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Event Highlights: 2015 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals

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Event Highlights: 2015 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals

Watch this page to keep up to date with the results for our North American drivers competing at the 2015 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portimao, Portugal.

Watch Live!

(Broadcast begins each day around 9:30AM local time, 4:30AM Eastern Canada time)

Saturday Finals

Rotax Junior
1. Florian Venturi (FRA)
2. Mathias Ramirez (USA)
3. Caio Collet (BRA)
4. Scott Symons (UK)
5. Thomas Harrison (UK)

13. Michael Michoff (USA)
14. Trenton Estep (USA
15. Darren Keane (USA)

Rotax Senior
1. Alex (ITA)
2. Luke Selliken (USA)
3. Jordan Sharratt (RSA)
4. Kyle Kirkwood (USA)
5. Petr Bezel (CZE)

25. Matt Solarczyk (USA)
27. Christian Brooks (USA)

Rotax DD2 Masters
1. Ryan Urban (NZL)
2. Luis Schiavo (USA)
3. Jim Ringelburg (NDL)
4. Gabriel Zughella (BRA)
5. Ronato Russo (BRA)

7. Scott Campbell (CAN)
23. Stuart Clark (CAN)
29. Derek Wang (USA)
32. Luc Sauriol (CAN)

Rotax DD2
1. Ferenc Kancsar (HUN)
2. Andreas Backman (SWE)
3. Mads Thomsen (DEN)
4. Rubens Barrichello (BRA)
5. Oriol Dalmau Caballer (ESP)

7. Tyler Kashak (CAN)
8. Jake French (USA)
18. Jeff Kingsley (CAN)
21. Fred Woodley (CAN)
28. Nathan Adds (USA)

Watch the Rotax Grand Finals on CKN!!! #RMCGF

A photo posted by Cody Schindel (@cody_schindel) on

Saturday PreFinals

Rotax Junior
1. Roope Ropanen (FIN)
2. Florian Venturi (FRA)
3. Axel Charpentier (UK)
4. Harrison Thomas (UK)
5. Caio Collet (BRA)

7. Mathias Ramirez (USA)
16. Trenton Estep (USA)
17. Michael Michoff (USA)
18. Darren Keane (USA)

Rotax Senior
1. Alex (ITA)
2. Berkay Besley (TUR)
3. Petr Bezel (CZE)
4. Luke Selliken (USA)
5. Jordan Sherratt (RSA)

9. Kyle Kirkwood
21. Matt Solarczyk
28. Christian Brooks

Rotax DD2 Masters
1. Michael Stephen (RSA)
2. Olli Antikainen (FIN)
3. Ryan Urban (NZL)
4. Fernando Guzzi (BRA)
5. Luis Schiavo (USA)

12. Scott Campbell (CAN)
17. Derek Wang (USA)
23. Luc Sauriol (CAN)
33. Stuart Clark (CAN)

Rotax DD2
1. Ferenc Kancsar (HUN)
2. Luke Varley (UAE)
3. Andreas Backman (SWE)
4. Bradley Leibenberg (RSA)
5. Mads Thomsen (DEN)

17. Jake French (USA)
19. Tyler Kashak (CAN)
20. Fred Woodley (CAN)
27. Nathan Adds (USA)
34. Jeff Kingsley (CAN)

Last Chance Qualifiers

Many drivers from both Team Canada and Team USA were involved in the Last Chance Races for the drivers ranked 29th on back after the heat races. With lots of action, here is how they finished up. The top-6 from each category advanced to Saturday’s Final races.

Rotax Junior
1. Michael Michoff (USA)
2. Habiki Taira (JPN)
3. Karl Leesma (EST)
4. Reece Sidebottom (AUS)
5. Matias Fernandez (Argentina)
6. Jules Bollier (FRA)

7. Samuel Lupien (CAN)
8. Anthony Gangi (USA)
12. Sting Ray Robb (USA)
13. Joe Soranno (CAN)

Rotax Senior
1. Joao Rosate (BRA)
2. Dave Blom (NED)
3. Matt Solarczyk (USA)
4. Silvano Christian (IND)
5. Shane Daly (IRL)
6. Jakub Kadlcak (CZE)

9. Cedrik Lupien (CAN)
13. Marco Di Leo (CAN)
20. Jake Craig (USA)
21. Artie Carpenter (USA)

Rotax DD2 Masters
1. Tomokazu Kawase (JPN)
2. Miguel Moura (POR)
3. Lajos Locskai (HUN)
4. Primoz Matelic (SLV)
5. Horacio Torres (CHL)
6. Stuart Clark (CAN)

11. Paul Bonilla (USA)
20. Scott Roberts (USA)

Rotax DD2
1. Lorenzo Van Riet (NED)
2. Natalia Balbo (ITA)
3. Rubens Barrichello (BRA)
4. Jason Pringle (AUS)
5. Troy Woolson (AUS)
6. Fred Woodley (CAN)

11.Sabre Cook (USA)
31. Alessandro Bizzotto (CAN)

Team USA – Grand Finals 2015 – Portugal #TeamUSAgrandfinals2015 #maxspeedgroup Posted by on Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Thursday & Friday Heat Races

We have put together a simple table for you to keep track of how our North American drivers are doing in the heat races. Each driver will compete in 3 heat races with the top-28 advancing directly to Saturday’s Main events while the rest will need to advance through the Last Chance Race where only the top-6 will move on.

