It will be an awakening for the 1,280-metre venue, known in its 30 year history for hosting numerous other prestigious events where many successful drivers competed, including Formula One world champions. Located in the north of the largest administrative region of the country, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, which spans the west and southwest of the mainland, it is slightly larger in area than the territory of Austria in Central Europe, the home of the series’ engine manufacturer BRP-Rotax.
Former European and five-time French Champion, Arnaud Sarrazin, became the new owner of the Val d’Argenton circuit in July 2020. He is also the boss of one of the largest Rotax race outfits competing in France and has recently devoted a lot of effort and investment into the venue. This includes resurfacing the track, building the paddock facilities and setting up the Rotax workshop. Following the cancellation of the Adria round on the RMCET program, there was an unexpected request to hold the round 2 event that prompted him to go ahead with extensive improvements.
“To be honest, I could never have imagined the RMC Euro Trophy coming to Val d’Argenton in 2022!” says Sarrazin. “It was absolutely unplanned, so I have had a lot to do in the past two months to be prepared and I know from experience how important it is to ensure the track is in the right condition to compete at this level. We know the event well because some of my team drivers at PKS Competition always want to race at the Rotax Euro Trophy because they enjoy the international competition. I love karting and I like Rotax. For me, there’s no other engine I need to use. It’s reliable and easy to use. The latest engines are really good so we know they have a quality product for our clients. Now we can all look forward to a fantastic event here in France and some exciting racing.”
A total of seven Rotax categories are being contested this weekend in France for the second edition of four rounds this season, as the European titles are run under the RMCET banner in the French Republic for the first time history of the championship.
In the Senior MAX, Sean Butcher (KR Sport) leads the charge in the points after the opening round in Genk while in Junior MAX, it’s the RMCET Winter Cup champion Ethan Jeff-Hall (Strawberry Racing) who is at the top of the table. Dutch youngster Boaz Maximov (Bouvin Power) won the first round of three in the 2022 series in the new Mini MAX class for drivers 9-12 years and is one of the favourites. The current Senior MAX Champion from the RMC Grand Finals 2021 in Bahrain, Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing), heads the Rotax DD2 field in his first season racing the 2-speed gearbox category and former German title-holder Denis Thum is hoping to repeat his dominant performance at the Genk round in April to remain in P1.
The second edition of the Rotax Project E20 Junior E-Kart sees the round 1 winner Thijs Stevens returning to pursue his campaign to seal the historic title after being awarded a complimentary ‘Arrive & Drive’ race package for his victory in Belgium, but he will have some fierce competition too. In the Senior E20 class, the field in packed with a line-up of experienced drivers including some former E-Kart competitors and also a well-known British Rotax Champion and team boss Rhys Hunter, who’s taking a weekend out of his usual routine to experience the electric kart himself, while the majority racing in the three-round championship for the first time.
Official timed practice takes place Friday afternoon to set the grids for Saturday’s qualifying heats. The two Finals for the all-important points and top 36 drivers in each class is scheduled for Sunday.
All the racing action can be followed via the live timing on the Rotax Global app (available on the App Store or Google Play Store) and on the RMC Euro Trophy website - www.rotaxmaxchallenge-eurotrophy.com
Subscribe to the Livestream coverage with new high quality video and audio streaming of all races throughout the weekend, beginning from 10.35am (CEST) on Saturday and Sunday. For more details and entry list, find the link on the Rotax Global app or website and follow the social media channels for further updates.