WCC: Sting Ray Robb Drives Away in Rotax Junior; Clay Van Eerd Wins Title
After surrendering the championship points lead on Saturday, Ryan Martin (RPG/TonyKart) only had one goal in mind for Sunday: return to the top of the podium. New championship leader Clay Van Eerd (CVE/TonyKart) thought otherwise as the two went-head to-head for the ticket to Spain and the title.
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Van Eerd drew first blood in Qualifying, going P1, using his final two fresh tires while Martin was only able post the fifth quickest time.
Flag to flag in the PreFinal for Van Eerd meant that Martin needed a complete points haul in the Final to overcome the difference and when the green flag flew to start the Final, he went for it from his third-place starting position. Diving to the inside of Van Eerd into the tight first corner, initially he made it stick, but both drivers washed out wide allowing American Sting Ray Robb (BBR/TonyKart) and Jessica Dezall (Dezall Dynasty/Kosmic) to overcome the front two, as did Jeff Fulham (KGK/Kosmic).
Martin dove back to the inside of Fulham in corner three while Van Eerd sat back in fifth.
Just when this race looked like it was setting up to come down to the wire, Bang! Fulham dove to the inside of Martin in the tight corner nine complex and the two made contact before hitting the outside barriers; Martin’s race and championship over in less than one lap of the Final.
From there things settled down. Robb was on cruise control out front, American Kyle Wick (RPG/Kosmic) initially ran second, only to lose a chain, moving Kellen Ritter up to second, Dezall third and Van Eerd fourth.
The order up front wouldn’t change at the finish, with the exception of Dezell being given a penalty for leaving the starting lanes too early, moving Van Eerd onto the podium.
Third was more than enough for Van Eerd as he scored the title with a stellar comeback weekend in Chilliwack. It was heartbreak for Martin, who entered the weekend with a nice lead in the championship, only to finish runner-up, while Fulham completed the championship podium.
It will be Van Eerd’s first trip to the Rotax Grand Finals this fall when he hits the track in Valencia, Spain this November as part of Team Canada.