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December 08, 2022 9 min read

With a total of 137 drivers competing over two days at the Franciacorta Karting Track in Castrezzato, Italy, the ROK Cup Festival concludes the 2022 single-brand season by Vortex with more than positive driver feedback. The rainy conditions added to the challenge. Pietro Bagutti (Mini ROK), Tiziano Kuzhnini (Junior ROK), Riccardo Cirelli (Senior ROK), Davide Gherardi (Expert ROK), Sergio Koch (Super ROK), and Marco Vannini were crowned in the finals (Shifter ROK).

Mini ROK

The Mini ROK has a full entry list for the ROK Cup Festival. In fact, 34 drivers are fighting for victory in the last competition of 2022.

Tudor Jercan won the pole position in Saturday's chrono practices with a time of 1:08.759. Francesco Koci came in second with a margin of 0.327 seconds, followed by Pietro Bagutti and Tomasz Cichoracki in third and fourth, respectively. Prior to Maxim Becker in sixth, Natan Rybczynski in seventh, and Dario Palazzolo in eighth position, Andrea Marsella is in fifth place. Julian Frasnelli, Taal Luuk, Diego Bertellini, Milosz Smuk, Ilias Mitaki, Leonardo Lanza, Paolo De Grandi, Blazej Kostrzewa, Marcel Rudnicki, Gabriele Iacomelli, Amelia Wyszomirska, Rafalik Ksawery, Remigiusz Samczyk, Nicol Carrara, Andrea Lavazza, Franciszek Bal, Aleksander Raczkowski, Adam B

Luuk moves up to the top of the intermediate ranking after the qualifying heats, with a victory on his resume, from tenth place. After Ksawery and Palazzolo, Bagutti jumps up one spot to take over second place. Poleman Jercan gets off to a strong start by winning the first heat, but in the following two, the Romanian driver only finishes 10th and 15th, dropping him to fifth. Additionally making the top 10 are Becker, Rudnicki, Koci, Marsella, and Carrara.

In the pivotal finale, the small Mini ROK stars stir up the feelings as usual. At the beginning of the race, Palazzolo shocks everyone by taking the lead, with Bagutti, Jercan, Luuk Rudnicki, and Koci serving as his first pursuers at the end of the first lap. On the second lap, Bagutti did not hesitate to move into position to pass Palazzolo and take over as the new leader. Due to his inability to keep up with his adversary, the Italian driver is compelled to keep a close eye on his back due to a potentially dangerous Jercan. Cichoracki, who had moved up from 12th place in the interim, joins the contest as well, but on the final lap, Palazzolo and Jercan are declared the victors of the place of honor. After winning the duel with Jercan, Bagutti crosses the finish line first, more than 3 seconds ahead of Palazzolo, who comes in second. Cichoracki comes in last and is listed below the podium.

Junior ROK

The Junior ROK records an excellent turnout of participants over the two days of racing.

Borys Lyzen recorded the fastest lap time in Saturday's qualifying session, clocking in at 1:05.055. Marcel Kasprzycki, who is just 0.173 seconds behind him in second, is right behind him, and Tiziano Kuzhnini takes third. Gino Rocchio comes in at number five, followed by Maksymilian Rafalik at number six, with Ludovico Busso coming in at number four. The remaining members of the Top 10 are Giacomo Pedrini, Filippo Tornaghi, Dylan Turri, and Nicolas Marchesi. The following names are found after them: Ettore Sanesi, Valentino Gaggia, Thomas Carnovali, Pietro Santese, Wojciech Woda, Lorenzo Coletto, David Stefan Dragan, Marlon Di Salvo, Luigi Pace, Marcel Matyjewicz, Alex Laghezza, Cristian Tonalini, Jacob Micallef, Rodolfo Cambiaso, Alexandra Buslei, Simone Donchi, Riccardo

At the conclusion of the three elimination rounds, the ranking is altered. With two victories and a third-place finish, Kuzhnini takes over as the new leader, and Pedrini drops to second despite only making the Top 3 once. In spite of moving up two spots, Kasprzycki now occupies third place, ahead of Rocchio and Turri, who are now in fourth and fifth, respectively. Following them are Rafalik, Tornaghi, Woda, Lyzen, and Busso.

