Johnny Johnson

Connor Zilisch is Finals Champion in Mini ROK!

From ninth on the pre-grid, Zilisch earns the title.

Connor Zilisch Photo: Kart360

Connor Zilisch has just become the second ever American ROK Finals Champion 2017, following Logan Seargant in Mini ROK in 2011.

The Energy driver wasted no time climbing his way to the front of the Mini ROK Final. After starting ninth, Zilisch had already pushed his way into second before the second lap had ended. The gap to the leader was about a half-second, and Zilisch now had his sights set on the big prize as he started lap three of 12.

Karol Pasiewicz had caught and passed Zilisch, relegating him to third on lap four. It turned out to be a small blessing, as the two worked together to track down leader Nikita Bedrin.

As the laps came and went, the race had turned into a three kart battle. Zilisch went deep to the inside on thefinal lap in turn four, only to slide wide and put two wheels off in the exit, pushing him down to third. The trio had reached the triple hairpin section of the circuit and they all went for the position in each corner as the fans in the grand stand were on their feet and hollering. Zilisch again went for the lead in the final corner, only to over shoot the corner, allowing fellow Energy driver Pasiewicz  by on the inside.

At the scales, it came to be known that Pasiewicz had pushed in his bumper and would receive a 5-second penalty, giving Zilisch the win. Members of Team USA and the Energy tent gathered in celebration as Connor came back to the tent with a few tears in his eyes. It was a fantastic ending moment for the the Zilisch family and Team ROK Cup USA.