The 2012 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals are right around the corner, and CKN can’t wait to touch ground in Portimao, Portugal for the event. CKN will have exclusive coverage of Team Canada as they pursue their sixth Rotax World Championship, and hope to improve in the Rotax Nations Cup after finishing second in 2011.
In the coming days, CKN will break down all the members of Team Canada, class-by-class. today, CKN looks at our Rotax DD2 Masters team members. In 2010, Scott Campbell earned Canada their first Rotax DD2 Masters World Championship in Italy as a standalone class, while Luc Sauriol earned the Rotax Masters crown in 2006. Both drivers are on this years roster and are joined by Stuart Clark.
2012 ASN Canadian National Karting Champion
Making his second appearance in as many years, Stuart joins Team Canada looking to cap off a stellar season. After a tough Florida Winter Tour campaign, Clark returned home to dominate the Eastern Canadian Championship en route to the class title, and then put his foot down at the Canadian National Championships to earn his second major crown of the year.
After an up and down debut last year in Al Ain, UAE, Clark enters this year’s Grand Finals fully prepared and ready to tackle the top of the podium. Working closely with Prime Powersports Trevor Wickens, the two should be able to manage tough competition in Portugal right from the get go.
Stuart could not be reached in time for a quote.
CKN Prediction: Stuart has the ability to quickly adapt and this should benefit him in Portugal. Also, he is very strong in wet-weather, given it happens in Portugal Clark has a great shot at a top-five.
2012 ASN Canadian National Karting Championship Runner-Up
Team Canada will have two veteran drivers on their DD2 Masters roster, with Luc Sauriol leading the charge. This will be the sixth time Sauriol will compete at the Grand Finals, and he looks to add another World Championship star to his nameplate. Sauriol had an exciting summer in Canada, giving fellow teammate Stuart Clark a run for his money in the ECKC, but some bad luck kept him from showing his true potential.
Hoping to return to the form that earned him his first World Championship in 2006, Sauriol heads to Portugal focused and ready for the task at hand.
“Looking forward to be back in Portugal, I’ve been training for two months, practiced, lost weight, and painted a new helmet for the event. Looks like I’m all ready! Fairly different than the previous Grand Finals I did where I hadn’t been in a kart for a couple of months before the event. This time I was on track pretty much every weekend since early September and was last on track November 12. It was ten degrees outside so I couldn’t miss it!!! This is the second time around with the Haase chassis after the Grand Finals in 2010 in Italy, so we know a bit more where to go on setups. And I’m always looking forward for the human experience, meeting people I know, working with my team mates, exchange good stories over dinner…”
CKN Prediction: If Sauriol can steer away from the on-track action throughout the heat races that have hurt in past years, he has the pace to race up front with the worlds best and finish in the top-five.
2012 Rotax Western Canadian Championship Champion
The other veteran on Team Canada this year is Scott Campbell. This will be his ninth participation at the Grand Finals, and with it he will no longer share the title with fellow Canadian Christophe Boisclair for the most participations at the Grand Finals. Scott was victorious two years ago when the Grand Finals were held in Italy, and barring all four wheels stay on the kart in 2012, he plans to return to the top of the podium.
Campbell raced in the Rotax Western Canadian Championship in 2012, winning the Rotax DD2 class while running much heavier than his competitors, but accepted the transfer to the Masters division for the Grand Finals. He was up front for a majority of the 2011 Grand Finals in Al Ain, UAE until a broken front wheel hub ended his chances during the start of the Grand Final (while starting on the front row).
“Going into my record setting ninth Grand Finals, things have not changed to much over the years. If it was nice enough I would get out to the track but most years like this one there is a bunch of snow here. So I have been just able to do some of my sports to keep in shape. Like every year I set my sight on the top spot of the podium but also know from experience that a lot can happen that you cannot stop. So all I can do is drive my hardest and hope luck is on my side. We will also have to see what the weather will be like cause last time I was in Portugal and the Grand Finals it poured so hard. In some ways I kinda hope it rains because I am fast in the rain. I would like to thank everyone that has made this years World Finals possible.”
CKN Predition: Like Sauriol, Campbell needs to avoid any drama and trouble in the opening days of competition, but he will have the pace and agility to be up front and compete for the victory.
Who is your favourite Rotax DD2 Master going to the Rotax Grand Finals?
- Scott Campbell (43%, 29 Votes)
- Stuart Clark (37%, 25 Votes)
- Luc Sauriol (21%, 14 Votes)
Total Voters: 68
Up next, CKN looks at the four Rotax Junior’s heading to Portugal.