Nov 08

Sofina Foods drivers display great performance in Spain (+photos)

ECKC Champions Marco DiLeo and Jesse Lazare perform well at Rotax International Open held at Zuera, Spain

As part of an impressive awards package for the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship (ECKC), Sofina Foods of Toronto, Ontario sent two class champions to Zuera, Spain for the first annual Rotax International Open.

Marco Di Leo of Stouffville, Ontario and Jesse Lazare of Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec headed to Zuera this past weekend to take on Europe’s best Rotax racers.

Sofina Foods was very proud to have sent these talented drivers to the Rotax International Open to represent the ECKC and Canada. The goal of the Sofina Foods effort is to support karting and give accomplished athletes an opportunity to be the best they can be on the world stage.

Marco Di Leo  no 357

2010 ECKC Rotax Senior Champion Marco Di Leo took part in the largest class of the weekend

He paced very well throughout the practice sessions. His qualifying run wasn’t as impressive as he was forced to settle with twentieth place and into group D for the heat races.

While disappointed in his set-up for qualifying, the Goodwood Kartways Intrepid driver knew he had more speed for the heats. Di Leo continued to work his Intrepid as the track began to rubber in. In his first heat race Di Leo would cross in twelfth while in his second heat, contact late in the run, put in him eighteenth at the finish.

In the final heat Di Leo would rally to cross in ninth, placing him twenty-third after the points were calculated and a direct transfer to the Main event. A tough pre-final saw Di Leo retire early and he would end up classified in twenty-eighth place despite showing excellent speed.

Working from the rear of the grid, Di Leo steadily moved forward throughout the final and would cross the finish line in twenty-first.

Jesse Lazare  no 104

Jesse Lazare, the 2010 ECKC Rotax Junior Champion, made the first European start of his  career in Spain

Quickly coming to grips with the track throughout the practice sessions, he posted the fifth best time in qualifying placing him on the inside of row three for each heat.

The talented teen then went on to run three amazing heats against some of Europes best Junior Rotax drivers. In heat one, Lazare crossed in sixth and then would nab a fifth place finish in the second heat.

The third and final heat was another great run for the PSL Karting CRG driver as he grabbed another top five taking his second fifth place at the line, ranking him fourth overall in the points tally.

The pre-final witnessed the front group of karts jockey their positions, with Lazare eventually finishing in fifth place. Quickly moving into the third position in the opening stages of the final, Lazare had the podium in his sights, until contact from the driver behind him forced him off track and out of the race.

The current eKartingNews.ca number one ranked Rotax Junior driver would eventually be classified in sixteenth pace, not at all reflective of his incredible speed and pace in his first European race.

“Both drivers did really well in their first trip to Europe to race in a tough Rotax field. Marco held his own in each of the sessions and learned a lot racing on this type of track. Jesse was super fast and was right there for a podium finish. His final result is very disappointing,” comments ECKC series principal Dan Di Leo as he toured the Intrepid Kart factory.

“The ECKC can’t thank Sofina Foods enough for their incredible support. Marco and Jesse had a great opportunity to compete on the world stage and did Canada proud.”

The Sofina Foods program was established to support Canadian karting, allowing series to offer young drivers a goal and a prize to work towards.

The initial program assisted the new Eastern Canadian Karting Championship as well as to lending support to Team Canada Junior drivers for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, held this year in Muro Lecesse, Italy at the famous La Conca International Circuit held from November 16 to 22.

source: Autosports Media Group