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.
For the afternoon/evening classes, the cooler temperatures made things even more challenging at the RIO Hotel. But even with the track being as slick as it is, drivers demonstrated some incredible driving composure.
The TaG Cadet class is full of talent from all parts of the world, including Australia, Sweden, Czech Republic and of course the USA and Canada. With over 80 drivers competing the action has been intense and there have been plenty to talk about.
In the A vs D heat race on Friday, it was Sweden’s Rasmus Lindh (IPK/Praga) who scored the victory ahead of Petr Ptacek Jr (IPK/Praga) of Czech Republic and Jack Doohan (Pserra/TonyKart) of Australia. The race was run on a dry track late Friday evening with Canadians Antonio Serravalle (Pserra/TonyKart) and Roman DeAngelis (Koene/TonyKart) ending up 11th and 30th.
Also on Friday evening was the B vs C heat race. In a great battle Canadian Micheal d’Orlando (Koene/TonyKart) was able to power his way by American Neil Verhagen (Arrow) to win the heat with Riley Dickenson (TonyKart) coming home third. Nicholas d’Orlando was able to bring home his Koene TonyKart in sixth, while Griffin Dowler (TonyKart) had some trouble ended up 26th. After a great start that had Lachlan Defrancesco up as high as seventh, mechanical issues scored him a DNF in 38th.
Returning on Saturday afternoon, TaG Cadet went to battle again in their final two rounds of heat races.
Verhagen was able to redeem himself and score the A vs C heat win ahead of Doohan and Lindh, with Michael d’Orlando ending up sixth. Nicholas d’Orlando placed twelfth, while Defrancesco was sixteenth. Another tough run for Dowler placed him 28th hit DeAngelis a disappointing 32nd.
The lone Canadian in the B vs D heat race saw Antonio Serravalle score the win ahead of Ptacek and Alex Verhagen (Arrow).
Under nightfall for the second straight evening, TaG Cadet closed out their heat races late Saturday night.
The fifth different driver to win a heat race saw the Aussie Doohan take the win three seconds clear of Alex Verhagen and Declan Fraser (TonyKart). Notably Lindh finished back in eighth while DeAngelis rebounded nicely to finish eleventh.
Last but not least the C vs D heat hit the track to set the grid for the LCQ and Sundays Final. The only driver to win two heat races, Serravalle cruised to the win ahead of Michael d’Orlando and Neil Verhagen. Ptacek had a tough run to finish eighth while Defrancesco gained a bunch of spots to finish ninth, hoping to avoid the LCQ. Dowler finally found some luck and ended up 11th, while Nicholas d’Orlando was 28th.
In the Last Chance Qualifier, three Canadians needed to race their way in to Sundays Main Event. Lachlan DeFrancesco started from sixth while Griffin Dowler and Roman DeAngelis were a little further down the order. A great start by Defrancesco moved him into the lead by the end of lap one and from there he never looked back, taking the LCQ by over five-seconds. Unfortunately for Dowler and DeAngelis, they would come into trouble early and their SuperNationals weekends were over.