Category Archives: Rotax Euro Challenge

2016 Rotax Max Euro Challenge concludes at Salbris

The 13th season of the ROTAX MAX Euro Challenge is history: In Salbris Europe’s popular ROTAX Series held its last round of the 2016 season, ascertaining the winners of the big finale and equally crowning the new champions of the three categories of junior, senior, DD2  as well as the special classification of the DD2 Masters. Although the temperatures went a little bit down, the weather made for a hot summer day again, making the heat a lot easier to bear.

Junior prefinal winner Enzo Valente

Closely before the Pre Final start of the Junior’s, a surprising small summer rain shower made for a slippery tarmac. That changed the conditions for the slick tyre equipped field completely and shuffled the ranking in the first stage of the race distance. One who obviously felt comfortable on the slippery – and later on drying – ground was local hero Enzo Valente (Valente Pascal). Having picked up the race from sixth place he established himself on the top quite early and managed to defend it up to chequered flag. Yet that was no walkover for the Frenchman, who crossed the line by a small winning margin of only 0.074 seconds ahead of pole sitter Dylan Buys (JJ Racing). Third place went to Lukas Dunner (JJ Racing) who had started the race from tenth place only, while German’s Tamino Bergmeier (JJ Racing), coming from twelfth place, finished fourth ahead of Jean Nomblot (Nomblot). The vice title aspirants Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing) and Olli Caldwell (KR Sport) dropped back to seventh and twelfth position, respectively, which did not settle the runner-up position for the championship yet.

Junior final winner Dylan Buys
Junior final winner Dylan Buys

Enzo Valente was the one setting the pace in the beginning of the final, but soon Dylan Buys made his way to the top. In the following, he headed away metre by metre and won the race by a gap of more than seven seconds. Valente on the other hand was able to defend the second position, which was not easy at all, since up to five opponents kept pressuring from behind. In the end Mark Kimber saw the flag in third place saving the vice championship. Jean Nomblot followed in fourth place in front of Oli Caldwell who complemented the top three of the championship.

Junior race podium
Junior race podium

In the Senior Pre Final, Lars Lamborelle (Dan Holland Racing) showed a strong performance again. But at first the Dutchman had a moderate start into the race, making him watch Denis Mavlanov (Bouvin Power) and Rinus van Kalmthout (RR Racing) sharing the lead for the majority of the distance. But as the race approached the end Lamborelle caught up and regained the top, being able to defend it up the finish line. Mavlanov followed in second spot ahead of van Kalmthout, while Jordan Brown-Nutley (Dan Holland Racing) and Berkay Besler (Bouvin Power) completed the top five positions. After the race van Kalmthout received a time penalty, which threw him back to twelfth place losing the vice title to Gary Donnelly (Strawberry Racing).

Senior start

The Final seemed to be a clear matter for Lars Lamborelle again. But soon Adrien Renaudin (Patrice Renaudin), who came from fifth place, was at his heels. The duo pulled away from the grid and arranged the win amongst themselves. In the last lap Renaudin made a successful move, but Lamborelle counter attacked only a few metres later and took the win ahead of the Frenchman. Third place was decided on the last metres, too. Here Jordan Brown-Nutley (Dan Holland Racing) made it onto the podium ahead of the new vice champion Gary Donnelly and Swedish girl Jessica Backman (Daems Racing). Josh White (Coles Racing) who finished the finals in 14th and eighth place, completed the top three of the championship podium.

Senior race podium
Senior race podium

Constantin Schoell (Daems Racing) had the best start into the DD2’s Pre Final. Yet the Austrian could not keep up his pace. He had to leave way to championship leader Kevin Ludi (Spirit Racing). The Swiss drove in his own sphere and took the lead soon. Being the fastest man on track, he controlled the race and saw the chequered flag first, marking his most important win ever, for it equally meant the total triumph in the championship at last. Constantin Schoell finished the Pre Final in second place ahead of the beaten title defender Ferenc Kancsar (VPDR). The latter fought hard but finally his remarkable third place was not enough to stop Ludi in the overall ranking. As for the further positions, Ville Viiliainen (Vaisanen Heikki) and Mick Wishofer (VPDR) took fourth and fifth place in Pre Final.

