Intensely contested Finals with RMCET titles already won in Belgium

Columns: Races
Finals Day Sunday brought the action coming thick and fast at the Karting des Fagnes circuit in Belgium for the penultimate round of the Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy – where several classes concluded after three events, while the others began the second half of the season.

Wednesday, July 13 th , 2022
Mariembourg, Belgium
The Rotax Mini MAX and both Project E20 categories confirmed their champions and awarded five
RMC Grand Finals tickets, RMCIT Le Mans entry plus ‘Arrive and Drive’ packages for the E-Kart Tour.
It was an exciting finish as well for Ethan Jeff-Hall in the Junior MAX class. The British driver hit the
spotlight, exceeding his own expectations to win the RMCET 2022 title with one round remaining.

Rotax Mini MAX
Toms Strele (LAT) had an absolutely perfect weekend in Mariembourg – winning everything. Maxim
Bobreshov (UAE) was chasing the leader in all the races for second place at the flag. However, it was
Boaz Maximov (NED) who won the RMC Euro Trophy title and the ticket to the RMC Grand Finals
2022 in Portugal, decided in the very last race by just one point; enough to rank third on the day and
become the champion. Toms Strele was happy to be vice champion ahead of Paul Schoen (SUI). Next
in the championship ranking was Felipe Reijs (NED) and Albert Friend (GBR) in fifth. The top three all
won their RMC International Trophy entry during the series, so they’ll meet in Le Mans in late July.
Mini MAX Championship
1 - Boaz Maximov .. 111 pts
2 - Toms Strele .. 110 pts
3 - Paul Schoen .. 67 pts
4 - Felipe Reijs .. 58 pts
5 - Albert Friend .. 57 pts

Rotax Junior MAX
Series leader Ethan Jeff-Hall (GBR) had a dream run from Friday and on track to seal his Junior MAX
title with a round to spare. There were others in contention for the weekend, but Tommie van der
Struijs was the one who pounced following a full course yellow near the end of Final 1. The Dutch
driver succeeded in taking line honours, yet lost the victory [from a post-race penalty] in the process
of relegating Jeff-Hall to second. Leon Zelenko (CRO) won the ongoing battle for third. In a repeat of
the outside front row start beside Jeff-Hall, Van der Struijs shared control of Final 2, eventually
winning by 0.055 seconds over the line from a lunging Enzo Bol (NED) and won the event by four
points. Jeff-Hall was patient in third and finished P2 ahead of Bol in the weekend results as the
undisputed 2022 champion, with an unmatched four race victories. In the run to round 4, Scott
Marsh (GBR) sits second, just four points over Van der Struijs, with Bol and Zelenko as the top 5.

Rotax Senior MAX
After the last round in France, only one point separated the new series leader Kai Rillaerts (BEL) from
round 1 winner Sean Butcher (GBR). As they lined up for Final 1 Sunday, it was Lachlan Robinson
(UAE) sharing the front row on equal points after the heats with his old teammate Butcher, on his
return to team KR Sport for the weekend. Rillearts was starting on grid 3, just one point off [them],
alongside the new British ‘O’ Plate champion Kai Hunter. Butcher rounded up the poleman after the
start and settled into the lead. Robinson soon had a long train of drivers in tow, led by Rillaerts
searching for a way past, which he managed with some resistance, although his race was short-lived
when Robinson collided with the former Junior Euro champion, ending both their hopes of finishing.
The stewards’ penalty sent him packing and excluded from the meeting. Meanwhile, Hunter went
after the leader, but with the gap from the slow pace of the opening laps, was still 4+ seconds in
arrears. Lewis Gilbert (GBR) was P3 and the pair picked up good points to push their place in the
standings. In Final 2, Gilbert overtook Butcher to lead the field for a couple of laps, taking second in
the 17-lapper. Worth a mention, the 2019/2020 RMCET champion Mathilda Olsson (SWE) possibly
passed more people than anyone else on Sunday - totalling 32 positions - to finish third. The round 3
podium saw Butcher first, now at the top of the rankings again, then Gilbert and Hunter. Rillaerts
drops to P2 in the championship, gaining only 5 points from making up 20 places in Final 2. Hunter
sits in third ahead of Olsson and her teammate, the defending champ Callum Bradshaw (GBR).

