Arriving in Las Vegas, USA with a talent-filled Rotax DD2 linup, Maranello North America was an immediate threat for the podium at the season finale of the 2015 US Open Karting Championship. Five Canadian drivers all powering Maranello Karts with Prime Power engines took part in the special event on a temporary course setup in the south parking lot of the RIO All Suites Hotel and Casino just steps away from the famous Las Vegas Strip.
Combined as one class both the DD2 and DD2 Masters raced together putting all five Maranello machines on track together. Ethan Simioni, Max Preston and DTM racer Robert Wickens lined up in DD2 while Elvis Stojko and John Cariati made up the DD2 Masters contingent. It was also the first races with Maranello for both Preston and Cariati.
After quality testing time in practice Maranello drivers qualified fourth, sixth and ninth with Wickens less than two-tenths of a second from the pole-position. Stojko was also the third quickest of the DD2 Masters.
Four rounds of heat races really challenged the Maranello drivers, with each having to fight different bouts of adversity before arriving at Saturday’s Championship Finales.
Wickens jumped out to an early lead in the Final but surrendered the lead only a couple laps in before a red flag brought competition to a halt. After the restart Wickens went back to battle with a lead pack of three, exchanging the lead and putting on a show for the crowd with late braking passes and exemplary driving skills on display. But as the laps ticked away Wickens slid back to third place, his eventual finishing position.
Behind the lead pack, Preston and Simioni were waging their own battle seeking out the top-five. However they would have to settle for seventh and eighth at the finish line.
In the DD2 Masters fight, Stojko and Cariati went toe-to-toe for third place until a late race incident between the leaders put both of them in the mix for the win. The activity created a storm of events and when all was settled Cariati was declared the winner with Stojko runner-up making in a Maranello 1-2! For his victory, Cariati earned an invitation to the 2016 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, the first DD2 Masters driver to qualify for the event.
With three drivers on the podium Maranello North America Team Manager Trevor Wickens was ecstatic. “What a way for Maranello North America to end its 2015 campaign. I would like to thank every driver, mechanic and family member who helped make this year great! Now we set our sights on Fred (Woodley) and Stuart (Clark) in Portugal next week at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.”
Interested in joining Maranello North America for 2016? Race team positions are available for the Florida Winter Tour and all major Canadian events. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.