For the final time in 2019, Friday dawned for the teams and drivers of the RCGP World Series, with a full schedule of Free Practice and Seeding Practice on the agenda in California. Looking resplendent in the beautiful Beaumont heat, an immaculately presented Thunder Alley Raceway greeted the competitors, with a challenging layout characterised by large elevation changes. As usual, the track action began with three rounds of Free Practice, which was opened by Swede David Ronnefalk topping the timesheets. Stating his winning intentions heading into the weekend, the HB Racing – Performa Racing driver got his weekend off to the perfect start, displaying impressive single-lap pace. RCGP newcomer Ryan Cavalieri took P2 in the session for SWORKz, ahead of Kyle McBride, Juan Carlos Canas and Lee Martin.
Jumps, bumps and elevation changes – a fast, testing track greeted the drivers in California.
The second round of Free Practice saw Ronnefalk at the top again, with Australian Infinity driver Kyle McBride improving to second, ahead of Canas and series champion Davide Ongaro, with Cavalieri in fifth. Swedish star Ronnefalk’s pace would continue through to the third round, topping the session and producing his fastest run yet – SWORKz driver Juan Carlos Canas, who faces a battle for second in the championship with Ronnefalk, took P2 in the session ahead of a steadily improving Ongaro. Lee Martin backed up the pace of teammate McBride in fourth, with Cavalieri maintaining his consistency in fifth. With Ronnefalk firmly on top, Canas would place second overall after the three rounds, his Free Practice 3 time edging out Kyle McBride, who placed third. Davide Ongaro sat fourth, with the top six rounded out by Martin and Cavalieri, on four and five points respectively.
David Ronnefalk showed fine form early on, leading the way throughout Free Practice.
The two all-important rounds of Seeding Practice came next, and a close first round would see Davide Ongaro fastest on a 1:08.077, only 0.009 ahead of home hero Ryan Lutz over two laps. David Ronnefalk continued his strong form, just 0.038 off the top in third place, with teammate Cole Ogden closely behind in fourth. A further three tenths back was Kyle McBride, the Infinity driver leading Cavalieri and Canas, with JQRacing Factory Team driver Max Mört in eighth. The deciding second round saw Ongaro deliver again, upping the pace and breaking the 1:07 barrier, therefore guaranteeing his position as the top seed ahead of qualifying. Ronnefalk would take P2 in the round, two tenths down on the Italian, with Cole Ogden shadowing his teammate once again in third. Lee Martin took fourth for Infinity, ahead of an impressive Max Mört in fifth – Ryan Lutz would be next, ahead of McBride and Canas in seventh and eighth respectively.
Picking up from where he left off, Davide Ongaro finished Friday as the top seed for qualifying.
With the two sessions combined, the 0 score of Scuderia Scampi Rosso – CommSportMx driver Davide Ongaro would put him at the top of the field, continuing the dominant form that has defined his 2019 campaign. The first round time of Ryan Lutz would place him ahead of David Ronnefalk for second, following a points tie – Cole Ogden would take fourth, ahead of Martin, McBride, Mört and Cavalieri, whilst Juan Carlos Canas, who sits towards the sharp end of the Drivers’ Championship, would round out a difficult day in ninth place.