RMCGF Day 5 - Circuito Internazionale di Napoli

Sarno, Italy, October 24, 2019 Welcome back to the RMC Grand Finals 2019 Day 5 here at the Circuito Internazionale di Napoli. Today we saw a lot of interesting, exciting races during the heats of the several classes. But let’s have a look at the happenings in detail:

Micro MAX

Micro MAX was next on track where Christian Costoya Sanabri was fastest for the majority of the warm-up with a time of 1:10.383 secs, but a brilliant final lap which included the fastest first sector of Raul Luis Martinez put him into the top spot (1:10.065).

Heat 2 for Micro MAX started with Thiago Falivene on pole position alongside Ben Maier alongside on the front row. After an accident brought out the SLOW boards, all the drivers bunched up ready for the re-start on lap 3. Costoya Sanabri led the way with Enzo Nienkotter close behind, who soon took the lead. Griffin Peebles was in P3, followed by Macauley Bishop, Salvador Trindade and Jay Urwin. With a gap of nearly half a second, it looked like the leading two were safe. However, a brilliant couple of laps from Bishop up to 3rd and Trindade in 4th enabled the pair to close the gap.  On the final lap, Bishop made a last-minute lunge to take the lead momentarily before running wide, changing the order of the front pack and seeing him fall to 4th, Trindade claiming the win with Falivene in 2nd and Urwin 3rd.  After the race, Urwin received a front fairing penalty of 5 seconds pushing him back to 18th place and promoting Bishop up one spot.

Micro MAX is scheduled to be out on track again at 8.31am (CET) tomorrow morning.

Mini MAX

Once again, it was Andy Ratel (1:05.597) leading the way in the Mini MAX warm-up, Alvar Siimesvaara (1:05.733) second fastest and then came Karel Schulz (1:05.768).

The Mini MAX Heat 2 provided action every lap with Ratel off pole position. The dicing between Costa Toparis and Raphael Rennhofer saw Toparis make a great pass for the lead and Ratel demoted to 6th. Next lap, Jolan Raccamier showed up 2nd trailed by Jayden Thien, as the Heat 1 winner also found his way into P1, leading Adrian Malheiro Sune and Ratel.  With positions constantly being shuffled around, it was the pole-man who secured the victory on the sixth and final lap, Toparis in 2nd and Malheiro Sune classified 3rd after Thien fell to 16th with a drop-down bumper penalty.

The Mini MAX warm-up kicks off tomorrow at 8.44am (CET).

Junior MAX

The first warm-up session for the juniors was led by the odd-numbered 231 of Lucas Bohdanowicz who posted a time of 1:01.641 secs on the final lap.  He was followed by the 251 kart of Noam Abramczyk (1:01.754) and Lucas Da Silva Mendes (1:01.776).

The even numbers were next with Felipe Bernasconi (1:01.147) going fastest, then Hitoshi Sakai (1:01.362) and Tomass Stolcermanis (1:01.376).

A+C Heat

The first heat for Junior MAX had Clay Osborne on pole with Hugh Barter joining him on row 1 and Hitoshi Sakai off grid 3. A great start from the Japanese driver put him into the lead from Osborne and Kris Haanen.  On lap 2, Osborne was up in P1 again as the order of his closest rivals changed right up until the final stages. Aqil Alibhai and Euro Trophy winner Mike Van Vugt in 8th and 9th lost their top 10 positions in a scuffle and resumed rear of field. Meanwhile, Hannen swapped places with Sakai moments before the flag, separated by Barter in 3rd. Later, the two juniors received a 5-second fairing penalty and lost several positions, moving Barter up to P2 and Beau Pronesti P3.

B+D Heat

Charlie Wurz was on pole next to Schu Dozonom, the Austrian leading for the first few laps until Sami-Joe Abi Nakhle passed him. Wurz didn’t settle for 2nd though and re-took the lead on lap 4 with Oli Pylka grabbing 2nd and P1 the next time around. The top three continued for the remaining laps with Pylka taking the win from Abi Nakhle, although a time penalty confirmed Luca Mars runner-up and Wurz 3rd.

A+D Heat

With Osborne on pole, Dozono struggled to hold his front row place and fell down to P5.

Mike Van Vugt momentarily snatched the lead before Osbourn took it back, only to see Oli Plyka leading by half-race distance after a brave move into turn 10. 12-year old Tomass Stolcermanis was fastest. The 217 of Van Vugt was right on Pylka’s rear bumper for the final two laps getting ready to make his move.  However, Osbourn had managed to catch up and dive down the inside of both of them, as all three drivers battled continuously. With Osborne ahead on the final lap, Van Vugt and Pylka came together, dropping them down to 5th and 9th.  The remaining minor placings went to Marcel Surmacz and Sacha Maguet.

