Aussie Report: Pre-Finals

The qualification heats and pre-finals are done and the majority of Team Australia has made it through to the Finals, which will be live streamed tonight (AUS time) HERE.

Hugh Barter #222 is top placed Aussie heading into the Finals

Grid positions for the Finals:

Micro MAX
Jaxson Burns – 3rd

Mini MAX
Costa Toparis – 6th
Kristian Janev – 20th

Junior MAX
Hugh Barter – 5th
Beau Pronesti – 9th
Luke Pink – 32nd

Senior MAX
Cody Gillis – 22nd
Brodie Whitmore – DNQ
(also, Lachlan Robinson racing under UAE – 15th)

DD2
Ryan Kennedy – 25th
Jonathon Marcusson – 29th
(also, Jakob Robinson racing under UAE – DNQ)

DD2 Masters
Troy Bretherton – 9th
Kris Walton – 17th
Scott Howard – 18th

Beau Pronesti (pic – Coopers)

press release

In an eventful day here at the second last day the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals all of the Australian Team put it all on the line in attempt to make the main dance.

With a grand stand stacked with the colours green and gold our drivers had support that no other team can match. Chants and the lyrics to Daryl Braithwaite’s ‘Horses’ was just one of the ways the Australia support team cheered on our drivers. 

Coming here with hopes of running inside the top 10 our youngest member of the team raced for his life in his pre final. Jaxson Burns started from 7th on the grid and drove an incredible wheel to wheel race to secure third in only his first ever World Finals. Tomorrow’s final will be tough but Burns came to win and won’t be settling for much less. In an earlier conversation with Jaxson prior to the event he joked about winning, little did the Queenslander know how close he would be come Finals day. 

Hot favourite entering the weekend was Costa Toparis, after starting the pre final out of position 5 the Goulburn based third generation racer will now start the final from position five, the same position in which he finished in last years World Finals in Brazil. After not turning a lap in qualifying Kristan Janev has had the task of passing karts in every heat. Incredibly the Victorian who has the help of current Australian Champion, Adam Lindstrom will start tomorrows final from 20th. 

Leading the charge still for Team Australia is our Junior driver, Hugh Barter. Barter who led parts of the pre-final and battled for the entirety of the race will start the final from position 5. Beau Pronesti continued to show why he deserves a spot in the team, Pronesti set the goal of a top 10 and will start the final from position 9. ‘I can’t get over the whole experience and how good it is’. Out third and final Junior Max Driver is Luke Pink who has struggled this week has made the final dance despite suffering a seized engine yesterday. Pink will start the final from 30th. 

Cody Gillis will start tomorrows final from position 22 after a week of mixed results. The ex DD2 World Champion will have to battle it in order to jag a result in tomorrows final. Unfortunately, team mate and World Finals debutant, Brodie Whitmore will not take part in the Final here in Sarno Italy. Brodie drove incredibly well in his first World Finals and showed experience beyond his years. 

In DD2 it was certainly down to the wire for both Ryan Kennedy and Jonathon Marcusson. Both drivers were forced to battle it out in a last ditch effort to make the final. With intense wheel to wheel driving and nail biting moments, the pair have made it through to the finale. Kennedy will start from grid 27 and Marcusson 30. Kennedy was another driver who entered as a fan favourite but was unable to find the pace he needed earlier on in the weekend. No stranger to passing karts the whole team is behind Kennedy and Marcusson as they look to work their way through the field in tomorrows final. 

The oldest of the group but by far the most experienced drivers Australia has to offer. Leading the DD2 Masters category for Australia Troy Bretherton will start the final from 10th. Having showed he has the pace to finish inside the top 3, Bretherton will certainly be one to watch as he looks to round out a stellar year for his racing. Next in the order is veteran Kris Walton, Walton who will retire after tomorrows final will start from position 17 and we will be hoping Harry Hoey his mechanic has the kart hooked up for a result. Team Captain, Scott Howard hasn’t had the week he hoped for but will start inside the top 20 on grid 19 for tomorrows final. No stranger to the world finals and the tough racing, Howard knows what it will take to get to the front and will be elbows up as he fights his way through the final in hopes of salvaging the week. 

Australia current sits in third place in the nations cup behind our Kiwi friends from across the ditch.

Expect to see a sea of green and gold in the grandstand on tomorrows (Sunday night) livestream as we cheer on our drivers as they make their way around the Sarno circuit for the last time of 2019. The atmosphere and spirit amongst the team has been a level up on any other Nation. 

Stay tuned on the Rotax Pro Tour Facebook Page tomorrow for updates. 

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