|Intrepid Force Rotax team driver Kevin Reichard has taken an outstanding victory in the opening round of the new Middle East Karting Cup (MEKC) at the rather impressive Ghibli Raceway, Sharm El Sheikh.|
The Austrian dominated the Senior Max class from qualifying through to Saturday’s 25-lap final, in what was a positive start to the new racing season for the 16-year-old. Reichard also clocked the fastest lap of the overall meeting, really throwing out the challenge to his rivals for the next round. With nine countries represented from throughout the Middle East, UAE and Europe, the MEKC welcomed such international drivers in an attempt to bring some of the best competition to Egypt.
After finishing 5th at the recent 2007 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Al Ain, near Dubai, Reichard said he’d enjoyed competing in the United Arab Emirates and also saw the MEKC in Egypt as a great chance to get in some vital race preparation during the cold winter months at home.
“I am really happy to have won the [MEKC] event and it was interesting to be there racing. Although the competition is new and may not be as strong as it is in Europe, it was a good experience. For me, it’s also a chance to personally make new contacts for future opportunities for my Motorsport career.”
The Egyptian circuit first attracted international attention in 2004 when it hosted the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals and will also be the venue for the third round of the MEKC in April. According to the promoters, the strategy behind the new series “aims to develop local Karting champions, enabling Motorsport to continue to grow in the Middle East. A regional event such as this can help Karting build momentum, creating more interest and competition among drivers.”
Intrepid Force Rotax Team Manager Ernst Penninger claims the MEKC is ideal for their drivers to get back into the racing mindset leading up to the beginning of the new season.
“We were unsure of what to expect going to Egypt, knowing that the event is still so young. The organizers were really positive about seeing both the series and the level of the competition grow for the future of Karting, while developing their local drivers as they progress into the Motorsport arena. They have put in a lot of effort and money, while appearing to have considerable support from their sponsors, tourism industry and the government.
I’m pleased for Kevin [Reichard] and his mechanic Steve Chapman, who’ll also join us soon on a more permanent basis as Kevin’s full-time technician. Kevin performed well to gain this result, clearly showing his desire to be at the top this year.”
Hoping to repeat their success, the Intrepid team plans for Reichard to compete at the second round of the MEKC at the Dubai Autodrome in late February and may even take one of their junior drivers, who can benefit from the additional racing experience of international competition.
More of the Team Intrepid Force available at: www.racetogetthere.com