The Junior ROK final proves to be highly exciting right from the outset. After the first curve, Kuzhnini takes the lead by taking use of his pole position, with Pedrini succeeding in moving up to second after briefly displacing Kasprzycki. Behind Kuzhnini and Pedrini, who are securely in first and second place, a fight for third place breaks out between Kasprzycki, Rafalik, Rocchio, and, in the beginning, even Turri. Marchesi, however, makes his way through from the back and finishes third on lap 8. On lap 10, the Italian driver, who is the fastest on the circuit, swiftly catches up to Pedrini and passes him. The Italian driver must settle for second place, in part because of the 5-second time penalty he was assessed at the end of the race for having his front spoiler in the incorrect position. Marchesi also attempts to close the distance on Kuzhnini, but the Swiss driver is first under the checkered flag. With his spot, Pedrini completes the podium.

Senior ROK

With 39 drivers lined up at the starting line for the Senior ROK, the field is strong.

The participants in the category are split into four groups for the qualifying heats after being separated into two qualifying sessions. The top 36 competitors advance to the final after the elimination rounds.

With the quickest lap time of 1:04.139 recorded in the second group, Bartosz Grzywacz leaps to the top of the overall list, while Lorenzo Bedetti, who was the fastest in group 1, comes in second. Riccardo Cirelli comes in fourth, Michael Bartoszuk comes in fifth, and Samuele Di Filippo comes in sixth. Oli Kobiela comes in third. Tobias Miroslav Rocca, Tobias Galbiati, Alessandro Antonelli, Tommaso Arlati, and Tobias Miroslav Rocca round out the top ten.The ranking continues with Fabio Citignola, Luis Esser, Mattia Jentile, Alessandro Calderari, Marco Massironi, Kinga Wojcik, Federico Desiderio, Salvatore Toscano, Ludovica Miceli, Filip Niewiadomwski, Gianmarco Cortopassi, Matteo Zaffarano, Davide Torentelli, Qu Yicheng, Nicole Ameglio, Simone Taccola, Sachel Rotge, Christian Canonica, Luca Perelli, Giacomo Pegazzano, Paul Koch, Alessandro Bernardini, Wiktor Dobrzanski, Luke Neubauer, Pietro Fioravanti, Niccolò Fontani, Lorenzo Poletti, Jake Gauci and Maia Meneghin.

At the conclusion of the elimination rounds, Grzywacz maintains his lead with a flawless "score" of three victories in a row. Due to two victories and a second place, Cirelli moves up two positions and trails Grzywacz in first. Bedetti also succeeds, however he dips to third and Kobiela moves up to fourth. Di Filippo and Bartoszuk are in fifth and sixth place, respectively, while Toscano jumps from 18th to seventh thanks to several strong performances. Arlati, Rocca, and Galbiati round out the top ten.

In the final, Grzywacz leaps powerfully and maintains the lead while being closely pursued by Bedetti. Toscano, ahead of Bedetti and Cirelli, is the first pursuer after one circuit. Grzywacz imposes his own rhythm and completes a string of quick laps, but behind him, the fight for first place intensifies, with Cirelli succeeding in positioning himself behind Bedetti and Toscano. Cirelli makes an effort to catch Grzywacz and closes the distance to the leader of the race lap by lap. The dramatic turn of events occurs on lap 11 when Grzywacz notices the black-orange flag flying after losing his right side fairing and being declared ineligible. Cirelli finishes first and defeats Bedetti in the final by 3.452 seconds. On his first try in the category, Jentile makes a remarkable comeback of 11 positions to place last.

Expert ROK

The Expert ROK category final, which is just for the most seasoned competitors in the Vortex tournament, is uncertain.

Davide Gherardi posted the best lap time of 1:05.202 to take the lead in Saturday's qualifying session. Alessandro Vigan takes third place, followed by Fabio Cretti, the vice-champion of the ROK Cup Italia. Michele Zampieri comes in at number four, followed by Pier Giuseppe Di Landro at number five, Tino Donadei at number six, and Francesco Doria at number seven. Gianluca Todeschini completes the group in eighth place.

Cretti jumps to the top of the intermediate standings and earns the pole position for the final with a total of two victories and a second place in the three heats of the weekend's competition, with Davide Gherardi in second place despite one victory and two podium finishes. Vigan, on the other hand, maintains his third place, while Di Landro overtakes Zampieri to claim fourth place. Zampieri did not start the first heat, so he did not fully capitalize on his two third-place finishes in the following two races. For the final race of the weekend, Todeschini moves up to sixth, followed by Doria and Donadei.

