Welcome to the first official practice day of the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals!
Competitors participated Tuesday in three of five total non-qualifying practice sessions,allowing drivers to become familiar with the track, the chassis and engine, and theircompetitors. This is one of the essential days of the Grand Finals race week because itprovides drivers with an opportunity to optimize chassis set-ups without the pressure ofqualifying or racing for position.
Practice No. 1 is reserved for breaking in the new Rotax engines. During engine break-insessions competitors gradually accelerate and warm up engines, driving beneath theengine’s potential speed and power. If not warmed up and broken-in properly, engines mayface potential damage.
Transponders were provided to all drivers following the close of practice No. 1. Live timingwill now be available on the RMCGF homepage, at http://www.rotax-kart.com/en/Max-Challenge/Grand-Finals/Grand-Finals-2014/Livestream.
Practice No. 2 and No. 3 gave drivers the chance to take advantage of their equipment,driving to the full potential of the engine.
The 125 Junior MAX field saw the Lithuanian Rokas Baciuska jump to the top of the timesheets with a 58.861 for practice No. 2. However, the tables turned in practice No. 3, whenthe Austrian Mick Wishofer jumped to the top of the time sheets with a 58.796, one-tenthahead of Baciuska.
The 125 MAX field proved to be extremely competitive. French pilot Nicolas Picot took thetop spot during practice No. 2 with a 57.721, one-hundredth faster than the CanadianZachary Claman-Demelo. In practice No. 3 Roope Markkanen of Finland jumped to the topof time sheets, with a fast time of 57.473 only three-hundredths faster than the EstonianKairo Kivi.
Practice No. 2 saw the DD2 Masters driver Cristiano Morgado of South Africa at the top ofthe time sheets of the DD2 Masters class. Morgado’s fastest time was a 56.120 – one tenthfaster than second place. During practice 3, however, Antti Ollikainen of Finland jumped tothe top of the time sheets with a 56.238.The DD2 field saw Ferenc Kancsar storm to the top of the time sheets in practice No. 2 witha fastest time of 55.526.
The DD2 field proved to be very competitive as the second fastest,UK’s Sean Babington, was only 3 thousandths off of Kancsar. Like in the Junior MAX field,in practice No. 2 the tables turned on Kancsar, who was fourteen-thousandths slower thanBabington who posted a 55.482, which was ultimately the fastest lap of the day.
As the day wraps up with a driver briefing for tomorrow’s practice and qualifying, rememberto stay alert for our next updates, extending the intense action of the Rotax MAX ChallengeGrand Finals to you.