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Team > Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals

The finals went pretty well for the French clan with very interesting performances that could have produced much better results in other circumstances. Everyone knows about the great uncertainty of motorsport. The heros of the day were undoubtedly Alexander Finkelstein, Guy Pansart and Charly Hipp.

The first thing to celebrate was the exciting drive from Alexandre Finkelstein in Max Senior. The MD Competition driver drove a very intelligent race start along with the Australian Mawson to return to the leaders as soon as possible. 12th early in the race, Alex was indeed able to join the leading group and try his luck for the podium. Given his capabilities and the speed of his kart, there was nothing pretentious here. He finished fourth again, but with a much more rewarding race than in 2011. Xavier Pozzoli no longer had the necessary conditions to regain ground in the final where he finished 27th. His potential has fortunately not gone unnoticed and we should see it confirmed shortly.



In DD2 Masters, Guy Pansart found a more competitive machine after the Haase technicians carefully examined his brake problem (annoyingly it didn't have the right fluid) that allowed him to set very convincing times and come back from 10th to 6th place. Charly Hipp ended on a good note after an overall very satisfactory weekend. For his first event in DD2, he was in fourth briefly in the world final. After a slump, he was able to up the pace to finish in an incredible seventh place. Finally, William Berteaux will not remember the 2012 World Finals fondly due to a lack of power at low revs, a disadvantage that was difficult to overcome in Portimao whose lower part is demanding in this area. It was a good experience for Sébastien Bertrand, a finalist in DD2, although getting used to the Mach 1 chassis took longer than expected, except in the rain.

France was finally ranked 8th in the Nations Cup after the problems for some of the team in the heats. In any case, the atmosphere was excellent in the team and the 2012 Rotax Max Grand Finals will be remembered like a good wine.



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International > Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals



There were no worries Ben Cooper at the lights of the DD2 final, the adopted Canadian retained his place ahead of Kyle Ensbey, Cody Hodgson and Xen De Ruwe. Simon Wagner was missing, Kevin Lüdi dropped from 5th to 32nd place. De Ruwe quickly found himself second by only 3/10 from Cooper allowing him to attack on lap 5 and take the lead.

Miika Laiho was back a notch in fourth position ahead of Hodgson. De Ruwe retired on lap 6, suffering a technical problem! Cooper spent a moment in the lead, but Laiho was vying for first place. A beautiful duel was anticipated, or rather a big fight with the formation of a group of eight karts.

Ensbey overtook Cooper on an exit with the Lithuanian Konstantins Calko in its wake. But Cooper didn't give up, and although his kart seemed to lack speed, he compensated with a huge desire to win. Laiho lost a lot of ground, the fight intensified for 2nd place when Cooper took off. There were three drivers together on the front straight, which was beautiful! Calko was in second place, ahead of Mathias Detige, Ensbey, Laiho, Kazimieras Vasiliauskas, which would be the final standings behind Cooper, the deserving winner of the last race.




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There was a turbulent start to the Max Senior final, especially at the first corner where some bit the dust. This didnt stop Ukyo Sasahara leading the race from Pierce Lehane, Charlie Eastwood, Oliver Hodgson and Edward Brand. Lehane took second place after the first lap. Harrison Scott has lost places in this phase, he was in 13th. Hodgson then passed Sasahara to gain 2nd place. Alexandre Finkelstein battled in around 8th place, Joseph Mawson returned to the fray in 9th place. Lehane led with a small gap, with the three following, Hodgson, Sasahara and Eastwood, were together with Brand fifth by nearly one second, Francisco Mora 6th, Mawson 7th and almost 2 seconds later, Finkelstein eighth behind the Australian.

Lehane still led, but he was suddenly overwhelmed by Sasahara on lap 9. Eastwood then took second ahead of Hodgson, Lehane and Brand. At halfway Mawson and Finkelstein quickly closed on the lead. They were able to mix with the final struggle. The next attack came on lap 15. Eastwood led from Hodgson and Sasahara. Sasahara returned to second and Finkelstein took 5th place ahead of Lehane and Mawson. Then Hodgson was second from Brand and Sasahara. The top 7 were very close, and Scott was not far out of reach.

Finkelstein took fourth with 2 laps to go, while Eastwood escaped in the lead. Sasahara fell to 7th position. The Irishman Charlie Eastwood finally won the race ahead of two Britons, Oliver Hodgson and Edward Brand, the French driver Alexandre Finkelstein finished in 4th place in front of the Australians Pierce Lehane and Joseph Mawson.




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David Griffiths got the better of Cristiano Morgado at the start of the DD2 Master final and Scott Campbell also moved up to second position ahead of the South African. Martin Pierce was 4th from the French driver Charly Hipp who had a superb start which allowed him to attack Pierce on the next lap.



Morgado took control of the race from lap 5 ahead of Campbell and Griffiths, then Alan Rudolph and Gonçalo Gaivão invited themselves to the party in 4th and 5th ahead of Pierce and Hipp. 10th after the start, Guy Pansart gained a position. Griffiths returned to threaten Morgado and Campbell. As the top four swapped places Gaivão joined them. First place changed hands often between Morgado and Grifiiths. Meanwhile, Pansart went on the attack, he took sixth on lap 12.

At the front, the slipstream phenomenon prevented Morgado from escaping, even though he was more comfortable at the bottom of the circuit. The situation forced him to skillfully control his opponents, including Griffiths. Griffiths was also looking out for Campbell. Gaivão watched these maneuvers. Morgado managed to create a slightly larger gap on lap 18, about 7/10. Campbell took second position with two laps to go.

Morgado brilliantly won the race ahead of Campbell who held off Griffiths. Gaivão finished 4th, Pierce 5th, Pansart 6th, Hipp 7th and Sauriol 8th.




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The Australian James Golding, winner of the Prefinal, stayed in first place at the start of the Junior final at Portimao, closely followed by the British Ross Gunn, while the Dutch Janneau Esmeijer was up to third, followed by the Chinese Guanyu Zhou and Spanish Jon Del Valle Iturr. The inside line has managed an excellent start. Finland's Samu Kylmälä was sixth ahead of the Japanese Kazuto Kotaka.



Esmeijer in second passed quickly, Harry Webb, who started 22nd, was already in 7th place on the fourth lap, Bruno Borlido, unlucky in the Prefinal, was in 15th. Esmeijer attempted an attack on the lead, Gunn took advantage of the flexibility to switch to the lead position and second was Esmeijer from Golding. Golding returned to the lead, Gunn retaliated. At halfway Gunn led from Golding and Esmeijer, but Webb was close to the leading trio.

Webb mystified the top three in a few corners and found himself leading on lap 11, ahead of Golding, Esmeijer and Gunn then Gunn, Esmeijer and Golding. Taking advantage of these place changes, challengers approached, led by the Canadian Parker Thompson, who came from 18th position and was now fifth. Golding then dropped to 6th, and Thompson in 4th threatened Gunn.

It was a great victory for Harry Webb, who started 22nd and won by almost 4''. Esmeijer took 2nd place a few hundred meters from the finish and Thompson was on the third step of the podium. Gunn finished 4th, Del Valle 5th, Lamborelle 6th, Zhou 7th and Golding 8th.




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