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As the Rotax Max Euro Challenge concludes at the Salbris Circuit in France this weekend, there are plenty of British drivers who will be aiming for the coveted tickets to the Rotax Max Grand Finals which takes place at Sarno, Italy, later this year.
The champion has already been crowned in the Junior class with the dominant Axel Charpentier wrapping things up at Zuera in July. As he did last year, Axel will be representing Great Britain at the World Finals and will be a force to be reckoned with given his current performances on the European scene this season. He finished 7th at last years World Finals and will no doubt be looking to go better this time around.
There’s a very strong chance the two remaining tickets will go to fellow Brits Mark Kimber and Oli Caldwell. Currently 2nd and 3rd in the championship Mark and Oli are just split by just one point but the dropped scores tell a slightly different story.
By our calculations Mark, after dropped scores, has 171 points with Oli seven behind with 164 points. Other notable contenders could be:
Glenn Van Berlo – 167
Adam Smalley – 150
Connor McCarthy – 144
So it could be van Berlo who ruins the British party and if last years last day drama repeats itself Adam Smalley and Connor McCarthy could come and collect tickets like Fin Kennally and Scott Symons did last year.
It may be an all British affair in the Juniors, but the Senior class could see no Brits qualify through to the World Finals. Nicolas Schoell seems to have already taken the title but the remaining two tickets will be very closely contested!
Gary Donnelly has a strong chance in going through and is currently 2nd in the championship. He’s no stranger to the World Finals and competed last year, but had a torrid week which ended with a DNF in the second chance heat. Redemption could be on the cards for Gary.
The British hopeful comes in the shape of Josh White. Currently 5th in the championship Josh could do with a solid haul of points to buy him a seat on the plane to Italy in October.
On dropped scores the current situation is as so:
Gary Donnelly – 161
Glenn van Parijs – 157
Josh White – 155
Rinus van Kalmthout – 151
Christopher Dreyspring – 151
Jessica Backman – 139
It couldn’t be much closer in Seniors and one mistake could see World Final chances vanish!
The closest championship of all four comes in the shape of DD2. Three drivers are separated by just five points on dropped scores going into Salbris, they are:
Kevin Ludi – 174
Lukasz Bartoszuk – 170
Ferenc Kancsar – 169
Ferenc of all three has the experience in winning these championships and is the defending European and World champion so could be considered the favourite despite being 3rd. However, Kevin has been on blistering form and will be desperate to seal the championship. He’s been building up to this point for a few years now and I feel he’s ready to go and do the business. Lukasz could be argued as the surprise package and if he takes a ‘nothing to lose’ approach in he may walk way with it and leave Kevin and Ferenc to fight for 2nd behind. It’s going to be a great finish either way!
As for the chasing pack well although the three tickets could go to the men above if one or two of them is to have a disaster they’ll be drivers queuing up to pick up the pieces. The group includes Brit Barrie Pullinger.
Cosimo Durante – 158
Barrie Pullinger – 157
Constantin Schoell – 157
Ville Villianen – 153
Barrie is yet to finish on the podium this season and I think he’ll need that or a win to have any chance in picking up a ticket to the World Finals!
In the Masters class the title looks like it’s going to go to Irish man Martin Pierce who looks uncatchable!
Behind the two remaining tickets are being disputed by Slawomir Muranski, Ilja Aloskins and Richard Faulkner (IRL). Aloskins doesn’t seem to have entered the round which should make it easy pickings for Faulkner who is currently 4th in the standings.
The Rotax Max Euro Challenge will be live all weekend on http://www.telemundi.com/live-stream/
Written by Chris McCarthy
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