Setting the stage for a competitive weekend of racing, the qualifying sessions lit the timing screens up at the RMCET Winter Cup on Friday afternoon at the Karting International Campillos circuit in Spain. With around 180 drivers on the start grid, the first of the RMC Euro Trophy events for the season officially launches the year off under the Andalusian sun.
The RMCET Winter Cup is returning to Karting Campillos for the third time since 2020 as host to the first event on the international calendar for event organiser and promoter Camp Company. It has proven to be an ideal location for competitors to get back on track again. With qualifying done and the heat racing underway, the bar has been set high for the field in the five Rotax classes.
Leading the way in Mini MAX, the current Rotax Grand Finals vice champion, Britain’s Jacob Ashcroft 1:074.439 has set the pace in group 1 in the field of 34 drivers. Quickest in Group 2 was Zdenek Babicek (CZE) and local Mini Jeremy Reuvers (ESP) clocking the next best lap ahead of 2021 Rotax Micro MAX champ Nikita Ljubimov (EST).
Junior MAX sees another RMCGF podium place-getter in the top spot with Kasper Schormans (NED). Setting a 1:03.880 to secure pole, he was the only driver to break the 1:04 lap time. Group 2 paceman was Spain’s leading junior on the day, Nikita Nikishov. Boaz Maximov actually had the second best lap overall and second in Group 1 for P3, while Timo Jungling (GBR) was P4.
The Senior MAX class of 77 entries was separated into three groups for timed practice. Impressive as well in Portugal last November, Eliska Babickova (CZE) 1:02.383 posted the quickest lap in Group 1, but it was not good enough to stop one of the best Brit’s in Rotax racing, Kai Hunter, from claiming P1 at Campillos with 1:02.361. Fellow countryman Matthew Higgins 1:02.539 was the best of Group 3 followed by Zsombor Kovacs (HUN) and 2022 world #2 Lewis Gilbert (GBR).
Combined for the season-starter, the DD2 and DD2 Masters categories have made the news! The driver who made everyone sit up and take notice at the 2021 RMC Grand Finals in Bahrain, Tereza Babickova (CZE) has hit the limelight once again on her entry into the DD2 two-speed gearbox class. Similar to her sister in Senior MAX, Tereza stole pole position with a 1:01.721 in the last lap from the former DD2 winner Martijn van Leeuwen (NED) by just 0.009 seconds. Leading Group 2 was Italian Gregorio Bertocco and Patriks Noels Locmelis (LAT) was second in the same group for P4.
Moving up to the DD2 Masters and making his own statement on track, Nicolas Picot (FRA) set a lap of 1:02.072 to be fast enough in Group 2 to finish P4 on the timesheet. RMCET Winter Cup 2022 defending champion Martynas Tankevicius (LTU) was the next to rank P2 in the 32 years+ class from Frenchman Christophe Capitaine.
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Qualifying Heats 09:50
Second Chance Races 10:20
(*CET – local time Spain)