GRAND FINALS 2011 - Day 26.11.2011

The Grand Finals 2011. Bigger does not necessarily mean better but in this case we are very proud to say, it really was that way. The 2011 finals boasted a spectacular number of 265 drivers from almost 60 different countries. If Antarctica had any good kart tracks of course we would have covered also all different continents. The logistical challenge of bringing all the equipment to Al Ain Raceway at the right time took not only the Rotax Team many months of preparation. But it definitely was worth it.

After the early Pre-Finals, there was a break in the action filled with the parade of drivers. This is always a popular event as all drivers appear in their country’s uniforms carrying their flags. Once everyone is lined up the track is abuzz with the sound of shutters clicking and cheers from the crowd.

After the parade of drivers had concluded the finals were set to take place. Those races had everything in it.

Juniors - Final Heat:
Pole sitter Makino Tadasuke was the least fortunate going into turn 1. He ended up in an accident, with his bent chassis he could not continue. Ukyo Sasahara, despite his young age already a big name in kart racing made his way safely through the very tricky first corner. During the week some of the big names had to pay their dues in the especially challenging exit of Turn 1. Completing the first lap as leader of the race, Ukyo never showed a sign of weakness and took a start to finish win for another perfect race in an already perfect season. Congratulations to the two time Grand Finals champion, Winner of the Euro Challenge 2011 and the Max Festivals Japan 2011.
Seniors - Final Heat:
The dominance of this year’s Eurochallenge winners continued in the MAX Senior category. Englishman Ben Cooper who took this years Senior championship in the last round in Angerville, showed his outstanding talent also in dry conditions at Al Ain Raceway. After a relatively incident free start Ben Cooper managed to get in front and extended his lead throughout the race. The rest of the podium spots were taken by Australian David Sera and Japanese Hirotaka Sasaki. By winning the Senior category Ben Cooper also won the two day Formula BMW testing package from Meritus GP. We are very excited to see Ben testing this race machine soon.
DD2 – Final Heat:
The fastest, most exciting class in Rotax MAX Challenge racing, the DD2 category. As rather different approach to Karting, since most of races are run either in single speed or classic 6speed shifter categories, the DD2 with its direct drive and two speed shifting paddles manages to draw more and more attention to the class. The reason for this? Well, unbelievably competitive and more importantly exciting races. Late braking manouevres followed by hard acceleration, this is what makes it so outstanding. And the drivers delivered proof in every single session. Ultimately Pier-Luc Ouellette, a well known name in Rotax racing, managed to claim to be the fastest DD2 racer in the world. Pier-Luc was followed by Australian Jason Pringle and Estonian Georg Vann. Original 3rd placed Jari Huttunen received a 10 seconds penalty for an incident involving Nicholas Latifi. A rather unfortunate end to a great race for both.
DD2 Masters – Final Heat:
One of the most exciting races at the Grand Finals 2010 in La Conca was of course the popular DD2 Masters category. Scott Campbell won the race after a tough battle with Dennis Kroes from the Netherlands. This year one man dominated every heat from free practice until the final race on Saturday. Cristiano Morgado from South Africa showed what´s been expected, after his week long dominance. The only thing that could have stopped him would have been a technical failure, which is not very likely in Rotax MAX racing. Cristiano was followed by Danny Brand from Belgium and Guillaume Berteaux from France.
Despite the serious racing action everybody had a great time not only at Al Ain Raceway but also at the various parties that came with the event. When so many people from many different countries come together to celebrate Rotax MAX racing, what is happening at the track is also fostering a community of people who all had the same goal, participating at the Grand Finals. After spending an entire race week alongside your competitors, mechanics and supporters in a big tent, the Rotax spirit had been planted into everybody’s head.

Finally BRP-Powertrain wants to thank everybody involved in Rotax MAX Challenge racing throughout the world. From drivers, mechanics, organizers, distributors to family, friends and all other supporters. This is the reason why Rotax MAX racing has become so successful and big. We wish you all the best for the upcoming season 2012 and a relaxing, wonderful holiday season.

While taking a step back from karting for a few weeks, do not forget to follow us on Facebook (, where the next highlight is already on its way. The Red Bull Kartfight, powered by Rotax at this year’s PRI in Orlando, Florida. Tune in to find out more about the fight between Indy, Nascar and Kart drivers.
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