Johnny Johnson

MacDermid attacks at all the right times in Senior ROK Final

He wasn't the quickest, but the Canadian Birel ART driver put in the work.

Ryan MacDermid pumps his fist at the finish of Senior ROK 2018 ROK The Rio
Ryan MacDermid. Photo: Johnny Johnson / Kart360

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.

Race Results - Top Five

2018 ROK The Rio Senior ROK Final
Rnk # Driver Gap Best Time
1 369 RYAN MACDERMID 48.706
2 393 ZACH CLAMAN DEMELO 0.199 48.542
3 366 AXEL CABRERA 0.384 48.482
4 318 JACE DENMARK-GESSEL 0.676 48.665
5 348 RYAN NORBERG 3.618 48.766
Full standings
Rnk # Driver Gap Best Time
6 324 MICHAEL AVANSINO 3.958 48.718
7 326 PHIL GIEBLER 11.193 48.758
8 316 EMMA DELATTRE 11.304 48.871
9 329 JAKE DREW 10.069 48.936
10 314 JACOB GULICK 11.706 48.825
11 397 NICHOLAS HORNBOSTEL 11.91 48.79
12 321 ZOEY EDENHOLM 20.375 49.059
13 303 FELIPE NICOLETTI 20.615 49.04
14 360 BIJOY GARG 20.813 48.798
15 317 KAI DALZIEL 21.144 48.998
16 331 RAIF SHAH 21.329 48.903
17 301 FILIP NIEMKIEWICZ 21.814 49.349
18 388 SAMMY RUCK 22.567 49.352
19 399 LOGAN CUSSON 24.297 48.834
20 323 JENSON ALTZMAN 26.727 49.3
21 333 BRODY SHUCARD 26.825 49.403
22 315 COLBY DUBATO 27.288 48.965
23 306 CONRAD KRAWIEC 33.977 49.608
24 310 RYAN MARTIN 34.13 49.614
25 357 NATHAN MARTIN 45.224 49.908
26 308 PAIGE EVANS 2 Laps 49.334
27 371 DAKOTA WHITE 8 Laps 50.019
28 311 SULLIVAN SHERRILL 9 Laps 50.011
29 313 COOPER HEFFLEY 14 Laps 49.733
30 319 DIEGO ORTIZ 15 Laps 49.278
31 372 MATEO VILLAGOMEZ 17 Laps 49.884
32 387 JOSE ZANELLA 18 Laps 48.892
33 394 ROBERT SOROKA 24 Laps 53.38
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