Aussie News From The Rotax World Final

IKD's Ian Black is in Egypt with the Australian drivers and pit crew and has sent some information and photos from the event.

The Rotax Max Grand Finals is the culmination of Rotax Max Challenge events that have been held in over 55 countries during 2009. All together over 36,000 drivers have participated in the various challenges World-wide and the best of the best from each country are now in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt to vie for the title of 2009 World Rotax Champion.

rotax world final, egypt

This is the 10th anniversary of the event and it has become one of the most prestigious events on the World Karting calendar. Over 90 international media personnel are present and the event will be shown on more than 16 international and regional television channels. This years event has 216 drivers who are all racing “free of charge” with Rotax providing all the equipment including new chassis, engines, tyres, sprockets, chains, fuel, oil etc.

Rotax ensure that everyone has a great time by organizing a Welcome Party, a midweek BBQ party and then a final night Farewell Presentation dinner.

The event runs like clockwork and the organizational effort behind the event is amazing.

In 2009, 7 drivers are representing Australia all of whom qualified to compete via the Rotax Pro Tour and the Australian Rotax Rankings system.

Junior Max
Pierce Lehane
Luke Rochford
Jack Howard

Senior Max
Nicholas Crawshay
Tyler Greenbury

Jason Pringle
Brinley Gread

The following quotes were made after practice but before official qualifying.

Jason Pringle – DD2

Kart feels pretty stable, just trying to sort out jetting and gear ratio. I think I am only around one tenth off the pace so I am quite happy with how I am going so far. Track is really good, some fast bits and some slow technical bits so it is quite a challenge. Looking forward to qualifying later today. The hotel and the atmosphere is really good. I did some snorkelling the other day in the red sea and it was unreal. Jace Lindstrom is my spanner man for the weekend and he has been doing an awesome job so overall I am pretty happy.

Brinley Gread – DD2

I am having a ball, so far it has been a really big eye opener. Track is really good, I think I am a few tenths off but have been getting faster each time out. I am still trying to get used to the track, I just need to get my head around the big sweeping corners that we don’t see too often in Australia. I am enjoying meeting people from all over the World and I can’t wait for qualifying to see where we are placed. So far it looks like everyone is going quite fast so it is going to be tough.

Luke Rochford – Junior Max

This is unreal, I am so glad I got the chance to come over here and race. I love the track but I made a change to the gearing this morning and it didn’t work out so I will go back to the original gearing and make a few changes to the Kart before qualifying. Practice has been pretty full on, you would think racing had already started by the way some of them want to practice.

Pierce Lehane – Junior Max

It has been really good. In the last practice session I was fourth overall (72 drivers in the class) so I am pretty happy with that but this is only practice and there is a long way to go. Egypt is pretty different but it is OK. I have made friends from Sweden so that is pretty cool. I am going to make a few more setup changes now and we will see how we go.

Jack Howard – Junior Max

I am really happy with the event so far. I am so happy that I got the chance to race over here. Kart is going really good, I have made some changes to the gearing and kart setup and we are making progress. I was 15th fastest in the last session overall so we are not going to bad at the moment. I think we can make a few more changes and move up even further.

Nicholas Crawshay – Senior Max

I am having fun, enjoying the experience. I think I need a new spacer though, the one between the steering wheel and the seat!!!! It is a good team atmosphere and I am looking forward to the racing. If anyone had a turbo charger out there that you could bolt onto a Rotax Max I would buy it now!!!!

Tyler Greenbury – Senior Max

I was just 3rd or 4th fastest in that last practice session so I am pretty happy with how I am going so far. The race meeting is so professional and the track is a lot wider than back home. I am pitted with some guys from France and they are a lot of fun. They don’t speak a lot of English but we are having fun.


Mark Rochford – Luke's Dad

This is my second Rotax Grand Final, my other son Daniel competed in Dubai two years ago, look these events are stressful and a lot of work because we want to go well but I would not have it any other way. I am so proud that both my boys have now had the opportunity to race overseas and I am so grateful to Rotax that we have been given these experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

Peter Cathcart – Mechanic for Luke Rochford

It is early days so far, all looking good. These events are fantastic, this is my 5th time at the Rotax Grand Finals and they keep getting better and better. The trip to and from the track is very interesting, I love the road rules over here in Egypt…there are none!!!!

Snippets of Info

  • Every driver has been given a free race suit…they look great. Unfortunately there was not a Green/Gold colour combination to choose from so the Australian team is running in Blue/White racesuits for the weekend.
  • Peter Cathcart, veteran of many Rotax Grand Finals is with Luke Rochford for the weekend and has his pit area immaculately clean and tidy as usual…he is the ultimate Pro.
  • Australia is well credentialed this weekend, Ben George is working with Brinley Gread, Ben won the Rotax Grand Final in the DD2 class back in 2006 in Portugal….Scott Auld is working with Jack Howard. Scott ran 2nd in Senior Max at this event back in 2002 in Malaysia.
  • One driver from France has already been disqualified from the event…apparently, he cut the seal on the engine and was found heading back to his hotel with his cylinder in hand. Obviously he was up to no good and he has found himself on an early flight back home.
  • Col Watts is driving one of the hire cars, so far everyone is still alive but that is probably more good luck rather than good management. Each afternoon there is a race for the cars as no one wants to get stuck having to drive back with Col.
  • Rental cars over here are very interesting. They have more hits and scratches than the worst car you ever see on Australian roads and they are dirty and smelly. The car originally given to the Lehane had run out of rego and the hire car company simply said “no problem don’t worry about it”
  • Darrell Smith is being very helpful to the Australia team coming over on a regular basis to offer advice. Our ex-pat Aussie still calls Australia home.