With the Rotax Euro Challenge kicking off with the Winter Cup in Valencia this weekend it’s time for the predictions!
Each Rotax Euro Challenge race this year series commentators Chris Hartley and Matt Suckling will give their predictions on who they think will win in each class along with Karting magazine’s Chris McCarthy.
3 points will be awarded for a win and 1 for a podium. So find out who they’re tipping to win this weekend in Valencia..
Mark Kimber – The second half of Mark’s 2015 season was strong and his maiden Euro Challenge podium in the final round at Genk put him up to 7th in the overall standings. He also enjoyed a very solid Super One campaign and, while a change of team from DHR to Strawberry Racing might require some adjustment, the vast experience of his new outfit should enable Mark to hit the ground running.
Rinus van Kalmthout – 2015 was the season in which Rinus matured enormously both on and off the track and in Daems Racing, he found a team where he felt immediately at home – the importance of which should never be underestimated. Second place in the Euro Challenge was just reward and if he can keep up similar levels of both confidence and performance; he’ll be hard to beat.
Kevin Ludi – Always a consistent performer, Kevin enjoyed arguably his best season to date in 2015. A regular front-runner, it was only bad luck in the Italian round that put him out of the top three in the championship. One of the most experienced drivers in the field, there’s little doubt in my mind that he’ll be in the mix for a victory.
Cristobal Garcia – I’d look towards possible home advantage for Cristobal Garcia – winner of the pre-final at last year’s Winter Cup in Campillos. And with the hugely successful CRG team behind him this year, he should be in good shape.
Axel Charpentier – Axel managed to claw himself on to the podium in Italy last year but his final 2 rounds were ones to forget unfortunately and I feel his final championship position didn’t do him the justice he deserved after some really strong performances, should shine through this weekend.
Glen van parijs – finished within the top 6 of the championship last year but failed to reach the podium in any of the finals, he seems to be one of the strongest returnees in the field this season and if he gets everything right that could show in the winter cup.
Ed Brand – Ed struggled with the kart last year alongside team mate Harry Webb but his final position was positive, a new class for Ed this year could prove to be the right decision and the winning combination so watch out.
Martin Pierce – Martin was the 2014 class champion but only took part in one main event last year within the Rotax championship, he’s a man who definitely has the pedigree to win and is someone who I think will do well if he clicks with the Valencia track.
Mark Kimber – Mark has teamed up with the all conquering Strawberry Racing Team this year and has been putting some mileage in at Valencia over the last couple weeks. That combined with his improvement in form towards the end of last year makes him the favourite for me!
Berkay Besler – Berkay had a huge turn in pace last year and really impressed me. A few unlucky results meant he finished 9th in the 2015 championship but his performance at the Rotax World Finals in Portimao was hugely impressive as he qualified on the front row for the final. I think the confidence gained from that will carry him through this weekend.
Ed Brand – Ed has jumped up to the DD2 class this year and remains with the CRG factory team. He may not have had the best kart at times last year but the same chassis seemed to work for his teammate Paolo De Conto in the DD2 class. There’s no doubt he’ll be looking to hit the ground running this weekend!
Martin Pierce – The 2014 champion is always a good bet if he appears on the grid in the Euro Challenge. At the 2014 World Finals on this very track Martin was pretty much quickest all weekend and was unfortunate not to finish on the podium. That stat must surely make him the favourite.
The results of the predictions will follow on Monday after the event.
For all details, timetables, entry lists and to watch the event live from Friday afternoon head to – http://www.rotaxmaxeurochallenge.com/
Let us know who you think will win this weekend in the comments below!