Rotax Euro Challenge, Round 2 - Italy

press release

Looking across the Kart Planet paddock at the second round of the 2009 Rotax Euro Challenge, one could have been forgiven for mistakenly believing they were in Italy for the World Karting Championships. More than 130 drivers raced at round 2 at Busca in Italy, with entries coming from all corners of the globe to contest the European titles in four categories. Since RGMMC Establishment began organising the international event for BRP-Rotax [now BRP-Powertrain] six years ago, the level of professionalism has only grown, as has the continued support for what is considered one of the most competitive championships today for the Rotax engine classes. Representatives from the Austrian engine manufacturer were also in Italy to offer support for the many competitors and their teams.


pic - Bas Kaligis

With the traditional 10-day practice ban being lifted, some teams took advantage of testing the weekend prior, which also gave their drivers the chance to become more accustomed to what was “extreme” heat for most. According to the locals, the very summery weather conditions were not normal for this early in the season. The racing itself was nothing short of fantastic, making the second round another successful edition for the Euro. Every class crowned a new winner on the podium, so the championship is even more interesting going into round three.

A full race report can be donwloaded HERE (pdf). Results and photo gallery below:

Photos by Bas Kaligis & Jenni Wade rotax euro kart planet
Above: Beitske Visser (Team TKP/Intrepid) came extremely close to taking the first ever win by a girl in Junior Max at the Euro Challenge. She was on the podium at the Rotax Winter Cup in February and remains determined to make it happen in 2009. Colombia’s Tatiana Calderon (RL Racing/Tonykart) had the best finish by a female driver so far in Senior Max, when she finished 7th at Busca, while Tiff Chittenden (SFP Parolin/Parolin) was 10th in the Rotax DD2 and her sister Tamsin Germain (DG Racing/Intrepid) 3rd in the class in the Masters division.

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Above: Maik Barten (PDB Belgium-DFK/Maddox) has claimed the lead on the points table going into round 3 in the Czech Republic, saying he’s feeling confident about maintaining it, after his recent success with the new DD2 chassis

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Above: Josh Webster (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart) won the first round of the series and looked like a favourite in Italy, having comfortably won the pre-final. With a 6th place in the round 2 final plus maximum points up until then, the British junior is still leading the championship, but only marginally over his nearest rival.

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Above: Former CRG/ROTAX factory driver Riko Fertbauer made a comeback to racing at the Euro round with HRS Motorsport, after not competing for six years. In 1996, the Austrian champion was 3rd at the World Championships in JICA when Fernando Alonso won the title, as well as having a list of other impressive results. More recently, he’s recognised as having been the technician for Euro junior Danny Schellnegger, who finished 2nd and 3rd at the Rotax Grand Finals.

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Above: Senior Max pre-grid during Saturday’s qualifying heat races, headed by Antoine Barthon (MD Competition/Tonykart) who finished 3rd at the opening round in Spain

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Above: French DD2 champion Damien Vuillaume (Freekart Racing/CRG) is back to have another shot at the European title after featuring strongly at the Rotax Grand Finals in Italy last year. 14 drivers will qualify through the Euro series to contest the World title in Egypt this December. Damienís father was also racing in the 2-speed category in the Masters division.

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Above: The Junior Max pre-final start with Kay van Kemenade (Team TKP/Intrepid) leading the field. The young Dutch driver is the only junior to have been on the podium in both rounds of the 2009 series.

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Above: Jerome Bourquard (BRK/Sodikart) is the defending Euro vice champ in the Max Masters and continues to lead the championship after round 2 in Italy. He was on pole for the Masters Final but was unable to hold on for the win, eventually finishing 3rd.

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Above: Multiple New Zealand Max champion Josh Hart (Intrepid Force Rotax/Intrepid) was not only the fastest qualifier, but set the quickest lap in each of his heat races and the pre-final Sunday. The 22-year old now living in Austria, finished 3rd in the series in 2008.

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Above: Senior Max podium: (L-R) Josh Hart 2nd, Joseph Reilly 1st & Luke Varley 3rd

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Above: Senior Max final grid: Team-mates Luke Varley and Joseph Reilly (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart) shared the front row

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Above: Junior Max podium: (L-R) Kay van Kemenade 2nd, Aava Talvar 1st & Edward Brand 3rd  

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Above: Rotax DD2 podium: (L-R) Damien Vuillaume 2nd, Maik Barten 1st & Antoine Ferret 3rd

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Above: Max Masters podium: (L-R) Goncalo Gaivao 2nd, Christophe Adams 1st & Jerome Bourquard 3rd. DD2 Masters & Max Masters winner Christophe Adams (GKS-Gem Sport/Birel) could have been called the “Master of the Ceremony” when he was given an extra special welcome onto the Euro podium at Busca by the RGMMC grid girls, who also just happened to be from Belgium

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Above: Euro Round 2, Fastest Qualifiers: (L-R) Ferenc Kancsar (Jnr Max), Maik Barten (DD2) & Josh Hart (Snr Max) & Goncalo Gaivao (Masters)

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Above: Press Conference… Polesitters for the pre-finals following the qualifying heats Saturday: (L-R) Daniele Maccini (DD2), Christophe Adams (Max Masters), Joseph Reilly (Snr Max) & Kay van Kemenade (Jnr Max),

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Above: Senior Max winner: Joseph Reilly (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart)

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Above: The start of the Rotax DD2 Pre-final with Italy’s Daniele Maccini (TJ Emma/VRK) on pole for the race Sunday alongside Round 1 winner Ralph Odendaal (Korridas/Intrepid)

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