At the start of the final, Cretti maintains his lead firmly as Zampieri temporarily assumes second place. However, Gherardi is able to overtake Cretti at the end of the first lap, and on the second lap, he attacks his competitor, giving him the advantage and the lead. On lap 4, however, Gherardi receives a bitter shock: despite starting second, Cretti is now provisionally in the lead after the sporting Stewards give him a 10-second penalty for disrespecting the starting procedure. Gherardi refuses to accept it and starts racing against the clock. After 16 minutes and 1 lap, he finishes in front of everyone with a small lead over Cretti—11.704 seconds—enough to win. Pier Giuseppe Di Landro, who finished third overall, beat out Zampieri, Donadei, Todeschini, and Doria at the back of the field after a string of collisions, errors, and spins. Vigan gave up.

Super ROK

The Super ROK, the most competitive division of the ROK Cup single-gear chassis, should definitely not be missed in the outset.

Riccardo Ianniello, the ROK Cup Italy winner, started the dances during Saturday's chrono sessions with a time of 1:04.003, which was 189 thousandths quicker than Domenico Cicognini's pace in second place. Gaia Cardinali comes in fourth, ahead of third-place finisher Antonio Lagrotteria. Sergio Koch came in at number five, followed by Lynn Neuhas at number six, Andrea Volpato at number seven, and Chiara Bolognini at number eight. Alberto Bernardi, who is in ninth place, and Matilde Seregni, who is in tenth place, are at the back of the group.

Ianniello also demonstrates his exceptional performance in the qualifying heats, winning all three of them while accruing no penalties. Cicognini, who has been second three times, is once again in second place, with Sergio Koch taking third place ahead of Lagrotteria and Cardinali in fourth and fifth, respectively. Bernardi finished in sixth place, followed by Neuhas, Volpato, Bolognini, and Seregni.

Ianniello made no errors, even at the beginning of the championship, when he was able to pass everyone at the first turn. Cicognini is passed by Koch for second place, but the latter quickly reclaims first place. The race is brought to life by Cicognini himself. After decisively passing Ianniello on lap 3, he even went off the track the following lap, falling back to fifth place. Ianniello and Koch are currently battling it out for the lead, with the Swiss driver triumphing over the Italian. Using the pressure Gaia Cardinali applied on Ianniello, Koch starts his lone pursuit of victory. From that point on, the positions remained fixed until the finish line: Koch prevails over Ianniello by nearly 5 seconds, who, in turn, finishes 1.487 seconds ahead of Cardinali. Following are Lagrotteria, Neuhas, and Volpato, while Cicognini drops to seventh place. Bolognini and Bernardi finish off the group standing. Unfortunately, Seregni is compelled to retire.

Shifter ROK

Despite the rain, the Shifter ROK, a category for shifter karts, lights up the Franciacorta weekend.

Victor Martin Odin is rewarded for the challenging weather conditions in the qualifying rounds, coming in first with the best chrono time of 1:03.144, while Elliott Shaw, making his debut appearance in the category, comes in second. Andrea Zemin came in third, followed by Stefano Mira in fourth and Daniele Demartis in fifth. After Samuel Daziano, Marco Vannini, and Massimiliano Pezzucchi, Andrea Aliberti and Fabrizio Morardo take sixth and seventh place, respectively. Bruno Viglietti, Pietro Gobbi, Alessio Foresto, Enzo Pirovano, Niki Taylor, and Eduardo Marcelino Viglietti are further back.

At the conclusion of the qualifying heats, the category leader changes. With one victory and two second-place finishes, Mira ascends to the top. Second-place finisher Marco Vannini moves up seven positions in the standings after winning and setting the fastest lap in the final heat on Sunday. In third position, ahead of Zemin and Taylor, is Morardo. Odin, who won the first heat, falls to sixth after retiring from the second. Aliberti, Daziano, Foresto, and De Martis round out the Top 10, while Elliott drops to 12th.

Even before the lights go out, the championship race is becoming an elimination contest. The poleman Mira confuses his starting box and tries in vain to replace himself after discovering his error. He even abandons the race early after failing to restart the engine. Vannini thanks him and jumps out in front of everyone at the start thanks to Mira's oversight, but it didn't last long as Morardo takes the lead on lap one, closely followed by Aliberti, Vannini, Taylor, Demartis, Foresto, Shaw, and Zemin. The first retirement occurs on lap five after a collision between Aliberti and Demartis, with the latter suffering more damage. Later, only eight drivers remain on the track: Aliberti himself, Gobbi, Pirovano, Foresto, Pezzucchi, and Daziano. As a result of Morardo's wide on lap 12, the race now features a three-way battle for the win amongst Vannini, Taylor, and Morardo. Vannini overtakes Taylor at the final turn by braking hard and won by a thousandth of a second over the Canadian. Following are Morardo are Shaw, Odin, Zemin, and the father-son duo of Viglietti.

This is a sumamry of an article the original can be found on the Rok Cup Festival page here.

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