A pair of teammates from the Prime Powerteam had flag-to-flag race wins in Rok Junior over the weekend at the opening round of the Motomaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship at the Canadian Mini Indy.
On Saturday Logan Pacza (Prime/BirelART) took advantage of the dry conditions for the Final to pull away and lead every lap of the Final.
The morning Qualifying and PreFinal were held on a very wet track and constant drizzle with Callum Baxter (REM/Kosmic Kart) leading in Qualifying. Pacza charged to the front in the PreFinal and the stage was set for the final, with every driver on fresh new LeVanto rubber for the 30-lap main event.
With an early pace setup, Pacza jumped out to an early lead and opened a pretty large gap on the field.
Baxter had his hands full of Frankie Esposito (Prime/BirelART) in the early stages and the battle for second helped Pacza get even further away.
Finally getting ahead and away on lap six, Baxter put his head down in hopes of chasing down the race leader while Esposito began to fade.
Joseph Launi (Powerhouse/RS Kart) was the next to get by Esposito to grab third, with Marcello Paniccia (PRO-Mosport/CL Kart), who started last, and Yuchen Ye (Ben Cooper Racing/BirelART) also overtaking him shortly before a broken throttle cable ended Esposito’s race.
It was pretty smooth sailing from there for the front five. Baxter did the best he could to close in on Pacza, getting the lead down to less than a second and posting the fastest lap of the race, but no positions changed hands.
MRFKC1 Rok Junior Saturday Final Results
|9||Max Raymer||1 lap|
|10||Elias McKenzie||1 lap|
|11||Frankie Esposito||14 laps|
|12||Caleb Campbell||14 laps|
On Sunday Esposito rebounded nicely on the full day of dry conditions, blistering off the fastest lap in Qualifying, winning the PreFinal and leading every lap of the 30-lap Final, making it look easy.
Paniccia put the pressure on early in the race, but just couldn’t match the pace of the race leader, slipping back as the laps ticked away. Unchallenged to the end, Paniccia cruised to a second-place finish.
The race for third is where it got interesting.
Ryan Maxwell (Prime/BirelART), Baxter, Launi, Pacza, and Yuchen spent the first half of the race trading the final podium position. On lap eighteen Pacza swung wide to set up a pass on Yuchen in corner seven when Maxwell dove up the inside. Contact was made and both drivers ended up out of the race and it split up the group racing for third.
Celebrating his birthday on race day, Yuchen held onto the third spot from there and even pulled away from Baxter in the final laps to score his first MRFKC podium appearance.
With both winners also having a DNF this weekend, the championship points race is setting up to an exciting one as this season progresses.
MRFKC1 Rok Junior Sunday Final Results
|7||Elias McKenzie||1 lap|
|8||Logan Pacza||12 laps|
|9||Ryan Maxwell||12 laps|
|10||Caleb Campbell||18 laps|
|11||Anthony Raducanoiu||21 laps|