DD2 Champion Kevin Ludi
DD2 Champion Kevin Ludi

The plot of the Final is told shortly: Kevin Ludi retired from the final, so as not to endanger his overall win by a potential exclsuion. Thus Constantin Schoell seized his chance and celebrated a clear start-finish-win which rewarded him the vice crown in the end. Behind the Austrian, Ville Viiliainen took a secure second place ahead of Dzianis Slavinski (Dan Holland Racing), Cosimo Durante (Franco Durante) and Alexis Coursault (Coursault). Due to used tyres Ferenc Kancsar dropped back to twelfth place only, which eventually made him drop back to third place in the championship.

DD2 final winner Constantin Schoell
DD2 final winner Constantin Schoell

In the DD2 Masters category Slawomir Muranski (Wyrzykowski Motorsport) had a solo. He was the only Masters driver at Salbris and consequently won the event unrivalled. Yet his start granted him enough points to take the runner-up position in the championship.

In the evening the race winners were not the only being rewarded for their performances but the 2016 champions, too: Axel Charpentier (junior), Nicolas Schoell (senior), Kevin Ludi (DD2) and Martin Pierce (DD2 Masters) are the ones who earned a place in the Euro Challenge’s hall of fame. In addition to the coveted trophies, nine tickets for the ROTAX MAX Grand finals at Sarno (IT) were distributed to the top three championship drivers of junior, senior and DD2. Moreover even the parents had the opportunity for a big prize, as RGMMC raffled a luxury stay for a family of four at Feline Fields in Botswana.

Dzianis Slavinski won a family trip to Botswana
Dzianis Slavinski won a family trip to Botswana

Although this year’s season of the ROTAX MAX Euro Challenge is over now, there is one more major event promoted by RGMMC: The ROTAX MAX International Open will be held from 5th to 9th of October 2016 on the modern karting circuit of the Adria Raceway. This special event in Italy offers the last six tickets to the ROTAX MAX Grand Finals at Sarno (ITA). More information regarding reports, photos, results and live TV stream are available on the official websites www.rotaxmaxeurochallenge.com or www.telemundi.com.

2016 Champions and Grand Final qualifiers
2016 Champions and Grand Final qualifiers

 

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Rotax Max Euro Challenge crowns first Champions

  • Axel Charpentier wraps-up the Junior Championship
  • Jordan Brown-Nutley wins on the Line in Seniors
  • One-Man-Show of Ferenc Kancsar

Impressions

The season halftime of the 2016 ROTAX MAX Euro Challenge has been passed: From July 18th to 24th the Circuito Internacional de Zuera in northern Spain was venue of the third round of Europe’s unique ROTAX racing series. The summer race heralded the final spurt for the championship which proved to be closer than ever at Zuera. The 1.700 metres long high-speed track made for thrilling slipstream manoeuvres and race action that was unpredictable until the chequered flag. Besides a heated racing program on the tarmac, the Spanish sun contributed aestival and hot temperatures off the track, setting another challenge to the drivers of the well-stocked categories of junior, senior and DD2.

Qualifying quickest

Junior: Axel Charpentier wraps-up the championship

In the qualifying session the Brits set the pace: On the top Olli Caldwell (KR Sport) drove the fastest time by 1:05.513 minutes, being 0.054 seconds faster than his fellow countryman Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing) in second place. In third position followed the championship leader Axel Charpentier (Strawberry Racing) ahead of Tom Canning (KR Sport) and Dutchman Dylan Buys (Team TKP).

Ollie Caldwell took pole in qualifying
Ollie Caldwell took pole in qualifying

During the heats on Saturday Mark Kimber, Axel Charpentier and Dutchman Glenn Van Berlo (Hugo Motorsport) shared the wins. However, most consistent driver of the trio was Axel Charpentier, which is why he gained the lead of after the heat’s merge. In second place, Germany’s Tamino Bergmeier (Team TKP) celebrated a personal record performance ahead of Spain’s Kilian Meyer (CRG SPA) in third place. Glenn Van Berlo, Mark Kimber and Friday’s quickest Olli Caldwell complemented the grid for the prefinal on Saturday.

