Australia’s team of eleven kart racers are preparing to line up against drivers from all across the world in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at the Al Ain Raceway in the United Arab Emirates.
The week-long event kicked off yesterday with the traditional ballot of machinery. The uniqueness of the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in the world of motorsport is that all drivers will be competing in identical equipment, therefore allowing the true talent of a driver to shine.
This year’s event will see a total of 264 competitors from 60 different nations will competing across four categories using 125cc Rotax engines – Junior Max, Senior Max, DD2 and DD2 Master.
Three of Australia’s top young drivers Joseph Mawson (Hinchenbrook, NSW), Pierce Lehane (Castle Hill, NSW) and Michael Stewart (Bywong, NSW) will be amongst the 72-driver field in the Junior category.
Lehane, who finished third in the corresponding event last year in Italy, he has got his sights set on the top step of the podium.
“It was great to be able to show I was able to mix it with the best young drivers from across the world last year and finish third, but getting so close to the win has made me hungrier for victory this year,” said Lehane.
Twelve-time Australian Champion Dave Sera (Narre Warren, Vic) will be one of four Australians competing in the Senior category. Sera will be joined on the grid by Tyler Greenbury (Toowoomba, QLD), Josh De Maio (Shepparton,Vic) and James Macken (Gold Coast, QLD) in the 72-driver field.
Greenbury, who has been on a roll over the past few months with the highlight being victory in the CIK Stars of Karting Series, is confident heading into this week’s event.
“There’s a fair bit of pressure on everyone to perform, there is going to be many of the world’s best drivers in attendance but I’m not going to approach it any different to any other event, well I’m trying not to anyway,” said Greenbury.
“At the start of the year the results weren’t really going my way, but since mid year everything has really fallen into place.
“I had a Formula Ford test in June and July, which really sparked by interest and probably got me focused back on my karting and making the most of every opportunity that comes my way.
“This week will certainly be one of those opportunities that I’ve got to make the most of. Dave (Sera) has shown in the past that us Aussie’s have got the talent and speed to match it with some of the top drivers from across the world at this event – hopefully we can fly the Aussie flag high on the Saturday.”
Victorian Jason Pringle (Essendon, Vic) along with Gold Coasters Damian Ward and Brendan Nelson will line up in the DD2 category while Brent Coghlan will fly the Australian flag in the DD2 Master class.
Information throughout the week will be posted on the Australian Karting Association’s website – www.karting.net.au - with the official event website that includes links to live results, image galleries from each day of competition along with videos found by clicking here.
The racing will be shown live on www.kartracingnetwork.com across Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the broadcast schedule available by clicking here.
Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals – Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Brendan Nelson (Gold Coast, QLD)
Brent Coghlan (Kurrajong, NSW)
Damian Ward (Gold Coast, QLD)
Dave Sera (Narre Warren, Vic)
James Macken (Gold Coast, QLD)
Joseph Mawson (Hinchenbrook, NSW)
Josh De Maio (Shepparton,Vic)
Jason Pringle (Essendon, Vic)
Michael Stewart (Bywong, NSW)
Pierce Lehane (Castle Hill, NSW)
Tyler Greenbury (Toowoomba, QLD)