|November 04, 2008
|Rok International Final Report
| 2008 competitors of the Rok International Final|
The 6th edition of the Rok International Final ends with lots of satisfactions for the Rokkers from all over the World who took part in the race to compete for the “Best Rokker of the Year!” Title.
Right mentioning the “Best Rokkers”, let’s start indicating them: Fabio Giordano Galati Rok), Alessandro Vantini (Super Rok), Rafael Aguiar (Junior Rok) and Steven Brotto (Mini Rok).
The final didn’t disappoint anyone’s expectations and Vortex staff again brilliantly stood out for their professionalism and their ability in managing a world event, such as the Rok International Final.
This year, Rok event started on Thursday, this in order to satisfy the large number of requests of more than 190 foreign Rokkers, coming from all over the world, lots of them didn’t even know the Italian track South Garda and appreciated the test sessions which were run before the race.
Moreover, it has been necessary to increase the number of drivers admitted at the International Final. 280 drivers enrolled for this event which took place in Lonato, ready to succeed Pagani (Rok), Rogenmoser (Super Rok), Bernacik (Junior Rok) and Brotto (Mini Rok).
On Friday there were some meetings among the Rokkers and the official drivers Vortex, Marco Ardigò (2007 and 2008 KF1 World Champion) and Gary Catt. With the great satisfaction of everybody, also the French Arnaud Kozlinski, CRG official driver, attended the event.
The champions gave precious suggestions to the drivers participating to the final, watching the race carefully from the track border.
The Rok boasts very important technical partnerships, Bridgestone, Dell’Orto and Sparco, actually on this occasion the technicians of the esteemed carburettors factory, the Dell’Orto, introduced their new “variable jet” kit, which will be entering the scene starting from 2009.
The party which took place on Saturday evening gathered all the circus of the Rok International under the big tent in the paddock area.
There, the following polemen have been awarded: the Filipino Stefano Marcelo (Rok), the Italian Paolo Baselli (Super Rok) and the wonderful Swiss Rafael Aguiar (Junior Rok).
During the pleasant party, the AKOC representative, promoter of the Macao International race, Mr. Johnny Tan, renewed the invitation to take part to the Asian race free for the winners of Rok, Super Rok and Junior Rok categories.
So, the great Rafael Aguiar, winner of the Junior Rok class, will have the opportunity to show off, again, in an international event together with Girodano Galati and Vantini, winners of the two Rok “big” classes.
The final day, helped by the shining sun and the enthusiasm of all the Rokkers, attracted lots of people to the South Garda, who enjoyed and appreciated the spectacular drivers introduction as well, which took place before the finals. What do the sporting news report? Let’s see class by class who were the winners and how many drivers made a good showing anyway.
ROK – In the rating, who brilliantly stood out among the 102 competitors with the best time 44”902, was the Filipino Stefano Marcelo, followed by another young driver, Paolo Bonetti.
It is difficult to make a forecast before the races start, the situation was well summed up in the times list, in only one second there are 77 drivers crammed together!
The rounds confirmed this uncertainty and the balance supremely reigned in the Rokest Rok class. Stefano Marcelo and Alessandro Goisa (Italy) won two rounds each, Rabaglia (Italy), Vailati (Italy), Pecak (Poland), Kuster (Switzerland) and Griska (Lithuania) won one heat and Galati (Italy) led three rounds gaining the pole for the final. During the heats, one of the possible main protagonists of the event, Paolo Bonetti, left the stage.
The final result was almost already decided, at the starting light Fabio Giordano Galati has been very fast, as always. In three days, while behind him there were brawls among his rivals, he gained 9 tenths on his competitors and the track was always empty in front of him.
Goisa, Rabaglia and Marcelo didn’t manage to reach an agreement and, instead of trying to overcome the fugitive, fought for the podium.
Fabio Giordano Galati kept on being concentrated, he never turned against them and obtained a well-deserved success, gaining the entrance to Macao race.
The Rok podium is completed by another young Rokker, who grew up in this category, Alessandro Goisa (2nd) and by the expert Massimo Rabaglia (3rd).
It is to be mentioned the recover which brought the Pole Daniel Fuchs from the 14th to the 6th final position, gaining also the best lap with 44”609, immediately after the excellent Canadian Scott Rossi (5th) and the Italian Alessandro Calvi (4th ).
Lithuania won the country teams Title, thanks to the drivers Simas and Martynas, 12th and 23rd respectively.
DELL’ORTO CUP – Enrico Pavesi managed to stood out thanks to his determined start, which allowed him to lead the group, while his rivals behind him were concentrated in fighting hard to prevail one against the other.
Marek Hronovsky (Czech Republic) managed to recover from his tenth position, but never really undermined the winner.
ROK JUNIOR – The Junior category prepared and introduced young drivers who brilliantly stood out in the other categories, proof of the fact that the binding material and the group of drivers participating in the event was high quality.
Also in this edition, it was possible seeing lots of young drivers who will become well-known thanks to their great results, starting from the winner, the Swiss with Portuguese origins, Rafael Aguiar.
In the rating, Aguiar is the one who centred the record with 44”645 and other 5 drivers did well, staying under 45”: Glowacki (Poland), Basiliotti (Italy), Ercoli (Italy) and Licien (South Africa).
In the heats, Gianmarco Ercoli was very great, the young Italian, directly coming from the Mini Rok, gained the possibility to start from the front in the final.
