Rok Cup International Final 2018: the races

The Rok Cup International Final proves to be a world party for the Rokkers and one of the most amazing events of the karting scene.

The 2018 Champions won the Title at the end of a winning selection, which arose endless emotions during the whole week with 420 drivers challenging each other, coming from 51 different Countries. The final party on Saturday (October 13th) sealed the wonderful atmosphere that has been reigning in the paddock of the South Garda, an alchemy that only the Rok can mix, among passion, competitiveness and friendship. Let’s see, race by race, how the champions conquered the Title: Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Mini Rok), Marco Chiari (Expert Plus), Daniel Zajac (Expert), Andrea Zemin (Shifter Rok), Federico Cecchi (Junior Rok), Pietro Delli Guanti (Senior Rok) and Alexandre Machado (Super Rok).

EXPERT ROK & EXPERT PLUS. ZAJAC AND CHIARI UNSTOPPABLE The Rokkers of Expert and Expert Plus classes get on track for the first Final of the afternoon, with a double race in one. ROK EXPERT. The Expert is dominated by the Polish Daniel Zajac, author of a perfect race, which deals him from the pole position to the final triumph, reaching two victories in the heats. At the starting line, only the Brazilian Gaia Magno manages to keep pace with the leader, but after a few laps Zajac recovers and springs forward, winning the race and centering the best lap too (49.834). Magno can easily keep his top position because Castro (ARG), who is springing forward in the first row with Zajac at his side, loses ground and drops out halfway through the race. The United States Erik Jackson reaches the third position, preceding the Canadian Crupi and the Chinese Ho Ying Chi. ROK EXPERT PLUS. Compared to the Expert, which has not given many emotions at the top, the Expert Plus was full of reversals. Tino Donadei (ITA), from the first position, was forced to stop during the first lap, so Gianluca Todeschini (ITA) was able to lead the race ahead of the Dutch Lohmann-Jørgensen and the Brazilian Welson Jacometti. But the biggest danger for the Rok Italia Champion Todeschini came from the backlines, from Marco Chiari, who started an amazing recovery. Chiari’s comeback was perfect and culminated with the direct challenge with Todeschini at the eleventh lap with an exciting overtaking, which allowed Chiari to conquer the first Rok Expert Plus International Title. Todeschini stepped onto the podium too, together with the Brazilian Jacometti.

SUPER ROK. MACHADO, ABSOLUTE CHAMPION At the top of the starting grid of Super class, the two current champions are lining up, Luca Bosco (Rok Junior Champion) and Mattia D’Abramo (Super Rok Champion). In the first two rows, together with the above-mentioned Rokkers, we find also Kacper Szczurek (POL) and Domenico Cicognini (ITA). At the start, Bosco takes the lead, followed by Cicognini, Machado, Szczurek and D’Abramo. Cicognini immediately fights against the leader Bosco, racing in top position for a few hundred meters. Bosco reacts and gets back to the lead, but it is in this right moment of the race that Machado surprises everybody. The Rokker from Andorra takes the leadership in one shot, at the fifth lap, and heads straight to the fifteen laps separating him from the Title. Behind the leader, the race lights up with Bosco, D’Abramo and Cicognini challenging each other, while Szczurek, Cristian Comanducci (ITA) and Dingli (ITA) lie in wait.  In the final rush, D’Abramo manages to fill the gap with Machado and attempts an attack, followed by Bosco. The race is open again, for a few seconds, but the leader dos not lose his temper, and manages to keep his position. After these exciting actions, Alexandre Machado ends his race reaching the well-deserved Title of 2018 Super Rok International Champion! Bosco and Cicognini step onto the podium together with Machado, with the outgoing champion D’Abramo, who has to be content with the best lap (47.944).

SHIFTER ROK. ZEMIN UNCATCHABLE At the start, Zemin (ITA) is immediately taking the lead from the first row, while Zani (ITA) is a little late and is forced to stop due to a technical problem. Initially, the Colombian Henri Cubides is behind Zemin, followed by the aggressive Luyet and Cinti. Zemin is uncatchable and runs at an unapproachable pace, the poleman Cinti only has to challenge Luyet for the top position. The two drivers exchange positions during the eleventh lap, with the expert driver Cinti managing to get the better of the young Swiss Luyet. Cubides reaches the fourth place, ahead of Buran, author of the best lap and the Canadian Sandri. The race of the first three drivers does not change in the last ten laps and Zemin wins, writing his name in the Wall of fame of the Rok Final, immediately after Danilo Albanese (ITA).

