“Floridian was at the front of the field all week long”
Article By: Race Tech Development
Advanced Karting driver Daniel Formal claimed a fifth place result at last weekend’s Rotax Grand Finals in Italy. Held at the La Conca International Circuit, Formal showed the speed to run at front of the world class field as he started the week by qualifying on the front row and claiming a heat race victory.
“We had an incredible week in Italy,” expressed Formal after the event was complete. “The only other thing I could have asked for was to stand on the top of the podium when it was all said and done but that is racing. A top five result at the World Finals is something to be very happy about. I would like to thank Advanced Karting, Ocala Gran Prix and Tim Lobaugh for all their hard work, help and support leading up to the international event.”
After drawing for identically prepared CRG chassis on Tuesday and performing non qualifying practice on Wednesday, Formal was unofficially in the top five drivers. Thursday morning would present the team with timed practice sessions before qualifying in the afternoon where Formal turned up the wick. Being one of two drivers to go below the fifty second barrier, Formal ended the session as the quickest driver in his group but classified second overall when all qualifying groups were combined. This would see Formal line up in heat race B where he would start on the front row for all three starts.
The first heat (A vs. B) would be a dramatic one as Formal and a trio of drivers would pull away from the field. Working together throughout the eight lap heat race, Formal took the lead on a few occasions but would be forced to settle for the second position when the checkered flag flew. Looking for more in the second (B vs. C) of three heats, Formal would line up on the inside front and take the point at the drop of the green flag. Driving like a seasoned veteran, Formal led the majority of the race laps as he provided Team USA with their first Rotax Senior win at the 2010 Rotax Grand Finals.
With the rest of the day off, Formal and his Team USA crew would shift their focus to Saturday’s action. With another heat on the docket, Formal could earn a direct transfer to and claim a front row starting position for the prefinal. Again starting from the pole position, Formal took the lead but would battle hard with fellow competitors as he would move back to the fifth position. Racing cautiously aggressive, Formal claimed a solid fourth place result.
With the points combined from all three heats, Formal would come out of the fray with the second least amount of points that would put in on the outside front row. With the direct transfer to the main events, Formal would enjoy a much deserved Saturday afternoon off as several other drivers competed in the Last Chance Qualifiers.
With the cream rising to the top, Formal would now run wheel-to-wheel with some of the best and fastest Rotax Senior drivers in the world. In a hard fought prefinal battle, the youngest competitor in the senior divisions would hold his own taking the exciting win. However, a four second penalty for a false start would drop Formal down the running order as he was eventually classified with a fifth place finish.
Disaster would strike at the start of the main event as several drivers got together entering the first corner. With nowhere to go and drivers pushing from behind, Formal had to take evasive action as he spun through the grass on the outside of the circuit. Entering the track and closing the first lap outside the top twenty, it looked as if a strong result would be out of the question in the stout field of drivers.
Formal began to run down drivers as he turned some of the quickest laps of the event. Consistently running three tenths faster than the leaders, the Advanced Karting driver passed competitor after competitor throughout the 24 lap final. Moving into the top ten with less than eight laps to go, Formal continued to push hard. When the checkered flag had flown, Formal crossed the strip in the fifth position and claimed the second quickest lap of the event.
Formal continued, “I learned a lot this week and I hope to use that when I race back home in the United States. The racing in Italy is fierce and intense as every driver races each lap like it is the last lap. I am already looking forward to next season.”
For sponsorship opportunities and more information on Advanced Karting and Daniel Formal, please contact Donald Formal at 561.718.6840 or visit them online at www.AdvancedKarting.com. For press release and media information, please contact Mike Maurini and Race Tech Development at 317.270.8723 or via e-mail at Info@RaceTechDevelopment.com .