After the start of the Pre Final Axel Charpentier left no doubt and defended the lead, while his next chaser Tamino Bergmeier lost ground at an early stage. But Axel Charpentier was far away from having a walkover. The title aspirant was in control for the first laps but quickly almost half of the grid was at his heels. During the race distance Mark Kimber and Glenn Van Berlo managed to conquer the top as well until Axel Charpentier counterattacked successfully towards the end, thus taking the maximum points for the championship table. Second place actually went to Glenn Van Berlo. But after the Dutchman got a penalty for a bad manoeuvre, he dropped back to 17th place. So Mark Kimber inherited the second place ahead of Olli Caldwell, Dylan Buys and Lukas Dunner (Team TKP) from Austria.

Junior Max 2016 Champion, Axel Charpentier
Junior Max 2016 Champion, Axel Charpentier

In the final Axel Charpentier, Olli Caldwell, Mark Kimber and Dylan Buys were the pace setters. Besides Kimber, each of them was able to lead the race at least once. Although there were some attempts of breaking away from the group none of the four was able to. The fight climaxed towards the end and after a real carnage, Axel Charpentier took the top in the penultimate lap, bringing it home by a fraction of only 0.050 seconds ahead of Olli Caldwell. Dylan Buys actually saw the chequered flag in third place but a time penaltiy for unfair driving threw him back to twelfth place. Consequently Mark Kimber completed the podium in third place ahead of Finland’s Lauri Leppa (Hekki Vaisanen) and Spanish driver Adrian Schimpf (Schrimpf).

Axel Charpentier had a double reason to cheer after the race. By his double win he already wrapped-up the championship. Due to the drop score system he is uncatchable during the next round at Salbris (FRA).

Podium Juniors

Senior: Jordan Brown-Nutley wins on the Line

A big surprise was reserved for the senior’s qualifying. Lady driver Jessica Backman (Daems Racing) set the benchmark and upstaged their male opponents. But the decision was a close one: Only 0.001 seconds separated the Swedish girl from her next chaser, which was championship leader Nicolas Schoell (Strawberry Racing) from Austria. Dutchman Lars Lamborelle (Dan Holland Racing), Spanish local hero Lluc Ibanez (Binakart) and Belgium’s Glenn van Parijs (Bouvin Power) followed right behind after the qualifying.

Impression3

In the heats Berkay Besler (Bouvin Power) took command. After being in seventh place of the qualifying, the Turk really stepped up and won all heats. Undoubtedly the freshly crowned X30 Euro Series champion asserted himself on top after the heats merge. Lars Lamborelle followed in second place ahead of Nicolas Schoell, Jordan Brown-Nutley (Dan Holland Racing) from the UK and Glenn van Parijs. Pole sitter Jessica Backman could not tie in with his performance from Friday. She dropped back to seventh place of the ranking and was not supposed to play a decisive role for the final phase.

Berkay Besler, Nicolas Schoell and Glenn van Parijs formed the leading trio of the prefinal, which was able to pull away from the rest of the grid. Besides a brief change of lead in favour of Nicolas Schoell the order was settled. But then the race was stopped by red flag due to an incident in the back of the grid. After the re-start Nicolas Schoell did not wait long in order to make another move on Besler: Two laps to go, the Austrian boosted himself to the lead and defended it up to the finish line. Behind him the fight was really close and a lot of drivers struggled for the chasers’ positions: Finally it was Jordan Brown-Nutley who showed an impressive final spurt rewarding him with second place ahead of Berkay Besler and Glenn van Parijs. Championship contender Gary Donnelly      (Strawberry Racing) gained important points in fifth place.

