Europe's Rotax elite fought on the 1,190-meter track in Bavaria not only for the last victories of the year, but also for two outstanding championship titles: After Dutchman Mike van Vugt (Juniors) and Martin Mortensen (DD2) from Denmark who took the overall victories in their categories at the last round in Austria already, the classes of Seniors and DD2 Masters were still looking for their new heroes. The delegation for the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Brazil had to be complemented. In addition to the two designated champions, seven other candidates could hope for a ticket to the Grand Finals in Brazil taking place November 24 to December 1, 2018.
Juniors: Wharton wins finale and becomes runner-up
James Wharton (FA Kart) set the benchmark in qualifying in the 30 man field of the Junior grid before the Australian had to rank behind the designated champion Mike van Vugt (JJ Racing) after the heats. The Dutchman underlined his exceptional position in the first final, which he won just ahead of his compatriot Dani van Dijk (Pierre Redeker) and James Wharton. In the second race Mike van Vugt could not tie in with his performance. Due to an unsportsmanlike action he received a time penalty and fell back to position twelve. Meanwhile, James Wharton won the race ahead of Dutchman Robert de Haan (GCWDe Haan) and Poland's Jerzy Spinikiuewicz (Uniq Racing). When it comes to the daily ranking, James Wharton took the victory while Mike van Vugt and Robert de Haan followed behind. With his success in Wackersdorf, James Wharton also won the vice champion title in the end. Third place in the champion- ship went to the Dane Mads Riis (RS Competition).
33 seniors competed in the season finale and saw a dazzling Hannes Morin (Dan Holland Racing). The Swede took his title chances without compromise: After he had taken the pole position, he celebrated an impressive double victory into the race, which not only secured him the first place in the daily classification but also brought the overall victory. His title rival Mick Nolten (GKS Lemmens Power) did not have much to oppose. The Dutchman finished only seventh in the first final and was disqualified in the second race due to a technical issue. Nevertheless, he could prove the second place in the championship. Third was Mathilda Olsson (Strawberry Racing). The fast Swedish girl took a remarkable second place in the daily ranking in Wackersdorf and pushed her fellow countryman Patrick Rundquist (KR Sport) in third position.
DD2: Mortensen wins again – Muranski becomes Masters Champion
The early crowned DD2 champion Martin Mortensen (RS Competition) underlined once again his out- standing talent in Wackersdorf. After the best time in qualifying, he experienced a setback in the heats, which threw him back in the ranking to a position in the middle. During the main races he pushed back powerfully: With victories in both finals the Dane secured the day’s victory. Behind him, the Pole Piotr Wisnicki (Wyrzykowski Motorsport) and the Finn Ville Viiliainen (JTl Racing) finished second and third on the podium. In the championship, Germany's Maximilian Fleischmann (FM Racing) had reason to cheer. Despite a mixed weekend in Wackersdorf, he secured the vice title. Third place went to the Aus trian Daniel Machacek (VPDR).
The Pole Slawomir Muranski (Wyrzykowski Motorsport) was in control of the DD2 Masters. He won both races thus securing both, the event and the championship victory ahead of the Austrian Manuel Tenschert (Daems Racing). The podium of the daily rankinig was complemented by Roberto Pesevski (KSCA Sodi Austria Team). In the championship, the Belgian Christophe Adams (Sodi) took third place.
Mike van Vugt, James Wharton, Mads Riis (all juniors), Hannes Morin, Mick Nolten, Mathilda Olsson (all seniors), Martin Mortensen, Maximilian Fleischmann (DD2), Slawomir Muranski (DD2 Masters) qualified for the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Brazil.
© Oliver Czubaszek