Following three very exciting weekends in France, Italy and Germany, the ROTAX MAX Euro Challenge now heads towards Belgium for one alldeciding event on the challenging track in Genk. The small country with a tremendous motorsport tradition will host the series’ final for the second time since 2010, following four years of marking the start of the season.
About 120 drivers from over 30 different nations are getting ready for a final weekend of what has been an exciting season.
The 1.350 metres long track is the second longest circuit of the calendar and provides a huge challenge for the drivers. The highly technical track combines demanding chicanes with high speed passages and requires full concentration at all times. Two long straights make for many overtaking manoeuvres following some challenging hairpins, which will bring the field closer together. It is therefore safe to say that the talented starters of the ROTAX MAX Euro challenge will once again show nerve-racking action on the tarmac. In Genk the drivers, which compete in the three categories of junior, senior and DD2, are not only fighting for the championship crowns but also for the tickets for the ROTAX MAX Grand Finals in Portimao (PT) in the middle of November. This sets the perfect scene for the final round of the most unique ROTAX series as the championship is still to be decided in all of the three categories.
The fight for the crown in the junior class is especially exciting as six drivers are still within a chance to win the coveted title. The British sextet is led by Jack McCarthy (Strawberry Racing) who witnessed his strongest weekend of the season in Salbris where he was able to secure both the win in the prefinal and the final. He has been among the top positions ever since but especially Dean MacDonald (Aim Motorsport) and Zak Fulk (Coles Racing) could gain on due to their wins in Laghi and Wackersdorf respectively. Currently in third position overall and thus separating MacDonald and Fulk in the championship is Alex Quinn (CRG SPA) who has not yet been able to take a race win this season but managed to stay in the title fight due to consistent results. The two remaining candidates for the Juniors’ crown are Kiern Jewiss (Strawberry Racing) and Frenchman Axel Charpentier (Strawberry Racing) who both experienced a weekend fraught with problems in Wackersdorf. Being otherwise constantly in the leading bulk of the field, Charpentier could especially benefit from dropping his worst results. Should he be able to show a strong performance in Genk, he has a good chance to move up through the order and maybe even win the title.
Less unpredictable but not any less exciting is the title fight that is shaping up in the Senior category. With Pierce Lehane (Strawberry Racing), Rinus van Kalmthout (DAEMS Racing) and John Steward (Strawberry Racing) three drivers are sill able to snatch the crown in the eminent class and therefore promise a race filled with suspense in Belgium. The Australian Lehane holds the reins, as he was able to secure two wins in both Salbris and Wackersdorf. His difficult weekend in Laghi where he missed out on 23 points all in all might also be his ticket to win the title, should he manage to match his Wackersdorf performance in Genk. Van Kalmthout and Stewart can still see a light at the end of the tunnel should Lehane not be victorious as they are still able to challenge him for the crown mathematically. It is up to the two of them to turn the final in Genk into a surprise.
Fewer surprises can be expected in the DD2 class where only Ferenc Kancsar (BirelART/ KMS) and Paolo DeConto (CRG S. P. A.) are still able to win the championship. With one perfect weekend and two victories the odds are in the Italian’s favour and it is up to the current leader Kancsar to beat those. The Hungarian is still waiting for his first win of the season and is leading the championship due to DeConto’s comparably weak start to the season in Salbris. In third place is RS Competition driver Marcel Schirmer. The German showed a consistent performance throughout the entire season but has to fight hard in Genk to keep his strong position in the overall-standings as a few drivers are still within a good chance of charging up through the standings thanks to dropping their worst results in both the pre- and the final race.
As for the DD2 Masters the final result is still to be decided: Russia’s Igor Mukhin (CRG S. P. A.) is in the lead so far due to consistently strong results in the finals while UK lady driver Tamsin Germain (DG Racing), Japan’s Kawase Tomokazu (Uniq Racing Team) and Hungary’s Geza Fodor (Ricciardo/KMS) only have twelve points between them and are therefore primarily fighting with each other for second place in the DD2 Masters. Yet they still have chances to catch Mukhin so they should not be ruled out of the battle for the category’s crown just yet. With three championships still to be decided the ROTAX MAX Euro Challenge is a non-miss event and will surely have a few magical moments in store.
Everybody is invited to join the race action, as live TV coverage will start on Friday and continue throughout the weekend. So stay tuned on the official website www.rotaxmaxeurochallenge.com or www.rgmmcmedia.com, where you get all information regarding reports, photos, results and live TV stream.