Team Canada

Rotax Junior Heat #1 Heat #2 Heat #3 Total Points Ranking
28. Joe Soranno (Group D) 14 25 36 75 54th
56. Samuel Lupien (Group D) 23 26 18 67 45th
Rotax Senior
35. Cedrik Lupien (Group C) 13 34 23 70 43rd
53. Marco Di Leo (Group A) 23 22 32 77 57th
Rotax DD2 Masters
12. Scott Campbell (Group D) 3 6 7 16 9th
24. Stuart Clark (Group D) 20 30 12 62 36th
36. Luc Sauriol (Group D) 12 10 24 46 25th
Rotax DD2
13. Jeff Kingsley (Group A) 6 7 9 22 11th
15. Tyler Kashak (Group C) 9 9 7 25 12th
34. Fred Woodley (Group B) 11 28 16 55 33rd
69. Alessandro Bizzotto (Group A) 20 32 21 73 52nd

Team USA

Rotax Junior Heat #1 Heat #2 Heat #3 Total Points Ranking
7. Trenton Estep (Group C) 2 8 7 17 7th
20. Darren Keane (Group D) 10 8 15 33 13th
22. Sting Ray Robb (Group B) 29 16 33 78 57th
38. Anthony Gangi (Group B) 9 36 14 59 43rd
49. Mathias Ramirez (Group A) 19 4 12 35 26th
51. Michael Michoff (Group C) 19 11 22 52 35th
Rotax Senior
8. Kyle Kirkwood (Group D) 4 10 35 49 24th
17. Luke Selliken (Group A) 2 6 7 15 7th
19. Christian Brooks (Group C) 29 9 7 45 22nd
24. Matt Solarczyk (Group D) 26 19 11 56 33rd
40. Jake Craig (Group D) 21 23 20 64 40th
65. Artie Carpenter (Group A) 19 26 29 74 54th
Rotax DD2 Masters
1. Derek Wang (Group A) 2 3 0 5 2nd
9. Luis Schiavo (Group A) 4 0 4 8 4th
53. Paul Bonilla (Group A) 35 18 20 73 49th
64. Scott Roberts (Group D) 21 29 26 76 56th
Rotax DD2
24. Jake French (Group D) 10 14 25 49 24th
35. Sabre Cook (Group C) 26 20 30 76 28th
64. Nathan Mauel (Group D) 31 32 27 90 58th
71. Nathan Adds (Group C) 14 16 22 52 63rd

“I was pretty quick in the practice but in qualifying I wasn’t able to do one fast lap because I was stuck in traffic. I was in a group of seven or eight drivers and every lap someone slowed down and got in the way, so I wasn’t able to get a good clear lap. For sure I will need to gain a lot of positions in my heats and my plan is to at least finish all the heats with a target of trying to finish in the top fifteen each time. The track here in Portugal is different than in Canada as there are no bumps and the corners here sometimes have different lines because of the grip, so you are constantly searching for different lines. I know I’m very far back but I know can do better tomorrow.” -Samuel Lupien, Rotax Junior #125

A photo posted by (@ckn_live) on


Qualifying Results


“I’ve had a better and more relieving day today in Portimão. With a few issues in practice, it was reliving to qualify in the 13th position. I was hoping for better but the gain from practice to qualifying is more than satisfying. Becoming a world champion is still the main goal despite the minor set backs. As far as the track goes, new rubber added more grip to the track of which negatively affected other drivers more than me. The weather is beautiful and sunny which forces my couch Ben Cooper to put more sunscreen on making him whiter than he already is. I find that the grid is more densely packed and competitive compared to the 2014 Grand Finals in Valencia making it interesting to see how I compare to this group of drivers. Driving the BirelArt here is definitely a good thing but is challenging to adjust my driving on the European track. I am always learning but am excited to be here. Goals for the heat races are to make it through clean, learn more from other drivers, and develop the chassis a bit more to find some more time. More importantly, I am looking for a good starting position for the final. None of this would be possible without the support from my mechanic Sylvain Clair, my coach Ben Cooper, and all of the Team Canada supporters.” -Jeff Kingsley, Rotax DD2 #322 A photo posted by (@ckn_live) on

After a full day and a half of practice, it is time for everyone to get serious at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. Qualifying is underway on Wednesday afternoon in Portimao, Portugal where timing is everything. Here is how the North American drivers faired along with the top-5 in each category.

