Davide Ongaro’s stronghold on the championship makes him the benchmark yet again for Rounds 5&6.
The RCGP World Series resumes this weekend in Italy, as the hard-charging pack heads to the northwestern city of Asti for rounds 5 and 6 of the championship.
The 2019 season now passes its midway point, with two weekends down and just two remaining – as the second half of the season beckons for the drivers, scoring strong points becomes all the more important in the title battle. Last time out in Fehring, Austria, the racing was frenetic, but as in Manila it was the Italian Scuderia Scampi Rosso/CommSportMx star Davide Ongaro who led the way and took the win on both Saturday and Sunday.
With a 50 point lead in the Drivers’ standings, Ongaro has a mathematical chance of wrapping up the title at his home round. Sitting behind Ongaro in the standings is HB Racing – Performa Racing’s David Ronnefalk, who endured a somewhat challenging weekend in Fehring, losing valuable ground in the championship standings in the process. With the title chances hanging in the balance, a large points haul will be needed in Asti to challenge Ongaro – however, after a strong 1/8 European Championship showing for Ronnefalk, and with he and Ongaro recently scoring one 1/10 Euros title apiece, both drivers will be looking to carry momentum forward into the second half of the season. Partnering Ronnefalk will be multiple time World Champion Atsushi Hara, in place of Cole Ogden. Having recently announced his return to HB Racing, the 1/8 specialist’s presence will add an extra element of intrigue to the weekend.
David Ronnefalk will need a strong performance in Asti to bridge the deficit to Ongaro, as well as fending off the challengers from behind
Just five points behind Ronnefalk in the standings heading into Italy is SWORKz International driver Juan Carlos Canas, whose consistency so far this season has kept him in contention. Always a name likely to feature near the front, Asti could prove to be an important weekend for the Spaniard, as second place in the championship lies within sight. Joining him once again at SWORKz International will be Elliott Boots, whilst the SWORKz Europe Team sees the young Italian Leonardo Valente step up from the RC2 class after taking victory in Austria, replacing J�rn Neumann.
BeachRC Wildcard entrant Marco Baruffolo shared the headlines with fellow countryman Ongaro in Fehring, as consistent frontrunning pace and a win in Leg 2 of the Saturday Finals saw him make an impression on his RCGP debut. Having showcased his potential, Baruffolo could be a threat for overall victory in his home round. Alongside him for Asti is Marco Ravaglia, who replaces Robert Batlle, making it an all-Italian affair for the American team. Elsewhere, Infinity Team drivers Kyle McBride and Lee Martin will be aiming to continue the progress made in Austria, with McBride sitting a strong fourth in the points – just six points behind Canas – with consistency again proving key.
Marco Baruffolo starred in Austria, taking the fight to the championship leader – can he challenge for the overall win in Italy?
A look at the Team Standings ahead of this weekend sees CommSportMx – Scuderia Scampi Rosso leading the way on 129 points, a lead of 33 points over HB Racing – Performa Racing. Just 15 points then covers the gap from second to fourth, with the BeachRC Wildcard Team and SWORKz International behind respectively. The standings are rounded out by Infinity, the JQRacing Factory Team and SWORKz Europe.
With the championship reaching a pivotal stage, the battle to score valuable points becomes all the more important – with a field filled with talent, the stage is set for closely fought action throughout the weekend.