Preview: Rotax Winter CupTweet
SUNSHINE & BLUE SKIES IN SPAIN AS TRACK ACTION BEGINS AT THE ROTAX WINTER CUP
The opening day of official track action is blessed once again this week by clear skies and warm sunshine at the Karting Campillos circuit in the beautiful Andilusian region of Spain. Although the chilly breeze doesn’t come as a surprise at a time when much of the continent is suffering from extremely cold conditions, the 4th annual Rotax Winter Cup breaks the ice for the 2012 season as the first event on the RGMMC race calendar.
With 22 countries being represented at the meeting this weekend, in excess of 80 drivers will be competing in three classes. Now proving to be a popular event for drivers looking to make the move into a higher level of international Rotax competition, the Winter Cup continues to see some prominent karters from the Max categories taking on many new competitors. The technically challenging 1,588 metre Karting Campillos layout is set on a sloping hillside that combines its long straights with hairpin corners, dropping around 14 metres form the highest to the lowest point of the track.
In Senior Max, last year’s Winter Cup champ Ferenc Kancsár (VPD Racing/DR Kart) is back to defend his title after a memorable finish in the 2011 final when he reclaimed the lead with the flag in sight to take race honours by a mere 0.001 seconds from British hot shot Sean Babington (DHR/Alonso). 2011 Rotax International Open winner Dave Blom (Formula K Europe/Formula K) boasts extensive track knowledge at the venue, but his team-mate European number 3 Edward Brand will also be a strong challenger. The senior field appears to be one of the toughest line-ups seen in the history of the event at Campillos with many national champions on the grid, so the racing is bound to be fantastic as the latest race gear under the new homologation regulations hits the circuit to go head-to-head.
In the Junior Max category, it’s somewhat of an unknown quantity with the entry list made up of many newcomers to the championship in the youngest class being contested. The Rotax Open winner Kaan Onder (Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport/Formula K) from Turkey is naturally one of the favourites, having sealed the junior title in Zuera last November. Thomas Preining (Formula K Europe/Formula K) was 3rd at the Spanish event and will be another one to watch along with one of the UK’s best Harry Webb (Strawberry Racing/Tonykart), while a shortlist of other drivers are already looking fast if this week’s unofficial practice is any indication.
The Rotax DD2 class is also set to be a close race for the winner’s trophy with the likes of 2011 pole-sitter Kevin Ludi (Spirit Racing/Birel) back for another shot at the title up against reigning Rotax Open champ Antoine Lepesqueux (Sodikart Junior Team/Sodikart), also joined by two of the new generation 2-speed drivers Xen de Ruwe (Formula K Europe/Formula K) and Jules Szymkowiak (G-Star Raw Racing/Zanardi) who took 3rd at last year’s Winter Cup and Rotax Open respectively.
In the DD2 Masters, multiple title holder and former World number 1 Christophe Adams (Team Une Fois/Sodikart) hopes to take the Winter Cup accolades yet again, but he’ll have to fight off 2011 runner-up from the event Florent Lambert (Tatum Racing/Tonykart) and fellow-Masters winner Igor Mukhin (Formula K Europe/Formula K).
Now in their ninth year as organisers and promoters of the Rotax Euro Challenge RGMMC Establishment is aiming to making this season “no exception” when it comes to setting the scene for the best quality racing to date. The Rotax Winter Cup also provides the ideal opportunity for RGMMC to roll-out their newest innovations and equipment in international competition such as this, especially in relation to the all-important aspect of safety and ensuring a fair racing platform.
The overall winners of Sunday's finals will be awarded free entry (including the race tyres, practice fees and oil) to all four rounds of the 2012 Rotax Euro Challenge by RGMMC, while podium place-getters receive entry fee packages for select rounds, adding up to thousands of Euro worth of prizes for the taking!
www.RGMMC.com is where race fans can find the complete race program and also follow the link to the live timing online with trackside live commentary throughout the weekend.
2012 - RGMMC event calendar and information