Leduc, Alberta’s Matthew Taskinen took part in the Maxspeed Entertainment Winter Collective test at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida this past weekend. Preparing for the transition from Junior to Senior, it was the first time he drove the Senior Max package with support from Rolison Performance Group. It was also his first opportunity to drive on the MAX One by Vega tire that will be utilized in 2017 and beyond.
He exclaimed to CKN,
“The new tire MAX One Purple is crazy! The limit of grip the tire has is a huge improvement which allows you to brake later and carry speeds through the corner the Mojo just couldn’t handle.”
It was a similar reaction we have been hearing from many drivers who got their first taste of the new tires this past weekend. While sticky tires aren’t new to karting competition, for Rotax Max, the much harder MOJO has been the standard for a decade before Maxspeed pulled the trigger on the VEGA deal.
He continued, “The racing this season will be challenging and especially physical. After my first laps, my arms were getting tired trying to hold the wheel of a heavier and more stuck go-kart. At the end of the weekend my neck was very sore, so I can’t imagine doing the twenty-five lap finals.”
It is worth noting that Taskinen’s kart featured nearly 60 pounds of additional weight to make up for his small frame as he transitions to Senior Max. It is one of drawbacks of the age adjustment that has come into play for next season, but with drivers ranging from ages eleven to fifteen, there is no perfect rule for drivers that grow at different ages and times.
Taskinen also had some thoughts as to how the racing will be different with the softer tire.
“Because of the amount of grip the new tire has, the passes are going to be later and to hang around the outside could make it much easier to defend. I wasn’t just impressed with limits and grip of the tire but surprisingly the consistency and the life of the tire. The times would take more laps to fall off and not fall as much as the Mojos.”
He also reflected on his big move from Junior to Senior.
“The transition to Senior from Junior Max seems pretty scary to me. Looking at all the great drivers who have succeeded previously at big events worried me and that I would have to race against them especially if I ever wanted a trip back to the Rotax Grand Finals. But when Maxspeed said they would be using this new tire that would have way more grip than the Mojo’s it gave me a little confidence that every one would have to adapt at the same time.”