B+C Heat

With Wurz back on pole and Barter off P2 in the last Junior MAX heat of the day, Abi Nakhle desperate to make up for the penalty earlier stole 2nd and Troy Dolinschek in 3rd, while Barter tumbled to P15. On lap 4, Abi Nakhle overtook Wurz as a four-way battle for the lead formed between them, including Leung and Miska Kaskinen. A pass by Leung for P1 and the victory also resulted in Wurz moving up to 2nd and Abi Nakhle in 3rd.

Junior MAX will start again tomorrow at 8.57am (CET).

Senior MAX

The odd-numbered warm-up was led by Jace Denmark-Gessel who set a time of 1:00.444 secs against Charl Michael Visser (1:00.536) and Daniel Vasile (1:00.615).  The even-numbers were led by Kivi Kairo (1:00.652) with Koeberl Stephan (1:00.658) next quickest and Cunha Joao (1:00.705) 3rd.

A+C Heat

In the initial race of the day for Senior MAX, it was Elia Galvanin who started pole, Norberg alongside with Vasile and Fourquemin behind on row 2. The race for the front saw each of the four drivers leading at some point until Norberg overtook Fourquemin on lap 5 to go on for the win with Galvanin in 3rd.

B+D Heat

Vincent France lined up with Guillaume Treillard De Qu for the second Senior MAX heat.  The pole-man led with Oakley Pryer 2nd and Axel Saarniala in 3rd. India’s Shahan Ali Mohsin joined the front-runners swapping positions throughout the race. On the final lap, Guy Cunnington caught Ali Mohsin and Pryer in sector 2, passing them both to secure P3. Saarniala won the race comfortably by 3.245 seconds ahead of France.

A+D Heat

Elia Galvanin led the pack away followed by Daniel Vasile and Yuga Furutain in the next qualifying heat. On lap 1, Guillaume Treillard De Qu moved into the top 3, as did Cody Gillis shadowed by Axel Saarniala and Rhys Hunter. With three laps to go, Gillis was leading, until last lap contact changed the finishing order, leaving Saarniala victorious, Hunter 2nd and Vasile promoted to P3 after Galvanin received a penalty.

B+C Heat

The final senior heat started with Vincent France leading the way from the experienced Ryan Norberg in 2nd. Clayton Ravenscroft was pushing hard and took the lead ahead of Norberg, as the US driver diced with the Brit for P1. Fourquemin briefly led as well, but Ravenscroft fought back to take the win from Fourquemin (2nd), Pryer (3rd) and France (4th).

Senior MAX will return tomorrow morning at 9.23am (CET).

DD2 Masters

In the odd-numbered session, it was Primoz Matelic as the only driver to break the one-minute barrier to finish 1st with a 59.882.  Horacio Torres was 2nd (1:00.041) and Carl Cleirbaut in 3rd (1:00.053). The even numbers followed with Arto Savenius going fastest with a time of 59.850 followed by Nicholas Verheul (59.865) and Leonard Nienkotter (59.916).

A+C Heat:

In the A+C Heat for the DD2 Masters, Roberto Pesevski was on pole position with Verheul alongside him, 3rd was Henrijs Grube and Savenius on grid 4. The race got underway with Pesevski able to maintain his lead over Grube and Eriks Gasparovics.  On lap 7, Grube hunted Pesevski down and moved into 1st, which was amplified by a mistake at turn 2 that left the Austrian champ fending off Rudy Champion in 3rd and six-tenths behind the leader.  On the final lap, Champion passed Pesevski to finish 2nd, while Grube won by 1.252 seconds.

B+D Heat:

In the second race of the day for DD2 Masters, it was Antti Ollikainen who led the field away from pole, chased by Argentinian champion Matias Rodriguez and Rodrigo Eckholt in 3rd.  Ollikainen remained unchallenged for the whole race, expanding his advantage and setting fastest lap (59.558) in the last minute.  Rodriguez remained 2nd with Eckholt in 3rd and Joao Oliveira 4th.  Troy Bretherton made up 5 places to finish a strong 5th.

Heat A+D

Pole-sitter Pesevski was overtaken by Rodriguez in the opening lap of the third heat, before Grube shot to the front and began posting some faster laptimes. Bretherton managed to find a way past Pesevski for 3rd in lap 5 and started his campaign to catch the leaders. There was a change for the lead by Rodriguez, who was carrying the on-board camera for the livestream coverage, as the pair stretched the gap to 2 seconds, without having to worry about Bretherton catching them. The win went to Rodriguez with Grube 2nd and Bretherton in 3rd.  Pesevski slid down the order to 9th at the flag.

