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Another successful Rotax Grand Finals edition went in the books, with record participation, top racing action in the typical relaxed ambience of the most popular single-make trophy in the world.
At the party, the announcement of next year’s Grand Finals location was already anticipated. The 2011 Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals will be going back to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi at the Al Ain Raceway in the city of Al Ain.

Get all 2010 Grand Finals results, pics and videos here

Pictures B.Kaligis

On Sunday 21st the final day of racing of the 2010 Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals was blessed once again by cool but clear weather, just the perfect conditions for fast times around the track.

After the drivers parade, the Junior MAX final was set to take place. Aitken took the lead followed by Rump and Wagner, who went past the two for the lead on lap 10. Two laps later Hand and Aitken touched sending the latter back to 22nd. This left Wagner in the lead followed by Jack Barlow (UK). At that point the top two began to squabble over the lead allowing the pack behind to catch up. Going into the final lap Wagner and Barlow swapped places a couple times and touched hard on the far side of the track and all of the sudden, it was if the top eight drives all went into a scrum over the lead, Emerging on top were Joel Affolter (NED) and Alvaro Otero (ESP) who battled into the final hairpin. Contact sent Otero onto the grass and slowed Affolter. Taking the lead was Rump, signalled by a huge cheer from the blue and white section of the grandstand. So Martin Rump ran out the Junior MAX Grand Final Champion over Jordi Van Moorsel (NED) and Joel Affolter (NED).
After an emotional victory celebration and podium celebration, it turns out the drama wasn’t over. About 45 minutes later, it was announced that Rump had been disqualified for running his seat struts in an unapproved manner. It was a disappointing turn of events for the Estonian team, but decisions like this have to be made to keep the playing field as level as possible. The DQ gave the top two positions to Holland and elevated Pierce Lehane of Australia to third.

Going into Senior Max Final turn one, American Daniel Formal got hit from behind and many karts in the pack scattered to avoid contact, with some actually managing to do so. Coming from the back in a big charge was top qualifying Edward Brand (UK) who went from 33rd at the start to 17th at the end of the first lap before crashing back into the pack again. On a bigger move was South Africa’s Caleb Williams who went from 32nd at the start, to 11th at the end of the first lap, then ninth and up to seventh by the end of lap three. During all this, it was Canadian Pier-Luc Ouellette leading until lap seven when Hart took back the top spot he had lost at the start. On lap 15 Caleb Williams, the defending DD2 champion from Sharm el Sheikh, completed his ascendance by taking the lead after his start in the back of the pack. Also on the move was Formal. After getting punted off on the first lap and falling back to 20th, he went about a steady recovery to bring himself back into the top ten, eventually passing three karts on the last lap to finish fifth. But up front it was South Africa again with Williams celebrating their ninth Rotax Grand Final championship, an astonishing record from a country with such a relatively small karting community. Hart took the runner-up spot ahead of Austria’s Ferenc Kancsar.

As the sun started to set behind the trees, the DD2 final got underway and we were on the final race at La Conca for 2010. At the end of the first lap Lithuania’s Simas Juodvirsis held his lead from pole position, but lost it to Estonian Georg Vann on the next lap. Vann held the lead with Belgian Maik Barten right behind for the next several laps. On lap 13 Maik made his move for the lead and about that time Georg fell back to fifth before dropping out of the race. By this time, Canadian Daniel Morad had made his way to second after coming across the line in ninth on the first lap. Although the top karts were racing close, Maik Barten still held the lead and looked like he was in control for the victory.
With two laps to go, Barten and Morad had pulled out a small lead over Matthew Hamilton (NZL) and Simas Juodvirsus (LTU) and looked set to settle the championship between themselves. With one lap to go Morad had assumed the lead only to have Barten fight back. The lead changed hands on the last lap with both drivers having the top spot at some point. Coming out of the final hairpin Morad had the inside line and was ahead but Maik Barten had more momentum. As the two drivers screamed to the finish line they were almost side-by side. Crossing the stripe is was the Canadian Morad just barely in the lead for an amazing victory, with Barten and Hamilton rounding up the podium.
Just as they had done in their heat races, the DD2 Masters put on a fantastic show, proving that you don’t have to beat and bang on each other real hard to have good racing. In the Final Hungary’s Gerry Hargitai got knocked out of the way into turn 1, and South African Gary Marias got tagged and went for a 360 spin right in the middle of the pack. The action wasn’t quite over as in turn three we had another pile up, this time involving five karts. As Kroes assumed the lead, Scott Campbell (CAN) fell back to fifth, but the seven-time Grand Final competitor quickly set about getting back to the front. By lap six the Canadian was in the lead and looked set to take his first Grand Finals victory. Kroes was having none of it though and stayed right on Scott’s bumper until the final lap when he dove under Scott to take the lead. Throughout the entire last lap the two experienced racers fought hard for the lead only just ahead of Sweden’s Martin Victorsson and Stephane Picque of France. One corner Kroes held the advantage, the next it was Campbell. In the end, Scott won the race and celebrated a very popular win.

As always the podium celebrations were full of cheer. This year’s Nation’s Cup went to Spain with Estonia in second place and Australia third.

The finals of the Tire changing World Championship held during Sunday night closing party ended the 2010 Rotax MAX Grand Finals.
At the party, the announcement of next year’s Grand Finals location was already anticipated. The 2011 Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals will be going back to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi at the Al Ain Raceway in the city of Al Ain.

Get all 2010 Grand Finals results, pics and videos here








Junior Max
1) Van Moorsel (Holland); 2) Affolter (Holland); 3) Lehane (Australia); 4) Barlow (United Kingdom); 5) Neri (United States of America)
Senior Max
1) Williams (South Africa); 2) Hart (New Zealand); 3) Kancsar (Austria); 4) Jensen (Denmark); 5) Formal (USA)
1) Morad (Canada); 2) Barten (Belgium); 3) Hamilton (New Zealand); 4) Juodvirsis (Lithuania); 5) Huber (Germany)
DD2 Masters
1) Campbell (Canada); 2) Kroes (Holland); 3) Victorsson (Sweden); 4) Picque (France); 5) Santander (Spain)

Created by: - 22/11/10

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