Wackersdorf welcomes back the Rotax Euro

Columns: Races
Today sees the second round of the Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy (RMCET) return to the fast and challenging ProKart Raceland circuit in Germany for what is set to be another exciting weekend of competition

Following the opening edition of the four-round Rotax series at Karting Genk ‘Home of Champions’ in mid-April, the anticipation has been building for the showdown in Bavaria. With an entry list of 180 registered drivers from more than 30 countries lining up on the grid, it’s bound to offer some interesting racing for what is undoubtedly the most competitive championship on the Rotax international calendar. Wackersdorf is ready to bring out the best for all the participants and their supporters, with sunny skies and warm temperatures forecast throughout the event.

ProKart Raceland owner Stephan Fritsch is pleased to welcome the RMCET here once again, “For me, it’s always a very nice and big event, and I like it very much to have all the Rotax family as guests. We have nice weather, we are prepared and we are looking forward to a great weekend. Out team tries to take care of everyone, the drivers, teams and race fans, to ensure they have whatever they need to enjoy the experience with us here at Wackersdorf. I would say this is our biggest goal.”

When it comes to the competition for the all-important points and the amazing prizes being offered this year, the race is already well underway. Six Rotax classes will be contested on the program, including the German Cup by Mini MAX for the first time. The one-off race will crown the 2024 champion and also award another RMC Grand Finals ticket to the winner, as was the case in Belgium at round 1. Two different drivers took the victory at the RMCET Winter Cup in Campillos, Spain and the first round of the series in Genk, each joining the full grid of youngsters in the line-up this weekend.

Rotax Winter Cup champ, Albert Friend (Strawberry Racing-Tony Kart), arrived at this circuit for the first time in his short, yet extremely successful career and the UK driver is fast from the onset, “the track is very technical and I really enjoy it. I like how there are some banked corners with various changes in the layout. I’m fast at the moment so hopefully I can do well for qualifying and that will set me up for the rest of the races. I’m feeling quite confident, now we just need to get the kart set-up and race package right for the conditions. As for the level of the field in Mini MAX, it was competitive last year and is competitive again this year. My goal is to aim for the championship win in Italy.”

Czech driver Zdenek Babicek (TEPZ Racing-MS Kart), who won the Belgian Cup by Mini MAX in April, has already secured his place on the grid at the RMCGF in October. He comes into the event with local track knowledge, living only a few hours away, “it’s a very nice track and I’m excited for the racing now, so we’ll see how it goes. The pace is there, which is good, but the competition is always tough and it’s never easy to win a race in this series. I’ll try my very best, as I always do, to win here.”

In Rotax Junior MAX, there are numerous competitors who are likely candidates for a podium finish at round 2, which brings together a mix of budding talent from across the globe. This includes some of the quick and highly competitive rookies making their race debut at Wackersdorf. At the top of the leaderboard following a dominant performance at Genk, British front-runner Jacob Ashcroft (Dan Holland Racing-LN) has his sights set on repeating his RMCET winning streak from Mini MAX in 2023, “I quite like the track, it’s fast and flowing, which suits my style. There are lots of opportunities to overtake, so I think this is going to be good for the racing, and it’s pretty grippy when it gets hot too. I’m feeling good about this season now, after scoring maximum points at Genk, so I just want to do the same at every round to win the championship.”

Belgium’s Vic Stevens (Bouvin Power-Tony Kart) took the honours at his home track to seal the first round victory in Rotax Senior MAX. Of course, he’s facing the massive challenge to match it with some of the world’s best in this class, including many more experienced drivers with impressive credentials. He knows the focus is now on continuing to collect the points and hang onto the top spot in the series, if possible, “I’m real excited about the weekend, a lot of pressure because I’m leading the championship, but we’ll see how it goes. The pace is good. I really like the circuit – it’s definitely one of my favourites. I like driving here seeing it’s very fast, but also has technical parts. There are a lot of elevation changes, but overall it’s a bit like Genk where you can overtake in a lot of places. There’s a fair amount of pressure at this European championship, high level of competition with many fast drivers, so it’s always hard.”

Heading the field in Rotax DD2 after a blistering appearance in the two-speed class at the RMCET, last year’s vice champion Enzo Bol (SP Motorsport-KR) is eager to stretch his lead. The 16-year-old from the Netherlands was a standout as a rookie in the class in 2023, straight out of Juniors. With just one day of practice, he’s not as prepared as he might like, but still confident, “I have only raced in DD2 once this year in Genk and trained for one day yesterday here, so I think to be quite fast already is really a good thing. There’s a lot of grip here this week too. For sure it was good that we had such a full field in Genk and this week there are a lot of the strong drivers who were there too. But still, I think the class is really competitive here at the Euro and it’s nice to race them.”

Nicolas Picot (NPS Racing-Tony Kart) is also aiming to take the winner’s trophy home to France again this round in the 32+ years class. He runs the international series single-handed, working alone as the mechanic, competitor and team boss. It won’t be unusual to see the multiple French Champion racing at the front of the field within the combined DD2 and DD2 Masters class this weekend. “It’s good to be here once more and I like it. It’s very different from Genk as well and a good track. After the success at the first round racing separately in the Masters, we will see how it goes this time racing amongst the much younger guys and fighting for positions with them.”

The first edition of three rounds kicks off for the Rotax E20 electric kart championship at ProKart, where the ‘Arrive & Drive’ concept recently held the collective testing for both the Senior and Masters drivers. The 1,190-metre-long high profile circuit provides an ideal location with its more sustainable approach to karting wining the facility infrastructure. The instant acceleration, incredible power and strategic Boost feature make it something special to experience. In addition to the unique chance to compete in the CIK-FIA Approved new generation E-Kart, there are four RMCGF tickets up for grabs to qualify for the season highlight event in Sarno, Italy in Senior MAX, DD2 and the E20 categories for the leading contenders in the overall series rankings this year. 

Friday’s schedule began with the final sessions of official practice prior to qualifying, followed by the initial stage of the heats for all categories in the afternoon. The racing continues all day Saturday to determine the grids for Sunday’s Pre-Finals. This is the last chance for drivers to qualify for the Finals later in the day and gain those vital points for the championship standings. 
You can follow the action online as it happens with the live timing and watch all the racing Sunday via the livestream. 
Results from Wackersdorf and the latest news updates can be found on the official RMC Euro Trophy website

Saturday: 11.00 – 17.30     
Qualifying Heat Races    


LIVE STREAMING – Pre-Finals from 10.15 Sunday


Facebook – ROTAX MAX Euro Trophy 

Stay updated with all the latest ROTAX RACING news at https://www.rotax-racing.com/
Follow on social @rotaxkarting

Text Jen Wade  Photo HelloFoto

Created by: abruno - 07/06/24

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