B+C Heat

The final DD2 Masters heat was led by Ollikanien then Verheul in P2. Just as before, the Finn was out front and Primoz Matelic moved into 2nd, with Verheul falling to 23rd. Matelic soon overtook Ollikanien and Eckholt in 3rd place was 0.975 seconds behind the leader.  On lap 6, Ollikanien re-took the lead to secure his win from the Slovenian Master, while Savenius moved into 3rd and was replaced by Champion in P3 the following lap. Verheul continued to make progress through the race finishing 15th with the fastest lap (59.716).

DD2 Masters will be on track tomorrow for the morning warm-up at 9.49am (CET).


The odd-numbered DD2 started the morning off with Freddie Carlsson (59.194 secs) setting the fastest time ahead of Jonathan Thomas (59.472) and Niklas Graenz (59.490).

The even-numbered session was led by Matias Milla with a time of 59.030 secs followed by Ruan Belizario (59.215) and Max Jaeger (59.250) ranking 3rd.

The first heat Thursday for DD2 started with Petr Bezel sharing row 1 with Nicolas Picot.  The Frenchman had a great start to take the lead and Bezel followed. Alejandro Lahoz Lopez also had a great start moving up 5 places to take 3rd.  With Bezel pushing hard to find a way past, Picot was not backing off either and set the best time (58.936) on lap 6.  Bezel, racing his 10th annual RMCGF continued to push, but couldn’t find a way through. It was Picot taking the race win from Bezel and Lahoz Lopez for some vital points for the Pre-final grid.

B+D Heat

RMC International Trophy 2019 winner Luca Munaretto lined up on pole position with Lucas Joly alongside him. The South African now living in Italy led the race from start to finish, as the battle for second raged on.  Kacper Bielecki managed to get past Joly at the start for 2nd.  Sam Waddell and Dzianis Slavinski found a way past and reached the top 5. Waddell pushing hard to catch Bielecki, clocked the fastest lap (59.157) and overtook him for P2 on lap 7.  Bielecki returned the favour overtaking Waddell back for 2nd where he would finish.

A+D Heat

The A+D Heat started with Bezel back on pole next to Joly.  Great start from Trolese put him into the lead with Bexel close behind followed by Prunonosa, who was out of the picture down in P22 by lap 3.  Once Bezel regained the lead, he extended his advantage to 6-tenths, but it was Daniel Machacek who overtook Joly in search of Bezel.  The Austrian had much more pace so was catching Bezel quickly and passed him. Yet, with Machacek defending on turn 2 in the final lap, Bezel took the outside line and drove around him.  A failed attempt to pass again at turn 9 resulted in Bezel winning the race with Machacek 2nd and Joly 3rd.

B+C Heat

The very last heat of the day saw Munaretto on pole position alongside Picot, with Bielecki and Viiliainen making up the second row. In a messy turn 1, Munaretto ran wide giving Waddell a chance to take the lead with Jonathon Marcusson up to 2nd. Munaretto was on a mission to regain 1st place and did so on lap 5, lunging down the inside of turn 9. Just over the halfway mark and Picot was in 2nd ahead of Viiliainen and Xen De Ruwe in 4th. Picot passed Munaretto for P1, however the race was red-flagged on lap 9 due to an issue on the track that caused it to be unsafe. The race was classified as of lap 8, meaning Picot should be the winner, but a 5 second bumper penalty hands Munaretto to victory and Villiainen is 2nd.

DD2 will be on track for their warm-up at 10.15am (CET).


It was Jasin Ferati who posted the fastest time (1:04.551) in the morning warm-up followed by Bradley Barrett (1:04.773 secs) and series leader Luke Wloemer (1:04.878 secs).

The first Final for the weekend with a standing start for the Rotax THUNDeR class saw Barrett immediately take the lead with Ferati in P2 and then Wloemer. The Swiss driver was pushing to close the 3-tenths gap to the leader and on lap 4, managed to get close enough to move into 1st. Barrett and Ferati fought wheel-to-wheel for the next couple of laps which allowed guest driver Jie Kao from Taiwan and Wloemer to make up some ground, but it wasn’t quite enough. Finally, on lap 6 Barrett was able to re-take the lead and go on to win the race from Ferati only 0.235 seconds behind.


Stay tuned for our upcoming daily reports, which bring the intense action of the RMCGF to you!

For more information about the Rotax MAX Challenge, please visit the website.

Andrea Veitschegger

Public Relations