In the first row also the expert Jakub Glowacki lined up, followed by Aguiar, the latter was very fast in every stage and ready to play all the cards at his disposal only in the critical phase of the event.
At the starting light, Ercoli kept the leadership of the race and Aguiar clung to his rear protection being followed by Matteo Gasparrini as well. The latter, as Rokkie, participated to the International Final with determination: this is just another thing which underlines the vitality of the category.
At the third lap, the race result took shape, Rafael Aguiar led the group and sprang forward with an excellent pace, gaining an advantage of more than four seconds.
Ercoli fought hard in order to defend himself from Jakub Glowacki, who was pressed by Basiliotti and Mitchell Licen as well, the young South African driver who will become well-known thanks to his great results.
The Italian drivers, Ercoli and Basiliotti, who just missed the absolute victory, enjoyed the fantastic one gained in the Country Teams Championship.
BRIDGESTONE CUP – The fast Venezuelan Alberto Rumil won the Bridgestone Cup.
The young South American driver, after missing the entrance in the final, took part in the consolation race, just in front of the Norwegian Raaen Torstein.
SUPER ROK - Paolo Baselli (Italy) centred the best lap in qualifying, Kevin Gyr(Switzerland), Damiano Chiesa (Italy) and Tiziano Tulli (Italy) won the heats, but in the end, who did the winning move was Alessandro Vantini (Italy). This is the sum up of what happened in the most powerful class of the Rok.
In the Final, Baselli overtook and stayed in front, but a failure forced him to give up and stifled his enthusiasm.
Caponi took the lead, but his race was stopped by Vantini’s overcome. The latter stood out alone in the first part of the race and gained a precious margin on the second. Damiano Chiesa worked hard to overtake the tenacious South African Stephen Michel and Lorenzo Caponi. Chiesa, after reaching the second position, desperately tried to recover, but Vantini, in spite of being 17 years old, skilfully managed the margin he conquered and it was him the 2008 Super Rok king.The Swiss lineup with Muller and Gyr gained the Rok Team 2008 title.
SPARCO CUP – This race started with a stage trick, during the first lap the leader of the group, the South African Jacovides Alexander, stopped with the “wet” sparking plug.
The first phases of the race were led by the Portuguese Joao Nascimento, however the race of the Cypriot Costantinos Christodoulidies was really great in fact he won.
MINI ROK – Steven Brotto, champion in charge, didn’t renounce to his number “1”. Steven liked the track in Lonato very much, it is his favourite track and, during the qualifying he did a great 49’’419 giving the Danish Robin Hansson a gap of more than 4 tenth.
Nicklas Nielsen (Denmark) and Luca Corberi (Italy) are the other Mini Rokker able to break the wall of 50’’.
In the batteries the two rivals Brotto and Hannson won respectively the races.
In the Final when the green lighted up Brotto hesitated, lost time and at this point it seemed impossible for him to win.
Also Hannson didn’t start in the best way. On the other hand at the signal D’Angelo (Italy) and Nielsen (Denmark) started really well; in the meantime Brotto kept on fighting and with precision and tenacity he did really fast laps.
Already at the fifth lap the champion in charge is just behind the first two drivers and in a few meters he overtook D’Angelo and Nielsen, reaching the first position!
In the last laps D’Angelo, Nielsen and Hannsson were fighting for the title and at the end Nicklas Nielsen and Robin Hannson stepped on to the podium.
Regarding the teams rating the Danish couple Nielsen-Ingeman, with their second and fifth position, won the country title in the Mini Rok.
Giovanni Corona – Vortex s.r.l. President
“I can only be satisfied with this International Final.
All the drivers are satisfied and this is a further stimulus which allow us to carry on this project and to improve it year after year both from a sporting and organizational point of view. The Rok is a reliable and stable reality, I can say it is a world event in the karting. Our aim in Vortex is to keep on improving this project in fact we are preparing new innovation for drivers for next year. Before inviting you all at the International Final 2009, I would like to congratulate drivers on their behaviour in and outside the track, they are the key for success.”
Stefan Aguiar –Tony Kart chassis –International Champion Junior Rok 2008
“I started well and I was aware to have good performances, in the heats I couldn’t do my best because I had some little problems. In the final, when I understood to have the possibility to win I stayed calm and I overtook my rivals without doing too much, after that, when I was leading the group, everything went well”.
Fabio Giordano Galati –Tony Kart chassis – International Champion Rok 2008
“I started to race in the Rok being sure that it would have become a successful category and…I was right. In the Rok I slowly grew up, I overtook many drivers arriving in the first positions. This year I had some unlucky races, fortunately I won the International Final! Now I will end the season in Macao, it will be a really great experience.”
Alessandro Vantini – CRG chassis – International Champion Super Rok 2008
“I am an introverted person, so I don’t show my emotions, however I am really happy with this victory, you have to believe me. It is an unexpected result, also because I had some difficulties in the heats so I started from the back but in the end I proved my potential. My aim was to do well in the 20 laps of the Final, and I did so!”
Steven Brotto – Top chassis – International Champion Mini Rok 2007 and 2008
“I didn’t start well, I had problems and I went back in tenth position. At the first bend I tried to overtook and I started to recover position, first I was nineth and then eighth. During the sixth or seventh lap I started to reach the first driver, I got closer to him. And then I overtook him in the bend. When I was first then I was really fast and I won.”