|The sixth round of the Rotax Max Challenge was held at the Speed Arena circuit at Rechnitz over the weekend with Intrepid Force Rotax team driver Daniel Schellnegger securing the Junior trophy for the 3rd time in as many years. In Senior Max, it was his team mate Dominik Kraihamer who took victory at the event, moving within just 7 points of the championship leader. |
With one round still remaining in the national series, Schellnegger has left no chance of losing the title in this his final season as a junior. He finished 3rd overall on the day at Rechnitz after qualifying 3rd fastest then winning race 1 by four seconds. A turn one incident in the last race saw him have to fight to regain places but eventually his combined points were sufficient to make the podium. The 15-year-old from Salzburg will now represent his country at the Rotax Grand Finals this November for the third time, where the Intrepid Kart is also the official Junior Max chassis. Schellnegger has already taken 2nd and 3rd in the previous two years at the international event.
Following the meeting, Schellnegger said “I was pleased with the first race but a little eager to make up places in the last race, knowing that I needed a good finish to seal the championship. I’m very happy with the result, especially for the team as well.”
Qualifying 3rd quickest in Seniors, Kraihamer was in a prime position in race 1 to follow his Intrepid team mate and polesitter Kevin Reichard through the notorious first corner of the Rechnitz track. He remained unchallenged to finish 2nd ahead of the current series leader Robert Ortner, who started alongside Reichard on the front row. He then got off to an excellent start in the next race and dominated the field from early on, already in 3rd position within half a lap. With Reichard chasing him, Kraihamer set the best lap of the race and never looked like losing.
IFR team driver Reichard who had previously held the series lead, looked certain to regain his place after qualifying on pole then comfortably winning race 1. He was unlucky however in the final, suffering a technical problem that saw him retire with less than two laps remaining while sitting in 2nd place. Reichard was forced to watch in disappointment from the sideline as Kraihamer went on to take the honours for both the race and the event. His chances of winning the championship are now slim, although the final round will be at his home track near Vienna.
Going into the event, Kraihamer knew Reichard was going to be tough to beat. “Our times were very close in the timed practice, along with Robert Ortner, so I knew I had to make the most of the reverse eight grid in the final race. I tried to make up as many places as possible from P7 at the start and get a break, knowing that Kevin [Reichard] wouldn’t be far behind. It all went well and I am happy to win today but I’m sorry for Kevin’s bad luck near the end of the race.”
The Official homepage for the Intrepid Force Rotax team is www.racetogetthere.com