Meet the drivers who beat the rest at the Rotax Euro #2

Columns: Interview
The second hard-fought edition of the Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy at ProKart Raceland in Germany saw a change in the leaders heading the competitive fields in some of the classes, although the top ranking in the overall classification was only impacted in one category. Former Senior MAX RMCET champion Sean Butcher didn’t win the round, but does lead the four-round series now at the halfway stage of the season.

The debut of the German Euro Cup by Mini MAX was won by the two-time RMCET Winter Cup champion, Albert Friend, who was awarded with his RMC Grand Finals 2024 ticket at the prize-giving in Wackersdorf. This was also the first round of the RMCET Rotax E20 series for the year, which recently made history when it became the first CIK-FIA Approved International Series for Electrically Powered Karts worldwide. In addition to this, the Rotax E20 drivetrain received CIK-FIA Approval making it the first E-Kart to be given this certification in karting. There are two Italian rounds still remaining in the RMCET E20 Senior and E20 Masters. RMCGF tickets to the showdown in Sarno this October in the Rotax Senior MAX, DD2 and both E20 classes are on the line for the top competitors in the final standings.

Here’s what the winners had to say following their successful weekend at the round 2 event…

German Euro Cup by Mini MAX
Albert Friend  (GBR) Strawberry Racing Team – Tony Kart
Albie is undeniably one of the most accomplished young drivers for his age of 11 in Rotax racing from the UK. He has RMC Winter Cup titles, RMCIT Le Mans and twice RMC Grand Festival winner, as well as vice British Champion. His move to the official Tony Kart outfit with the Strawberry Racing Junior Team has continued to fuel his success over the past seasons, as he follows in the footsteps of a long list of previous champions. Before round 2, he said his goals were clear; to win in Germany and the RMC Euro Trophy Series in Italy. “We had a great weekend with speed right from practice. The racing was tough as it was hard to get away so I just tried to lead every lap I could. We won all the heats and then the pre-final Sunday was a hard fight, but I came out on top. For the final I knew it would be close, but I managed to lead pretty much the whole race and I was so pleased to win. I now have my fourth ticket to a Rotax Grand Finals and I cannot wait to race there again this year! Thanks to my team and my teammates, who helped massively in the racing to give us this success!”

Rotax Junior MAX
Casper Nissen (DNK)
RS Competition – OTK
Casper is 14 and comes from Denmark. After winning his initial heat race at Wackersdorf, he and one of his RS Competition teammates crossed the finish line to secure the victory in both pre-finals Sunday. This ultimately put Casper on pole for the final where he led with a gap of over three seconds at the chequered flag. This has now pushed the Dane up the championship rankings to sit only eight points behind the leader and round 1 winner. “It was a really exciting weekend! To be competing for the top 3 and end up in the first position was great. The [ProKart Raceland] track is a little challenging; with a big straight, some fast corners and the chicane, but I really like it. It’s very good to have collected many points for the championship now, so we’re looking forward to Italy to get more points. I’ve already driven at both Franciacorta and Lonato tracks for testing, so I think it’s going to be a lot of fun racing there. I’m happy for the result and could not have done it without my mechanic Bennet and my engine man JVD. I want to say thank you to my parents for making it possible for me to have this opportunity to race and be able to be so competitive at this level. Thanks also to all my supporters and friends back at home who watch the racing online too.”

Rotax Senior MAX
Matthew Higgins (GBR)
Dan Holland Racing – LN
Matthew announced earlier this year that he would be competing in the UK’s GT Cup Championship driving an Aston Martin. His karting credentials include winning the British Championship, British Open, BNL Kick-Off and Rotax Festival, plus vice champion at the RMC International Trophy. He continues to race with his team at DHR when possible and was outstanding in Wackersdorf, never dropping below P2 in any of the races. This round was his. “It was a great weekend and a solid team effort. It’s been a long time coming and definitely feels like redemption from Genk, after getting taken out whilst going for the lead [at round 1]. I can’t thank enough all of the boys and girls at Dan Holland Racing and Time Racing Engines for the relentless work to give me such a great package.”
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Rotax DD2
Enzo Bol (NLD)
SP Motorsport – KR
The 16-year-old from the Netherlands was the runner-up in the Rotax DD2 class at the RMCET 2023 in his rookie season out of Junior MAX. Unfortunately, an illness right before the RMC Grand Finals in Bahrain prevented him from representing his national team once again for a chance to become the Rotax DD2 Champion. As an official team driver for SP Motorsport, Enzo’s program this year included racing at international level in the shifter category as well, but his heart still belongs to the 2-speed. He won the first round of the series at Karting Genk in Belgium and has returned to seal the second. “This weekend in DD2 was a rollercoaster. We had planned to drive at Wackersdorf for training as I compete in the German DKM KZ class, so needed the experience. We didn’t think we would be good enough for the drivers in European DD2. They are all fast. We arrived Thursday and had four practice sessions. But again the kart felt great, just as it did when we raced at the opening round in Genk, although the real pace of the others was not there. On Friday, however, we were stronger then I could have thought. We took pole in qualifying and P1 in the first heat. Saturday was great. The weather beautiful and I was more and more in sync with the track. P1 in both heats! Sunday was pfffff! In warm up P1, but in the superheat disaster happened. I went from P1 to P4 and I couldn’t get it right. It was a wake up that the level of racing is super high. I struggled to fight back to P3, but then I didn’t see a slow zone and I overtook… so got a well-deserved 10 second penalty. In the final the kart was amazing. Starting from P4, I overtook my friend Patriks Locmelis and Xen de Ruwe, who were fast the whole weekend. With only some laps left I pushed, but felt relaxed because the kart was so good. The last lap was a thriller! Maxim Shchurko was quick all weekend, yet because of his little mistake in one of the last corners in the closing minutes, I won the final. I’m not sure what we will decide about the rest of the series, due to my other racing commitments. Because I love DD2.”

