Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals 2022 – Day 4 Report
Yesterday saw the first real part of the full-throttle action that was experienced by the whole paddock, as all 394 drivers would brave the changeable weather conditions that saw the final part of Non-Qualifying Practice and the first five of eight classes go out for Qualifying.
With the sunshine in the skies in the morning, Junior MAX got the on-track activities underway with Morning Warm-Up on the circuit that would evolve over the course of the day’s running.
This morning we saw the last Qualifying Practice of Junior MAX, Senior MAX and DD2 before the first heats started after the lunch break. Temperatures reached up about 21 degrees Celsius at lunchtime, despite the rain trying to impose its stamp once again throughout the day but not prevailing in the end.
Don’t miss out on any of the action via our Live Stream, along with our Live Studio from the KIA in Portimão, and we will also keep you all informed with the latest action and news at this impressive venue in the Algarve with our Daily Reports, our Social Media channels and our YouTube Channel.
Morning Warm-Up saw only 12 drivers venture out on track, with Poland’s Tomasz Ibsen (#603) fastest with a 1:02.840, 0.059 seconds ahead of Adam Sydor (#611 – POL), whilst Denmark’s Mathias Kjellerup took third, just 0.092 behind the top time. Portugal’s Henrique De Oliveira (#608) was fourth ahead of Belgium’s Tijs Daems (#605), as all 12 drivers were covered by just over a second.
Qualfiying Heat 1 would be won on the road by Slovakia’s Michal Soltys, but the #615 would end up being demoted to fifth due to a front fairing, promoting Sweden’s Joel Bergstrom (#613) to the victory, having initially started from pole position. Ibsen would take second just 0.645 behind with Daems third and Thijs Stevens (#601 – NED) fourth. Five other drivers would receive front fairing penalties, which significantly shook up the official result.
E20 Junior returns to the track at 08:13 UTC (09:13 CET) for morning warm-up.
Warm-Up in the morning saw Canada’s Griffin Dowler (#714) at the top of the timesheets with a 1:02.097 ahead of the German pair of Armin Haehnel (#701) and Tobias Follert (#703), who were covered by just under four tenths, as only 14 drivers heading out in the morning. France’s Eric Le Moine (#708) was fourth, just ahead of Raul Vargas from Spain (#717).
In the first Qualifying heat, it was Sweden’s Jesper Sjoeberg (#706) that was able to defend his lead right up to the end of the eight laps, despite having pressure from Njeim in the dying stages, who was able to close to within 0.435 seconds, having moved up from fourth. Vargas would end up third, in front of Luca Koester (#711 – GER) and Dowler completing the top five.
Even with a great start in the first couple of laps for Japan’s Shota Kitazona (#709), he would have an issue with the safety switch coming loose that caused the kart to stop in its track. Chinese Taipei’s Chen Han Lin would finish sixth on the road, but would end up down in 13th after two post-race penalties, as Jose Hurtado from Chile would be excluded post-race for being underweight.
E20 Senior returns to the track at 08:13 UTC (09:13 CET) for morning warm-up.
Germany’s Maxim Becker (#24) was the fastest of all 36 drivers in Morning Warm-Up with a 1:08.906, 0.083 seconds in front of Portugal’s Martim Marques (#26), with Lithuania’s Ainis Vibriantis (#30), Poland’s Kacper Rajpold (#13) and the UAE’s Maxim Bobreshov (#32) completing the top five. It also saw the top 30 covered by just under 1.5 seconds at the end of the session.
It would be a close-quarter affair for the first Qualifying Heat, as Lithuania’s Majus Mazinas (#22) would take the win by a mere 0.094 seconds from Great Britain’s Jenson Chalk (#18), with Marco Manson (#9 – NZL) rounding out the top three. The race saw some great overtaking where the top 17 drivers were covered by just under 10.5 seconds at the end of six laps, with Marques and Finland’s Oiva Vettenranta (#5) completing the top five.
Micro MAX returns to the track at 08:24 UTC (09:24 CET) for morning warm-up.
Niklas Cassarino (#161 – GER) was fastest for the odds Warm-Up on a best effort of 1:05.105, ahead of France’s Louis Baziret (#139) and Slovakia’s Jakub Gasparovic (#109). Ireland’s Jack McLoughlin (#147) took fourth place, just 0.429 seconds off the fastest time, with Serbia’s Uros Bogdanic rounding out the top five.
It was New Zealand’s Zach Tucker (#118) that was fastest for evens Warm-Up with a 1:04.687, where the top 27 drivers were covered by just over nine tenths of a second. The USA’s Kai Johnson (#132), Zdenek Babicek (#172 – CZE), Gage Korn (#124 – USA) and Malaysia’s Travis Teoh (#104) completed the top five that were split by 0.297 seconds.
