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Video > Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals



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International > Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals

14/11/17 - 09:42

RMCGF 2017 Portimao Day 8



Welcome to the final race day. Today we will see drivers participate in one warm-up unofficial practice session. After the unofficial practice, all pilots, including those that did not make it into the final round (only the top 36 drivers in terms of point standings moved on to the final race) were invited to participate in the annual driver presentation.

This year, a new event was also added to the calendar before the commencement of the final races. The Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals hosted a Charity Race Event this year, where the newest Rotax engine edition was displayed for the public: The Rotax THUNDeR package.

The Rotax THUNDeR engine is an electric package that can reach top speeds of 130 km/h and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds. As the future unfolds, Rotax also will be planning to establish a new race series dubbed the "Rotax E-MAX Challenge."

125 Micro MAX Final
The Micro MAX final was an exciting final event. Although the drivers are young, they never fail to express their talent on the track, battling for their position. Although Keanu Al Azhari, who had been a top runner of the Micro MAX category for the majority of the week, crossed the line in first position after a magnificent battle with his peers, he was given a penalty, which shuffled him back to eleventh place. Thus, Frenchman Louis Iglesias took over the top spot and was officially crowned the 2017 Micro MAX Grand Finals Champion. Leon Zelenko of Croatia finished in second place, about 1.7 seconds behind Iglesias. Another four tenths behind Zelenko, Ryota Horachi of Japan rounded out the top three positions. The lady of the race, Antonella Bassani of Brazil, finished in eighth place.

125 Mini MAX Final
The Mini MAX final also proved to be very exciting and highlighted the talent of the young drivers. Although some drivers were competing at the front of the field at the beginning of the race weekend, sometimes events just don't always play in a driver's favor. But, then again, that's part of the journey in one's racing career. Some could argue that if it were not for the bad moments in karting, then the good moments wouldn't feel so rewarding. Ultimately, it was Marcus Amand of France who placed in first place, ahead of Jamie Day of the United Arab Emirates and James Wharton of Australia.


125 Junior MAX Final
The Junior MAX Final started out surprisingly without any major crashes among the competitors. It it seemed as if Tommy Foster of the United Kingdom would lead the race with a nice and secure head start. However, Senna Van Walstijn and Tijmen Van Der Helm, both of the Netherlands, started working together and easily caught up to Foster in hot pursuit. Before the halfway mark of the 17-lap final race, Van Der Helm and Van Walstijn both passed Foster. First, Van Der Helm seemed to pull a nice gap, however Van Walstijn did not let his teammate escape his sights. Nevertheless, the top five drivers of the Junior MAX pack were a little impatient and did not exactly strategize for the race. In fact, Foster and Jac Preston of Australia hooked tires, crashing each other out of the race momentarily, losing their top five positions and getting shuffled all the way to the back of the pack at about the halfway point. Generally, drivers try to strategize so that they will begin their passing maneuvers toward the end of the race. As the laps wore down, Van Der Helm continued to block the passing attempts of his teammate, Van Walstijn. However, the blocking did slow the two teammates down in the process of trying to gain a gap over the rest of the pack. In fact, Van Der Helm's blocking gave way for Tosei Moriyama of Japan to overtake Van Walstijn and settle in second. Ultimately, Van Der Helm was crowned the 2017 Grand Finals Champion. Moriyamacrossed the finish line in second, however received a penalty and was shuffled to 14. Van Walstijn crossed the finish line in third, however also received a penalty and was shuffled to 15. Sami Meguetounif of France was named the vice-champion and Luca Leistra of Belgium rounded out the top three.

125 MAX Final
The 125 MAX Final also saw a very clean start compared to some of the Pre-Final and heat race starts. It was Jordan Brown-Nutley of the United Kingdom, Felix Warge of Belgium and Brett Ward of the UK that lead the field into the first few turns as the start of the race ensued. The equality of the engine and chassis packages was highlighted as the top eight competitors all drove within just a few tenths of each other. To be at the top of the grid, the drivers need to be centimeter perfect every lap every second. Brown-Nutley began slowing down his pace toward the middle of the race, which ultimately gave way for Warge to pass. Brown-Nutley and Ward then began working together, drafting and pushing each other and putting pressure on Warge. Ward ultimately made the move on Brown-Nutley for second place and the two teammates continued to push each other and purse Warge. Slowly and steadily, the top three drivers began creating a gap - hundredth by hundredth - over the other drivers of the pack. Now Warge was sandwiched between the two men from the UK. One of the key characteristics that the top three displayed was tire management. The drivers knew when to slow down and not overheat and overdrive their karts. If they decided to push really hard and drive to the absolute limit, then the likelihood of their tires lasting and still giving the driver enough grip for the rest of the 20-lap race would be minimal. As the laps started to wind down, the positions shifted and changed. Ward protected and remained in his first position, while Warge was shuffled backward by Jean Nomblot of France, who passed the Belgian on lap 13. The top three drivers - Ward, Nomblot, and Warge - all broke away from the rest of the pack by around lap 16. As the top three began their last attempts to fight for the top spot during the last lap, the top six positions bunched together again, giving other drivers one last opportunity to try and conquer the top spot of the podium. Ultimately, however, it would be Ward, Warge, and Nomblot who went down in Rotax Grand Finals history.


