*** ----> Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 2023 wrap up at Bahrain International Karting Circuit | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 2023 wrap up at Bahrain International Karting Circuit

TDT | Manama                                                        

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Team Bahrain drivers impressed in the final day of racing as the champions of the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals (RMCGF) 2023 were crowned yesterday at Bahrain International Karting Circuit in Sakhir. Luca Houghton, Tye Mejia, Lewis Smith, and Shaikh Ahmed bin Saqer Al Khalifa were all flying the Kingdom’s flag in the concluding sessions of the global event, which featured around 400 of the most talented karters from around the world.

Hougthon wrapped up his superb showing all week by ranking in the top 10 of the 125 Junior MAX final, where Mejia was classified 17th after a sensational drive that saw him climb 13 places from his starting position. Smith was also in fine form, moving up three places to take 12th in the E20 Senior Final, while Shaikh Ahmed bin Saqer Al Khalifa was also ranked in the top 10 in the last race of the E10 category.

Also competing for Team Bahrain on the RMCGF’s final day was Omar Alderayaane, who was classified 36th in the 125 MAX DD2 final.

Taking the victories in yesterday’s final races and being crowned this year’s RMCGF champions were Jenson Chalk from the UK in the 125 Micro MAX class, Rory Armstrong from the UK in the 125 Mini MAX, Timo Jungling from the UK in the 125 Junior MAX, Andrej Petrovic from Serbia in the 125 Senior MAX, Ragnar Veerus from Estonia in the 125 MAX DD2, Ben Cooper from Canada in the 125 MAX DD2 Masters, Mats Johan Overhoff from Germany in the E20 Senior, Joao Goncalves from Brazil in the E20 Master, and Veeti Salmi from Finland in the E10 category. In the Junior MAX final, Houghton was among the leading drivers all throughout the hotly contested 18 laps.

Starting from third on the grid, he powered to the lead on laps six and seven and was never out of the top five. He finished fourth on the road, but due to a five-second time penalty imposed after the race, he had to settle for ninth in the final classification, 7.874 seconds behind winner Jungling, who had a finishing time of 16 minutes, 40.336 seconds.



In the same sprint, Mejia was a force to be reckoned with. Despite starting from 30th amongst the 36 competitors, Mejia gained more than 13 places right off the bat, as he was 17th on lap one. He continued to battle in the middle of the field and masterfully moved up to 13th at the finish.

However, just like Houghton, Mejia’s impressive drive had an unlucky turn as he was given a five-second time penalty after the race, demoting him to 17th overall with 13.132s from the victor. Meanwhile, in the E20 senior final, Smith also displayed his prowess for Team Bahrain.

Starting from 15th on the grid, Lewis did well to quickly gain a couple of places and maintain his solid pace over the 10 laps. He finished 12th, gaining three positions on the final classification, where he was 12.498 seconds behind first-placer Overhoff, who completed the race distance in 9:14.170. In the E10 final, Team Bahrain’s Shaikh Ahmed was sixth on the grid and fought all the way up to fourth by the third of the race’s 10 laps. He, however, went behind to 10th but made a strong recovery over the final four laps to finish eighth overall, 7.584 seconds from Victor Salmi.

Houghton, Mejia, Smith, Shaikh Ahmed, and Alderayaane were part of a nine-karter team from Bahrain competing in the RMCGF 2023. The others were Nasser Nass in the Mini MAX and Oliver Kruglov, Mohammed Alhasan, and Fahad Alkhaled in the Senior MAX.