The mischievous weather of the Sarthe did not only play positive tricks on the participants of the Rotax MAX Challenge International Trophy. Indeed, the grip of the Circuit International du Mans had its ups and downs with the rainy spells that accompanied the Qualifying Heats from Thursday to Friday. As a result, the hierarchy changed in many categories. The selection will continue on Saturday morning during the Super Heats before the Finals on Saturday afternoon.
The competition was broadcast live to a large audience on Motorsport.tv, a live stream which will also enable the Final stages to be watched remotely on Saturday. As a precautionary measure against the risk of rain, the drivers' parade was brought forward to Thursday evening, a judicious choice that ensured a pleasant moment of celebration in good conditions.
Micro Max: Chalk back on track
4th in Qualifying, Jenson Chalk (GBR-Kosmic/Rotax/Mojo) took control of the Micro Max Qualifying Heats thanks to his two wins and a 2nd place. Poleman Zack Zhu (FRA-Alonso Kart/Rotax/Mojo) also took a win, as well as 3rd and 6th places, putting him level on points with the very consistent Emerson MacAndrew-Ursen (GBR-LN/Rotax/Mojo). Senn Lindeman (NLD-Birel ART/Rotax/Mojo) was 4th ahead of Riley Murro (GBR-Exprit/Rotax/Mojo).
Friend takes the lead in Mini Max
Albert Friend (GBR-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) edged out Jacob Ashcroft (GBR-LN/Rotax/Mojo) for 1st place in the Mini Max category on Saturday evening. Denholm Cole (GBR- LN/Rotax/Mojo) rounded off the British trifecta by moving up three places, while Nikita Ljubimov (EST-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo), winner of the first heat, dropped back to 4th ahead of Maxim Bobreshov (KR/Rotax/Mojo).
Junior Max: Fracassi establishes himself at the head of the heats
Alberto Kiko Fracassi (ITA-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) got the best score in the Junior Qualifying Heats, which were full of twists and turns. Two wins and a 2nd place finish put the Italian ahead of Kasper Schormans (NLD-Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) and Armand Hamilton (HUN-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo), who started 10th. Once a winner, Thomas Pradier (FRA-CRG/Rotax/Mojo) made up nine places to finish equal 4th with Hamilton. Max Cuthbert (GBR-Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) made up 23 places to finish in the top five ahead of poleman Tom Dussol (FRA-CRG/Rotax/Mojo), winner of the first heat. The rankings alternated between significant gains and notable crashes.
Rillaerts leads the Max Senior heats
6th in Qualifying and winner of four heats, Kai Raillaerts (BEL-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) made confident progress to 1st position. Mark Kimber (Gillard/Rotax) followed suit in 2nd place thanks to his three wins. Poleman Ethan Jeff-Hall (GBR-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) was able to build on a win and three 2nd places to finish in the top three ahead of Lewis Gilbert (GBR-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo), who moved up three places, and Elia Pappacena (ITA-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo), who has been a regular at the front. Matthews Higgins (GBR-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) was 6th, while Devyan Roest (NLD-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) was 10th and Adam Rahali (DZA-Kosmic/Rotax/Mojo) 21st after a few problems.
Changes in DD2 Max: Barbaroux leads Sendin
The DD2 Max category was shaken up throughout the Qualifying Heats. Poleman Christian Sørensen (DNK-Birel ART/Rotax/Mojo) won the first race, but crashed out in 11th place in the second. Antoine Barbaroux (FRA-Sodi/Rotax/Mojo) put in a steady performance to lead the standings, level on points with Victor Sendin (FRA-Birel ART/Rotax/Mojo), who climbed 12 places. Rasmus Vendelbo (DNK-Kosmic/Rotax/Mojo) moved up from 5th to 3rd ahead of his compatriot Sørensen. Edward Matthews (GBR- LN/Rotax/Mojo) completed the top five, while Xen De Ruwe (SVN-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) climbed from 23rd to 7th.
DD2 Max Masters: Gravouille takes the lead
4th in Qualifying, Maxime Gravouille (FRA-Kosmic/Rotax/Mojo) took two wins and a 3rd place to emerge as the leader of the DD2 Max heats. Meanwhile, Jannik Nielsen (DNK-Tony Kart/Rotax/Mojo) moved up 10 places to 2nd ahead of Romain Mangé (FRA-LN/Rotax/Mojo). Carl Cléribaut (ARE-KR/Rotax/Mojo) was in 4th place ahead of poleman Lennart Schreiber (DEU-MS Kart/Rotax/Mojo), who won the final heat after a number of setbacks.
Saturday 29th July
08.00 - 09.17: Warm-up
09:19 - 12:51: Super Heats
13:45 - 16:57: Finals
The competition can be followed on the RMCIT website and on its social networks. Live streaming will continue on Motorsport.tv