2016 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals – Day 5 Report

(Photo: Rotax-Kart.com)

Welcome back to the last day of heat races! What a surprise for drivers as they headed on to track today, for their morning warm-up practice session – it was 16°C / 61°F, raining and fairly cold. The clouds hung deep over the mountainous region, with the picturesque backdrop of Mount Vesuvio completely covered by a thick, white wall of fog.

Although the track was not flooded from the rain from the night before, drivers prepared for racing in the rain by mounting wet tires and tuning the chassis in preparation for racing in the rain.
 
125 Micro MAX Heat # 2 
Once again, it was a great race for team The Netherlands, as teammates Robert De Haan and Kris Haanen pulled a small gap over third placed Adrian Malheiro. It was the American James Egozi who ran the fastest lap time of the race, roughly half a second faster than De Haan.
 
125 Mini MAX Heat # 2 
Victor Bernier of France and Jonny Edgar of England both pulled a 1.3 second gap over the third placed American Arias Deukmedjian, taking the battle upon themselves for the top step of the podium. Ultimately it was Bernier who not only won the race but also set the fastest lap time.
 
125 Junior MAX Heat # 2 A + C
Conditions proved to still be slippery as the second Junior heat race went out on wet tires. The start proved to be clean, and only a few minor spins occurred in turn 1 as the Canadian and pole sitter Ryan Macdermid started to break away from the pack. However, it was soon that Taira Hibiki of Japan who proved he had what it takes to drive up to the top of the field and pass Macdermid for first place. This time around, the Canadian did not have the best of luck, as he steadily fell back, ultimately finishing the race in 13th place.  Johnathan Hoggard of England also broke free from the main pack, in heavy pursuit of Taira. The last lap, both drivers saw a good and fair battle however, Taira remained at the top and ultimately won the race.

125 Junior MAX Heat # 2 B + D
This time it was a gamble for Junior drivers, as this was the second Heat 2 race. There were 3 brave souls out of the total 36 drivers who participated in the heat race that decided to drive with dry tires instead of rain tires. Initially, all 3 drivers fell to the back of the pack, as the track was still wet and the tires were still cold, however, as the race progress – with about 5 laps to go, those with dry tires broke even with their lap times compared to the leaders in front with rain tires. With roughly 3 laps to go, the dry tire proved to be the better of the two choices, as the 3 risk takers were now running laps a little over 2 seconds fasters than the rain tire drivers. The American Dylan Tavella, who was one of the drivers who took up the gamble to race with slicks, had a fantastic run, passing drivers on the outside of some corners. It was the Polish driver Mateusz Pylka who won the race, with a 1.4 second gap to Perdana Minang of Indonesia.

125 Junior MAX Heat # 3 A + D
What a fantastic race! Ryan Macdermid, the pole sitter, fell back to second place and vehemently fought off a pack of three karts throughout the majority of the heat. The Italian Michael Rosina however, proved his diligence and determination to win the race, as he pulled a whopping 2 second gap to second placed Macdermid.

125 Junior MAX Heat # 3 B + C
Perdana Minang showed his fantastic race skills, fighting for first place throughout the 8 lap heat race. The Australian Cody Brewczynski finished in second, roughly 6-tenths of a second behind Minang. Hoggard of England rounded out the top 3, each fighting a fair and tough battle.
 
125 MAX Heat # 2 A + C
Without a doubt, it was time for dry tires for the first of two Senior MAX Heat 2 races. Although there was a crash toward middle of the pack at the start of the race, the heat itself was relatively uneventful. It was a 2 kart breakaway with Noah Roovers of Belgium who took the lead and won by over a half second to Javier Gonzalez Giarde of Mexico. Christopher Dreyspring of Germany rounded out the top 3.

125 MAX Heat # 2 B + D
Once again, 2 men from Belgium proved their ability to compete in the rain is superior to that of the others. It was Felix Warge and Glenn Van Parijs who both pulled a gap over third placed Denis Mavlanov by over 1 second. Warge finished roughly 1 second in front of his teammate Van Parijs.

125 MAX Heat # 3 A + D
Another incredibly exciting 10 minute race! The race ultimately lay between Petr Bezel of the Czech Republic and Adrien Renaudin of France. The two battled it out early on in the 8 lap race, as Renaudin was still leading. However, with a little more than four laps to go, Bezel pulled an unexpected and daring pass on the Frenchman, ultimately winning the race by over 3-tenths of a second to Renaudin. However, the true excitement lay between third to tenth place, where 7 drivers were racing for position all within a second of each other. It was the Canadian Zachary Claman-Demelo who was able to hold off the pack, rounding out the top 3.

