Now that Joe Soranno and the rest of the Soranno Motorsports team have returned from the Rotax Max Grand Finals, which were held in Portimao, Portugal at the Kartodromo Internacional do Algarve, we have had a little time to reflect on the entire experience.
As the departure date quickly arrived the excitement and anticipation escalated. These were all good feelings. The flight seemed to take a lifetime. As a racer Joe is expected to do a lap as quickly as possible, so imagine that eight hour flight, it wasn’t anywhere close to a pole setting time. Once arriving in Lisbon we made quick time to get to the place we would call home for the next few days for a much needed nights sleep.The weekend was spent in the rentals just trying to get a feel for the track and possible racing line.
It was finally Monday. Kart selection day. A day full of emotions. Was the kart and engine package going to be everything we hoped for. The team quickly went to work to mount the seat, install the data recording equipment and go over every detail of the kart to make sure it was perfectly assembled. It was.
The next few days it was all business. Shake the kart down, learn racing line, kart setup and make sure we had a good engine. Big learning curve in a very short time. Joe put his head down and focused on the job at hand. In no time he was on pace. A couple of minor kart adjustments and a couple of driving adjustments and Joe was ready to do his best and qualify against the best in the world! Joe managed to qualify twenty-fourth out of seventy-two drivers in his class. There was three heat races. Heat one was okay finishing fourteenth, heat two and three not so fortunate. Joe finished twenty-fifth in heat two after being as high as sixth and with two laps to go got tagged in the rear and spun. Heat three would see Joe finish thirty-fifth as again was tagged from the rear and put into the wall. The team quickly went to work to repair the damage from heat three and prepare for the last chance race which would determine the final grid for the final on Saturday. Only the top six from this race would make. Joe started twenty-fifth. He raced his heart out to finish thirteenth. He had to watch from the sidelines and cheer on his fellow drivers on Team Canada.
All in all the experience has made Joe determined than ever to strive win another ticket to the grand finals. Next year it will be held in Sarno, Italy. Upon the announcement at the driver’s party Joe turned to his dad and said “I want to go. I’ll get there!”.