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Home  »  Karting

First lap times in the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 2012

Tuesday, 27. 11. 2012 - 21:40, Daniel Mandzi   

First lap times in the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 2012

Yesterday, all teams and drivers took a first contact with the Algarve track, with no transponders, so without pressure or other kind of restrictions. Today things got warmer after ten o'clock, when free practice 2 started and the Kart-Data guys began to show the world, who is gone to be faster on the Algarve track - during lovely sunny sessions.

Again, today it was the Junior category who started the free practice sessions, and Ross Gunn - remember him from our little interview done yesterday - was the fastest in the morning session, in front of Portuguese Bruno Borlido. In the afternoon the lap times were a little better, so the Spanish driver Alvaro Otero was the fastest of the day - running in 1m02.461s.


The young Spanish driver was very pleased about his first day. "This is a very difficult track for a driver. I hope I can be even better tomorrow, so I can get into the finals and then I will try to do my best", he said.

MAX category promises to be amazing: 58 drivers finished these two practice sessions within the same second! French driver Alexandre Finkelstein was the fastest one, beating the Australian Pierce Lehane by 0,110s..."This is only the first day! But for now, I did it well. We will try to do some little corrections in the set-up of the kart. This is a fantastic track, but also little long. During the week I hope I can amuse myself and keep this rhythm, to get to the finals", the Frenchman explained!

The best lap times of the DD2 category were made in the morning - close to the lunch hour. Guy Pansart was the fastest and was not surprised about his times: "I am in Portugal to win, so I think I have to give my best at any time. The track is great, and after playing fast in the morning, I decided to validate the set-up of the kart in the afternoon. There are some track points to observe in order to overtake the others in a race situation, and now I know them all", stated the Frenchman at the end of the day.


European drivers were the best in this first timed practice day, so in the last rows, it was the Belgium Xen de Ruwe, naturally the fastest of all, and of course in the DD2 category, with 59.419s. In DD2, no less than 51 drivers are within the same second, so Ruwe is realistic: "Last year I was 5th in the final grid but I started 34th because of an engine problem... Many things can happen in the races, but it's a good start for the moment. Chassis is good so we've got to work in the set up details," said the KIA's fastest man of the day.

"REPORT MAG": MOJO is the tyre for RMCGF MOJO tyres have a decisive role in the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, and the tyre manufacturer brought to KIA not less than 600 sets of slicks and 552 sets of rain tyres. But most impressive than the numbers is the professional way as MOJO prepares the making of all rubber in order that all can have equal chances with equal tyres. "Those tyres were all produced two months before. In the first month all rubber loses their efficacy, but after that they all stay in a stable level. We wanted that all tyres have the same competitive level during the RMCGF", explained Manfred Weissgaerber, responsible for MOJO and present at KIA.

"The Junior class uses the harder compound, MAX runs with medium compound and the two DD2 categories use the soft tyre compounds. This grants the equality of all the set: engine, tyre and chassis. Each driver has a set of tyres for free practice and another for the qualifying heats. The faster ones that achieve the pre-final and finals will get another set of tyres. In case it rains, all drivers will have two sets of rain tyres for the entire event", he concluded.


Tomorrow the weather forecast indicates that we will have a sunny day again. The action starts at 8h30 with the free practice 4, until 11.25. Lunch break will be at 11.30, and the first qualifying practice (15 min each heat) from 12.45 to 16.40. From 15.00 to 17.00, 125 Micro MAX drivers will do their registration.

For further information, such as Entry List, Timetable, Press Accreditation, Daily Event Report... please visit or contact the Press Office. For photos (different resolutions offered) please use following link:

To follow the event on TV broadcast (after November 28):
Welcome to the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Portimao.

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