Bem vindo and welcome to the 22 nd edition of the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF) being hosted at the Kartodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão. Once again, the bond that stretches across the global Rotax family is continued with this highlight of the racing season, where we will witness 394 drivers from across the world compete over the next week at a fantastic venue for the prestigious honour of becoming RMCGF champion.
We are truly honoured to be at this fantastic location for the fourth time in RMCGF history along with the competitors, their families and companions in the Algarve region, which has an eclectic culture of arts and music and also has Moorish and Arabian influences lined through its rich historic tapestry.
With the paddock a welcome hive of activity, as a wonderful, fun and friendly atmosphere returned under the Algarve sunshine, as the raffle of 394 brand-new karts from the official chassis providers BirelART, Praga from IPK and SodiKart got underway this morning. The smiles of the drivers were in full view in the paddock and also when collecting their karts during the raffle, with many having already been here on Friday to do the early sporting check-ins. Along with that, the drivers also got an opportunity to not only learn the circuit on the rental karts, but have a lot of fun before the real hard work begins tomorrow.
Amazing Kart Line up
It is truly one of the real highlights of the event, which continues the time-honoured traditions of the Rotax ethos of driver skill and parity of equipment being showcased front and centre. This also effectively starts the week with the karts gleaming in the wonderful sunshine, having been put into position on Saturday evening. The longest Kart Line up ever seen in the history of the RMC Grand Finals impressed the drivers and participants as well as our teams today, as 394 karts were waiting patiently in the sunrise for their public appearance. Even after many years of seeing the impressive and overwhelming sight of the karts all lined up, it still provides everyone here with goosebumps, especially those that have attended many RMC Grand Finals before.
The RMCGF 2022 welcomes the biggest crowd of drivers in 8 categories: the combustion classes: 125 Micro MAX, 125 Mini MAX, 125 Junior MAX, 125 Senior MAX, 125 MAX DD2 and 125 MAX DD2 Masters and the electric classes: E20 Junior and E20 Senior
The drivers were already on the edge of their seats, waiting for their turn at the kart raffle to pick up their brand-new Rotax Kart for this week. By a random generator, the karts are allocated for the drivers in each category who then immediately were on their way searching their kart and head over to the drivers tent to prepare everything for tomorrow's first non-qualifying practice sessions.
Tyres got mounted on the rims, filled with compressed air, and fixed on the kart as the drivers and mechanics were preparing the kart with the necessary adjustments. The drivers’ tent was a hive of bustling activity throughout the whole day and we can't wait to see you all back at the track tomorrow.
Many of the drivers also were present for the Welcome Get-Together last night, which also saw the finals of the MOJO Tyre Changing Contest that was won by Team UK’s Russell Carter. On-track action finally gets underway tomorrow morning with the first set of Non-Qualifying Practice sessions at 8:43am UTC (9:43am CET), starting with E20 Junior and Senior.