125 MAX DD2 Masters Final
The start of the race saw Zughella take the lead away from Ollikainen, as Ollikainen fell back and did not have the best start that he would have liked to see. Ollikainen seemed to be very strong for the first few laps, as he and Zughella pulled a decent sized gap over Troy Woolston of Australia. However, the Australian driver was able to catch back up to the battling front duo and draft with Ollikainen, who was still in second place, up to Zughella. Wooslton brought so much speed with him that he passed Ollikainen and continued to pursue Zughella, the Argentinian, himself. However, after several failed pass attempts from Wooston, Ollikainen took the opportunity to catch back up to the leading due. The top three drivers, Zughella, Wooston and Ollikainen, respectively, all drove away from the pack, blocking sometimes to an extreme going down the straight, and heading into turn three. The trio drove bumper-to-bumper, waiting for the driver in front to make a mistake, ready to capitalize on the opportunity if it presented itself. Woolston took a chance to pass Zughella, who already has a 10-second penalty imposed on him, to take over the top spot. Ollikainen remained in third position, lurking behind and waiting for an opportunity to arise and take advantage. The racing among the top three drivers continued to be extremely tight and exciting to watch. However, it was Troy Woolston who won the race and became the newest 125 MAX DD2 Masters Grand Finals Champion. Zughella finished in second, pending a penalty, and Ollikainen rounded out the top three. Zughella did receive a penalty, and thus, Ollikainen moved to second and Charly Hipp of France moved to third.

125 MAX DD2 Final
The 125 MAX DD2 Final proved to be very exciting - however not for the first position. Essentially, the winner of the event was determined prematurely, as Cody Gillis of Australia took the lead and pulled away from the rest of the pack. De Ruwe remained in second place, however he had to fight off the consistent attacks of Christian Sorensen of Demark and Mads Thomsen, also of Denmark. Sorensen took the opportunity to pass De Ruwe toward the end of the race. Although Thomsen did not slip behind Sorensen immediately, he did eventually pass De Ruwe for third place. Now it was Thomsen, who was still in third place, against Sorensen, running in second position. Thomsen made and stuck his pass on his teammate for second place. It was Gillis who was crowned the new Grand Finals Champion, having pulled almost a 4 second gap over Thomsen, who finished in second. Sorensen rounded out the top three, about four-tenths behind Thomsen, followed closely by De Ruwe who finished in fourth and just eight-hundredths behind the man from Denmark.



Info & Photo BRP Rotax

International > WSK



Gripping finale of the second round of the WSK Final Cup: winners scored success fighting inch by inch at the Adria Karting Raceway. The result of the Finals turned standings upside down: it was a great way to say goodbye to next WSK season, beginning with the WSK Champions Cup, always in Adria (Rovigo, Italy) from 25th to 28th January 2018. It will be the first of the nine international events scheduled for next year.

Nielsen beats Travisanutto in OK with a sprint final
The OK Final were simply unbelievable: the Danish Nicklas Nielsen (Tony Kart-Vortex-Bridgestone) and the Italian Lorenzo Travisanutto (Zanardi-Parilla) battled for the victory until the very end of the race. They exchanged positions several times, but, eventually, Nielsen managed to win both the Final and the Series. Travisanutto, the runner-up of the race and of the Series, finished ahead of the Spanish David Vidales (Tony Kart-Vortex), who placed third also in the final standings.

Iacovacci wins and passes Lorandi in KZ2.
Thrilling finale in KZ2 too. The Italian Matteo Viganò (Tony Kart-Vortex-Bridgestone), the leader of the race, and the Italian Alessio Lorandi (Tony Kart-TM) made contact and went off track. This accident cleared the way for the Italian Francesco Iacovacci (Luxor-LKE), who grabbed the head of the race and won ahead of the Rumanian Daniel Vasile (DR-Modena) and the American Brad Benavides (Sodi-TM). Behind Iacovacci, the winner of the Series, Lorandi and Vasile.

Stanek flies in the OKJ Final and overtakes Brizhan.
The Czech Roman Stanek (Kosmic-Vortex-Vega) was unbeatable in the Final: he took the lead of the race and secured both the victory of the race and of the Cup. Excellent second position for the Italian Gabriele Minì (Parolin-Parilla), who recovered from the fifth row and managed to finish ahead of the Italian Luca Bosco (Tony Kart-Vortex). The Russian Alexey Brizhan (Tony Kart-Vortex), who had grabbed the leadership after the Prefinal, dropped to second place followed by Bosco.