Senior final winner Jordan Brown-Nutley (252)
Senior final winner Jordan Brown-Nutley (252)

In the final, Nicolas Schoell, Jordan Brown-Nutley and Berkay Besler pulled away from the grid in the first laps, occasionally changing the lead. By halftime distance another group of drivers was able to catch up and disturbed the peace at the top. That was when Nicolas Schoell had to fight most: the Austrian could not keep the pressure and dropped back to fifth place in the end. On top Jordan Brown-Nutley established himself in the lead and got rear cover from his teammate Lars Lamborelle, who had started the race form sixth place. The Dan Holland drivers then broke away and arranged the win amongst themselves. Towards the end Lars Lamborelle made a successful move and seemed to defend his position up to the chequered flag. But literally on the finish line, he was caught by Jordan Brown-Nutley. In a last minute action the Brit drew out of the slipstream and took the win by only 0.016 seconds over Lars Lamborelle in second place. Berkay Besler completed the podium in third spot ahead of Glenn van Parijs and Nicolas Schoell.

Berkay Besler
Berkay Besler

When it comes to the championship Nicolas Schoell could celebrate the overall victory. Since the championship aspirants Gary Donnelly and Rinus van Kalmthout (Daems Racing) experienced a topsy-turvy weekend with rather moderate race and point results, Schoell gained enough points to secure the European title before the big finale in France. Only very extraordinary circumstances could influence the championship at Salbris.

Podium Seniors

DD2: One-Man-Show of Ferenc Kancsar

The reigning champion Ferenc Kancsar (VPDR) left his mark in the qualifying. The man from Hungary was the quickest driver by a time of 1:03.096 minutes while Constantin Schoell (Daems Racing) from Austria, Dzianis Slavinski (Dan Holland Racing) from Poland and Ville Viiliainen (Heikki Vaisanen) from Finland took position two to four. Fifth place went to title contender Kevin Ludi (Spirit Racing) who thereby had a big advantage over championship leader Lukasz Bartoszuk (CRG S.P.A.). The Pole had to be satisfied with place 17 and was not supposed to play a decisive role throughout the event. That did not apply to Ferenc Kancsar, who remained unbeatable during the heats, too: By a clean record he was victorious in every race defending his pole position superiorly ahead of Kevin Ludi, Constantin Schoell, Ville Viiliainen and Italy’s Cosimo Durante (Franco Durante).

Impression1

Ferenc Kancsar continued his walkover in the prefinal: He took a clear start-finish-win, which was never really in danger. Behind him, Constantin Schoell defended the second place quite some time but eventually he had to leave way to his opponents and dropped back to fifth place. On the other hand Kevin Ludi drove a tactical race and managed to take the second place ahead of Dzianis Slavinski, who had picked up the race from ninth place only. Cosimo Durante, who partially was in second position, had to be satisfied with fourth place.

As expected Ferenc Kancsar showed no weakness in the final, either: He kept his opponents at bay and completed his perfect weekend by another triumph. More open was the decision for the following positions. Up to four drivers fought for the podium. By halftime Kevin Ludi prevailed and pulled away from the group securing the second place up to the finish line. Cosimo Durante defended the third place against Ville Viiliainen and local hero Oriol Dalmau Caballero (Motor Club Deportivo Creixell).

Impressions7

Having a look at the championship table, the situation changed dramatically. By his double triumph Ferenc Kancsar reduced his gap and improved to second place in the table. Equally Kevin Ludi conquered the top again. The Swiss leads by 12 points ahead of Kancsar while Lukasz Bartoszuk dropped back to fourth place – even behind Constantin Schoell who is third now.

DD2 double winner Ferenc Kancsar
DD2 double winner, Ferenc Kancsar

As for the special classification of DD2 Masters, Slawomir Muranski (Wyrzykowski Motorsport) from Poland set the best time in the qualifying session. But the heats brought the change of the guard: Martin Pierce (Uniq Racing Team) took the reins and that was not supposed to change any more. The Irishman finished tenth and eleventh in the finals and took the Masters wins clearly, while Frenchman Christophe Adams (Adams Christophe) and Euripidis Hatzistefanis (Daems Racing) followed in second and third place in both finals. After Zuera, Martin Pierce increased his championship lead and is now uncatchable in front. Under normal circumstances his overall victory is sealed already.

