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Rotax Max Challenge and Finals Juniors / Seniors

Stock-Rotax-Logo After many years in KF and Rotax, Carlos Gil finally had a big success in Seniors and Juri Vips just about got the better of David Wooder in Juniors. The Junior drivers were all using the Sodikart Sigma S3 chassis with the current Junior Max engine and the new Evo carb, and the Seniors used the Birel RY30 also with a current engine and new carb. The carburettors were sealed, we think more to keep the all-new internals out of sight of the teams than to stop people changing things. Lithuania’s Rokas Baciuska took pole in Juniors with a time of 58.631s, 15 hundredths ahead of Russia’s Denis Mavlanov, but after that there wasn’t a whole tenth between two drivers right down to the back of the 72-kart field. David Wooder was 8th and all the other British drivers were in the top half of the grid.

The heats were dry but not particularly warm. Baciuska took two firsts and a 2nd for pole, and EuroMax champion Thomas Preining from Austria was 2nd with one win, a 3rd and a 4th. Other heat winners were the UK’s Sandy Mitchell, Austria’s Mick Wishofer and South Africa’s Jordan Sherratt. Mitchell was 5th on the grid just ahead of Wooder, with Dean MacDonald 9th and Alex Quinn the last qualifier in 28th. Juri Vips was 8th with a 13th and two 5ths. It started raining for the Repechages and hadn’t stopped by the time I flew home the evening after the Finals. No British or Irish drivers were in the Repechage luckily.

The Sunday warm-ups took place with relatively few incidents apart from one where Quinn ended up with a snapped chassis. It took five Sodikart mechanics plus Alex’s dad to reframe it but he was ready for the Prefinal. By the time the Prefinal was due to start there was standing water across the track and only the leader was going to have any visibility. Preining took the lead but more than half the field was le