On track action at the RMC Euro Trophy in Genk

The Home of Champions set the stage for the first round of the Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy. With 5 categories in competition, 239 drivers vied for the three podium spots and, in the case of Mini MAX, which contested the Belgian Cup by Mini MAX, also the ticket to participate in the 2024 Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals scheduled for late October at the Circuito Internazionale Napoli.

Zdenek Babicek (TEPZ Racing), Jacob Ashcroft (Dan Holland Racing), Vic Stevens (Bouvin Power), Enzo Bol (SP Motorsport), and Nicolas Picot (Privateer) are the winners.

Babicek, Win and Ticket!

Both the Genk race and the upcoming one in Wackersdorf are single round trophies for Mini MAX, and both award a ticket to the RMC Grand Finals to the winner. In Belgium, in the Belgian Cup by Mini MAX, Zdenek Babicek brings home the cup and the ticket at the climax of an almost perfect weekend. Babicek sets the 2nd fastest time in his qualifying group, behind the overall pole-sitter and one of the frontrunners, Dutchman AJ Burggraaff (SP Motorsport). Burggraaff secures a win, a 2nd, and a 5th place in the heats and sits 3rd after the heats, while Babicek wins them all, confirming 1st. Starting from 10th position, Campillos winner Albert Friend (Strawberry Racing) climbs to 2nd. Tom Read (Strawberry Racing) and Oliver Warner (Dan Holland Racing) complete the top 5 after heats.

Sunday morning sees Babicek maintaining his lead, winning Pre-Final A, while in B, Estonian Nikita Ljubimov (Bouvin Power) clinches success. Despite being 7th overall, the victory boosts Ljubimov's position.

In the 9 laps of the final, there is no shortage of drama: while Babicek sets his pace, behind him, it's a demolition derby. Friend exits, as do Read and Oliver Spencer (Dan Holland Racing). The same fate befalls Burggraaff. Accompanying winner Babicek on the podium are Vince Vanderhallen (Bouvin Power) and Warner. Ljubimov finishes 8th.

1. Z. Babicek
2. V. Vanderhallen
3. O. Warner

Ashcroft, Still the One

Once again, Jacob Ashcroft (Dan Holland Racing) proves to be the one to beat in Junior MAX. Despite different weather conditions, characterized by warm air and dry track, Ashcroft remains in the lead. The opponents may change; in addition to teammates Cameron Nelson and Toms Strele, who rank 4th and 5th in qualifying, Dragos Avasilcutei (MKC Motorsport), 2nd in qualifying and group poleman, and Boaz Maximov of Bouvin Power, 3rd, join the “win-club”. Ashcroft, Strele, Maximov, and Nelson maintain their positions in the heats; while an unfortunate series of pushes Avasilcutei back to 7th place. Noah Janssen (Doerr Motorsport) and Ties van Wijk (Bouvin Power) join the game.

Ashcroft wins Pre-Final A, while in B, Thijs Stevens (Privateer) surprises everyone. The final race begins, and pole-sitter Ashcroft opens up a gap, while behind him, all sorts of things happen; a collision removes Strele and Nelson from contention, as they self-eliminate from the podium battle. Finishing 2nd and 3rd are van Wijk and Maximov.

1.  J. Ashcroft
2. T. Van Wijk
3. B. Maximov

Senior MAX
Karting Genk: The Home of Stevens

The Senior MAX category undoubtedly kept spectators glued to the on-track action. If until Sunday morning it seemed like a "monologue" dominated by Macauley Bishop of Dan Holland Racing, the Final completely flipped the outcome. Bishop was undoubtedly the standout performer on the 1360 meters of Karting Genk throughout the weekend; he almost achieved a clean sweep by securing pole position and being the best placed after heats. But motorsport is never predictable. And the competitors emerged in a Final full of episodes.

At the start of the Final, Bishop lost the lead and dropped to 11th position. Sean Butcher (KR Sport) seized the opportunity and took the lead, followed by Mark Kimber (Strawberry Racing), Matthew Higghins (Dan Holland Racing), and Lewis Gilbert (Kraft Motorsport). Butcher collided with Higghins while battling for the lead, while Kimber, who seemed destined for victory, was overtaken by Bishop on the final lap. Bishop, who went from 1st to 11th and then managed to regain the lead, seemed poised to seal the deal. However, a bumper penalty cost him the win, which fell into the hands of the home hero Vic Stevens (Bouvin Power), followed by Austin Lee (Kraft Motorsport) and Ethan Jeff-Hall (Sam Pollitt Racing).

1. V. Stevens
2. A. Lee 
3. E. Jeff-Hall

Bol Surprises Everyone

Runner-up in 2023, last-minute entry in Genk: the story of Enzo Bol (SP Motorsport) and the weekend in Genk is something that will mark the 2024 Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy. Bol qualifies 3rd on Friday, behind Paul Fourquemin (DAEMS Racing) and David Aulejtner (Schepers Racing). In the series of heats, the Dutchman Bol emerges, taking the lead. Patriks Locmelis (MRG Racing), 9th in qualifying, climbs to 2nd place with a win, a 2nd, and a 4th place. Two unfortunate heats send Aulejtner plummeting to 24th, making his weekend an uphill battle.

Bol and Locmelis confirm their positions in the Pre-finals and in the Final, finishing 1st and 2nd. Exciting is the battle for 3rd place, which sees Bende Szabo (Privateer) prevailing.

1. E. Bol
2. Locmelis
3. B. Szabo

DD2 Masters
Picot dominates the way

1. N. Picot
2. H. Garkaklis
3. I. Kukhin

Complete results and championship standings:

Nicolas Picot (Privateer) confirms his top form, making himself the protagonist of a perfect weekend in Masters. The Frenchman never questions victory, securing pole position, 1st place after the heats, victory in the Pre-final, and victory in the Final. Haralds Garkaklis (Privateer) and the Cypriot Igor Mukhin (Privateer) emerge in the Genk weekend, completing the category podium.

The second round of the Rotax MAX Challenge Euro Trophy is scheduled for early June, from the 7th to the 9th, in Germany at the Prokart Raceland in Wackersdorf.

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