|EURO CHALLENGE TOPS 180 DRIVERS FOR FIRST ROUND IN 2007|
It’s a pleasing beginning to the season for event organisers and promoters of the ROTAX MOJO Max Euro Challenge RGMMC Establishment confirming a record number of entries for another consecutive year. With 31 countries represented, new interest in the championship has come from Russia, the Ukraine, Finland, Israel and Bahrain along with an obvious increase in the UK entries. The majority of the European karting nations are participating along with Japan, The Philippines, South Africa and Australia yet again.
Now in its fourth year of competition, the Euro Challenge begins with round 1 for 2007 taking place at the Sologne Karting circuit in Salbris, France March 21 - 25. The season opener last year at Salbris saw some icy, wet conditions for the qualifying heats before the sun came out for Sunday’s finals. The track had undergone an upgrade prior to that weekend and the competition turned on some excellent racing to test the new surface. With its increased popularity, the French circuit now regarded as one of the best and most challenging in the European series has again secured the event.
Manager Marc Berteaux from Sologne Karting supports the decision, saying “We are really happy as always to be hosting the Rotax Euro Challenge and also looking forward to welcoming many new international drivers and their teams to Salbris. It’s a great event.”
The classes being contested in the Rotax series include Senior Max which is fully subscribed for the first round with 68 entries while Junior Max has only few places remaining, making it the fastest growing category in the championship. Although the 2006 European champions will not be racing in France, both the vice champions and current Rotax Grand Finals winners in the senior and junior classes will go head-to-head together with many of the best performers from last year and the new talent joining the Challenge.
After turning on some of the best racing displayed during the previous season, the Max Masters (32+) is again expected to have a good showing. With a maximum field of 34 entries allowed, the Masters guarantees every driver the opportunity to qualify for Sunday’s finals for a full-on weekend of racing. British driver Colin Davis will be back to defend his trophy after he dominated the French ’06 round to hold out strong local competition.
The Rotax DD2 is probably viewed as the most developing class of the Euro Challenge following the introduction last year of open chassis brands with the switch from the regulation Rotax RM1 kart. An alternative to the more rigorous shifter kart, the 2-speed gearbox category is becoming more and more competitive as the manufacturers offer incentive packages to assist in the promotion of their latest DD2 karts. Aware of the variation in drivers’ age in the DD2 line-up, RGMMC also recognises the Masters within the class for championship points and prizes will be awarded at each round of the series.
Manufacturers of the long list of kart brands competing at the event will again be in the running for the European titles in each of the four classes. Last year was dominated by PCR Italy taking two of the trophies, while Kombi Kart and Tony Kart took home one each. Points from all qualified drivers at each round will count towards the 2007 Manufacturers’ Trophy with some teams at the event also given direct factory support.
Having shown their dominance on the podium and the track once more at the Rotax Grand Finals held in Portugal last November, competitors from the Euro Challenge continue to be given the fantastic opportunity to race against some of the World’s best karters in the Rotax classes. 15 invitations to the 2007 Grand Finals in Al Ain, UAE (near Dubai) will be divided between the overall podium winners of the Senior, Junior, Masters and DD2 categories together with the Best Rookie from Junior Max and the DD2 Masters Champion and Vice Champion of the Euro Challenge this year.
Some notable changes in 2007 include the addition of new specialists in various areas of the race organisation as members of the RGMMC team helping to ensure safe, professional and fair racing. The championship will be broadcast on Motors TV with highlights and documentaries also showing on other channels around the globe as the interest in TV and internet coverage of the Euro Challenge grows in demand. As a result of this, RGMMC will release DVDs with all the Finals racing action plus interviews and more - available for sale following each round. Kart Data will again provide the live timing, enabling race fans to view every lap as it happens over the net.
RGMMC is excited to welcome some new sponsors as associated partners supporting the 2007 championship including Thunder Arabia, Dobla, X’Zuit, Unipro, Dartford Karting, Kraftwerk and Mach 1 Kart. The series is also proudly supported by BRP-Rotax, MOJO, Sniper, Sodi Kart, Kart Care and Kartworld TV.
2007 ROTAX MOJO Max Euro Challenge
March 21 – 25 Salbris, France
May 16 – 20 Wackersdorf, Germany
July 25 – 29 Bruck, Austria
September 26 – 30 Genk, Belgium