The 2023 Rotax MAX Challenge US Trophy Final has crowned the new champions for this season in some thrilling racing at New Castle Motorsports Park in Indiana.
With drivers representing eight nations joining the competition in the five Rotax MAX categories on the program, the international clash produced exciting races in the Final showdown.
It was another successful event for the USA organizer Race Rotax / J3 Competition that saw more than 110 entries registered this year. In addition to the 2023 Rotax MAX Challenge US Trophy Final titles, 12 RMC Grand Finals tickets were awarded to the ultimate karting event of the Rotax racing season in the Kingdom of Bahrain from December 2-9.
Congratulations to the 2023 champions of the RMC US Trophy Final: Lucas Palacio – USA (Micro MAX), Oliver Warner – UK (Mini MAX), Wesley Gundler – USA (Junior MAX), Oliver Hodgson – UK (Senior MAX), Ben Cooper – CAN (Master MAX).
The New Castle facility is renowned for being an exceptional venue to host a national championship event, such as the RMC US Trophy Final, and the level of the competition really turned on some fantastic action. Over the jam-packed official three-day program, it was clear that nothing was going to be decided until the Pre-finals and Finals were completed Sunday afternoon. Even the stormy weather added extra drama to proceedings to ensure the drivers and their teams were up to the challenge for the sought-after US titles.
Eventually, the amazing battles between the front-runners for the top positions were extremely close-fought right up until to the chequered flag was waved – only to the delight of the race fans and many following on the livestream and EKN Radio. This was definitely a brilliant and memorable weekend of racing that will go down in the US history books as one to remember!
The RMCGF 2023 tickets were presented at the podium to the following drivers: Lucas Palacio represents Team USA in the Micro MAX. Taking the honours in the Mini MAX, the two ‘Open’ tickets were won by Oliver Warner and Gage Korn, and the ‘Reserved’ ticket by Matteo Quinto. Junior MAX tickets were won by the two champions in 2023. US East champ Wesley Gundler the ‘Open’ ticket and runner-up was the US West champ Nixx Eggleston secured the ‘Reserved’ ticket.
In Senior MAX, Oliver Hodgson had already qualified through the Canada Final program, so Ernesto Rivera (Senior) and Dalton Hanes (DD2) win the ‘Open’ tickets, while Cooper O’Clair (Senior) and Race Liberante (DD2) the ‘Reserved’. For the MAX Masters, Ben Cooper makes his debut in DD2 Masters at the Rotax Grand Finals, aiming for victory number four. And no slouch in his campaign for Bahrain, 66-year-old veteran Billy Cleavelin comes into the prestigious event for the second time with the ‘Reserved’ ticket.
The stage is now set for the deserving ticket winners from each class to race against the rest of the world at the RMC Grand Finals as part of their national teams. After what we have witnessed the past weekend, we can only expect an even more competitive 2024 season in the hunt for the USA titles.