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Home  »  Karting

The best selection of drivers is ready for the Grand Finals of the Rotax MAX Challenge

Friday, 30. 11. 2012 - 20:37, Daniel Mandzi   

The best selection of drivers is ready for the Grand Finals of the Rotax MAX Challenge

Again the warm up sessions started the day, today with a wet track, but lively as usual. The Micro MAX drivers showed their abilities in the rain, but it was in the afternoon that action got warmer, with the last heats of qualification for semi finals, and the "second chance" series. Fantastic races with all drivers playing fair but pushing hard to reach their purpose of win!

JUNIOR - Despite the rain fall during the night, Junior drivers, get in track with a clean and dry surface, in almost all their path zones. Bruno Borlido was already in the pole position, so he drove cool arriving second behind Josh White. "Today it was more difficult, but I didn't want to risk anything at all...We did a small modification of the kart set up, but it didn't work as we expected. Tomorrow it's good to start in pole position, but I feel a bit under pressure, because for the first time a Portuguese driver is in this position and ... it's me!" He said. Second heat had Harry Webb, as winner and the UK driver, assured also a place between the 28 allowed to go directly to pre-finals.


SENIOR - Pierce Lehane had no opponent until this moment. Today rain started to fall before the start of the last heat, but that didn't stop the Australian who won for the 3rd time: "Today it was harder because of the rain. The kart had the ideal set-up for wet races, and I am confident for tomorrow. It's true that I won for three times but to avoid surprises I mustn't make mistakes. Starting from pole-position is very helpful and I want to take advantage of it." Explain the Australian. James Singleton won the second heat, and reaches the pre-final after being only 33th yesterday.

DD2 MASTERS - Scott Campbell won the two heats yesterday, but was not so fast over the wet track today, arriving only 5th.Cristiano Morgado stole him the pole position on the grid, after a great win in one of the heats: "It was ok today, but I don't expect facilities tomorrow. Starting in front is good but my contenders are strong. The kart is good at dry or wet conditions, so I hope I can win at least." Irish driver Martin Pierce, maybe more used to rain conditions, won the last qualification heat! DD2: Maybe the most impressive performance during this wet Friday was assured by Ben Cooper, who won clearly with more than 8 seconds of advantage, in his last qualification heat - the third in a row... "It is never easy, but I love racing in the rain, so I had a cool win. Tomorrow I will start in front for pre-final, and for sure I hope I can win. I will need to get some advantage in order to correctly manage the tires, until the end of the race." - explain Ben Cooper. Simon Wagner won the last heat, and he will start from the second line, in the DD2 grid for tomorrow.


MICRO MAX REPORT - After three free practice sessions, finally this got warmer in the Micro MAX Category. Oscar Palomo was again fastest, but in this occasion he had a strong opposition from António Correia, who did only more 0,077s ! So tomorrow the fights are granted, even because no less than seven drivers stand in the same second... Small men, but already great drivers.

The Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals are the biggest annual event of the Austrian manufacturer BRP-Powertrain, which reserves a lot of efforts and ressources to support this event. The attendance includes no less than 300 drivers, arriving from the entire world, but
to get to this event, they "must qualify themselves. They do it in the national championships, or in other international competitions. It's impossible to compete here without passing those qualifications" - explains Robert Gumpenberger, the Rotax head of organisation of the RMCGF. Each country has also a different number of drivers, allowed to compete depending of their championship dimension...

"Of course a country as the United States, places more drivers in the RMCGF than a smaller country, which makes all sense." In some countries, the Rotax MAX Challenge is unique regarding the karting category, and that's why so many drivers actually in Formulas,

came from Rotax Championships. " Esteban Gutierrez, is going to be a Sauber driver next year, and he started driving with Rotax engines , before becoming a driver at formula classes. Also Jean-Eric Vergne, today in Toro Rosso or Kevin Korjus, passed by Rotax championships before getting to formulas. In the beginning, this was a competition faced by drivers as a hobby, and the first step of a motorsport career. Now they all know that the Rotax MAX Challenge, can be the entry to the motorsport world.". Gumpenberger states.


Tomorrow the weather forecast signs a sunny day and temperatures between 5 and 12 degrees...The Grand Finals start with a warm-up session for all categories (08.15 / 9.25) , followed by the pre-finals, from 09.45 to 11.15. Lunch break at 11.40 and than the Micro MAX Finals - 13.30 followed by the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, starting at 13.30, until 15.25. Important moments are also the Drivers Presentation - 11.40 / 13.00 - and Prize Giving Ceremony - 15.25.

For further information, such as Entry List, Timetable, Press Accreditation, Daily Event Reports... please go to or contact the Press Office. For photos (different resolutions offered) please use following link:
To follow the event on TV broadcast (after the 28th November):
Welcome to the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Portimao.

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