The first and long awaited stage of the Rotax Max Challenge International Trophy, the Qualifying sessions took place on the morning of Thursday 28th July at the Circuit International du Mans. Léni Robillot Lagache (FRA) in Micro Max, Dragos Avasilcutei (AUT) in Mini Max, Austin Lee (DEU) in Junior Max, Kai Rillaerts (BEL) in Senior Max, Antoine Barbaroux (FRA) in DD2 and Vivien Cussac-Picot in DD2 Masters are the six polemen of this fourth edition of RMCIT.
After two full days of Free Practice, the RMCIT participants were eager to start the competition on Thursday morning in Le Mans. The conditions were perfect to compete against the clock with a dry track and a temperature of 20° to 21°. 245 drivers from eight to 30 years old and more, coming from 40 nations and five continents, competed in the six categories of the programme on the 1368 metres of the track next to the legendary 24 Hour circuit.
Mirco Max: Robillot Lagache by a small margin
Frenchman Léni Robillot Lagache (Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) was better able to exploit the Le Mans track against his fast but less consistent opponents in Micro Max. This is why he was able to beat Dutchman Senn Lindeman (Birel ART/Rotax/Mojo) by 28 thousandths to take pole position with 59’865. The Lithuanian Majus Mazinas (Parolin/Rotax/Mojo) finished 3rd by 0.163”.
Mini Max: clear advantage for Avasilcutei
Austrian Dragos Avasilcutei (Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) of the KSCA Sodi Europe team was almost 2.5 tenths ahead of Hungarian Zsebo Marcell (Exprit/Rotax/Mojo) of the KMS Europe team, followed by Swiss Paul Schoen (KR/Rotax/Mojo).
Junior Max: Lee with more than a tenth of a lead
German Austin Lee (Exprit/Rotax/Mojo) of the JJ Racing team proved to be the fastest of the 61 Junior drivers on his fifth lap in the second timed session. He relegated Poland’s Colin Wazny (Kosmic/Rotax/Mojo), leader of the first session, by more than a tenth of a second with his best lap of 53’630. Belgian Mateja Radenkovic (Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) Bouvin Power followed in 3rd place.
Promising move to Senior Max for Rillaerts
The undisputed leader of the second Senior Max timed session, Belgian Kai Rillaerts (Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) from the JJ Racing team had a 0.254” lead over his direct pursuer and took pole position with 52’620. The German Janne Stiak (Kosmic/Rotax/Mojo) Kraft Motorsport was the fastest in the first session and took 2nd place in the Senior Qualifying session, only 15 thousandths behind the poleman. Finally, the Frenchman Enzo Caldaras (Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) Kart Pro Racing was 3rd with the fastest time of the third session obtained in his last lap.
DD2: another pole position for Barbaroux
2nd in last year’s Final, Frenchman Antoine Barbaroux (Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) also started with a pole position. This year, he managed a third lap in 51”819, 3 tenths faster than in 2021. His compatriot Paolo Besancenez (Birel ART/Rotax/Mojo) of the KMD team took 2nd place by 1.3 tenths, closely followed by the Dane Mathias Bjerre Jakobsen (Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) with RS Competition.
Cussac-Picot fastest in DD2 Masters
Frenchman Vivien Cussac-Picot (Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) narrowly edged out compatriot Olivier Paris (LN/Rotax/Mojo) to take pole position in the DD2 Masters with 52’490, one place better than in 2021. Argentina’s Gabriel Zughella (Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) followed the duo by 0.130” in 3rd position.
The Qualifying Heats started at the beginning of the afternoon and will continue until the end of the day on Friday to determine the order of the drivers qualified for the Final phases on Saturday.
Friday 29th July
08:00 – 09:17: Warm-up (5′)
09:28 – 16:51: Qualifying Heats
Saturday 30th July
08:00 – 08:59: Warm-up (5′)
09:19 – 10:54: Prefinals Mini, Micro, DD2M, DD2
10:59 – 12:09: Final C and B Senior, Junior
13:45 – 14:00: Warm-up A Junior, Senior (5′)
14:20 – 17:32: Finals A
Rotax MAX Challenge International Trophy – Presse release / Photo © KSP