Surreal Feeling for MacDermid in Qualifying for the RMCGF
It has been an impressive season for Ryan MacDermid from Brooklin, Ontario.
The standout Rotax Junior driver has competed all across North America in 2016 and on four different occasions he found himself in a position to qualify for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. The first two were heart-breakers while the third time was the charm. The fourth was just for the sake of being there.
It all started at the Florida Winter Tour where MacDermid stunned the audience, qualifying on the pole-position in Homestead. A few heat race wins later and it looked like MacDermid was en route to his first win, only to come up a few spots short and take home second. Fast forward a few months later and MacDermid was on the grid for the championship Final, leading the points. Taking the lead on lap two, the race was his for the taking until his engine chugged and he was forced to the sidelines with a carburetor issue. Engine and championship over.
As the season transitioned back home, MacDermid kicked off the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship with three straight wins and was very competitive at the first round of the US Open, only to have to drive from the back in the Final, finishing fourth.
That drive at the US Open of New Orleans set him up for the ticket in Utah and just like Florida, it all came down to the Final. Running in the lead for most of the race, MacDermid was caught by second place with only a couple laps left. A tough battle for the position ultimately ended with MacDermid running off track and resuming well down the order. Opportunity number two done.
Not to let it get to him, MacDermid entered the final round of the ECKC leading the points and not interested in giving up his third opportunity. Sticking to the plan, he delivered a win on the Saturday and cruised to a second place finish on Sunday to take home the title and finally, a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals.
“The feeling of qualifying for team Canada is so surreal,” explained MacDermid. “Not just because I get to go to the Rotax Grand Finals but because I am representing my home country!”
Looking to prepare for the Grand Finals, MacDermid jumped on a plane just before the Canadian Championships and took part in the final round of the Rotax Euro Challenge and while his speed was there, the different racing atmosphere caught him off guard, but also opened his eyes to what his is now expecting this week in Italy.
“Going into Euromax I expected the driving styles to be aggressive and tight groups,” continued MacDermid. “But the biggest eye opener was Qualifying. I think the lessons I learned in Salbris will allow me to make many less mistakes in Italy and it gave me confidence. I know what my plan is and I will not be influenced by the drivers around me.”
Still looking for his first big international break, MacDermid is aiming for the podium this weekend at the Sarno International Circuit.
“I want to consistently finish in the front in Qualifying, in the heats and go for a top-10 finish in the Final.”
The Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals runs from October 16 to 22 in Sarno, Italy. Team Canada has qualified 17 drivers to compete in the event and CKN is the official media partner for Team Canada covering every aspect of the event. Tune in often as we preview members of the team travelling to Italy.