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ANOTHER FULL DAY OF PRACTICE AS RMC GRAND FINALS COMPETITORS SHIFT FOCUS TO QUALIFYING TOMORROW

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It was a late start for Team USA and the rest of the RMC Grand Finals competitors as a 1:00pm gate open time led into the remainder of the third round of practice for all but two classes, as well as rounds four and five for all classes. With only one more practice session on Wednesday morning to get it all right, qualifying will take place after lunch before the first wheel-to-wheel heat race competition under the lights tomorrow evening.

Non-Qualifying Practice #3 Results
Junior MAX
Giovanni Santora – 12th (Odd)
Nixx Eggleston – 20th (Even)
Francisco Paredes – N/R (Odd)

  • The Junior MAX Odd session saw a red flag only four minutes in that shut down the running for those drivers. With only 13 of 36 drivers having the opportunity to complete laps, Giovanni Santora, who was elevated to the Team USA roster due to the ineligibility of another competitor and received his ticket through the US Trophy West, was 12th quick while Rotax Winter Trophy Series entrant and Ecuadorian Francisco Paredes was unable to complete a lap. Team USA’s Nixx Eggleston, traveling to Bahrain on a ticket earned at the US Trophy Final, clocked the 20th quickest lap of the Even session, 0.340 behind the pacesetter as the Junior MAX field was a lot closer in lap times than yesterday.

Senior MAX
Cooper O’Clair – 9th (Even)
Oliver Hodgson – 11th (Odd)
Eduardo Barrichello – 22nd (Even)

  • Finding time from yesterday, US Trophy Final competitor Oliver Hodgson moved up the running order to clock the 11th quickest lap of the Odd numbered Senior competitors on Tuesday morning. Replicated in the Even group, times became much closer on day two with US Trophy Final ticket winner Cooper O’Clair only 0.278 off the quick time of the session in P9 while Brazilian and Rotax Winter Trophy qualifier Eduardo Barrichello was 22nd, just over half a second off the quickest lap of the session

DD2 MAX Masters
Ben Cooper – 2nd
Rubens Barrichello – 4th
Derek Wang – 18th
Billy Cleavlin – 32nd

  • US Trophy Final Masters MAX winner Ben Cooper found the pace that he lost in the second session yesterday to find himself back close to the pointy end of the grid in the second position. Rotax Winter Trophy DD2 Champion and former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello clocked the fourth fastest lap to assert himself as a contender. Derek Wang, who earned a ticket in Canada at the Max Karting Group Canada Final was 18th quickest while the elder statesman, Billy Cleavlin was 32nd, making the trek from home to Bahrain courtesy of his US Trophy Final results.

DD2 MAX Senior
Gianluca Savaglio – 9th (Even)
Race Liberante – 24th (Odd)

  • US Trophy Final ticket winner Race Liberante could not match the results of his second session yesterday as he fell from 13th on the results sheet to 24th in the Odd-numbered group. Rotax Winter Trophy qualifier and Canadian driver Gianluca Savaglio, who paced inside the top-ten in the Even-numbered group in the first two rounds of practice yesterday, returned to the top-ten in round three with a solid P9 effort, a scant 0.234 from the quickest lap time of his group and the exact same time as the eighth place driver in the results.

Non-Qualifying Practice #4 Results
Micro MAX
Julian Rivera – 8th
Lucas Palacio – 7th

  • With both drivers showing top-ten speed yesterday, Rotax Winter Trophy qualifier and Ecuador driver Julian Rivera scored the eighth fastest lap of the fourth practice session while US Trophy Final ticket winner Lucas Palacio was one position ahead in seventh in the 36-kart field. With both drivers consistently inside the top-ten, the duo could have a shot to earn a Grand Finals victory this weekend.

Mini MAX
Gage Korn – 22nd (Odd)
Matteo Quinto – 13th (Even)
Antoine Lemieux – 19th (Even)

  • Punching his ticket to the RMC Grand Finals via the US Trophy Final, Matteo Quinto was able to find the lost speed from session three yesterday in his first session of the day as he advanced back forward to P13 on the results sheet. Rotax Winter Trophy combatant Antoine Lemieux, racing out of the Team Canada stable, clocked the 19th fastest lap in the Even numbered group before US Trophy Final podium garner Gage Korn took to the track in the Odd numbered group and went 22nd quick.

Junior MAX
Nixx Eggleston – 6th (Even)
Francisco Paredes – 7th (Odd)
Giovanni Santora – 30th (Odd)

  • Nixx Eggleston came out in Junior MAX practice four and was able to show he had the speed to battle for a solid Grand Finals result. Finishing 0.173 in arrears of the quickest driver of the session, Eggleston was sixth in his group. Francisco Paredes was in the Odd-numbered group and had similar pace to Eggleston to earn P7 in the results, while Giovanni Santora was 30th.

Senior MAX
Oliver Hodgson – 12th (Odd)
Cooper O’Clair – 17th (Even)
Eduardo Barrichello – 27th (Even)

  • Setting two of his three fastest sectors on his last flying lap, Oliver Hodgson was able to jump to 12th in his fourth practice session, just over half a second behind the quickest driver. Quickest of all three Senior MAX qualifiers from the USA race programs, Cooper O’Clair and Eduardo Barrichello were 17th and 27th quick in the Even group and slightly off pace from Hodgson in the Odd-numbered session.