SENIOR ROK. DELLI GUANTI IS DEFINITELY CHAMPION The essence of the Senior Rok Final can be summarized into two crucial moments, the match between Alex Brown (SNG) and Giorgio Molinari (ITA) and the winning spurt of Pietro Delli Guanti (ITA). The Senior was full of protagonists and in the first part of the race, Brown took the lead, followed by Giuseppe Gaglianò (ITA), Szymon Szyszko (POL), Delli Guanti and Giorgio Molinari (ITA). Molinari gave life to the first ten laps of the Final, making a fantastic recovery behind the leader, Brown. Unfortunately, the challenge between Brown and Molinari ended with a contact, which drove both drivers out from the race. Delli Guanti did not lose the chance to take the lead and won the title, racing authoritatively from the tenth lap until the checkered flag. Molinari ended his race in second position, but he got a penalty of ten seconds for having caused the accident with Brown. After this decision, Molinari brought an appeal against the race direction and put the race rating sub-judice. Szyszko Maciej (POL) reached the third position and got the better of Gaglianò and Davide Cordera (ITA), author of a good recovery. The appeal presented by Molinari (author of the best lap in final) will not modify in any way the name of the winner, Pietro Delli Guanti, who, after the Rok Italian Championship, gained the most prestigious Rok International Title.

JUNIOR ROK. CECCHI INTERNATIONAL CHAMPION FOR THE SECOND TIME. After an amazing series of heats, the Italian Pietro Ragone manages to start in the first row in the Junior Rok Final. The American Ugo Ugochukwu is lining up at his side. It is actually the couple of the first row, Ugochukwu-Ragone that brilliantly stands out at the starting line, with Ugochukwu, overtaking Ragone and tries to run away. At the fourth lap there is a small crash (without consequences for the drivers), forcing the neutralization, with the “Slow” for three laps and at the restart we find Federico Cecchi (ITA), trying to reach Ugochukwu. At the eight lap, Cecchi is super determined; he overtakes Ugochukwu and springs forward to his second International Title, after the one won in the 2016 Mini Rok. Also Davide Locatelli (ITA) manages to overtake the American and conquers the second position. Cecchi, Locatelli and Ugochukwu end the race in this order, stepping onto the podium. They are followed by Ragone and Albanese. The most spectacular comeback of the Junior Finali is the one of James Wharton, who gets back from the thirtieth to the eighth position. In the final, the poleman Alvarenga Matheus Morgatto (BRA) proves to be the fastest driver, centering the best lap with 49.643.

MINI ROK. ANTONELLI BEATS POWELL. The Mini Rok Final is preceded by a great work carried out by ACI-Sport technical and sporting marshals, getting the 34 finalists to change clutches. Moreover, the drivers placed in the first two rows have to substitute the carburetors. This, besides showing the clearness of the whole event, proves the high qualities of all drivers, who had excellent performances even after the replacement of technical material. This is one of the sources of price of Rok Cup. The driver Alex Powell from Jamaica lines up in the first row, together with the Italian Andrea Kimi Antonelli. At the start, Powell is the leader, while Antonelli loses some positions, being overtook by Bohra Akshay (USA), Cristian Berduca (ITA) and Ariel Elkin (RUS). The Italian does not waste time and overtakes Akshay, Berduca e Elkin rapidly, dashing in pursuit of Powell, who already gained a small gap. The decisive moment of the race is the sixth lap, when Antonelli, behind Powell, recovers the opponents with great firmness and gains a gap that he will keep until the end of the race. Antonelli is now listed in the Rok Final’s Wall of fame, after the American Connor Zilisch and he steps onto the podium together with Powell and Akshay. The top positions in the rating are completed by Bertuca, Ariel, Al Dhaheri (ARE) and Alexander Gubenko (RUS), author of the best lap in the final.

ROK TROPHYES. SINGHA, OMP, BRIDGESTONE AND VORTEX The Special Trophies, reserved to the Rokkers who did not manage to be placed among the first thirty-four drivers of each respective category, reserve exciting emotions and excitement and prove that all drivers taking part in the Rok International Final have a good competitive spirit and want to have fun.  Nikola Tsolov (BGR) beats his opponents in the Mini Rok Singha Trophy, Nicola Rossi precedes Rubens Barrichello in the Shifter Rok Vortex Trophy and the American lady Emma Delattre is amazing in leading a group of Senior Rok in the OMP Trophy. Alexandru Iancu (ROU) comes first in the Bridgestone Trophy, reserved to the Junior Rok.

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