DD2 Masters Podium
DD2 Masters Podium

Now the Rotax Max Euro Challenge approaches the great season final. At Salbris (FRA) the series will hold its last round from August 24th to 28th, finally crowning the remaining 2016 champions and vice champions. The big finale is a non-miss event, everybody is invited to join: RGMMC offers a full range with live streaming, live timing and social media coverage. More information regarding reports, photos, results and live TV stream are available on the official websites www.rotaxmaxeurochallenge.com or www.telemundi.com.

Impression5

 

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Exciting final day at the Euro Challenge in Italy

Under the Italian sunshine of Castelletto Di Branduzzo, the ROTAX MAX Euro Challenge completed its second round of the year. In the end Mark Kimber (junior), Nicolas Schoell (senior), Lukasz Bartoszuk (DD2) and Martin Pierce (DD2 Masters) took the victories on the 1.256 metres long track of 7 Laghi.

Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing), Glenn Van Berlo (Hugo Motorsport) and Axel Charpentier (Strawberry Racing) were the main protagonists in the Junior Pre Final. Each of them was able to lead the race at least once throughout although they were kept in close company from the chasing pack. While Mark Kimber dropped back a few positions, Axel Charpentier and Glenn Van Berlo seemed to fight for the win amongst themselves. But towards the end Mark Kimber recovered, made his way back to the top three and crossed the finish line in second place ahead of Glenn Van Berlo. Out front championship leader Axel Charpentier was in control. He made no mistakes and took his third win in a row by 0.118 seconds. Oli Caldwell (KR Sport) and ROTAX Winter Cup winner Adam Smalley (Coles Racing) completed the top five.

For most of the Final Axel Charpentier led the field with only Mark Kimber able to keep with him. Both left their opponents behind and when the race approached the end, Mark Kimber broke the ceasefire and boosted him onto the top, taking his first win of the season. Axel Charpentier finished in a comfortable second place ahead of Glenn Van Berlo who held another podium position. Adam Smalley made his way up to fourth place while Tom Canning (KR Sport) crossed the line in fifth place.

Junior start
Junior start

In the Senior class pole sitter Christopher Dreyspring (VPDR TAD Racing) managed the best start. He was able to pull away from the rest of the pack at the start of the race, but his chasers caught up consistently. First and foremost Josh White (Coles Racing) was in brilliant shape. The Brit did not wait long and passed the leader from Germany quickly. From there he was firmly in control and defended the lead up to the chequered flag. Behind him, Genk double winner Nicolas Schoell (Strawberry Racing) gained important points again: He finished second after he had managed to overtake Christopher Dreyspring, who finally ended the race in third place. Gary Donnelly (Strawberry Racing) finished fourth ahead of the Swedish racing lady Jessica Backman (Daems Racing).

Senior start
Senior start

In the Final Josh White could only defend the lead for a few laps until he had to leave way to Nicolas Schoell. From then on, there was not much action at the top for almost 15 laps. Towards the end Nicolas Schoell, Josh White and the third placed Christopher Dreyspring got closer together but there were no more changes in the order to come. In the end it was Nicolas Schoell who took a deserved victory with two deserved podium places for Josh White and Christopher Dreyspring. A remarkable fourth place went to Jessica Backman who was able to push Frenchman Adrien Renaudin (Kart Pro Karting) back to fifth position.

Senior final winner Nicolas Schoell
Senior final winner Nicolas Schoell

Title defender Ferenc Kancsar (VPDR) seemed to be the driving force in the DD2 Pre Final. The pole sitter headed away from the field immediately after the start. Yet by halftime, the man from Hungary lost performance allowing Lukasz Bartoszuk (CRG S.P.A.) and Luka Kamali (CRG S.P.A.) to close the gap. It did not take the CRG drivers too long until they found a way through. Consequently Lukasz Bartoszuk celebrated a deserved Pre Final win closely ahead of his teammate Luka Kamali, while Ferenc Kancsar had to be satisfied with third place. Barrie Pullinger (Dan Holland Racing) and Constantin Schoell (Daems Racing) completed the top five positions of the 15 laps race.