DD2 MAX Masters
Ben Cooper – 2nd
Rubens Barrichello – 5th
Derek Wang – 18th
Billy Cleavlin – 35th

  • The DD2 MAX drivers were consistent with their results between practice three and four as Cooper remained the second quickest driver on track, while Barichello dropped from fourth to fifth but still ran times that could see him battle for the pole position tomorrow. Derek Wang slotted himself in 18th, a position that he has yet to move either up or down from on the day while Cleavlin is aiming to improve in the final session later today after being classified in P35.

DD2 MAX Senior
Gianluca Savaglio – 1st (Even)
Race Liberante – 11th (Odd)

  • Gianluca Savaglio was the first qualified driver from any RMC event in the United States to lead a session at the 2023 Grand Finals. Topping the Even-numbered drivers of DD2 MAX in practice four, Savaglio’s time was good enough to place him second overall in the combined two groups. Race Liberante was the 11th fastest competitor in the Odd-numbered session.

Non-Qualifying Practice #5 Results
Micro MAX
Lucas Palacio – 2nd
Julian Rivera – 11th

  • Only 0.080 away from the quickest time of the session, Lucas Palacio turned the second fast lap in the last Micro MAX session of the day under the lights at the Bahrain International Karting Circuit. Steadily improving throughout his sessions, Palacio is peaking at the right time with only one more practice session tomorrow morning before the ever-important qualifying session after lunch. Julian Rivera fell just outside the top-ten in the 11th position, but two-tenths of a second would give him a fighting chance for a top-five result in qualifying.

Mini MAX
Gage Korn – 28th (Odd)
Matteo Quinto – 17th (Even)
Antoine Lemieux – 28th (Even)

  • While the quickest time of the Mini MAX Odd-numbered competitors slowed by two and a half tenths of a second when the sun set, Gage Korn’s also dropped a similar time while many other drivers in the middle of the pack were able to not lose as much. While the result is not what he was hoping for, P28 at the end of the day will force this Team USA competitor and mechanic to dig deep and see what they can come up with overnight before qualifying tomorrow afternoon. Following suit in the Even-numbered session, Lemieux turned a near identical time and matched Korn’s position in P28 while Matteo Quinto was able to stay mid-pack in his group in the 17th position.

Junior MAX
Nixx Eggleston – 5th (Even)
Francisco Paredes – 22nd (Odd)
Giovanni Santora – 25th (Odd)

  • Nixx Eggleston led the way for the Junior MAX drivers as a last-lap push saw him jump for 17th in his group to finish fifth, a mere 0.155 away from the quickest lap of the session. Flexing his muscles as the track temperature cooled, Eggleston has asserted himself as a potential candidate for success in Junior MAX. Francesco Paredes and Giovanni Santora ended their days 22nd and 25th respectively in the Odd-numbered group.

Senior MAX
Cooper O’Clair – 34th (Even)
Eduardo Barrichello –20th (Even)
Oliver Hodgson – 18th (Odd)

  • In the talent-filled Senior MAX class, the qualifiers from United States events will need to push hard overnight to find the missing speed. Oliver Hodgson was the quickest in his group clocking the 18th fastest time while Barichello was 20th. Cooper O’Clair, who was quick earlier in the day, had an apparent issue that pushed him down in the order.

DD2 MAX Masters
Ben Cooper – 1st
Rubens Barrichello – 3rd
Derek Wang – 34th
Billy Cleavlin – 32nd

  • The session under the lights was good for Cooper and Barichello as they both continued their presence in the top-five and improved their positions. Cooper topped the final DD2 MAX session of the day as he looks good for tomorrow’s qualifying session. Rubens Barrichello shows that he has what it takes to compete against his younger competitors grabbing P3 in the final session of the day as he puts pressure on those around him. Billy Cleavlin was able jump a few positions under the lights to 32nd while Derek Wang ran into an apparent issue that hindered his performance where he was 34th on the result sheets.

DD2 MAX Senior
Race Liberante – 12th (Odd)
Gianluca Savaglio – 2nd (Even)

  • Leading the previous session, Gianluca Savaglio returned in the fifth DD2 MAX session and was once again one of the drivers to beat. Earning the second fastest lap of the session Savaglio may be one of the drivers to beat come Saturday. Race Liberante was just outside the top-ten once again but is proving to be consistent with the first wheel-to-wheel action set to take place tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday proves to be one of the most important days of the week at the RMC Grand Finals as Qualifying will set the grid for the heat race flight format. With the ever-important qualifying session taking place just after lunch, the first round of heats will take place under the lights. With qualifying beginning at 14:23, the RMC Grand Finals Live Stream will commence at 14:00.

Event Information:
Event Schedule – Click HERE
Live Timing – Click HERE
Live Stream – Click HERE

While drivers compete in Bahrain, registration is open for the 2024 editions of the RMC Winter Trophy Series and US Trophy West Series.

Register Now:
RMC Winter Trophy Series – Click HERE
RMC US Trophy West Series – Click HERE

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