Spanish rain holds out for RMCET Winter Cup Qualifying Friday

Columns: Races
Friday’s official timed practice at the Rotax Max Challenge Euro Trophy Winter Cup managed to see the program uninterrupted by the unexpected icy, wet weather that has broken a dry spell not far from Malaga in Spain. With Qualifying Practice for the five Rotax classes scheduled by event organisers WSK Promotion at Kart Centre Campillos before the lunch break, participants were hoping the heavens did not open up as they had during the unofficial day’s training on Thursday.

Track conditions were still cold and wet from the overnight rain, but all of the qualifying groups that followed were out on slick MOJO Racing Tyres; although at times under threat of showers. In the overall rankings, the grids were confirmed for the heat races in the afternoon – with one particular result that was made even more special by some surprising news coming out of Formula One today. 

Mini MAX – Albert Friend at the top
Albert Friend posted the best lap in the Mini MAX session, just short of a full grid of young Rotax racers from a line-up bringing together 15 countries this weekend. The 2022 RMCET Winter Cup champion outpaced one of his closes rivals Zdenek Babicek by 0.113 seconds over the 5 laps. Local club member Hugo Fuentes Luque secured P3 against two regular RMCET front-runners in the class.

Mini MAX - Qualifying Practice
1. Albert Friend (GBR)   1:08.428  
Strawberry Racing-OTK-MOJO
2. Zdenek Babicek (CZE)   
TEPZ Racing Team-MS-MOJO
3. Hugo Fuentes Luque (SPA)   
Karting Club Campillos-Parolin-MOJO

Junior MAX – Jacob Ashcroft on track for another title
Three teammates shared the top rankings in the final summary of the Junior MAX qualifying, led by lasts year’s Mini MAX winner at the RMCET Winter Cup, Jacob Ashcroft, the world-ranked #3 from the RMCGF 2023 in Bahrain. P2 went to Toms Strele, leader of the Group 1 session, while another British driver, Cameron Nelson, came next as the second quickest behind the pole-sitter in Group 2. Second best time behind the Latvian Strele was the little Spaniard from Campillos Jeremy Reuvers. 

Junior MAX - Qualifying Practice
1. Jacob Ashcroft (GBR)   1:04.170 
Dan Holland Racing-LN-MOJO
2. Toms Strele (LAT)   
Dan Holland Racing-LN-MOJO
3. Cameron Nelson (GBR)   
Dan Holland Racing-LN-MOJO 

Senior MAX – Pole for rookie Thomas Bearman and his brother! 
2022 RMC Winter Cup Junior vice champ Thomas Bearman hit the spotlight in Spain Friday to secure pole position in the Senior MAX category against a number of the world’s best, from 90 competitors. Following on from his own brother Oliver’s pole in F2 yesterday in Jeddah and surprise debut for Ferrari in F1 [replacing an ill Carlos Sainz], it was a brilliant result to get the weekend underway. One of the most accredited karters in Rotax Racing today, Kai Hunter, narrowly missed out on the top place by 0.058 seconds with the quickest lap in Group 1, while Lewis Gilbert ranked P3 with his lap to lead the Group 2 session. Germany’s Austin Lee, on P2 in the third group behind Bearman, was the first non-UK entry and ranked P4 ahead of Belgian Vic Stevens, who was second to Hunter before the weather brought a sprinkle of rain soon after. Celebrating International Women’s Day with a P2 in Group 3, Alpine F1 Team Rac(H)er programme Lizzy Mentier (GBR) takes a bow for the ladies racing around the world to rank P6 overall. The Seniors will compete in 5 heat races each this weekend. 

Senior MAX - Qualifying Practice
1. Thomas Bearman (GBR)   1:03.520 
KR Sport-Kosmic-MOJO
2. Kai Hunter (GBR)   
Hunter Motorsport-LN-MOJO
3. Lewis Gilbert (GBR)   
Kraft Motorsport-Tony Kart-MOJO

Rotax DD2 – Reigning #1 Ragnar Veerus stamps his authority
Reigning Rotax RMC Grand Finals DD2 champion Ragnar Veerus joins a long line of Estonians who have excelled at the highest level in Rotax Racing, now he’s added pole position at the RMCET Winter Cup to his impressive profile. Setting a best lap only 0.042 seconds faster than last season’s RMC International Trophy winner Antoine Barbaroux and in P3 it was Denmark’s William Kristensen ranking P3, who also shared the grid in Le Mans in 2023. 

Rotax DD2 - Qualifying 
1. Ragnar Veerus (EST)   1:02.395
Kivi Racing Team-BirelART-MOJO
2. Antoine Barbaroux (FRA)  
3. William Kristensen (DNK)   
RS Competition-Tony Kart-MOJO

Rotax DD2 Masters – Euro champ Nicolas Picot outpaces defending titleholder
The outstanding two-speed gearbox drivers at the RMC Euro Trophy continue to fight it out within the battles of the top contenders in the Rotax DD2 class – where this weekend is no exception. The defending champion Nicolas Picot set the record straight from day one of official proceedings at the Winter Cup in Spain, albeit with the defending champion Martynas Tankevicius on his bumper in qualifying and aiming to make it a hat-trick. Fabian Bock ranked P3 and just several places behind in the mid-field for P4 in the Masters rankings was another familiar DD2 champion Haralds Garkaklis.

Rotax DD2 Masters - Qualifying Practice 
1. Nicolas Picot (FRA)   1:02.745
Tony Kart-MOJO 
2. Martynas Tankevicius (LTU)   
Lenktyniu Linija-BirelART-MOJO
3. Fabian Bock (DEU)   
Kraft Motorsport-Tony Kart-MOJO

All the racing action returns on track Saturday at Kart Centre Campillos with the qualifying heats from 10:50 – 17:40. 

Follow the LIVE TIMING at


Livestream on Sunday
Pre-finals and Finals will be broadcast via Live Streaming on Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy's Facebook page, RMCET website, and YouTube.

Facebook – ROTAX MAX Euro Trophy 
Web –
Web –
YouTube –

(Text Jen Wade Photo HelloFoto - WSK Promotion)

Created by: abruno - 08/03/24

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