DD2 double winner Lukasz Bartoszuk
DD2 double winner Lukasz Bartoszuk

The DD2 Final began with a brilliant start from Ferenc Kancsar, who boosted himself into the lead. But as the man from Hungary was attacked by Lukasz Bartoszuk slight contact was made which caused quite a mess for the following drivers. Consequently some drivers – including favourite Luka Kamali – got involved in a collision, which forced them to retire from the race. Lukasz Bartoszuk was lucky and seized his chance. He pulled away in a dominant way and took the victory clearly ahead of Ferenc Kancsar. After the race the latter got a penalty after the Clerks defined him being responsible for the incident. So Ferenc Kancsar dropped back to ninth place, while Kevin Ludi (Spirit Racing) inherited second place ahead of Constantin Schoell and Finland’s Ville  Viiliainen (VRT).

DD2 Masters double winner Martin Pierce
DD2 Masters double winner Martin Pierce

As for the DD2 Masters, Martin Pierce (Uniq Racing Team) was unbeatable. The Irishman won both finals. The podium was completed by Tomokazu Kawase (Paul Carr Racing) in second spot and Richard Faulkner (Coles Racing) in third place.

The last chequered flag of the weekend signalled the halfway point in the championship. Now we look forward to the next event in Spain. On the 1.700 metres long high speed track of Zuera the Euro Challenge will herald the final spurt from 18th to 24th of July 2016. More information regarding reports, photos, results and live TV stream are available on the official websites www.rotaxmaxeurochallenge.com or www.telemundi.com.

 

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Heats shuffle the Ranking at Casteletto

Tight qualifying at the Euro Challenge in Italy

Rotax Euro Challenge Round 1 Report

The Rotax Euro Challenge kicked off at Genk, Belgium where it ended so dramatically last year. Genk is one of the most popular circuits in Europe for all drivers and it’s a track that always provides great racing with it’s long straights and wide sweeping corners. There were 141 drivers present across the four classes all looking to get their 2016 campaigns off to a solid start!

Senior qualifying quickest Berkay Besler

Junior

Adam Smalley (Coles Racing) had the best start in the Junior Pre Final. In fact the Brit pulled away a few metres, but he could not keep the gap for long as seven drivers quickly chased him down. From then on the lead kept changing consistently with Oli Caldwell (KR Sport), Glenn Van Berlo (Hugo Motorsport) and Axel Charpentier (Strawberry Racing) all having their share. As the race approached the end, Axel Charpentier pulled out a fantastic few laps and took the win ahead of Glenn Van Berlo, Adam Smalley, Oli Caldwell and Lauri Leppa (VRT).

Junior double winner Alex Charpentier
Junior double winner Alex Charpentier

The start of the final saw Glenn Van Berlo take the lead, but he quickly had huge pressure from behind. The lead changed a few times between Van Berlo and Charpentier until the race approached its decisive stage. The lead group grew to as big as 20 drivers and it was only a matter of time before things would really kick off!. This was when Charpentier seized his chance to pull away, leaving the other 19 drivers behind. He went on to take his second win of the day, crossing the line over seven seconds in front of Glenn Van Berlo and Adam Smalley. But the latter was given a time penalty due to unfair driving which threw him back to 19th place. This meant Lauri Leppa inherited the last podium place ahead of Oli Caldwell and Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing).

Juniors podium
Juniors podium

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The Senior Pre Final began with a massive pile-up, which involved almost half of the grid, mixing the positions up dramatically. It took a few laps until the order became clear again, with Nicolas Schoell (Strawberry Racing) emerging as the new leader. Together with his Irish teammate Gary Donnelly (Strawberry Racing), the Austrian pulled away from the rest of the grid. Finally the ex Junior won the Pre Final ahead of Donnelly by 0.6 seconds. Third place went to Glenn van Parijs (Bouvin Power) who had come through from 21st on the grid! Sam Marsh (Dan Holland Racing) and Charlie Turner (TBA) completed the top five positions.