Rotax DD2
It was another intense battle in the 2-speed gearbox class when it came to the finals. Mark Kimber’s
(GBR) debut in the DD2 has been exceptional, but the 2021 Senior Max World #1 was challenged this
round. To begin with, the pace of the Italian Leonardo Baccaglini was outstanding and the 14-year-
old set the best lap Friday. It was the current RMCGF DD2 champion Martijn van Leeuwen (NED)
who stole P1 from series leader Kimber in Final 1, until the pole-sitter had other ideas… which
resulted in a time penalty. This handed Ville Viiliaeinen (FIN) the victory followed closely by Jakub
Bezel (CZE) and Maxim Dirickx (BEL). The action continued in the next Final, where Dirickx showed up
to claim his maiden Euro Trophy win and first overall by a single point ahead of Jakub Bezel with
Viiliaeinen third. Defending champion Petr Bezel kept Kimber out of the top 3 and still sits second
behind him in the standings, finishing P4 and P5 respectively on the day. His brother Jakub is only
several points away. Van Leeuwen and Baccaglini lost their top 5 places due to bumper penalties,
which leaves one point between Dirickx fourth and the Dutchman in fifth on the championship table.

Rotax DD2 Masters
At the previous round, Martynas Tankevicius (LTU) joined the series after missing the opening round
with his team competing in their local RMC. He scored a double Finals victory in France, just as the
standings leader Denis Thum (GER) did at the Genk event to kick-off his title campaign. Once again,
the very experienced duo shared the top space in every session at the chequered flag. Thum was
fastest, but the RMCET Winter Cup champion warmed up in the heats to start from pole Sunday and
succeeded in winning both races for a clean sweep over two events. In the finals, Thum struggled in
the initial stages, but always reappeared in second. In the minor placings, Christophe Capitaine (FRA)
finished third twice. Thum knows the Wackersdorf circuit well where he and Tankevicius will decide
the title. P3 in the overall points is Michael Becker (GER) ahead of Capitaine and Carl Cleirbaut (BEL).

Rotax Project E20 Junior
In the E-Kart Finals, Dutch youngster Thijs Stevens won the Project E20 Junior title following a repeat
of his first weekend in the class at Karting Genk in April, where he consolidated the victory with two
wins. Once more, he diced with Tijs Daems (BEL) throughout the racing at Mariembourg for the
number one position, coming down to strategy for the win. Daems was crowned Vice Champion and
both drivers awarded their personal RMCGF 2022 invitation ticket for the debut of the Junior E-Kart
at the end of season highlight for Rotax racing in Portugal. Also returning to the E-Kart Euro series,
Daniel Hauswirth (AUT) completed the podium with two P3 results and was the lucky winner of the
Rotax E20 Tour event ‘Arrive & Drive’ race package presented at the prize-giving. He finished fourth
in the RMCET ranking behind Kacper Turoboyski (POL), who actually stepped up to the Senior E20
class this round. Ollie Wise (GBR) was fifth in the championship, after a podium in Val d’Argenton.
E20 Junior Championship
1 - Thijs Stevens .. 125 pts
2 - Tijs Daems .. 80 pts
3 - Kacper Turoboyski .. 64 pts
4 - Daniel Hauswirth .. 61 pts
5 - Ollie Wise .. 36 pts

Rotax Project E20 Senior
Making his first appearance in the Project E20 Senior, Matthias Njeim (LIB) is a DD2 competitor, so it
was no surprise that he adapted easily to the E-Kart using the Sodi Sigma DD2 chassis. Starting off
the front row for Sunday morning’s final beside the top qualifier, Luca Nieuwenhuizen (NED), the
Lebanese karting champion focused on achieving the best results against the more seasoned E20
drivers. Making every lap count, he went on to win both races for a total of 50 points. Moving up to
the E20 Senior, Kacper Turoboyski (POL) was ultimately Njeim’s closest challenger, taking second in
each Final. DEKM 2021 front-runner Nieuwenhuizen finished P3 in the first race, while series leader
Luca Koester (GER) tailed the young Polish driver in Final 2 to seal his championship victory with
third place. The round 1 winner secured the last step on the podium for the day ranking as well, with
a two-point margin over Nieuwenhuizen and in fifth, the first Euro Trophy Project E20 round winner
Theo Kekati (UAE). Koester and Vice Champion Eric Le Moine (FRA) received their RMCGF 2022
tickets at the awards ceremony with Njeim P3 in the series, then Nieuwenhuizen and Rhys Hunter.
E20 Senior Championship
1 - Luca Koester .. 79 pts
2 - Eric Le Moine .. 55 pts
3 - Matthias Njeim .. 50 pts
4 - Luca Nieuwenhuizen .. 47 pts
5 - Rhys Hunter .. 45 pts



Find more info on the RMC Euro Trophy official website –
Download the Rotax Global app for event details and links – on App Store or Google Play Store

Text Jen Wade
Photos: Nina Megger & Jen Wade

Created by: abruno - 13/07/22

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