Rotax Max Challenge Euro Trophy Celebrates New Winners and Mid-Season Champions
From May 28th to 30th, 2021 the Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy headed for its second championship round of the year. Seven weeks after the kick-off in Genk, Belgium, Europe’s RMC elite travelled to Italy to compete on the 1,302-metre long Adria Karting Raceway. 180 drivers from around 30 nations participated at the modern circuit located near Venice and it was an exciting, action-packed event with perfect weather conditions for racing.
In addition to the Junior MAX, Senior MAX, Rotax DD2 and DD2 Masters categories, in which the drivers fight for the coveted championship titles and the qualification for the RMC Grand Finals in Bahrain, this time the talents of the Micro MAX and Mini MAX were also part of the program with open races. The winners of both these classes were awarded with a special prize of a ticket for the RMC International Trophy in Le Mans. But even the drivers of the upper categories had reason to push hard, since the race in Northern Italy marked the mid-season round so the points for the championship at this stage are crucial.
Micro MAX: Dragos Avasilcutei prevails
Dragos Avasilcutei (KSCA Sodi Europe) was in best shape in the youngest field of the RMC Euro Trophy. He drove the fastest time in qualifying and was at the top of the grid, even after the heats. Although in the finals, the pressure increased on the Austrian. In the first race he fought a thrilling duel with Jakub Gasparovic (KF Racing Team) from Slovakia, which he finally won with a lead of just 0.052 seconds. In the second final Jakub Gasparovic had a bad start and could no longer pose a threat to Avasilcutei – however Paul Schoen (MH Racing) was able to. The Swiss managed to take the lead at half-race distance and took home the win ahead of Dragos Avasilcutei. Second place was enough for the latter to secure the victory in the day’s standings. In second overall was Paul Schoen ahead of Jakub Gasparovic.
Mini MAX: Mees Houben dominates
Mees Houben (GKS Lemmens Power) showed an impressive performance in the Mini MAX category. The Dutchman drove in a league of his own this weekend, winning qualifying, all the heats and, in the end, both final races. The Exprit pilot thus won the day’s classification undisputedly. The prizes for the best supporting roles went to second-placed Lorenzo Lanzara (Parolin) from Italy and third-placed Toms Strele (SM Racing) from Latvia.
Junior MAX: Kai Rillaerts lead at halftime
Belgian’s Thomas Strauven (Strawberry Racing) set the first benchmark of the weekend in the qualifying of the juniors. But his compatriot Kai Rillaerts (JJ Racing) was already lurking right behind. The defending champion stepped up in the heats and was able to boost himself to the top of the 36 driver field with two wins and a second place, while his team-mate Bruno Mulders from the Netherlands positioned himself as the toughest opponent in the chasing role. In the finals, these two fought a tough duel for the victories, with Kai Rillaerts prevailing both times. Accordingly, the Belgian also won the event’s classification ahead of Bruno Mulders. Matthijs Terlouw (Strawberry Racing) from the Netherlands made it onto the podium in third place. In the championship standings, Kai Rillaerts was able to take the lead at halftime, thus making a first step on the way to defending his title.
Senior MAX: Double win for Callum Bradshaw
Not less than 62 seniors competed in Adria marking the biggest grid of the RMC Euro Trophy. At the beginning, Sean Butcher (KR Sport) from Great Britain and Zsombor Kovacs (KMS Europe) from Hungary established themselves on top of the pack before they had to give way to Callum Bradshaw (Strawberry Racing) after the heats. The Briton was eighth in qualifying, but worked his way up in the heats. The reigning karting world champion tied in with this performance in the first final, which however was not a walkover. Bradshaw found a stubborn opponent in Luca Leistra (Bouvin Power), but the Belgian finally could not prevent Bradshaw’s victory. It was easier for Bradshaw in the second final: While Leistra lost positions at the start of the race, Bradshaw was able to head away from the field, taking a controlled victory in the end. That earned him both, first place in the daily standings and the overall lead in the championship. Leistra was able to secure the second place in the final race, claiming the same position on the podium in front of Sean Butcher.
Rotax DD2: Triumph for Petr Bezel
Petr Bezel (KSCA Sodi Europe) left his mark in the DD2 class. Apart from qualifying, in which Austria’s Philipp Moitzi (KRT Racing Team) was quickest, Bezel set the tone. The Czech led the classification after the heats and transformed pole position in the first final into a clear start-to-finish victory. It wasn’t that easy for him in the second final. Bezel lost a few positions at the start of the race, but then recovered and fought his way back to the top. In the end he celebrated the double victory and won the day’s classification ahead of Ragnar Veerus (BirelART Baltics) from Estonia and Ville Viiliaeinen (RS Competition) from Finland. Petr Bezel also took command in the championship after opening round winner Mathias Lund (RS Competition) did not collect many points due to a retirement in Adria.
DD2 Masters: Alessandro Glauser takes victory
In the DD2 Masters everything seemed to go according to plan for Roberto Pesevski (KSCA Sodi Europe). The Austrian secured the best time in qualifying and set the benchmark after the heats, too. It wasn’t until the finals that the tide turned for the 2019 champion. From then on, it was Alessandro Glauser (FM Racing) who took the reins. The Swiss was able to prevail against his opponents in both races and celebrated two victories. Behind the event’s winner, Frenchman Paul Louveau (DSS), who defended the championship lead, and Roberto Pesevski complemented the podium.
Meik Wagner: “Looking forward to the second half of the season”
Meik Wagner, organizer of the RMC Euro Trophy, drew a balance of the first half of the year: “The 2021 season is still marked by the pandemic situation. However, we are far better prepared than last year, so that despite various restrictions the events can be held on a high standard. This is appreciated by our participants: the feedback is great and more international than ever. I’m already looking forward to the second half of the season and I expect some thrilling fights for the titles as well as a normalizing situation in the pandemic, which will benefit all of us. ”
The Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy will continue its season from July 16th to 18th, 2021. Then the series will make its debut in the Arena E in Mülsen, East Germany, already heralding the final spurt of the season. All information about the Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy is available on the web at www.rotaxmaxchallenge-eurotrophy.com.