Drivers Hit the Track for Practice as Day Two Concludes at the 2023 RMC Grand Finals

JW 2023 RGF DEC3 301

It was the first official on-track day of the 2023 RMC Grand Finals as Team USA drivers and international competitors who qualified through the RMC Winter Trophy experienced the Bahrain International Karting Circuit for the very first time in their Grand Finals equipment. With at least two practice sessions for all classes, competitors got their taste of what to expect when qualifying and the wheel-to-wheel race action gets underway later this week.

Non-Qualifying Practice #1 Results
Micro MAX
Julian Rivera – 7th
Lucas Palacio – 18th

  • Lucas Palacio showed speed early in the session as he was in and around the top-eight on the result sheets before dropping to 18th later. Julian Rivera held stationary in the pit lane for a few moments while other drivers sorted their positioning on track. Rocketing his way up the charts, Rivera clocked the seventh quickest lap of the Micro MAX Even session showing a great start to his Grand Finals.

Mini MAX
Gage Korn – 9th (Odd)
Matteo Quinto – 12th (Even)
Antoine Lemieux – 30th (Even)

  • Gage Korn was the sole Team USA entry in the Odd numbered group and held his own clocking the ninth fastest time of the session to kick start his 2023 Grand Finals. In the Even group, it was Team USA’s Matteo Quinto in 12th, less than six-tenths behind the quickest driver of the session. Rotax Winter Trophy qualifier and Canadian Antoine Lemieux was only able to score the 30th fastest lap and will look to find more speed in session two.

Junior MAX
Nixx Eggleston – 10th (Even)
Francisco Paredes – 21st (Odd)
Giovanni Santora – 33rd (Odd)

  • Hitting the track later in the session, Giovanni Santora and Francisco Paredes both turned their first laps with less than seven minutes to go in practice one. Paredes made a late jump into the top-ten before finishing 21st while Santora will switch his focus to the second session to find some speed. In the Even group, Eggleston was off to a quick start earning one of the fastest lap times early on, and when the 15-minute session came to a close, was classified in the tenth position.

Senior MAX
Cooper O'Clair – 21st (Even)
Eduardo Barrichello – 36th (Even)
Oliver Hodgson – 23rd (Odd)

  • Racing under the J3 Competition banner, Oliver Hodgson was further down the running order than expected in practice one but with five practice sessions over three days, he will look to advance his way forward. Cooper O’Clair and Eduardo Barrichello took part in the Even session with O’Clair pacing the duo and finishing 21st while Barrichello had an issue and could not get his name off the bottom of the time sheets.

DD2 MAX Masters
Ben Cooper – 2nd
Derek Wang – 10th
Rubens Barrichello – 12th
Billy Cleavlin – 33rd

  • Racing for Team Canada but qualifying through the Race Rotax US Trophy Final, Ben Cooper continued to show his prowess from years past with the second-fastest lap of practice one. Perennial Team USA front-runner Derek Wang found himself inside the top-ten when the checkered flag flew, just ahead of Rubens Barrichello who was racing for Team Brazil through his Rotax Winter Trophy championship. Earning a ticket in Masters MAX, Billy Cleavlin turned his first laps in a DD2 machine and was 33rd overall.

DD2 MAX Senior
Gianluca Savaglio – 9th (Even)
Race Liberante – 26th (Odd)

  • Earning a ticket to the 2023 RMC Grand Finals through his Rotax Senior result at the US Trophy event, Race Liberante will compete this weekend in DD2 and in practice one, clocked the 26th fastest lap of his group as an issue forced him to the sidelines early. Canadian Gianluca Savaglio, another competitor earning his ticket through the Winter Trophy program, steadily moved up the running order and into second with just under two minutes remaining. With track evolution proving to be powerful Savaglio fell to ninth when the checkered flag flew for his group.

With a short lunch break, competitors returned to the track just after 1:00pm for the second round of practice. With the exploratory first session now behind them, mechanics could begin to fine-tune their drivers' machinery as the Grand Finals were well underway.

Non-Qualifying Practice #2 Results
Micro MAX
Julian Rivera – 4th
Lucas Palacio – 10th

  • Both Rivera and Palacio improved on their time and finishing results in practice two as the duo both finished inside the top-ten. Rivera found a little more speed to assert his chances at the 2023 Grand Finals while Palacio moved forward to P10 on the results sheet.

