RMC Euro Golden Trophy: Champions shine in a dramatic finals Sunday

Columns: Races
The Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Golden Trophy has succeeded yet again in keeping the race fans on the edge of their seats, as the drivers battled it out for every position and ultimately, the top place on the podium. The racing action came thick and fast on Sunday, when the high level competition was hit with a blast of Belgian weather at the Karting Genk venue.

The Champions taking the honours in 2022 were Mats van Rooijen, Austin Lee, Sean Butcher, Kris Haanen and Sebastian Rumpelhardt. Three drivers were also awarded their RMC Grand Finals tickets to compete in Portugal later this month – Zdenek Babicek, Dion Van Werven and Kris Haanen. In addition, the prize pool included 2023 season entries to the RMCET and BNL Karting Series events.

Mini MAX – Jacob Ashcroft’s confidence was growing when he won the pre-final. With impressive driving from the youngsters, Zdenek Babicek and Boaz Maximov had a close finish behind him, as did Albert Friend and Henry Domain. A delay followed the lunch break; just as the Mini MAX class went out, the rain began to fall. Back on track after juniors, the pole-sitter led the final from the lights. On the pace, Mats van Rooijen caught and passed the RMC Grand Festival winner to become champion. Babicek lost P3 before the line to Euro Trophy #1 Maximov, but the Czech driver still won his big ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals.

Junior MAX – Leading the pre-final, Austin Lee came under fire from Macauley Bishop, but the German champ was persistent to regain the top spot. The Brit was also determined, securing the victory in the final clash. Surviving the battle for minor placings, Enzo Bol took third from Felipe Falk and last year’s Mini MAX winner Mateja Radenkovic. The last race brought others into the mix and the showers added to the equation. Bol passed Bishop to have control until the final lap, when Lee took the lead. The Dutch junior fought back, but a bumper penalty dropped him four places, behind Bishop. Lee claimed another title, while Dion van Werven finished second to win his RMCGF ticket.

Senior MAX – A start-to-finish pre-final victory gave Kai Hunter prime position for the final, although Mads Riis was right there, trailed by new Euro champion Sean Butcher. A fraction quicker, Janne Stiak came between him and Lewis Gilbert. The first corner of the final saw Stiak take the outside line, but he spun as Kai Hunter and Riis tangled. Butcher shot up the inside, going on to be crowned winner, with Gilbert fastest in P2. Israel’s Ariel Elkin, amongst the front-runners all week, was third after the start. It ended as an all-British top 5, with Matthew Higgins, Kai Hunter and Brandon Carr.

DD2 – Xander Przybylak sealed his fourth race victory with the pre-final under the pressure from reigning Rotax DD2 Champion Martijn van Leeuwen and Mathias Bjerre Jakobsen. A closely-matched field, with Maxim Dirickx in P4 posting best lap and almost the entire grid within one second of this. The wet conditions made Przybylak more vulnerable in the final. Haanen executed it superbly, soon challenging the leader, unable to respond to his charge. The intensity made the racing exciting, but left the top order scattered. Haanen won the title and the ticket. Carl Borggaard and Fabian Bock completed the podium, qualifying P1 Mark Kimber was fourth in front of Dutch rival Van Leeuwen.

DD2 Masters – Carl Cleirbaut’s early jump to beat Martynas Tankevicius in the pre-final cost him the victory and Timo Haug inherited the win as a result. Sebastian Rumpelhardt dropped out of contention with a start penalty as well, so the luck was finally with Michael Becker for P2 and in third was Mykolas Mazinas. By the final the rain had stopped, Rumpelhardt was on a mission and blitzed the field as he shot to the lead, stretching the gap to in excess of 13 seconds. The close battle for runner-up between Haug and Capitaine went to the German, while Becker collected the trophy for P3. Both Capitaine and Tankevicius missed the podium after +5 seconds front fairing penalties.

Hit the link below to watch the race videos on YouTube and for all the RMCEGT results from Genk.

RESULTS & LIVESTREAM


By Jen Wade
Photos: Nina Megger
 

Created by: abruno - 08/11/22

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