New season new format new faces at Al Ain

Tues, 25th Sep 2012 – This weekend sees the curtain raiser of the 2012/13 AARKC Rotax MAX Challenge kick off at Dubai Autodrome. The UAE’s only national karting series has undergone a few changes both behind the scenes and on the surface over the close season in an effort to deal with the increase in competitors and bring the series in to line with the European regulations.

One of the most notable changes is that there have been changes to the actual classes. 125 MAX and 125 MAX Master have now merged into one class with the weight limit now standing at 170kg (as opposed to 165kg for MAX and 175kg for Masters). They will race together in one big grid to bring the class on a par with the European format. The new combined grid is surely going to be the biggest and busiest. Attention should be paid to reigning 125 Junior MAX champion Abdullah Al Rawahi who moves up this year and is reunited with his old Junior rival Piers Pakenham-Walsh. Al Rawahi and Pakenham-Walsh have historically had some brilliant on-track battles and expect to see their rivalry reignited this year. But don’t discount the older drivers such as Master champion Andrew Fuller and his rivals Luc Bauwmans, Walid Al Qassemi and Duncan Foster.

Maurits Knopjes the reigning DD2 Champion is going to be under intense pressure to retain his title

The DD2 class will be merged with the new DD2 Masters, a class that is well seasoned in Europe but running here in the UAE for the first time. DD2 is sure to be hotly contested with a raft of talented drivers lining up on the grid. 125 MAX Champion Sanad Al Rawahi has joined the class to take on Maurits Knopjes once more. The reigning DD2 Champion himself is going to be under intense pressure to retain his title. The one to watch is last season’s runner-up; Oliver George. George had a superb second half to last season and has clearly been working hard over the summer with a title in mind.

The 125 Junior MAX class remains unchanged and a lot of drivers have now left the class and moved up to 125 MAX leaving the way for perhaps some surprises. Cedric Dreyer is the one to watch early on. Taymour Kermanshahchi moves up to Junior this season but due to his age will be unable to score points until January. He will be learning his new kart as he goes and expect some spirited performances.

Last year Al Ain Raceway – the series organisers – introduced the Mini MAX class for the final 5 rounds of the season and it’s fair to say that it was a tremendous success. The karts were all praised by the parents for being so equal compared to the equipment used previously. This year the class returns for drivers aged 9-12. Tehmur Chohan won the inaugural series last season and will be looking to capitalise on that momentum. Zachary Robertson however is going to be pulling out all of the stops in an effort to take the 12/13 title.

In addition to the Mini MAX class, Micro MAX will also be available for the first time; a small Cadet-like class that caters for drivers aged 8-10 and the introduction of the Bambino kart aimed for young aspiring drivers between the ages of 5 and 7.


News release via Al Ain Raceway.