Mini MAX
Gage Korn – 8th (Odd)
Matteo Quinto – 12th (Even)
Antoine Lemieux – 27th (Even)

  • Loving the track, Gage Korn remained consistent from session one to session two gaining one spot but staying inside the top-ten. Matteo Qunito scored the 12th fastest lap of practice two for the second session in a row as Lemieux had an improvement to finish P27 amongst the Even number karts.

Junior MAX
Nixx Eggleston – 16th (Even)
Francisco Paredes – 8th (Odd)
Giovanni Santora – 33rd (Odd)

  • A big jump in session two, Winter Trophy qualifier Francisco Paredes was able to push his way inside the top-ten turning his fastest lap close to the end of the session to finish eighth. Giovanni Santora, who also qualified for the Grand Finals courtesy of the RTX Karting promoted Winter Trophy, was 33rd. Only .487 behind the quickest lap of the session, Nixx Eggleston was P16 when the checkered flag flew.

Senior MAX
Cooper O'Clair – 15th (Even)
Eduardo Barrichello – 23rd (Even)
Oliver Hodgson – 19th (Odd)

  • Hodgson made a slight improvement in the second on-track session of the weekend as he closed the gap to the pacesetter but could still only muster the 19th fastest lap of the session. O’Clair was able to improve on his results from session one to two jumping up the running order from 21st to 15th while Barrichello got his kart running properly and was able to clock the 23rd fastest lap of practice two for the Even numbered drivers.

DD2 MAX Masters
Rubens Barrichello – 8th
Ben Cooper – 14th
Derek Wang – 18th
Billy Cleavlin – 34th

  • Sitting in the pits for much of the session, Cooper and Barichello hit the track with five minutes remaining in practice and were instantly up to speed. Barrichello jumped to second on only his second lap of the session before being dropped down to sixth as the time wore on. Cooper, finished his second session in 14th while Derek Wang was 18th and Billy Cleavlin 34th with three of the four drivers losing positions from session one to two.

DD2 MAX Senior
Race Liberante – 13th (Odd)
Gianluca Savaglio – 10th (Even)

  • Turning only the 26th fastest lap in his group in practice one, Race Liberante came out swinging in practice two and jumped to 13th on the time sheets, less than half a second behind the driver with the fastest lap of the session. Gianluca Savaglio is proving that he is here to compete as he once again placed inside the top ten with the tenth fastest lap of the session.

Non-Qualifying Practice #3 Results
Micro MAX
Julian Rivera – 6th
Lucas Palacio – 9th

  • Again in the top-ten after the third practice for Micro MAX, Julian Rivera and Lucas Palacio finished sixth and ninth respectively as the Micro and Mini MAX drivers had three sessions on the day. Consistently in the top-ten, both drivers look poised for a solid result after the first day of on-track action.

Mini MAX
Gage Korn – 9th (Odd)
Matteo Quinto – 25th (Even)
Antoine Lemieux – 27th (Even)

  • Korn led the way of the Mini MAX drivers who qualified from American events as he turned the ninth fastest time of his session to finish in the top-ten in all three sessions. Quinto fell down the running order into an uncharacteristic position in P25 while Rotax Winter Trophy qualifier Antonie Lemieux was 27th to end his day.

With day two now in the books, day three will see the first on-track action at night as the day shifts to begin at 1:00pm. With a few more practice sessions for each class and competitors before the ever-important qualifying and wheel-to-wheel action begins Wednesday, competitors, and mechanics will need to make the necessary adjustments to combat the changing conditions, track temperature, and handling characteristics as nightfall sets.

Event Information:
Event Schedule – Click HERE
Live Timing – Click HERE
Live Stream – Click HERE – Begins Wednesday, December 6

While drivers compete in Bahrain, registration is open for the 2024 editions of the RMC Winter Trophy Series and US Trophy West Series.

Register Now:
RMC Winter Trophy Series – Click HERE
RMC US Trophy West Series - Click HERE

JW 2023 RGF DEC3 100 2
JW 2023 RGF DEC3 100
JW 2023 RGF DEC3 100 3
Rotax MAX Challenge
RMC Grand Finals