Rotax DD2

1. Ferenc Kancsar (HUN) 2. Luke Varley (UAE) 3. Bradley Liebenberg (RSA) 4. Luka Kamali (GER) 5. Andreas Backmann (SWE) 13. Jeff Kingsley (CAN) 15. Tyler Kashak (CAN) 24. Jake French (USA) 34. Fred Woodley (CAN) 35. Sabre Cook (USA) 64. Nathan Mauel (USA) 69. Alessandro Bizzotto (CAN) 71. Nathan Adds (USA)

Rotax DD2 Masters

1. Derek Wang (USA) 2. Michael Stephen (RSA) 3. Tomokazu Kawase (JPN) 4. Antti Ollikainen (FIN) 5. Fernando Guzzi (BRA) 9. Luis Schiavo (USA) 12. Scott Campbell (CAN) 24. Stuart Clark (CAN) 36. Luc Sauriol (CAN) 53. Paul Bonilla (USA) 64. Scott Roberts (USA)

Rotax Senior

1. Berkay Besler (TUR) 2. Alex Alex (ITA) 3. Pierce Lehane (AUS) 4. Sten Dorian Piirimaegi (EST) 5. Ed Brand (UK) 8. Kyle Kirkwood (USA) 17. Luke Selliken (USA) 19. Christian Brooks (USA) 24. Matt Solarczyk (USA) 35. Cedrik Lupien (CAN) 40. Jake Craig (USA) 53. Marco Di Leo (USA) 65. Artie Carpenter (USA)

Rotax Junior

1. Roope Ropanen (FIN) 2. Scott Symons (UK) 3. Florian Venturi (FRA) 4. Harrison Thomas (UK) 5. Jack McCarthy (UK) 7. Trenton Estep (USA) 20. Darren Keane (USA) 22. Sting Ray Robb (USA) 28. Joe Soranno (CAN) 38. Anthony Gangi Jr. (USA) 49. Mathias Ramirez (USA) 51. Michael Michoff (USA) 56. Samuel Lupien (CAN)


Monday/Tuesday Photo Gallery


Photos © Cody Schindel/ 2015 Posted by Canadian Karting News on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Live Stream of the #RMCGF from Portugal will begin shortly. Be sure to check it out on CKN! Qualifying will take place today at 8AM Eastern time, 1PM local time.Click here to watch: Posted by Canadian Karting News on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

“My first day of testing was not optimal as we struggled in getting a free kart exiting corners. It was remaining mainly flat and it was killing the engine. I would have loved to be able to race withe BirelART chassis as it is the one I used successfully this year back home. Now we need to get this chassis to work well for me tomorrow before Qualifying. This year’s weather is fantastic compared to 2012. One thing that never changes at the Grand Final is the connection with other Canadian drivers and their families. That is what I will remember for a long time. Each year I every driver needs to remember to atay calm, keep working and it’s not over until it’s over! And this year it seems I need to apply this!” – Luc Sauriol, DD2 Masters

A photo posted by (@ckn_live) on


“One of the things I’m sure Team Canada members appreciate is the family spirit we have here. There are only two colours important and they are red and white. Same thing for the logo, the only one we care for is the Maple leaf. Michel and I are always doing our best to help and support Team Canada drivers whatever the team they are normally racing with. We strongly believe that racing at the Grand Finals is a privilege and Canadian drivers who qualified really deserve to be here. With our strong team of drivers we are always competing for the Nations Cup and confident we can win it again this year. We have the drivers for it. Again, we have a very strong image at the Grand Finals and would like to thank our Team Canada supporters because they make a real difference for us, every year.” – Patrick Moreau, RMC Canada A photo posted by (@ckn_live) on


“I have had an amazing time racing this season, just enjoying my time at the track and always focused on doing the best I possibly can. Despite the strong season I’ve had so far, nothing has proven to be a greater motivator than being able to represent Canada in the Grand Finals. I’ve gained a lot of experience over the past couple seasons racing over in Europe and competing in this same event in 2013 in New Orleans, and I believe these experiences will allow me to carry over an aggressive style of racing, knowing when to pass and when to defend, and an understanding of how to drive under extremely grippy track conditions. I go into every race with the hopes and expectations of winning and this will be the same for this event in portugal. I will do my best and excited to get started!” Alessandro Bizzotto, Rotax DD2 #323

A photo posted by (@ckn_live) on



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