The first edition of the Rotax MAX Challenge International Trophy, hosted by the famous Le Mans Karting International circuit in France from 20th to 24th of August, proved to be more than just an exciting and successful race event for the competitors, but also a display of confidence in the regulation MOJO Racing Tyres.
The fast, spectacular and technical track that runs in a less usual anticlockwise direction for an added challenge, well-known for the 24-hour karting events, provided the ideal location for the premiere.
Six Rotax classes were contested by nearly 300 international drivers, the majority of who had never driven at Le Mans, using the complete range of Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC) regulation MOJO slick tyres in each category; Micro and Mini MAX on C2, Junior MAX on D2, with Senior MAX, DD2 and DD2 Masters on the latest D5. After open practice Tuesday, the official program began Wednesday with practice sessions continuing, while the Junior and Senior classes fitted their set of Parc fermé MOJOs for the qualifying that afternoon. The remaining timed practice was completed Thursday.
Each driver was permitted to use only one set of MOJO slick tyres for the duration of the event, starting from qualifying through to Saturday’s finals. In the case of the younger categories, the maximum laps completed was approximately 65 – 70, while both DD2 classes drove up to 85 laps, where each of these four groups were limited to only one grid this year. However, in the Junior and Senior MAX with more entries, it was up to 105 laps – equal to about 145 driven kilometres – including five heats, resulting in a total of 42 qualifying heats on the schedule altogether. The inclusion of extra finals meant that every driver had the opportunity to race for the entirety of the four-day event.
The European summer set the scene with hot and sunny days, air temperature hitting up to 31°C… although it felt hotter! Obviously, the conditions were demanding, with a significant amount of grip that assured close and hard racing. The Le Mans circuit seems to have a very small racing line footprint where driving outside of this can create extra wear. The MOJO tyres stilled performed very well with consistent and fast laps beyond what many may consider as the normal life cycle.
Drivers commented on the good all-round performance of the tyres, making the racing enjoyable. The race organiser & promoter 3MK Events had only positive feedback for the MOJO tyres as well.
“The grip remained very consistent, my traction throughout the event was optimal and visually my tyre wear was excellent. Even with the race tyres having done +/- 80 laps, the performance never dropped dramatically. I found the cooler the air temperature, the better the MOJO D5 performed. There was minimum tyre wear and the grip came on around lap 5.The idea of Rotax to simulate a Grand Finals procedure regarding tyre management for the event was a good proposal. Even the concept of having to draw a number for your set of race tyres is very fair to all competitors.” – DD2 driver
- “We did the quickest time in the pre-final in lap 10. The MOJO tyres were spot-on!” – DD2 Masters driver
- “My tyres showed constant lap times right to the end of the final and lap 15 out of 16 was my best lap. That’s also without swapping the tyres over at all [on the rims].” – Senior MAX driver
- “The MOJO tyres were great!” – Junior MAX driver
- “What I like about the MOJO tyres is that you can push in the race and still get the better lap times – 100%!” – Micro MAX driver
Here is an overview of the best laps from each class at the RMCIT 2019, Le Mans.
[*Fastest 3 drivers in each session + Junior & Senior MAX heats x 15 – best lap/race]