125 MAX Heat # 3 B + C
Denis Mavlanov of Russia truly was the star of the race. Although he fell back at the start to second and then third place, he was able to fight back and conquer the top spot – by just a very slim margin: 7 hundredths of a second ahead of the German Christopher Dreyspring. Lluc Ibanez of Spain, finishing in 9th place, ran the fastest lap time of the race.

125 MAX DD2 Masters Heat # 2 A + C
The first start of the race saw a heavy crash involving about 5 karts. One driver flipped, and his kart landed on top of him, causing the medical crew to come out The Canadian Scott Campbell took over the lead, fighting off the South African Nicholas Verheul. Campbell won over Verheul by roughly 2-tenths of a second, while yesterday’s race winner, Luis Schiavo, finished in 4th.
 
125 MAX DD2 Masters Heat # 2 B + D
This DD2 Masters heat race proved to be much cleaner than the previous race. Fernando Guzzi of Brazil pulled out a comfortable lead of 1.1 seconds over Primoz Matelic of Slovakia, who finished in second place. Another Grand Finals veteran, Antti Ollikainen of Finland rounded out the top 3.
 
125 MAX DD2 Masters Heat # 3 A + D
This time around, the DD2 Masters field had a fair start with a few minor crashes. Scott Campbell from Canada was able to ward off Antti Ollikainen of Finland up until the last corner of the last lap, finishing just 4-thousandths of a second before Ollikainen. It was the Austrian who finished in third, Robert Pesebski, who also posted the fastest lap time of the race.
 
125 MAX DD2 Masters Heat # 3 B + C
The final DD2 Masters heat race proved to be another clean race, with 36 machines roaring past the start finish line, approaching turn 1, before the green flag flew in the air. The top 3 drivers broke away from the pack, pulling roughly a 1.7 second gap over fourth placed Dennis Kroes. Christian Cornejo, finishing in sixth place, posted the fastest lap time of the race.

125 MAX DD2 Heat # 2 A + C
Although there were a few minor crashes throughout the mid and rear of the pack, the drivers in front of the pack spaced themselves out. Former Grand Finals Champion Ferenc Kancsar fought to achieve the top spot of the podium, finishing roughly 3 tenths in front of Swiss native Kevin Luedi, while Kacper Bielecki of Poland rounded out the top 3. Another former Grand Finals Champion (from 2013), the Lithuanian Simas Juodvirsis, finished in fourth place.

125 MAX DD2 Heat # 2 B + D
DD2 still proves to be one of the most competitive, hard, yet fair classes on the circuit. Essentially, the whole of the race lay between P1 and P2 – Christian Sorensen of Denmark held fantastic battles with Martins Steinerts of Latvia. At one point, it was Steinerts who led the majority of the middle of the race, however, with around two laps to go, Sorensen passed the Latvian unexpectedly and won with a mere one-tenth of a second gap over Steinerts. The duo pulled roughly a two second gap over third placed Cosimo Durante of Italy.

125 MAX DD2 Heat # 3 A + D
The race saw a few karts get together in turn one, as well as throughout the race. Ferenc Kancsar saw better luck as he was able to take the lead from early on and pull a away from the fighting field and posting the fastest lap time while doing so. In fact, he made driving look easy, as he was able to pull a 3.1 second lead over German Pascal Marschall and Kevin Luedi of Switzerland, who rounded out the top 3.

125 MAX DD2 Heat # 3 B + C
The 14-year-old South African and pole sitter of the race, Luca Munaretto, led the field to a fair start, leading into turn one. However, as the laps drew to a close, Italian Cosimo Durante passed Munaretto and pulled an 8-tenth gap over second. What a fantastic, clean and hard fought race.

Live timing is available on the RMCGF homepage, at http://www.rotax-kart.com/en/Max-Challenge/Grand-Finals/Grand-Finals-2016/LIVESTREAM.

Stay tuned for our upcoming daily reports, which bring the intense action of the RMCGF to you!

The Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC) is a professional kart racing series established, owned and organized by BRP and its Rotax kart engine distributors. Approved by and in compliance with CIK / FIA, the RMC is a “one-make-engine” formula: only Rotax kart engines that are checked and sealed (for equal performance) will be used. The success in the competition is mainly up to the skills of the driver.

For more information about the Rotax MAX Challenge, please visit http://www.rotax-kart.com/en/Max-Challenge/MAX-Challenge/About-ROTAX-MAX-CHALLENGE

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