Rotax DD2 Masters
Nicolas Picot (FRA)
NPS Kart – Tony Kart
Nicolas is a one-man band to a degree, at least when it comes to competing at the RMCET, working alone as his own mechanic while racing. On any other day at home, he is the team boss at NPS Kart. Last year his main objective was to win the European Rotax title and join Team France at the RMCGF. He’s been a multiple French karting champion and fought for the podium on every account, since he qualified in Senior MAX, at eight RMC Grand Finals to date. Now he is well on track to successfully defend his Euro title in the DD2 Masters, making it a double round victory already this year to be leading the 2024 series. “It was a perfect weekend in Masters and still being in the battle with the leading DD2s to finish top 5 overall. This is a good outlook for the championship.”

Rotax E20 Senior
Spencer Brougham (GBR)
AKK Sportsti – Sodikart
In a late decision to join the E-Kart grid once more, the E20 Senior runner-up from the RMCGF in Bahrain and Euro Trophy final round winner from the PFI edition in 2023 took the honours at the first race of the championship in Germany. His story, similar to so many drivers passionate about karting and racing, began when he was only seven with rental karts. After getting his own kart at 10 and going on to win at club level, he achieved vice champion status at the Rotax E Plate last year. 18-year-old Spencer was selected to be a student at the Motorsport UK Academy at Loughborough College in the UK studying a Diploma in Sporting Excellence in Motorsport. He’s aiming for career in racing. “It was great to be back in the E20, but I lacked more track time, having made the choice with this opportunity to compete at the last minute. The final proved to be a challenging race. I worked my up to P3 from the start and shortly after, found a way into P2. With the leader having a slight gap, I managed to catch up and pass him. From here I managed the race brilliantly using my pace when I needed to and not over drive the kart. Going onto the last lap I had to defend slightly, but could hold on to take the win. It felt incredible, knowing all the hard work my dad and I had put in had paid off. I was absolutely delighted with the result and hope to carry the momentum into the future.”

Rotax E20 Masters
Hector Ramirez (CHI)
Sodikart
Hector has a long history in motorsport and still competes in Rotax racing at home in Chile. He has been a BRP-Rotax partner for many years with a number of the brand products as well. This will be his third season in the E-Kart, where he has raced in most of the championships throughout Europe and the E20 class at the RMCGF in recent seasons. He is working to bring the electric racing concept to his own country and share the new experience with more drivers from South America. “It was a long wait after the first RMCET round in Genk was cancelled. I had to wait until Wackersdorf and had never run on this circuit, so it took me a little bit to understand the track. But finally, we were able to do the laps and I had to do a double effort to compete with the E20 Seniors! For me, with 69 years of age, to be running in this type of event – it’s just amazing! I hope to come back to race at the next round of the series in Franciacorta, Italy in July.”

Round 3 begins the second half of the series with the Italian part of the championship kicking off on July 5-7 at the Franciacorta circuit in Brescia province, close to Milan.
Be sure to check out more news and interviews coming soon from the RMCET on Vroomkart.com and join us on social media for all the latest updates.

RESULTS
https://www.wskarting.it/results/rotax_euro_results_round2.asp

Media links: YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@RotaxMAXChallengeEuroTrophy
Web – https://www.rotaxmaxchallenge-eurotrophy.com
Facebook & Instagram – Rotax MAX Euro Trophy
Get the ROTAX RACING news at https://www.rotax-racing.com/ & Social Media @rotaxkarting

Text Jen Wade – Photos HelloFoto

 

Created by: cggiuliano - 21/06/24

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