Among the 275 entrants who gathered at Portimao for the 2012 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, the 77 Max Senior drivers had the opportunity to compete on the latest Sodi Celesta chassis, which have recently won the U18 World Championship in Bahrain. In addition to Eastwood’s victory the French company, which was at this event for the third year in a row, received exceptional satisfaction ratings, both from Rotax as well as from drivers.
On the difficult track of Portimao (Portugal), an alternation of winding and fast sections, Sodi Celesta chassis worked wonders. Being extremely simple to drive as well as to adjust, these chassis enabled all drivers to really enjoy themselves while defending their chances in an extraordinary grand final. Therefore, the race was very open and the winner, the Irish driver Charlie Eastwood, succeeded in taking victory despite his 12th place in timed qualifying. His rivals included the Australian Pierce Lehane (who took pole), the Japanese Ukyo Sasahara, winner of the pre-final, and other valorous opponents such as the Brits Edward Brand, his second, and Oliver Hodgson, who climbed onto the third step of the podium.
A pure product of the French Rotax, Alexandre Finkelstein concluded again with a fourth place in the Grand Final, which was the best result of the Team France, but thanks to his recovery after the repechage and his 10th place in the pre-final, he left his mark on the competition. «I was a little disappointed on the finish line because I missed the podium by less than 0.1 seconds», Alexandre commented after his arrival «but all things considered, I am very satisfied anyway. A 4th place in the final after going through repechage is really a great performance! I really enjoyed driving the Sodi Celesta, which is a very effective and balanced chassis. Sodi has done a great work!»
Sodi’s technical performances at Portimao were equally satisfactory and all the staff was perfectly up to the challenge with great professionalism, meeting the usual high standards adopted by the world’s leading kart manufacturer. Gildas Mérian, president of Sodikart - who was also in Portugal - was fiercely proud: «For me, it is very simple: Rotax represents the state-of-the-art of karting competitions all over the world. Thanks to this formula, dozens of thousands of enthusiasts can enjoy themselves, regardless of their driving ability and financial means, while offering a grand competition with an extraordinary level of performance, as we have seen again this year at Portimao. Sodi participates to the organisation of many Rotax races in France and being at the Grand Final as official chassis partner for Rotax in the elite category is an honour for our company. I think we have fully accomplished our mission, but we will not rest on our laurels. A big thank you to our team, including the people who were here at Portimao as well as those who made great efforts at our factory to ensure a new success to our chassis».
Sodi is looking forward to seeing all karting fans on the tracks of France and Navarre for an even more exciting season in 2013.