Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals 2017 to Welcome Best Racers from Around the World

Team USA set to battle for Rotax world titles in Portugal on November 4-11

For the fourth time in the 18-year history, the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals returns to Portugal, set for the Kartodromo Internacional do Algarve on November 4-11. The Portimao, Portugal facility has hosted the world Rotax championships in 2012 and 2015, returning for 2017 as the host of the ‘Olympics of Karting’. Six categories utilizing the Rotax engines and chassis provided by Birel ART, Praga and Sodi Kart, will battle in the six divisions to be crowned a Rotax champion. In total, 17 drivers will represent Team USA, decked out in the K1 RaceGear safety apperal,  looking to bring home its second world title in Rotax competition.

Event Information

Time Schedule

New Rotax App

Micro Max (Praga)

Last year was the first year of the inclusion of the Cadet level categories as part of the big show at the RMCGF. For years, the United States has embraced the younger divisions and showed with the success at last year’s race in Italy where Diego LaRoque claimed the inaugural Micro Max world title. The 36-driver field will include two drivers from the United States looking to keep the crown in stateside. Brent Crews has already earned a world title this year in addition to a victory at the US Rotax Grand Nationals, winning at the recent IAME International Final. The nine-year-old Nitro Kart driver, who won the United States Pro Kart Series IAME Mini title this year, is poised to compete for another world title. Jack Jeffers finished second to Crews, as both will make their first trips to the RMCGF.

#3 – Brent Crews
Denver, North Carolina
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (1st)
RMCGF Appearances: none

#11 – Jack Jeffers
San Antonio, Texas
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (2nd)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Mini Max (Birel ART)

The highest finisher in last year’s inaugural Mini Max main event was Arias Deukmedjian, who has moved up to Junior for 2017. His sixth place finish is the bar set for the two drivers representing Team USA this year. Josh Pierson is a longtime Cadet Rotax driver at the Can-Am, Challenge of the Americas and Florida Winter Tour – making his first start at the RMCGF. Aidan Fox ran second to Pierson at the US Rotax Grand Nationals, and finished fourth in the Florida Winter Tour standings with two runner-up performances. Both will have to use their experience to be able to run up front in Portugal.

#108 – Josh Pierson
Wilsonville, Oregon
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (1st)
RMCGF Appearances: none

#109 – Aidan Fox
Redding, Connecticut
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (2nd)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Junior Max (Praga)

This year’s Junior squad for Team USA is solid, featuring four drivers with loads of experience, victories and championships. Tyler Gonzalez and Jak Crawford are among the top Junior drivers in the country. Gonzalez not only got his ticket with the Florida Winter Tour championship, but won the US Rotax Grand Nationals to back it up. Crawford is a two-time Challenge of the Americas champion, making his first trip to the RMCGF. Arias Deukmedjian finished sixth in the Mini Max final at last year’s Grand Finals, moving up to Junior this year and putting together a strong resume heading to Portugal. The lone female driver of Team USA is Hannah Greenemeier as the Rolison Performance Group driver is ready to compete on the world stage in what has been a breakout season for the Can-Am Karting Challenge champion.

#215 – Hannah Greenemeier
Parker, Colordao
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (2nd)
RMCGF Appearances: 2013 (Micro)

#216 – Arias Deukmedjian
Orlando, Florida
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: 2016 (Mini)

#217 – Tyler Gonzalez
St. Cloud, Florida
Qualified: Florida Winter Tour (champion)
RMCGF Appearances: 2013 (Micro)

#218 – Jak Crawford
Conroe, Texas
Qualified: Challenge of the Americas (champion)
RMCGF Appearances: none

Senior Max (Sodi Kart)

Just three drivers are competing in the talented Senior Max field this year from the United States of America. Back for a third year, Luke Selliken is the lead driver of the squad, having placed runner-up in 2015 at the same circuit. The Rolison Performance Group driver can help bring fellow Oregon driver Kyle Dupell up to speed, making his first RMCGF start. As will New Jersey’s Stephen Mallozzi.

#330 – Kyle Dupell
Wilsonville, Oregon
Qualified: Can-Am Karting Challenge (vice-champion)
RMCGF Appearances: none

#331 – Stephen Mallozzi
Woolwich Township, New Jersey
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: none

#332 – Luke Selliken
Portland, Oregon
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (1st)
RMCGF Appearances: 2013 (Junior), 2015 (Senior)

DD2 (Birel ART)

Equipment familiarity is not an issue for the two drivers in DD2. Both Michael McCarthy and Nathan Mauel are Birel ART drivers at home, so both should be at speed right away. Mauel is making his eighth appearance at the RMCGF, and should be able to help guide Andersen Racing’s McCarthy during the week.

#417 – Michael McCarthy
Clearwater, Florida
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: none

#428 – Nathan Mauel
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016

DD2 Masters (Sodi Kart)

Experience goes without saying when talking about the Team USA DD2 Masters squad. Derek Wang is Mr. Rotax in the United States, making his seventh start at the RMCGF, looking to finally reaching the podium after running among the favorites year after year. Billy Cleavelin made his first RMCGF start last, having never competed in a DD2 event. This year, Cleavelin is primed to challenge to make the main event. Ariel Castro has been to the RMCGF as a mechanic, now making his first start as a driver thanks to his victory at the US Rotax Grand Nationals. Joining them is Florida driver Scott Roberts, a longtime Rotax Masters competitor making his second trip to Portugal for the RMCGF.

#518 – Ariel Castro
Hialeah, Florida
Qualified: US Rotax Grand Nationals (1st)
RMCGF Appearances: none

#525 – Derek Wang
Seattle, Washington
Qualified: US Open
RMCGF Appearances: 2010, 2011 (DD2), 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (DD2 Masters)

#526 – Billy Cleavelin
Shell Beach, California
Qualified: Challenge of the Americas
RMCGF Appearances: 2016

#527 – Scott Roberts
Winter Park, Florida
Qualified: Florida Winter Tour
RMCGF Appearances: 2015


Team Canada features 14 drivers for 2017 and we wish all the North Americans the best of luck in Portugal.

Micro

#16 – Marcello Paniccia

Mini

#115 – Justin Arseneau

Junior

#228 – Patrick Woods-Toth
#235 – Jason Leung

Senior

#333 – Ryan MacDermid
#334 – Kellen Ritter (Challenge of the Americas champion)
#338 – Marco Signoretti
#339 – Logan Cusson

DD2

#429 – Natael Cantin
#432 – Davide Greco
#433 – Ethan Simioni
#434 – Tyler Kashak
#435 – Zachary Claman DeMelo

DD2 Masters

#528 – Joe Crupi

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