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Kartódromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero Chiva, Valencia/Spain
Terrible weather plays a part!
The 2014 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals was held in Valencia, Spain. It was a circuit that had not long been built in time for the event. The circuit looked great and I believe was a hit with the drivers although the venue I hear had some teething problems coping with the horrendous conditions on Finals day. As ever we had fantastic racing, despite the tricky conditions and four very deserved champions by the chequered flag.
Here is the story of the 2014 Grand Finals.
Junior – Wooder just misses out!
Despite starting on the outside of row three it did not long for Dave Wooder to work his way through to the lead in the Junior Fianl. It was a fantastic battle especially given the conditions with drivers risking everything for World glory. Eventually Wooder broke clear with Jueri Vips with Thomas Preining, Max Timmermans, Richard Verschoor and Jasper Sjoeberg in chase.
Lap thirteen was where things changed, Wooder and Vips seemed to delay themselves allowing Timmermans to take the lead with Sjoeberg making it a lead quartet. With the conditions getting worse Wooder hit the front on the penultimate lap, but a well timed move saw Vips go from 3rd to 1st in one corner! Wooder was almost down to 4th and once back to 2nd had opened up a slight lead going onto the last lap.
To catch Vips Wooder had to take some risks and he ran slightly wide half way through the lap which cost him any chances of taking the win. In the end he did a fantastic job to hold onto 2nd! The drive of the race came from Max Hofer who finished 5th from 32nd on the grid!
1st Jueri Vips
2nd Dave Wooder
3rd Max Timmermans
13th Dean MacDonald
17th Alex Quinn
25th Sandy Mitchell
Senior – Gil wins on home soil
After his performance in the 2013 Grand Finals, for me Carlos Gil was always the favourite to take the win in 2014. I have to admit going into it I had a very good feeling he was going to win and that almost had me rooting for him all the way through.
Despite the challenging conditions he went on to take the win and Spain’s neighbours, Portugal, had something to cheer about too with Bruno Borlido finishing a close 2nd place. Rounding off the podium was the Canadian Zachary Claman Demolo who kept the leaders honest throughout.
From a British point of view, Jack Bartholomew did the best job with 5th in the final and it was so nearly a podium! Now experienced in the event it was no surprise to see Harry Webb in the top ten and Josh White was a very creditable 12th.
1st Carlos Gil
2nd Bruno Borlido
3rd Zachary Claman Demolo
5th Jack Bartholomew
7th Harry Webb
12th Josh White
16th Guan Yu Zhou
DNQ Joseph Reilly
DNQ Josh Price
DD2 – Babington finally gets deserved win
This would be the year that Sean Babington finally got the win he deserved in the Grand Finals. He was cruelly denied his chance at the 2011 event and was hit with bad luck in 2012 and 2013 so when the win came in 2014 I think the whole Karting World was delighted for him.
He came back to do the Rotax Max Euro Challenge with Strawberry Racing in the aim to get to get to the World Finals and guess what? At the last round whilst leading the championship his kart came to a halt underneath him in the final and I remember seeing him sat there devastated thinking when will his luck change?
Well it did it Valencia as he won handsomely with Ben Cooper and Jordan Boys following him home. Sean could now move onto other things in Karting knowing he had completed one of his main goals, to become a Rotax World Champion.
1st Sean Babington
2nd Ben Cooper
3rd Jordan Boys
7th Shaun Slavin
15th Adam Glear
16th Ed Brand
DNQ Barrie Pullinger
DD2 Masters – Mikko Laine takes victory
The DD2 Masters race saw a very comfortably win for the Finnish driver Mikko Laine. Behind the battle for 3rd was very close! Cristiano Morgado was all on his own in 2nd, but fighting for 3rd was Antti Ollikainen and Jeremie Charon. At the flag just one tenth of a second separated them with Charon unfortunately missing out.
An impressive performance came from Tiffany Chittenden who finished a very creditable 5th place! I’m not too sure if it was a new record for a female racer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.
1st Mikko Laine
2nd Cristiano Morgado
3rd Antti Ollikainen
Tomorrow on #kartingmag we will look back at the 2015 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals
Written by Chris McCarthy