Kimber takes Junior Max win following Settimo’s penalty
Britain’s Mark Kimber inherited the Junior Max win at Sarno but that’s no discredit to him as he displayed a steely determination to reel in the leader.
All drivers, except three, took the start of the Prefinal in Junior Max on slicks. The track was slippery in places and lap 1 saw several slides and exits from the track. The live-timing couldn’t keep up with these conditions and remained silent. The rain started on the third lap. Roope Ropanen escaped at the front from Zsombor Kovacs and Ryan Macdermid and on a track that was becoming increasingly wet, the race was like a casino. Leroy Jagesar, starting 29th was in 2nd position. The rain got heavier. Also starting on wet tyres, Mathias Lund then joined and both passed the unfortunate Ropanen who ended up finally 4th and the first on slicks behind Anze Dovjak, the 3rd to have bet on wet tyres.
The Prefinal B in Junior Max started on a track that was still wet, but the rain had disappeared from the landscape. Titus Schmidli quickly took the lead, followed by Jonathan Hoggard and Michael Rosina while Mark Kimber returned to 4th position. A tight and lively group battled for 5th place. Hoggard gradually moved back to the leader and ended up winning the race ahead of Schmidli, with Kimber 3rd, Axel Koss 4th and Georg Charpentier 5th.
There was an excellent start for Roope Ropanen, the leader with a slight gap from the first lap. Lund was 2nd, Marco Settimo 3rd, Kimber 4th and Schmidli 5th. Settimo then replaced Ropanen in the lead and Kimber passed for 2nd. Valente moved into the top five on lap 5 behind Hoggard. Alone in the lead, Settimo increased his gap. Hoggard took Ropanen and Valente who was now 5th. Kimber took the opportunity to close on the leader and away from the threat of his pursuers. Valente attacked Hoggard and took 3rd with two laps to go, but dropped to 6th on the following lap when Szombor Kovacs joined in the fight. Settimo won the race by 0.2s despite the impressive return of Kimber, but the Italian received a nosecone penalty, giving Kimber the title. Hoggard was 2nd but also with a penalty so Kovacs and Enzo Valente completed the podium.