While every lap in Senior ROK wasn’t led by Canadian Ryan MacDermid (Prime Power Team / BirelART), the second-year senior driver did take the win in every Senior ROK session that had wheel-to-wheel racing action. The 25-lap final required every ounce of skill MacDermid had to pull off, defending at many points in the race that at one point had gotten aggressive enough to lead to a warning from the race marshals.
Fellow Canadian, Zachary Claman Demelo (Goodwood / Exprit) tailed MacDermid closely in the early going, but it was Floridian Axel Cabrera who had the fastest machine — by far. Lapping at 2-3 tenths faster than the two karts in front, Cabrera reeled in the Canadians as the group found their way closer to the halfway point.
Making his way past Demelo would turn out to be the easy part for Cabrera, as MacDermid seemed well aware of how much faster the Kosmic was and he was determined to keep him at bay. Although Cabrera did find a way through to the lead, it was short lived. MacDermid knew he had to get back in front while he still had the opportunity. Without leading a full lap, Cabrera was overtaken for the lead by a slower MacDermid.
With the faster kart in second, MacDermid had to get “wide”, defending into nearly every corner. This allowed Jace Denmark-Gessell (RPM / Tony Kart) to join the fight for the lead, now right on the bumper of third place Demelo. Having ample passing opportunities, this caused a frenzy behind MacDermid for second, eventually leading to Demelo getting his spot back and getting a crack at his compatriot.
With two laps to go, Demelo made his move into the lead, officially leading lap 24 of 25. Now, with a 2 or 3 kart advantage, Demelo thought it was his race to lose, leaving the door open into the third to last corner. MacDermid pounced on the opportunity, braking late and sliding into the lead in front of a standing-only crowd. The Birel ART driver would navigate the final two corners just as he needed with three karts breathing down his neck, taking the win by .199.
Demelo and Cabrera finished second and third, right where they started, while the youngster Denmark-Gessel improved one position to fourth. Ryan Norberg, my pick for the win to start the week, moved up nine places to 5th.
2018 ROK The Rio Senior ROK Final
|2||393||ZACH CLAMAN DEMELO||0.199||48.542||25|
|26||308||PAIGE EVANS||2 Laps||49.334||23|
|27||371||DAKOTA WHITE||8 Laps||50.019||17|
|28||311||SULLIVAN SHERRILL||9 Laps||50.011||16|
|29||313||COOPER HEFFLEY||14 Laps||49.733||11|
|30||319||DIEGO ORTIZ||15 Laps||49.278||10|
|31||372||MATEO VILLAGOMEZ||17 Laps||49.884||8|
|32||387||JOSE ZANELLA||18 Laps||48.892||7|
|33||394||ROBERT SOROKA||24 Laps||53.38||1|