Hot, hotter, and even hotter – was the theme of the third round of the Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy from August 3rd to 5th in Austria, where blistering heat put the many participants and their equipment to the test.
The equally hot competition on the 1,180metre Speedworld circuit made for lots of sweaty race action and thrilling fights, peaking Sunday afternoon with some new and worthy winners. In the end, Mads Riis (Junior MAX), Lukas Wanner (Senior MAX), Daniel Machacek (DD2) and Manuel Tenschert (DD2 Masters) took the victories in the Austrian “red-hot” battle.
With regard to the overall ranking, Bruck was the venue of two early title decisions; Dutchman Mike van Vugt (Junior MAX) and Denmark’s Martin Henckel Mortensen (DD2) secured enough points to conquer the title crowns of their categories, thus making them the first Rotax Euro Trophy participants to have qualified for the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 2018 in Brazil.
Junior MAX: Mads Riis celebrates first Euro victory
Junior Mads Riis (RS Competition) was in brilliant shape in Bruck. The Dane set the pace right from the beginning and by 42.704 seconds also clearly set the fastest time in qualifying. Afterwards, the young-ster won both heats and gained the best starting position for the first final. Here, the Tony Kart pilot proved his excellent performance, again taking the victory ahead of the Australian James Wharton (FA Kart) and championship leader Mike van Vugt (JJ Racing) from the Netherlands. The latter struck back impressively in the second final.
Mike van Vugt secured his second win of the season and by collecting maximum points, won the championship in the Junior MAX category. Besides the newly-crowned champion, Mads Riis had reason to cheer as well; the Dane saw the chequered flag in second position to win the daily classification of the Austrian round. Behind him, Mike van Vugt climbed onto the podium in second place while James Wharton completed the results in third position.
Senior MAX: Home win for Lukas Wanner
The 32-driver grid in Senior MAX delivered a thrilling competition! In the qualifying phase it was difficult to spot a favorite; the Dane Mikkel Tygesen (KMS Europe KFT) was fastest in qualifying, but after the heats he had to hand pole positon for Final 1 to Finland’s Lauri Leppä (Tony Kart). On Sunday, the order changed again and Lukas Wanner (KSB Racing Team) took control. The local Austrian hero was unbeatable and took a double victory on home soil.
Consequently, the Kosmic driver topped the daily ranking, while Lauri Leppä ended the weekend in second place. Dutchman Mick Nolten (GKS Lemmens Power) prevailed in the fight for third place on the podium just ahead of the Czech Sebastien Belhocine (Strnadel Motorsport). Therefore, Nolten was able to extend his lead in the championship and now has the best chance for the title at the big season finale next month.
DD2: Victory for Machacek, title for Mortensen
Daniel Machacek (Team VPDR) turned on a superb performance in Bruck. During his home round of the series, the Austrian left nothing to chance; he set the quickest time in qualifying, won all his heats and both finals to convincingly secure the victory in the Rotax DD2 class.
Behind him, Martin Henckel Mortensen (RS Competition) took P3 and P2 in the finals, finishing second in the daily ranking just ahead of Slovenian entry Xen de Ruwe (AKK Sportstil). Mortensen was also rewarded with a nice surprise – considering the dropped points in the standings – as the Dane lies uncatchable at the top of the championship ladder, allowing him to celebrate the title win before the showdown in Wackersdorf.
In the classification of the Rotax DD2 Masters, Austria’s Manuel Tenschert (Daems Racing Team) and the Hungarian Geza Fodor (MHH Kart Team R360) shared the race wins. Tenschert, however, beat Fodor in the daily ranking, while Polish champ Slawomir Muranski (Wyrzykowski Motorsport) completed the podium in third place. Christophe Adams (Sodikart) from Belgium finished fourth to successfully defend his championship lead going into the deciding round.
The Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy now heads to Germany on September 28th to 30th. The last edition of the four-round series hosted by ProKart Raceland at Wackersdorf will not only reveal the 2018 champions, but also award the qualified drivers with their personal invitation tickets to compete at the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Brazil (November 24th to December 1st).