|HRS Motorsport is one of the most successful racing teams in the World of Rotax Max Racing. The English-based CRG Team is led by former European champion Tristram Oman and has many victories and titles to their name in the Rotax Euro Challenge. This year, the team’s star driver Ben Cooper is defending his title as the Senior Max champion from 2007. |
The first round of the Rotax Euro Challenge was hosted last weekend by the Sologne Karting circuit in Salbris, France. Similar to previous years, the venue being one of the best CIK-homologated tracks in Europe, allowed some great racing, although the predicted wet weather arrived just in time for the finals.
Former Senior Max World Finals champion Cristiano Morgado again joined the HRS squad to compete in the Rotax DD2 class. He came close to a podium position in France, finishing 4th in Sunday’s final.
Ben Cooper took the final podium position finishing 3rd in the Euro final for HRS, setting the 2nd best time in the race just behind the winner. After dominating all four of his qualifying heats, Cooper was unlucky to be caught out by the weather in the pre-final but came through well in the last race.
Ben Cooper, defending champion Rotax Max:
"The weekend went well throughout testing, as we were making good progress with the kart and engine. Qualifying also went okay but the weather conditions didn’t help, especially as I was in the first session when the track was at its wettest. The heats were even better as I won all four races, with some more difficult than others. The pre-final started off well as we had initially opted for the correct tyre choice, choosing slicks, but then three laps into the race the rain started coming down and I new that the drivers that had chosen wet tyres were going to come through, so it was then all about staying on track and getting a reasonable finish. The final started off tricky but I knew that I had the pace to come through, which is what happened. I ended up in 3rd place which was a good finished from 16th on the grid and we picked up some good points."
HRS Senior Max driver Curtis Roberts also reached the final, having qualified through the repecharge to then produce a fine drive and finish 15th in the final. Team-mate Rodolpho Camarillo from Mexico unfortunately missed out on a place in the main finals, but drove well over the weekend, gaining some valuable knowledge driving in wet conditions and learning more about the European style of racing. Britain’s Mark Thompson secured a respectable 6th place driving in the Max Masters.
Ryuya Fujie of Japan was the ‘new kid on the block’ in the HRS team in Junior Max. The talented Japanese driver was in the leading group of drivers in practice, qualifying and all the heats races, but some bad luck in the pre-final relegated him back to start grid 33 for the final, when he broke a chain. Passing many competitors, Fujie drove a great race to finish the final in 8th position.
Tristram Oman; team boss of the successful HRS Motorsport:
“An extremely mixed race meeting. With great weather on Saturday, we really got our teeth into getting everything right. At the end of our first race day, we had Ben Cooper pole in Seniors, Ryuya Fujie 3rd in Juniors and Cristiano Morgado 3rd in DD2. However with the weather changing from race to race in Sundays first finals, we found ourselves leading on the wrong side of it. A little bit of luck is always needed! Thankfully we had constant rain so our drivers were able to get the most out of our equipment and set-up. Good results, but we will be working hard between now and the next round.”
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