Ayrton Dalmaso made the move to the ultra-competitive Junior Max category over the weekend at the opening round of the Australian Rotax Pro Tour.
Dalmaso, a regular front runner, was having his first meeting in the junior ranks at the Circuit of Mark Webber out of the Canberra Kart Club. In a bumper field of near thirty drivers with multiple state champions in the field, Ayrton was in for a tough initiation into the junior ranks.
Dalmaso showed excellent pace in the lead up to Saturday morning qualifying and looked one of the main fancies for the pole position. The Tom Williamson Motorsport supported entry put himself immediately in the battle and was deep in the top five on his home track. In a breath-taking lap, Ayrton put himself in second position overall on the outside of the front row just behind state champion James Anagnostiadis.
Dalmaso looked to heat one and got a great start, settling into second position and taking the lead on lap two looking good. There were multiple lead changes in the first half of the race but lap six was a turning point with Ayrton dropping back to position five. In a determined and excellent recovery, Dalmaso was able to make his way back up into the top three and cross the line in position three.
Dalmaso was looking to bounce back in heat two and got a great start jumping into position two. The Troy Farley Race Engines backed entry had a clean first half of the race, staying in position two overall. As the race went on, the battle started to heat up with many positional changes happening in the final few laps. Ayrton emerged from the last few laps with another third spot finish!
Heat three had an unfortunate start with Dalmaso being involved in an incident on the opening lap resulting in him going to the rear of the field. In a storming drive forward, the Tom Williamson Motorsport backed entry made his way back up inside the top fifteen and crossing the line in position twelve.
Due to this result Ayrton had work to do in the pre final and final. Starting in the middle of the top ten for the pre final, Dalmaso had a superb opening lap jumping into third spot. Ayrton made up another spot-on lap two moving to second but on lap three another incident resulted in him going to the rear of the field once again. The Troy Farley Race Engines powered entry stormed up the field once again! In another excellent recovery, Dalmaso crossed the line in position fourteen and now looking to the final to turn things around.
Ayrton started outside the top ten but made an excellent start and by lap three was inside the top ten. The Tom Williamson Motorsport supported entry continued to push out fast lap times and move his way up the field. Dalamso in a smooth and calculated drive made his way up to position six by races end coming home just outside the top five.
Ayrton’s mother Christie spoke post-race of her son’s junior debut. “Myself and Adrian were really impressed with how well Ayrton handled the move up to juniors showing great pace, going from a mini chassis straight to a senior chassis was quite a big ask but he did a great job! A big thank you to Tom Williamson Motorsport and Troy Farley Race Engines for their support over the weekend”.
Dalmaso will be one of the drivers to watch over the Rotax Pro Tour season!