Senior double winner Nicolas Schoell
Senior double winner Nicolas Schoell

Similar to the Pre Final Nicolas Schoell absolutely dominated the Final. Although he had to deal with a few challenges in the first few laps the Austrian showed no weakness. He made no real mistakes during the 17 laps and was able to win by 1.2 seconds over of his teammate Gary Donnelly. The fight for third place was far more open. Up to eight drivers were in the fight and in the end it was the reigning Vice Champion Rinus van Kalmthout (Daems Racing) who came out on top. Sam Marsh finished fourth ahead of French man Thomas Drouet (RM Concept).

Seniors podium
Seniors podium

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For the DD2 Pre Final, pole sitter Martin Mortensen (RS Competition) could not show the same speed he did Saturday. He quickly was pushed off the track and ended up in 21st place. Unlike Mortensen, Kevin Ludi (Spirit Racing) and Jordy Lievens (Vici Motorsport) looked in good shape and throughout the race they were able to break away from the field. They eventually settled the victory amongst themselves with Kevin Ludi crossing the line first ahead of Jordy Lievens. Behind Barrie Pullinger (Dan Holland Racing) from the UK, Dzianis Slavinski (Uniq Racing Team) from Belarus and Joey Alders (Schepers Racing Service) followed up to fifth place.

DD2 masters winner Martin Pierce
DD2 masters winner Martin Pierce

In the Final, Kevin Ludi and Barrie Pullinger set the early pace and both headed away from the grid until they began fighting at half race distance. Consequently Mick Wishofer (VPDR), Lukasz Bartoszuk (CRG S.P.A.) and the reigning DD2 champion Ferenc Kancsar closed the gap. An exciting final spurt began and Ludi seized the chance to pull away. Metre by metre the Swiss bunked off and finally took his longed for victory. Almost two seconds behind him Bartoszuk asserted himself in second spot in front of Wishofer and Pullinger. Kancsar finished on a conciliatory fifth place, considering he started the weekend with 34th in qualifying due to technical problems that’s not a bad effort! As for the DD2 Masters, Martin Pierce (Uniq Racing Team) was in a class of his own. He celebrated both wins, in the Pre Final and the Final. On the podium Slawomir Muranski (Wyrzykowski Motorsport) from Poland and Dennis Kroes  (Team Kroes Goedsign/JVD Power) from the Netherlands completed the top three.

DD2 double winner Kevin Ludi
DD2 double winner Kevin Ludi

CLICK HERE TO WATCH ALL DD2 RACES

Now the ROTAX MAX Euro Challenge is already watching out for its next round. At Castelletto (ITA) one will go for the second round from 9th to 15th of May. More information regarding reports, photos, results and live TV stream are available on the official websites www.rotaxmaxeurochallenge.com or www.telemundi.com.

 

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Rotax Winter Cup – Race Report

Kartodromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero in Valencia was the venue for this years annual Rotax Winter Cup, the same track which hosted the Rotax Max Grand Finals in 2014 just after it had been built. It’s 1428 metres in length and is designed specifically for Karting with a tight technical section followed by a combination of fast and flowing corners making for plenty of overtaking.

93 drivers made the trip to the circuit for what promised to be a great event to kick off the European Rotax season and with free entries at stake for the full Euro Challenge, there was plenty to play for.

Senior-start
The 2016 Rotax Winter Cup is go!

Junior

Junior Max provided the biggest grid of the weekend with 36 drivers entered. Adam Smalley drew first blood of the weekend taking pole positon on Friday, but he was unable to convert that into victories in the heats. Instead it was two wins a piece for Axel Charpentier and Oli Caldwell with Tom Canning and Carlos Saval Martin taking the others.

The Pre-Final proved to be a hugely entertaining race with the 10 covered by 1.2 seconds across the line. Despite huge pressure Charpentier was able to take victory from team mate Mark Kimber with Canning 3rd.

Junior-qualifying-quickest-Adam-Smalley
Junior winner Adam Smalley

Off the front row Charpentier was able to hold onto his lead at the start of the race with Canning going with him. Kimber had dropped places but was quickly back into 3rd by lap 4. Kimber was not alone and had Smalley and Lauri Leppa for company and with the trio closing on the leaders Canning decided to hit the front on lap 6.

