out the red flag.
The red flag delay lasted much longer than it needed to when officials discussed a broken starter on Adam Ali’s kart, eventually sending him to the pit lane and having to restart the race from the rear of the field for requiring a manual start.
With the race restarted, Soroka led the field around the first sector, but he left the door open enough into corner five that Woods-Toth pounced at the opportunity. He got to the apex first, but it bounced Soroka wide and back a few positions.
The hairpin corner five was the scene of another dramatic crash the following lap, ending the race for Daniel Ali (REM/Kosmic) after he popped up on top of Ayden Ingratta (AI Motorsports/CRG) and karts were sent scrambling to avoid the spinning karts after exiting the corner.
Out front, Woods-Toth was defending very hard and that build up a chain of karts behind him. Gianluca Savaglio (REM/Kosmic), Marco Filice (Prime/BirelART) and Soroka all took turns trying to find their way by the leader, but to no avail over the final ten laps.
Woods-Toth was the first to the finish line just head of Soroka, Filice, a hard-charging Eamon Lowe, and Savaglio but after a number of penalties, that is not how they were scored.
In total, 14 penalties and four warnings were issued from the Final race.
Among them, Woods-Toth had a pushback penalty and a 3-second penalty for contact. Filice came in just underweight and was disqualified. Soroka was warned for jumping the start and Savaglio was excluded for touching his drop-down bumper.
With the dust settled, Soroka scored the race win ahead of Lowe and Yuchen Ye (REM/Kosmic), who initially crossed the finish line in the eighth position. Ingratta and Nolan Bower (NBM/Exprit) rounded out the top five while Woods-Toth had to settle for sixth.
ROK Senior MRKFC Race #1 Results
|17||Noah Taylor||3 laps|
|18||Brady Clapham||6 laps|
|19||Matte Ferrari||6 laps|
|20||Cole Hooton||8 laps|
|21||Mackenzie Milwain||8 laps|
|22||Nalin Shah||11 laps|
|23||Daniel Ali||12 laps|
|24||Jacob Miles||12 laps|
|25||Adam Ali||13 laps|
|26||Austin Boyle||13 laps|
|27||Christopher Chanko||13 laps|
|28||Matthew Demarinis||16 laps|
When we arrived on Sunday we learned the grid was a little smaller as both the Ali brothers had withdrawn, as did both of the Boyle brothers (Austin was sore, but doing well), as well as Christopher Chanko.
Lining up on the front row for the Final were Woods-Toth and Savaglio and there were fireworks almost immediately. They managed to get through the first few corners and Woods-Toth did a good job defending down the hill into corner five, but the two went side-by-side up into corners six and seven and it resulted in Woods-Toth smashing a curb so hard his chain and sprocket broke and Savaglio running wide in corner eight after more contact between the two.
Escaping with the lead was Soroka, followed by Ingratta, Bower, Brady Clapham (KGR/Kosmic), Matte Ferrari (Supertune/TonyKart) and Lowe.
Bower jumped into the lead after Ingratta challenged Soroka and slowed them both up but from lap four on, the race up front settled right down.
Ingratta got to the lead and never looked back. Bower settled into second and Lowe kept pace but wasn’t quite close enough to challenge.
Behind them, Filice charged forward to finish in fourth from fifteenth on the grid while Savaglio recovered to take fifth. Unfortunately for Soroka, he pulled off the track with 8 laps left with a mechanical issue while running seventh.
It was a weekend that many won’t forget in Rok Senior and a showcase of the absolute talent there is in Canadian karting at the moment and we can’t wait for the next round, wherever it may be.
ROK Senior MRKFC Race #2 Results
|20||Matte Ferrari||4 laps|
|21||Robert Soroka||8 laps|
|22||Mackenzie Milwain||9 laps|
|23||Tawfiq Najjar||9 laps|
|24||Noah Taylor||17 laps|
|25||Patrick Woods-Toth||18 laps|