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First Pacemakers of the 2015 Euro Challenge

Published: Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Photo Credit: RGMMC

On Friday the French circuit of Sologne Karting was venue of the very first qualifying sessions of the 2015 ROTAX MAX Euro Challenge. 160 drivers from 34 countries spread in the categories of juniors, seniors and DD2 aimed for the best times on the 1.500 metres long track. Although the weather conditions were quite unpredictable, it kept dry until the very last session.

In the junior class one nation set the pace. The first six places went to drivers from the United Kingdom, lead by Jack McCarthy (Strawberry Racing) who drove the best time, close ahead of the Winter Cup winner Tom Gamble (Dan Holland Racing). Mark Kimber (Dan Holland Racing), Zak Fulk (Coles Racing), Fin Kenneally (Aim Motorsport) and Kiern Jewiss (Strawberry Racing) completed the British armada, while Frenchman Enzo Coursimault (PKS) defended his nation’s honour in seventh position after a very tight qualifying session. All told 52 of the 60 juniors were separated by less than one second.

Australia’s Pierce Lehane (Strawberry Racing) tied in with his latest success in the senior category: After dominating the Winter Cup at Campillos he was the quickest man in the qualifying session of Salbris, too. By a time of 1:00.596 minutes he was remarkably faster than his direct chasers Sam Marsh (Dan Holland Racing) from the UK and Berkay Besler (Bouvin Power) from Turkey. Last year’s junior Max Timmermans (DAEMS Racing) from Belgium and Louis-Ferdinand Simmenauer (Jana Racing) from France completed the top five positions before the heats.

The first of two DD2 groups was slightly quicker than the second one. Consequently Kevin Ludi (Spirit Racing) from Switzerland took the best time ahead of local hero Arnaud Kozlinski (Sodikart) from France. Right behind Germany’s Marcel Schirmer (RS Competition) celebrated his best Euro qualifying result ahead of Henrique Baptista (Dan Holland Racing) from Portugal. Winter Cup winner Ferenc Kancsar (BirelART/KMS) from Hungary took the fifth place, equally being the fastest man of the second qualifying group. Complementing the results Tamsin Germain (DG Racing) finished in 17th place of the overall grid establishing herself in the leading role of the Masters classification, ahead of Igor Mukhin (CRG S.P.A.) from Russia and Frenchman Marc Berteaux (Sologne Sport Tech).

On Saturday race action will resume the programme. All told there are 18 qualifying heats on the agenda, which finally will ascertain the grids for the final phase on Sunday. Everyone is invited to join the event by following the live timing or the live stream. So stay tuned on and

Editor's Note

It was not the best of days for the North Americans over in Salbris, France. In the 60 kart Senior Max field, Oliver Askew lead the way in 31st followed by Bryce Choquer in 45th and Jake Craig in 60th. Hopefully tomorrow the boys can step it up a bit and move forward. In Junior Max Natael Cantin is 18th out of the 60 kart field.

To watch the action this weekend visit