With all the delays and changes in the schedule, the Rotax DD2 class at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals had a very lengthy wait from their morning warm-up to their Grand Final after officials cancelled all the PreFinals.
Following the DD2 Masters class where the track had started to show signs of drying but was still very wet in some sections all the DD2’s hit the track on wet tires.
The green flag waved with Sean Babington (UAE) leading the way courteous of three heat wins. The made dash into the first corner was wild, especially when contact in rows three and four took out a handful of the contenders right away, including Xen De Ruwe (Belgium), Ed Brand (Great Britain) and more.
Babington took the early lead with Ben Cooper (Canada) on his bumper until Jordan Boys (Australia) snagged the position on lap two. Bradley Liebenburg (South Africa) and Fred Woodley (Canada) moved up nicely in the opening laps to find themselves in the top-five as the front three built a small gap early.
With Babington pulling away, Cooper made his move past Boys for second but it was a little too late by the time he was finally clear.
Woodley began to feel pressure from behind and he too pulled the trigger to take the fourth position, leaving Liebenburg to hold off Rasmus Markkanan (Finland).
By midway the top-five was settled with big gaps between each. Babington completed the perfect weekend to earn his first Rotax Grand Finals title as a member of the United Arab Emirates team after moving there this summer to help build their karting program. Cooper settled for second and added another RMCGF podium to his resume while Boys completed the podium. Woodley crossed in fourth, a very impressive feat for the RMCGF rookie while Markkanan finished fifth.
Canadian Jeff Kingsley was in the running early on but he faded as the race went on, eventually finishing eleventh, on spot behind American Nick Neri, who started at the rear. Some poor luck and the challenging conditions kept Americans Gavin Reichelt and Michael Illavia from earning the results they deserved from this week, crossing the stripe in 26th and 27th places.
The race closed out another successful Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, held for the first time at the Kartodromo Lucas Guerrero in Valencia, Spain.