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Home  »  Karting

Warm up and first qualifying heats in a complete and warm day of Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals

Thursday, 29. 11. 2012 - 20:30, Daniel Mandzi   

Warm up and first qualifying heats in a complete and warm day of Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals

Drivers started the day with the warm up sessions, all very lively and in almost all categories the lap times were lower, probably because of the track was more warmed by the sun, and the wind stopped. The races in the afternoon were fantastic, with all drivers pushing hard for a good result, but almost everyone using the "fair play mode" to achieve the best lap times in all sessions to be allowed in the Saturday finals.

JUNIOR - For Portuguese people the day couldn't start better: Bruno Borlido won the first qualification heat, taking advantage of a little mistake of Zachary Claman-Demelo and Harry Webb, just at the end of the race, after having dominated in the first laps. Stefano van Galen won the second heat beaten Berkley, by 0,062s, after a great fight until the finish line. In the afternoon drivers returned to track, with another win for Bruno Borlido, ending the day with a total score of "0" zero points - the best anyone can achieve - so he has a granted presence in semi-finals.


"It was a great day for me. In the morning I had a bit of luck because they touched each other, leaving me the way open to win... Tomorrow I will try to win my race again. I will do my best, but trying not to risk anything for Saturday's Finals," said the Portuguese driver.

He was the only one with "0" points at the end of the day, because Harri Webb was the winner of the second race in the afternoon, far ahead of its morning rival Zachary Claman- Demelo.

SENIOR - Pierce Lehane has confirmed his last performances and was the fastest in the qualification heats of the senior (MAX) category. Second heat had a much closer fight to the final win; Oliver Hodgson arrived at the front when there were 2 laps remaining to the finish, and the race was very lively with many changes in leadership. In the afternoon, the race was between the two morning winners, but Lehane won again, keeping a great distance to the second. He also finished the day with "0" points, like the junior winner Borlido.


"I am really surprised with all this advantage... The set-up is now almost perfect, and I got a great rhythm, so I won the two races... That is important to keep me cool for the last heat of tomorrow," said the Australian. In the last heat of this category, Harrison Scott won, after an interesting fight with Charlie Eastwood.

DD2 MASTERS - Henry Martin was the fastest driver in the DD2 Masters category, but was out of the final fight for victory because he went out of the track in the fourth lap, ending the race in last position.

So it was Scott Campbell who won in this occasion and in the second qualifying heat we've assist a great fight between Cristiano Morgado and Guy Pansart, with the South African driver to finish first. In the afternoon, one of the heats was for David Griffiths to win, and in the other, the winners of this morning were again the fastest and the first was Campbell. "The kart is just perfect. I was only sixth in qualifying, but because I didn't found any draft to help... Today it's all perfect, and I have changed nothing regarding the set- up. That's a very good and fast track and I like it a lot," said the Italian. DD2 - Until this moment, the fastest driver in the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 2012 was the Belgium driver Xen de Ruwe who really was impressive in the second heat of DD2 category, remembers all presents that he is here to win...

The second heat was a much closer race, and Ben Cooper won with a tight distance over Chaun Slavin. During the afternoon, Ruwe had some problems, and let the victory to Kevin Ludi. However, Ben Cooper won again, but only got in front at the fifth lap, when he overtook Simon Wagner in a great move. "This afternoon race was really difficult. I started second, but I felt 3rd and then Simon took a little advantage and it was hard to catch him. I won at least and now I am in a good position to get to the semi-finals. The kart is now better with the revised set-up, and I am very calm facing tomorrow races," said Ben Cooper.


Just at the end of the day the fantastic young drivers of Micro MAX category were on track for the first time. The fastest one was Óscar Palomo from Spain, in front of Kilian Meyer and Adrian Herrando. Little Santinho Mendes was the best Portuguese driver with 5th fast lap time overall.

From today, the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, welcomed the Micro MAX category, for an unusual challenge that includes drivers with less than 13 years old coming from Portugal and Spain.

Arnaldo Frias is the boss of this particular organisation and hopes these races could "improve even more the impact of these Rotax MAX grand Finals. Last year we organised a Micro MAX Festival in our RMC, but in 2012 CIK didn't allow drivers with less than 13 years old race in other countries. So we've decided to do it here, because that limitation doesn't exist between Spain and Portugal. For those kids, this is an unique event. We will have 36 young participants - aged from 7 to 12 years - driving Praga chassis with Rotax engines and 6 hp", explained the Portuguese.

Tomorrow the weather forecast announces some clouds and light rain in the morning. Temperature will rise a little bit. The action starts at 8h45 with the warm-up for all categories, followed by the last row of qualifying heats from 10.45 to 13.45. Lunch break at 13.45 and the second chance race from 14.55 to 15.55. The 125 Micro MAX category will have two free practice sessions at 10.30 and 14.35, and the qualifying practice at 16.15. A Press Conference will take place at 17.00h in the Press Room, inviting the 3 fastest of all 4 categories, and Robert Gumpenberger from Rotax.

For further information, such as Entry List, Timetable, Press Accreditation, Daily Event Report... 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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