But when Charpentier took the lead back from Canning on lap 9 things started to get very tight. Kimber was now 2nd with Leppa 3rd and everyone else 4th with the lead group now stretched to 15+ karts.

As the last lap board came out all of a sudden Charpentier and Kimber found themselves with a gap behind after Smalley’s move on Leppa half way through the lap. On the penultimate lap Kimber tried going round the outside of his team mate in the chicane and it nearly ended in tears but he decided to give it another go. It was do or die and unfortunately both drivers completely missed their braking points which forced Kimber to cut the chicane. Both were penalised for the incident handing victory to Adam Smalley.

Junior-podium
Junior Podium (left to right) Tom Canning, Adam Smalley, Laszlo Toth

Senior

Senior Max provided 34 drivers with plenty up last years’ front running Juniors among the field all making for an exciting weekend of racing. Leonard Hoogenboom took pole on Friday, but like Smalley in Juniors he was unable to win any of the heats with Berkay Besler and Nicolas Schoell taking two a piece. Jonathan Hoggard and Josh White won the other heats.

From the inside of row two Schoell took Pre-Final victory from Besler who just missed out. Hoggard took an impressive and the lead trio were over a second clear of Glenn van Parijs in 4th.

Senior-heat-winner-Jonathan-Hoggard
Jonathan Hoggard impressed on his debut in the Senior class

All weekend Besler had looked a certain podium finisher but unfortunately his Winter Cup dreams ended at turn 1 as he was pushed wide leaving him down in 22nd place. There were no such problems from Schoell and with Gamble leading a fierce battle for 2nd he was able to check out early doors.

Behind things quickly settled down with Gamble and White pairing up in pursuit. KR Sport team mates Hoggard and Mavlanov attempted to do the sign but they were quickly caught by the hard charging Jack McCarthy and Rinus van Kalmthout. It was McCarthy who led the attack but his 4th place was short lived with Hoggard coming back at home just a corner later.

Up ahead there was no catching Schoell who took lights to flag victory by 0.9 seconds from Gamble with White 3rd, Hoggard 4th and McCarthy 5th.

Senior-podium
Senior Podium (left to right) Tom Gamble, Nicolas Schoell, Josh White

DD2 & Masters

The DD2 saw the smallest grid of the weekend with 21 drivers entered but what it may of slightly lacked in numbers it certainly made up for in talent. For the first time in 5 years it was Ed Brand who took pole (I know hard to believe!).

However, it was Kevin Ludi who dominated the heats taking all three victories with Brand taking two 2nd’s and a 3rd. But in the Pre-Final things quickly turned sour for Brand who got caught up in an incident dropping him to dead last! He managed to recover to 13th and things didn’t go so well for Ludi either who finished 7th. The win went to Spaniard Oriol Dalmau Cabellero with VilleViiliainen 2nd.

DD2-final-winner-Edward-Brand
DD2 Winner Ed Brand

So the Final looked set to be an interesting race with Ludi and Brand down the order and when the ran fell just before the race it made things even more captivating. From the front rowViiliainen stormed off to take a demanding lead with Cabellero doing the complete opposite! It was a huge scrap for 2nd with drivers struggling for grip, many took their turn to sit in a podium spot but through it all came one man.

Brand from 13th on the grid was slowly picking his way through the order and with five laps to go he was in 2nd withViiliainen three seconds up the road. But the CRG driver was taking huge chunks out of the Fin and on the penultimate lap made the race winning move to take a dramatic victory!Viiliainen held on to a comfortable 2nd and how about Masters driver Slawomir Muranski taking 3rd overall and Masters victory! Excellent performance!

DD2-podium
DD2 Podium left to right Villie Viiliainen, Ed Brand, Slawomir Muranski (Masters Winner)

 

With the Winter Cup now iver next up it’s the first round of the Euro Challenge which will be taking place at Genk in Belgium on the 3rd April.

For more information on teh championship visit their website at – http://www.rotaxmaxeurochallenge.com/

 

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