At its fourth edition, the Rotax MAX Challenge International Trophy confirmed all the qualities that have built its reputation since its creation in 2019 while advancing its development in the light of experience in the Rotax spirit.
The main criterion, the enjoyment of the competitors and their companions, was once again the order of the day. Coming to Le Mans is always a pleasure, the legendary setting of the 24 Hours leaves no fan indifferent. The atmosphere in the RMCIT paddock is rarely found elsewhere: everything is pleasant, flowing and well-managed so that the five days of racing leave only good memories and the desire to return.
The Le Mans karting circuit is very popular and its overtaking possibilities were put to good use during exciting races. In line with the performance of the Rotax engines, the track also allowed for some impressive recoveries that thrilled the spectators and gave amazing opportunities to the most determined drivers. The respectful but firm management of the technical and sporting aspects contributes greatly to the enjoyment of all the competitors. The aim of offering high-level races in a friendly atmosphere is one of the great successes of the RMCIT.
There is no doubt about the talent of the drivers who win in the RMCIT. However the races progress, from complete domination to the greatest uncertainty to the chequered flag of the Finals, the talent of the winners is indisputable. A good result in the RMCIT is an important entry on a CV.
Valuing the teams
The success of the RMCIT also owes much to the quality of the teams that participate. The event has many loyal followers among professionals who have understood that the quality of the setting, the organisation and the races are important factors for their clients who sometimes come from the other side of the world to take part in this new great classic of the Rotax universe.
A coveted prize
The possibility of winning tickets for the 2022 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, which will take place in Portimao from 19th to 26th November, is one of the attractions of the RMCIT. The Croatian Leon Zelenko, and the Frenchmen Nolan Lemeray, Paolo Besancenez and Vivien Cussac-Picot, winners of the Junior Max, Senior Max, DD2 and DD2 Masters Finals, did not hide their joy at having obtained the longed-for ticket. The Micro Max and Mini Max winners Senn Lindeman (NLD) and Paul Schoen (CHE) were all smiles at the prospect of soon riding their Can-Am DS 90 Quad. The 2nd-placed drivers in each category were awarded a Rotax MAX engine in their category and the 3rd-placed received Rotax vouchers worth €1000. The long awaited draw for the Ryker Rotax BRP Can-Am went to Chloé Cannard who was already delighted with her 9th position in Senior Max after an 18-place climb.
Micro Max: Lindeman on the top step
After the victory of the Lithuanian Majus Mazinas (Parolin/Rotax/Mojo) in the Prefinal, the Final was full of surprises. The leaders followed one another at a frenetic pace. Mazinas started the last lap in the lead, but the British driver Albert Friend (Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) managed to get through the last few corners and crossed the line 1st, before being disqualified for a technical problem. Dutchman Senn Lindeman (Birel ART/Rotax/Mojo) was then declared winner ahead of Frenchman Léni Robillot Lagache (Tony Kart/Rotax) and Mazinas.
Mini Max: big Final victory for Schoen
One year after his award in Micro Max, Swiss driver Paul Schoen (KR/Rotax/Mojo) won the Mini Max Prefinal and Final in Le Mans. The leader from start to finish, he won by more than a second over Latvian Toms Strele (LN/Rotax/Mojo) of the Dan Holland Racing team who had lost places at the start. Frenchman Luka Scelles (Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) was 3rd. Austrian Ivonn Simeonova (Parolin/Rotax/Mojo) made a 13-place comeback, which was worthy of praise.
Zelenko rewarded in Junior Max
Croatian driver Leon Zelenko (Exprit/Rotax/Mojo) of the JJ Racing team took the lead in the Junior Max Final on the second lap. After three laps under full race yellow, the young Lebanese Christopher Fegalhi (LN/Rotax/Mojo) of the Dan Holland Racing team moved back into 1st place. Zelenko regained the lead and resisted the growing tension of the last few laps to win against the Briton Scott Marsh (LN/Rotax/Mojo) of the Dan Holland Racing team, while Feghali, the Mini Max winner in 2021, took 3rd place.
Senior Max: Lemeray wins a very lively race
Poleman and heat leader, Belgian Kai Rillaerts (Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) of the JJ Racing team disappeared in a collision a few metres after the start. Frenchman Nolan Lemeray (EOS/Rotax/Mojo) of RM Concept seized the opportunity to take 1st position and never let go. He showed his worth by setting the fastest time and building up a 4.8" lead over Britain's Lewis Gilbert (Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo). German Janne Stiak (Kosmic/Rotax/Mojo) Kraft Motorsport was 3rd fastest. Frenchman Jules Roussel (Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) had made up 11 places in 4th position ahead of Italian Andrea Giudice (Energy/Rotax/Mojo).
Incredible winning comeback by Besancenez in DD2
Frenchman Paolo Besancenez (Birel ART/Rotax/Mojo) of the KMD team was no longer one of the favourites after the incident that pushed him back to 12th place in the Prefinal. Frenchman Antoine Barbaroux (Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) was no longer as competitive as he had been in the previous stages and it was Danish driver Mathias Bjerre Jakobsen (Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) with RS Competition who led the majority of the race, followed by Belgian Maxim Dirickx (Birel ART/Rotax/Mojo) Schepers Racing. Besancenez went on a surprisingly fast pace. After six laps he was 5th, and with five laps to go he moved up to 2nd and attacked Bjerre Jakobsen on the penultimate lap. Dirickx completed the podium.
DD2 Masters: Clear round for Cussac-Picot
Frenchman Vivien Cussac-Picot (Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) totally dominated the over-32 category. After his victory in the Prefinal, he won the Final with the fastest time against his compatriot Romain Mangé (LN/Rotax/Mojo) Malevaut Sport. Slovenian Primoz Matelic (Praga/Rotax/Mojo) from Team SSC was 3rd.
See you in 2023 for a new edition of the Rotax Max Challenge International Trophy.