Getting started in Karting: Rotax Max

Columns: Vroom Academy
For 25 years, Rotax has been offering the karting market a product designed for long-term use “out of passion”. A winning and long-lived recipe, whose main ingredients are simplicity of use and cost containment. The Trophy organized with the Rotax Max for those with competitive ambitions is now a classic all over the world.

When it comes to Motorsport, the ideal scenario is one in which "only driving skills count". This seems to be exactly what Rotax had in mind when it launched, about 25 years ago, the Rotax Max engine around which the entire kart offer of Rotax, a multinational world leader in the production of engines, including aircraft engines, still revolves. The Max, an engine that has made the history of karting in the last 20 years, saw the light in 1997. It was a completely new concept for the era: automatic start and centrifugal clutch, designed with the leisure market in mind and for those who attend the tracks as a hobby, even if they compete. The Rotax 125 MAX engine, with a power of 21 kW at 11,500 rpm, set new standards with its reliability, ease of use - to which a carburetor with fixed jets also contributed - and low emissions.

With a kart put on the track under these assumptions, all the driver would have to do was keep their hands on the wheel and concentrate solely on driving. The lowering of the rpm and the use of state-of-the-art karting technology (e.g. liquid cooling, nikasil chrome-plated cylinder, exhaust valve, and variable ignition timing) resulted in a significant reduction in noise and gas emissions. With this new engine concept, the driver would spend more time on the track and less time in the pits. There would have been no need to organize a big event to launch the new engine, Rotax had thought of a domino effect and so it has been since that distant 1997: drivers were simply attracted by the ease of use and long life of the engines. The rapidly increasing demand confirmed that the new concept met the needs of the market, crowning a well-conceived project.

Going back to the history of the Trophy, since there was no room in the CIK-FIA championships for this 125 cc racing engine concept alongside the 100 cc category, in 1999, BRP-Rotax started its own racing series, the Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC), with its own technical and sporting regulations, approved and compliant with CIK-FIA rules. Since then, the Rotax MAX Challenge has consolidated its position as a manufacturer's championship. The Grand Finals see more than 380 drivers from 60 countries on the starting line every year and today it is one of the most prestigious races in the world.

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Created by: fmarangon - 05/05/22

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