A beautiful sunny day at the fabulous Erftlandring in Kerpen welcomed drivers from different countries in the Rotax Micro MAX and Mini MAX classes. To make the day complete, the RMC Grand Festival was held together with the 5th round of the Dutch Rotax MAX Challenge, organised and promoted by Chrono Karting. Exciting races in all classes and the great weather made for a fabulous day in Germany.
Qualifying for Micro MAX saw two packs established within the field, where the first three competitors posted quicker times. Albert Friend took top spot with Ryan Rijvers and Senn Lindeman close by. James van der Pol was fourth fastest over Vic van Campenhout.
The Pre-Final took a somewhat unexpected turn as Friend and Lindeman drove away with a clear gap, leaving Rijvers to come under pressure from Van der Pol in P4. Rijvers having been really close to the first two in qualifying, was unable to match their pace. Lindeman followed Friend closely throughout the race, making his move two minutes before the end. With the Dutch driver leading, the focus was on Friend to make the move for the win, which he eventually managed to do in the last lap, thus winning the Pre-Final for Micro MAX.
The Final was yet again something no-one expected. This time Rijvers made a great start from grid 3, getting into P1 after the first couple of corners, with Friend in hot pursuit. Lindeman had trouble starting on the outside of row 1, dropped back a couple of places, but was then unable to match the pace of the two leaders in front. This meant Rijvers and Friend opened up a gap to Lindeman in 3rd, with Van der Pol and Van Campenhout battling for 4th and 5th. Four laps to the end, Friend made a similar move to Rijvers as he did in the Pre-Final to Lindeman. This time around, Rijvers was not having any of it and was back into P1 straight away at the other end of the circuit. What followed was a beautiful race between
Rijvers and Friend for the first position, with the young Brit ultimately pulling a small gap with two laps remaining. Rijvers was unable to profit from the slipstream then, resulting in a great win for Albert Friend.With this really nice race,he secured a ticket to the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Portimão later this year. Rijvers would end the final in 2nd position and Lindeman came home in 3rd.
Fast times in Mini MAX qualifying were set very quickly as the Mojo C2 rubber did not need a long time to get up to temperature in the German sun. Jacob Ashcroft was the one executing this session better then the competition, claiming pole position by 0.285 seconds ahead of Luke Kornder and Boaz Maximov. Margins throughout the field were small, as they were all bunched up, trying to get a slipstream from one another.Nobody did the Pre-Final start better than Maximov, coming from the inside of row 2 to lead at the end of the first lap by a little over one second.
Ashcroft, though, soon proved why he was pole by a considerable margin; he closed the gap right up and overtook Maximov for the lead. He then proceeded to drive of into the distance, ultimately winning by 3.9 seconds.
The fighting throughout the field was tense, as the start had created a shuffle in positions, with some of the frontrunners ending up in the tail-end of the top 10 and vice versa. Luke Kornder ultimately ended up fighting his way back to the front, just coming up short to overtake Gabrijel Hofmann, who managed to finish in 3rd place.For the Final, Maximov pulled the same trick out of the bag that he’d used for the Pre-Final start. Again just over a second clear from the field, Jacob Ashcroft tried his hardest to close the gap to Maximov, in which he succeeded quickly this time.
Unlike the race prior, Ashcroft wasn’t able to pass Maximov for the lead straight away because the leader had created some effective defending techniques which didn’t cost him a lot of time. Further back, Mats van Rooijen also made a great start, coming to the front of the field. He then got caught up in a great three-way fight for the final step on the podium with Gabrijel Hofmann and Luke Kornder.
After multiple position changes, Hofmann came out on top of that battle to take P3. Kornder and Van Rooijen had to settle for 4th and 5th. While the fighting was going on behind them, and the minutes were ticking down, Ashcorft was still trying to get past Maximov. Until the start of the final lap, Maximov was able to keep Ashcroft behind, but he made a crucial mistake, by going into turn 2 a little too quick trying to defend. Maximov then ran slightly wide, which was enough for Ashcroft to inherit the lead, with just under a lap to go. With this move, Ashcroft secured his first position and more crucially, his ticket to the 2022 Rotax Grand Finals.
Next to the great races in the Micro and Mini MAX RMC Grand Festival, the other races in the DRMC provided great entertainment at the magical Kerpen circuit. Chrono Karting would like to wish the best of luck to the winners of the Rotax Grand Finals tickets and they will be able to count on the support of the ‘inexhaustible’ Dutch Lion! [who had also been on track supporting all the competitors.]