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Rotax Technical BulletinRMGF 2011 Team USA Qualifying Report

Wednesday morning here at Ai Ain Raceway was a little cooler than the previous days. Perhaps only by a few degrees, but the difference was welcomed. Today is qualifying day so the teams knew that by the time they got back to the hotel, they would have a pretty good idea of how much work is cut out for them in the heat races.

Winning the Grand Finals is about more than just speed. It’s also about survival and keeping out of trouble. Over the last 12 years we’ve seen many fast drivers throw away their shot at the win by one ill-advised move. We’ve also seen drivers taken out through no fault of their own. Rare is the occasion where someone comes from the back to win. But it can happen as witnessed last year when South African Caleb Williams came from the back to win Senior MAX at La Conca.

In the morning practice sessions, Team USA had some great runs. In particular was Junior MAX competitor Dalton Sargeant who set the fastest time of all the junior competitors. After practice, the young competitor from Boca Raton, FL was all smiles and said he was motivated to match the performance of our Senior drivers from the day before.

Speaking of the Senior drivers, all three were once again back in the top portions of their respective sessions. Sam Beasley found himself second in his group, tied with one other driver down to the thousandth of a second, with fourth just 1/1000 behind. The DD2 and DD2 Masters drivers maintained station where they had been throughout most of practice.

Once qualifying began, what was hoped would be a strong showing began to unravel a bit. In Junior MAX qualifying things got off to a good start with Jake Craig turning in the 9th fastest time. This puts him in the A group so he will be starting all three of his heats from inside the third row. Unfortunately Dalton Sargeant and Oliver Askew stumbled a bit and a bit is all it takes to fall from the top to halfway down the field. As a result, Dalton qualified 31st and Oliver 51st.

Junior MAX Qualifying:

1    Sasahara, Ukyo    Japan    57.744
2    Makino, Tadasuke    Japan    57.747    + 0.003
3    Lazare, Jesse    Canada    57.832    + 0.088
4    Morin, Philip    Sweden    57.834    + 0.090
5    Tsutsui, Kyoichi    Canada    57.834    + 0.090
6    Harrison, Nathan    United Kingdom    57.849    + 0.105
7    Lehane, Pierce    Australia    57.883    + 0.139
8    Borlido, Bruno    Portugal    57.953    + 0.209
9    Craig, Jake    United States    57.987    + 0.243
10    Polakovich, Mateo    Argentina    57.990    + 0.246

Other Americans:
31    Sargeant, Dalton    United States    58.200    + 0.456
51    Askew, Oliver    United States    58.518    + 0.774

Senior MAX qualifying was greeted with great anticipation from Team USA. Since all three Seniors had been really fast in practice, hopes were that that would carry over into qualifying. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned and at the end of the session Sam Beasley was sitting in 24th with Stepanova Nekeel 38th and Kiel Spaulding 39th.

Senior MAX Qualifying Results:

1    Babington, Sean    United Kingdom    56.787
2    Cooper, Ben    United Kingdom    56.830    + 0.043
3    Dabski, Karol    Poland    56.835    + 0.048
4    Kancsar, Ferenc    Hungary    56.849    + 0.062
5    Riener, Stefan    Austria    56.876    + 0.089
6    Sera, David    Australia    56.877    + 0.090
7    Frost, Ryan    South Africa    56.893    + 0.106
8    Brand, Edward    United Kingdom    56.924    + 0.137
9    Sasaki, Hirotaka    Japan    56.926    + 0.139
10    Friedrich, Christopher    Germany    56.977    + 0.190

Team USA
24    Beasley, Sam    United States    57.133    + 0.346
38    Nekeel, Stepanova    United States    57.261    + 0.474
39    Spaulding, Kiel    United States    57.281    + 0.494

DD2 Masters followed Senior MAX and like the other classes so far, results weren’t what was hoped for. All three drivers were a fraction off the pole time set by Cristiano Morgado. After the combined sessions were calculated, the fastest American in DD2 Masters was Todd Ulmen in 26th with a lap of 57.287 seconds. Rene Martinelli was four spots back at 57.350 and Erik Jackson slotted in 32nd at 57.423 seconds.

DD2 Masters Qualifying Results:

1    Morgado, Cristiano    South Africa    56.222
2    Matis, Andreas    Germany    56.476    + 0.254
3    Campbell, Scott    Canada    56.500    + 0.278
4    Lambert, Florent    United Kingdom    56.526    + 0.304
5    Kroes, Dennis    Netherlands    56.527    + 0.305
6    Berteaux, Guillaume    France    56.540    + 0.318
7    Adams, Christophe    Belgium    56.563    + 0.341
8    Gosevits, Stoyan    Greece    56.684    + 0.462
9    Lundstroem, Peter    Denmark    56.707    + 0.485
10    Pansart, Guy    France    56.780    + 0.558

Team USA
26    Ulmen, Todd    United States    57.287    + 1.065
30    Martinelli, Rene    United States    57.350    + 1.128
32    Jackson, Eric    United States    57.423    + 1.201

DD2 qualifying rounded out the day with Kristina Vorndran and Derek Wang qualifying 46th and 55th respectively. The two drivers have been working very diligently on their CRG karts trying to find the right balance but the speed hasn’t been there. However, they have been able to race with others in practice so perhaps that’s a good sign for the heat races.

DD2 Qualifying Results:

1    Ouellette, Pier-Luc    Canada    55.562
2    Brittz, Eugene    South Africa    55.583    + 0.021
3    Murray, Marc    South Africa    55.592    + 0.030
4    Detige, Mathias    Belgium    55.628    + 0.066
5    De Ruwe, Xen    Belgium    55.653    + 0.091
6    Latifi, Nicholas    Canada    55.673    + 0.111
7    Nelson, Brendan    Australia    55.694    + 0.132
8    Laiho, Miika    Finland    55.724    + 0.162
9    Wagner, Simon    Austria    55.741    + 0.179
10    Bakker, Roy    Netherlands    55.748    + 0.186

Team USA:
46    Vorndran, Kristina    United States    56.212    + 0.650
55    Wang, Derek    United States    56.461    + 0.899

After all was said and done, we can’t say it was the results that all were hoping for. Jake Craig is looking good and we know our drivers can race well. So, good things are ahead. Log on to the web and check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GoRotax for the latest updates and photo galleries from the 2011 Rotax MAX Grand Finals at Al Ain Raceway.

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