The 2012 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals concluded today with the final races for all the competing classes. Today’s weather had made a complete 180 degree U-turn from yesterday and provided a dry track and softer winds to help out with today’s racing. It was the day to make dreams come true for any Rotax racer. Over 300 drivers here at Kartódromo Internacional Algrave in Portimão, Portugal have been here for over a week and today was the day that counted for all the marbles. Four categories had to run their pre finals and finals to determine who would be the Grand Finals Champion. There was no doubt today’s racing would be incredible.
Rotax DD2 Masters Pre Final
With the two previous DD2 Masters Grand Finals Champions filling the front row of the grid, everyone in the paddock knew they were in for a thriller. After winning two heat races, Scott Campbell would start on the outside of row one, with rival Cristiano Morgado of South Africa on the pole-position.
Campbell would slide into third place as the group of hungry DD2 Masters filed into the tight turn three. It was good at the front of the pack for Canada, but near the rear trouble for Stuart Clark had him resuming more than half a track behind. Luc Sauriol was also in this race and he was doing his best to advance back through the field after contact on the opening lap pushed him back from his mid-pack starting position. But up front Campbell would have his hands full, as after grabbing the lead position he would fall down to fourth and that is where he would complete the pre final. Sauriol worked his way to back to finish sixteenth while Clark would complete the pre final in thirtieth.
Rotax DD2 Masters Final
A great jump by the outside lane would help Campbell move into second place right away. At the same time, Sauriol was able to advance from sixteenth on the grid to eighth as he rounded lap one. Up front it didn’t take Campbell long to jump to the lead, but it didn’t last long and he was back in second.
The front four put on a great battle throughout the 21-lap feature event. Three of the four took turns leading, and it was anybodys race up until the final few laps. Knowing he needed to get back back into second to have a shot at the leader Morgado, Campbell tried everything he could with only a handful of laps left, and by the time he finally completed the pass in turn three, the leader had pulled away. Forced to settle for second, Campbell would earn Team Canada their second podium of the day. Setting history, race winner Cristiano Morgado would be the first driver to win his third Rotax Grand Final’s title.
For Sauriol, he battled hard from start to finish running as high as sixth at one point but at the checkers would have to settle with eighth at the finish. After struggling to work his way through some backmarkers, Clark would eventually drive his way back to a respectable twenty-first.