60 Mini: Spina gets payback and beats Bedrin.
In 60 Mini, the Italian Alfio Spina (CRG-TM-Vega), who lost the victory last week, got his payback winning both the Final and the WSK Series. The former leader, Nikita Bedrin (Tony Kart-TM), was out of the Final. The Russian was overtaken also by the Italian Andrea Antonelli (Tony-Vortex) and the Polish Tymoteusz Kucharczyk (Parolin-TM), second and third in the Final and in the Series.



Info WSK Promotion

Team > Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals



Deux Marseillaises et cinq podiums sont venus récompenser les performances de premier plan réalisées par les pilotes français engagés dans l'aventure de la Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals 2017. La moisson de succès n'avait jamais été aussi grande que cette année. Saluons les vainqueurs Louis Iglesias (Micro Max) et Marcus Amand (Mini Max), la 2e place de Sami Meguetounif (Junior Max) et les 3es places de Jean Nomblot (Senior Max) et Charly Hipp (DD2 Masters).



Au-delà des résultats, l'édition 2017 du grand rendez-vous mondial Rotax à Portimao a connu une ambiance particulièrement bonne dans le clan français qui alignait cette année 15 pilotes dont 12 accédaient aux finales. La France se classait par ailleurs dans le top 5 de la coupe des nations.

Louis Iglesias a été impérial lors de la finale Micro Max en rejoignant avec une belle assurance la tête de course. Second sur la ligne d'arrivée, il était déclaré vainqueur, son rival ayant anticipé le départ. Théophile Nael rencontrait un problème mécanique dès le départ qui lui valait d'être percuté sans avoir pu défendre ses chances.



Marcus Amand a dominé de bout en bout la finale Mini Max pour remporter une victoire magistrale venant couronner un parcours tout simplement excellent. Craig Tanic était dans le coup en terme de performance, mais un incident le renvoyait en fond de peloton.


Camille Prouteau avait effectué un excellent début de course lors de la finale Junior Max, atteignant la 3e place avant de perdre du terrain dans la bagarre. Il parvenait néanmoins à se classer 7e. Sami Meguetounif évoluait d'abord autour de la 8e position, puis profitait des luttes intenses devant lui pour revenir vers la tête et décrocher finalement une très belle 2e place. Parti 23e, Victor Bernier a su manoeuvrer avec habileté pour remonter 11 places et finir 12e. Enfin, Hugo Vair n'a pas pu défendre sa position à cause d'un nouveau problème électrique.




Jean Nomblot a mis le turbo à mi-parcours de la finale Senior Max. Revenu en 2e position, il cherchait longtemps l'ouverture pour attaquer le leader et se faisait dépasser pour finir 3e sans avoir démérité. Qualifié en queue de peloton, Sarrazin parvenait à reprendre 14 places pour atteindre le 20e rang.


Bien parti pour sa dernière course, Charly Hipp se battait pour la 3e puis la 4e place avant de récupérer une 3e position en guise de dernier résultat. Pour suivre les performances d'un Hipp en karting, il faudra à l'avenir regarder du côté de son fils Noa... Michel Dauphin réalisait une très belle fin de course et remontait finalement 5 places en terminant au 8e rang.


Classement final des15 pilotes du Team France 2017

Micro Max 
Louis Iglesias vainqueur
Théophile Nael 34e (abandon)


Mini Max
Marcus Amand vainqueur
Craig Tanic 33e (pénalité)


Junior Max
Sami Meguetounif 2e
Camille Prouteau 7e
Victor Bernier 12e
Hugo Vair 30e (abandon)


Senior Max
Jean Nomblot 3e
Arnaud Sarrazin 20e (+14 places)
Matthieu Bourdon 59e


DD2 Max
Andrew Williamson 39e
Lucas Joly 40e


DD2 Masters
Charly Hipp 3e
Michael Dauphin 8e



Info Kartcom / © Photos KSP

International > Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals



Cody Gillis (AUS) and Mads Thomsen (DNK), then Xen De Ruwe (SLO) and Christian Sorensen (DNK) made up the front two rows of the DD2 (Birel ART) Final at Portimao. The first laps did not change the order of the leading drivers. Thomsen was down in 4th position while Max Fleischmann (DEU) pushed to join the leading quartet, far ahead of Ville Villiaeinen (FIN). Gillis managed to slightly distance his three opponents at halfway. Sorensen attacked De Ruwe for 2nd place with five laps left, then Thomsen went 2nd. Gillis finally won nearly 4'' ahead of Thomsen, Sorensen and De Ruwe. Fleischmann remained 5th, Joey Alders (NLD) 6th and Villiaeinen 7th.


Info Kartcom / © Photo KSP

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