Saturday Report from 2022 Rotax MAX Grand Finals in Portugal
· Maxim Bobreshov denied a podium but his fourth place was Team UAE’s best result;
· Zain Elhommossany, Kyle Kumaran and Tony Hogg enjoy solid showings;
· Bahrain International Circuit to host 2023 Rotax MAX Grand Finals;
(27 November 2022, Portimao, Portugal) Four Team UAE drivers qualified to participate into the final race of the 2022 Rotax MAX Grand Finals in Portugal, with Maxim Bobreshov, Zain Elhommossany, Kyle Kumaran and Tony Hogg in action on Saturday.
The last day, after a week of intense Qualifying and Heat races at the Kartdromo do Algarve, in Portimao, was of course the highlight of the week’s competition pitting the world’s best 394 Rotax, slimmed down to the 36 best in each class from the week’s racing for Saturday’s Grand Finals
Bobreshov started the Micro Max Grand Final on Saturday from second on the grid, leading early on before a red flag was deployed when several drivers crashed at high speed.
After the delay, Bobreshov was again at the sharp end, often setting the pace as the lead swapped on every lap but with a couple of laps to go he was involved in an incident that saw him drop back into the chasing pack, he recovered to finish fourth.
It was an impressive showing by the UAE-based youngster and the best result for Team UAE, albeit missing out on a podium which was claimed by the winner and local hero from Portugal Martim Marques – the 2022 Micro MAX World Champion – with Lithuania’s Majus Mazinas second and Albert Friend third for Team UK.
Kyle Kumaran was the next best-placed driver for Team UAE ending the competition in the DD2 class in 16th overall out of 72 drivers. Race winner, Team UK’s Mark Kimber was crowned 2022 DD2 World Champion.
In the DD2 Masters, Tony Hogg finished 29th for the Team, out of 36 competitors. Lithuania’s Kristaps Gasparovics won the final to take home the DD2 Master’s title.
In the Mini MAX class, Zain Elhommossany was on the back foot after an incident in the first Heat. But he worked at it to book a berth in the Final but starting way down the order he did a sterling job to make up 13 positions and claim 22nd overall in a highly competitive field that began with 72 drivers vying for the big prize.
On a positive note, Christopher El Feghali from Team Lebanon, a frequent campaigner in the UAE Rotax MAX Challenge, was the class of the Mini MAX field this past week, winning all his heats, the Pre-Final and the Final to become the first Lebanese driver to win a karting World Championship.
The remainder of Team UAE drivers, Theo Kekati, Kayne Cherian and Filippo Parmeggiani did not make it into the Finals of their respective classes on Saturday.
Al Ain Raceway and Team UAE Manager, Guy Sheffield summed up Saturday’s Finals at Kartdromo do Algarve: “Seven days of intense karting action went by in a flash with Maxim
delivering our best result with fourth place, which might have been first but the highly competitive nature of the Grand Finals means there is no room for error, and the slightest mistake severely punished.
“Nevertheless, we are proud of what Maxim achieved, showing the level of UAE karting is high, as the best-placed driver in our Team he can leave Portugal with his head held high.
“Zain made the most of just making it into the 36-driver Final, making up over a dozen places in an action-packed race which suggests that without the incident on the first day of racing, he might have finished higher up the order. A solid character building experience for the youngster.
“A special shout out to Christopher El Feghali, a familiar face on the UAE Rotax MAX scene who is Mini MAX World Champion, the Lebanese youngster delivering one of the finest performances of all, this past week. Well done!
“Kyle and Tony were in among the premier drivers in the Rotax MAX karting world. Good efforts by both during the intense week of Heats.
“As always the Rotax MAX Grand Finals was a spectacle of racing, the most level ‘playing field’ in international karting produced some of the closest competition seen all year.
“And if anything, serving as an inspiration to our Team UAE drivers and their rivals back home, who did not make it this year, to be in Bahrain next year where the 2023 Rotax MAX Grand Finals will be held,” concluded Sheffield.
After the podium ceremonies on Saturday night in Portimao, Rotax MAX Grand Finals organisers announced that the 2023 edition of the event will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit as was the case in 2021.
RMC Grand Finals
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