The cold and wet front that has rolled into and shocked Las Vegas, Nevada once again greeted drivers and teams as they arrived at the track in Saturday morning. The wet and cold weather has wreaked havoc on the event this far, taking most of the prestige out of the paddock as everyone tries to stay warm and dry in a desert known for its sunshine.
Rotax DD2 continues to highlight the morning group of classes as the all-star field puts on a great show every time they hit the track. The temporary circuit at the RIO Hotel & Casino means that drivers will take any line possible in the wet the conditions with a wide variety of driving lines and racing styles on display.
In heat two, a great battle broke out in the early stages with Canadian Robert Wickens (Prime/Maranello) leading Bas Lammers (Intrepid) of the Netherlands, and Paulo de Conto (KMS/Birel) of Italy. The three went to war early on, with Canadian Ben Cooper (KMS/Birel) joining the action, until Lammers was able to work his way out front and stay there. Cooper put the pressure on Wickens in the closing laps but wasn’t able to overtake. Lammers won ahead of Wickens and Cooper with de Conto and Andrea Matis rounding out the top-five.
Scott Campbell (CRG) and Stuart Clark (Prime/Maranello) were 13th and 16th overall, second and third in Masters, while Dominic Legrand (PSL/CRG), Brendon Bain (Prime/Maranello) and Fred Woodley (Prime/Maranello) were 26th, 28th and 37th respectively.
The final heat for the DD2 class was a tough one to swallow for pole-sitter Wickens. On the start he was forced into a spin in the first corner sending all the way to the rear, then on lap two he again spun in corner one, making his charge from the rear very challenging. While he was able to recover to finish 14th, it means he will not have the pole-position for Sunday’s Final.
Lammers controlled this one from start to finish to take his second heat win of the day, with de Conto on his held. Cooper scored another solid run to finish third with Matis fourth and Xen de Ruwe (PSL/CRG) capped the top-five.
Scott Campbell had another great run to end up seventh, with Clark 16th. Woodley found some luck and ended up 19th, with Bain behind him in 20th, while Legrand found himself spinning in the closing laps falling down to 29th at the line.
The points from the heat races set the grid for the Final on Sunday. It appears de Conto and Cooper will lead the field to green.