Lebanon’s Christopher El Feghali (#137) would narrowly win Qualifying Heat 1 A-B by 0.104 seconds ahead of Harry Bartle (#138 – GBR) and Sebastian Minns (#167 – GBR). Louis Baziret from France (#139) was fourth, whilst Thailand’s Toby Gale (#108) was 4.711 seconds off the race winner.
Great Britain’s Jacob Ashcroft (#122) made his way to win Qualifying Heat 1 C+D, in front of Denmark’s Casper Nissen (#111) by 0.477 seconds, with Latvia’s Toms Strele (#133) rounding out the top three. Johnson was fourth, whilst Rasmus Koskinen from Finland (#107) taking fifth.
Mini MAX returns to the track at 08:35UTC (09:35 CET) for morning warm-up with odds going out first.
The Junior MAX results for Qualifying Heat 1 A+B are provisional at this stage, pending further confirmation.
Charlie Hart from Great Britain (#245) was fastest in odds Warm-Up with a 1:18.603, ahead of Romania’s Eric Cristian Enache (#237), as Maxim Shchurko (#253 – LTU), South Africa’s Klayden Ensor-Smith (#209) and Vinnie Phillips (#239 – GBR) rounded out the top five place.
Kuwait’s Muhammad Wally (#202) was quickest for the evens with a 1:16.329 in front of Enzo Bol from the Netherlands (#254), with 0.142 seconds separating the pair. Finland’s Martti Ritonen (#238) was third ahead of Jorge R Ortiz (#212 – USA) and Tommie Van Der Struijs (#232 – BEL).
Phillips would go on to set the overall fastest time in Qualifying with a 1:00.437 in the odds session, as evens saw Van Der Struijs fastest just 0.116 seconds slower. It was another Belgian in the top three overall, as Mateja Radenkovic (#271) took fourth followed by Wally, Ethan Jeff-Hall (#203), Isreal’s Yam Pinto (#258), Scott Marsh (#205 – GBR), Slovenia’s Nik Trobec (#246), Charlie Hart (#245 – GBR) and Japan’s Yuzuki Sato (#214) rounding out the top ten overall.
It would be a British 1-2-3 in Qualifying Heat 1 A+B, as Phillips would sprint away after an initial close-fought battle to win by 1.718 seconds, in front of Hart and Ethan Jeff-Hall. Mathis Carnejac from France would be behind the latter pair, ending up finishing in front of the USA’s Cooper Oclair (#233).
Qualifying Heat 1 C+D would see another British driver triumph in the form of the #205 of Scott Marsh, where the top four, completed by South Africa’s Klayden Ensor-Smith (#209), Noah Wolfe (#240 – GBR) and Maxence Bouvier (#229 – FRA). Enzo Bol (#254 – NED) was also in the mix, but would have to settle for fifth ahead of Germany’s Austin Lee (#257).
Junior Max returns to the track at 08:57 UTC (09:57 CET) for morning warm-up with odds going out first.
Alexander Abkhazava (#309 – LAT) was quickest in odds Warm-Up on a 1:10.279, over 0.75 seconds in front of Patryk Donica (#337 – POL), who was followed by Giuliano Raucci (#341 – BRA). Belgium’s Kai Rillaerts (#313) posted the fourth fastest time, ahead of Great Britain’s Kai Hunter (#369) as the drivers struggled with the conditions early on.
Callum Bradshaw (#358 – GBR) posted the fastest evens Warm-Up time, setting a 1:05.611, ahead of Denmark’s Mads Riis (#318) and the Czech Republic’s Matteo Richter (#350), whilst Lewis Gilbert (#306) and Sean Butcher (#304) completed the top five, as the top 29 drivers were covered by just over three seconds.
Securing pole position after the group qualifying sessions was France’s Ethan Paramond (#345) who posted the fastest time overall in the odds with a 59.633, with Butcher fastest of all in the very chaotic evens session over three tenths adrift. Indian smiles were apparent with Rohann Madesh (#347) third overall, with Zsombor Kovacs (#370), Hunter, Finland’s Miska Kaskinen (#312), Joep Breedveld (#323 – NED), France’s Michael Dauphin (#368), Germany’s Janne Stiak (#343) and Paraguay’s Alejandro Samaniego (#336) rounding out the top ten.
Butcher would then go on to win Qualifying Heat 1 A+B by just over a second ahead of Finland’s Miska Kaskinen (#312)m with Gilbert a further eight tenths adrift in third place. Janne Stiak from Germany would initially finish fourth, but was bumped down to 12th after he was deemed at fault for an incident with Hunter. Pole sitter Pharamond would be promoted, with Japan’s Fuji Kishi (#307) completing the top five.
