Davide Ongaro was the top seed heading into Saturday, as he looked to build upon his tally of six wins.
Saturday in California saw Round 7 of the 2019 RCGP World Series take place, the penultimate round of this year’s championship.
In Friday’s Seeding Practice it was Davide Ongaro, the six-time winner and 2019 champion, who emerged on top – however, HB Racing – Performa Racing star David Ronnefalk had an equally strong showing, leading the way for most of the day and displaying impressive one-lap pace.
Seen for the first time in Q1 was the “drop” start system, which featured an evenly split grid across two rows, adding an extra challenge in the fight to the first corner. Come the race, it would be American Cole Ogden leading a 1-2 for HB Racing – Performa Racing, with teammate Ronnefalk finishing 6.7 seconds down. Infinity’s Kyle McBride took the holeshot and gapped the field early on along with Ogden and Ronnefalk, but a small mistake would drop him to third, whilst Ronnefalk’s chances of closing down his teammate were dashed in a similar fashion. Davide Ongaro would take fifth, with Max Mört fifth and Juan Carlos Canas in sixth.
Cole Ogden enjoyed his most competitive RCGP outing to date, coming out on top in qualifying and mounting a serious challenge for the win.
Q2 saw a much tighter race at the front, with another American star, BeachRC Wildcard and RCGP debutant Ryan Lutz taking the win, 1.8 seconds ahead of Davide Ongaro, with Cole Ogden backing up his Q1 result with a third place finish. Teammate Ronnefalk would again shadow Ogden in fourth, ahead of Lee Martin and Ryan Cavalieri. Q3 would see another strong drive from Ogden, taking a dominant win of over 10 seconds from SWORKz driver Juan Carlos Canas, who appeared to be back on form after a somewhat difficult Friday. Ryan Cavalieri would take third, 0.7 down, with Ronnefalk in fourth, Joseph Quagraine in fifth and Ongaro sixth.
The fourth and deciding qualifying round would see Kyle McBride on top, the Australian delivering a controlled drive to lead home Ronnefalk and Ongaro in second and third respectively. McBride’s Infinity teammate Lee Martin slipped to fourth after battling for the podium positions, whilst Ryan Lutz led fellow countryman Ogden to fifth and sixth place. The overall qualifying results after four rounds would see Cole Ogden on top, after delivering his strongest performances of the season, with Ronnefalk lining up in second. Ongaro would be third, ahead of Lutz, McBride, Quagraine, Canas, Martin, Cavalieri and newcomer Evan Vail, who rounded out the top ten.
The first of the two 24-lap Finals was all about the HB Racing – Performa Racing drivers, as they stretched a gap to the field from the start and never looked back. It would be Ogden who led the field initially, but a mistake on lap four would see the positions swap, with Ronnefalk eventually taking the win by 4.1 seconds over his teammate. Davide Ongaro would work his way past Cavalieri and Lutz for third, following an incident-strewn battle for the final spot on the podium. Canas would take P6, ahead of Quagraine and Vail, steadily improving throughout the day, with Mört ninth and Martin in tenth.
David Ronnefalk took his first win of 2019 in Round 7, becoming the first driver other than Ongaro to take an overall victory.
David Ronnefalk would prove to be the driver to beat again in Final 2, leading Ogden and Canas from the start. Landing short on lap three, Ogden would drop back, allowing teammate Ronnefalk a comfortable gap up front, and also promoting Kyle McBride to third. The ensuing battle between the two would see McBride come out on top, taking second to cap off a considerably turbulent day, with Canas finishing in third. However, up front, Ronnefalk would remain unchallenged, taking a dominant win, therefore securing his first victory of the season and breaking Davide Ongaro’s dominant six-race win streak. The final classifications would see Ongaro take the second step on the podium, ahead of Cole Ogden. Canas would be fourth, ahead of Lutz, McBride, Mört, Cavalieri, Quagraine and Martin completing the top ten.