Rillaerts would show strong racecraft to go from fifth to win Qualifying Heat 1 C+D by 1.120 seconds ahead of the Netherlands’ Joep Breedveld (#323), with Kovacs taking third just under a tenth and a half further back. Nolan Lemeray from France (#332), Australia’s Harrison Hoey (#361) and Brazil’s Eduardo Barrichello (#346) would complete the top six, with the top five covered by just 1.665 seconds.
Senior Max returns to the track at 09:19 UTC (10:19 CET) for morning warm-up with odds going out first.
Poland’s Dawid Maslakiewicz (#455) was fastest in odds Warm-Up with a 1:00.976, ahead of the Latvian pair of Emils Akmens (#427) and Patriks Noels Locmelis (#463), as Nicolas Picot (417 – FRA) and Serbia’s Nikola Tosic (#415) completing the top five in the session. It was Great Britain’s Mark Kimber that went fastest in the evens Warm-Up, posting a 59.758, 0.126 quicker than Austria’s Philipp Motizi (#442) as France’s Antoine Barbaroux (#424) secured third, whilst Petr Bezel (#446 – CZE) and Denmark’s Rasmus Vendelbo (#414) completed the top five.
Belgium’s Glenn Van Parijs would be the one to make it count during Qualifying as the #471 would be the fastest in odds, posting a 58.512, as Kimber would be fastest in the evens, but was unable to improve on his final lap of the session. Maslakiewicz would be third overall, ahead of Jakub Bezel (#456 – CZE), Xen De Ruwe (#413 – SLO), Petr Bezel, Nicolas Picot (#417 – FRA), Moitzi, Akmens and the Netherlands’ Kris Haanen (#472).
Kimber would draw first blood in Qualifying Heat 1 A+ B, taking the win ahead of Van Parijs by 2.060 seconds, with Akmens third. Petr Bezel and Kris Haanen (#472 – NED) would complete the top five, with the top 17 rounded out by Chile’s Max Jaeger (#431) separated by only 9.626 seconds.
Jakub Bezel would win Qualifying Heat 1 C+D, having fought hard against the likes of Maslakiewicz, Moitzi and Barbaroux after 10 laps, with the Czech driving winning by a margin of 0.426 seconds. Colombia’s Juan Jose Diaz Rodriguez (#445) would complete the top five, finishing ahead of Ragnar Veerus from Estonia (#403), with the top 20 drivers covered by only 9.962 seconds. There were also some great movers up the order including Lucas Pernod from Canada (#440), Estonia’s Devin Sagadi (#470) and France’s Paolo Besancenez (#441), with the latter starting last and ending up 15th.
DD2 returns to the track at 09:52 UTC (10:52 CET) for morning warm-up with odds going out first.
Belgium’s Fabio Kieltyka (#531) was the fastest of only 16 drivers that went out for Warm-Up with a 59.152 second lap time, 0.230 seconds ahead of Martin Konopka (#505 – SVK), followed by South Africa’s Eugene Britz (#501). Japan’s Masanori Kato (#504) was fourth ahead of Giel Bronder (#527 – NED), with the top eight covered by 1.910 seconds.
Italy’s Claudio Pagliarani (#513) would ensure that he would get the momentum into his favour, as he would initially win the first Qualifying Heat of the event, finishing ahead of pole sitter Paul Louveau (#518 – FRA), who would later inherit the win after the former got a tramline and front fairing penalty totalling eight seconds.
Latvia’s Kristaps Gasparovics (#533) and Lithuania’s Martynas Tankevicius (#519) rounded out a close top three that were separated by just over half a second. Brazil’s Fernando Guzzi (#524) and Derek Wang (#523 – USA). Several drivers including South Africa’s Eugene Britz (#501), Switzerland’s Michael Hitchcock (#508) and Australia’s Troy Bretherton (#532) would make up over 10 places each during proceedings.
DD2 Masters returns to the track at 09:41 UTC (10:41 CET) for morning warm-up.
Overall Fastest Lap Times:
E20 Junior: 1:01.565 | Joel Bergstroem | No. 613 | SWE
E20 Senior: 1:01.193 |Luca Koester | No. 711 | GER
Micro MAX: 1:08.562 | Marco Manson | No. 9 | NZL
Mini MAX: 1:04.409 | Harry Bartle | No. 138 | GBR
Junior MAX: 1:00.437 | Vinnie Phillips | No. 239 | GBR
Senior MAX: 59.633 | Ethan Pharamond | No. 345 | FRA
DD2: 58.512 | Glenn Van Parijs | No. 471 | BEL
DD2 Masters: 59.152 | Fabio Kieltyka | No. 531 | BEL
Stay tuned for our upcoming daily reports, which bring the intense and exciting on-track action of the RMCGF to you! grandfinals.rotax-kart.com/news