Daily Report #2 | December 04, 2023

U6 R3328

Welcome to the exhilarating world of racing as we dive into the pulsating atmosphere of the first day on the track with the eagerly awaited new karts that were raffled just yesterday. The air was charged with anticipation, and happy, smiling faces were present everywhere as the drivers of the various categories made their way from the drivers' tent to the pre-grid for their inaugural Non-Qualifying Practice sessions.

The drivers' tent was a hive of lively activity, echoing with the sound of the tools as teams meticulously prepared their karts for the challenges ahead. The atmosphere was electric, a visible excitement in the air, as both seasoned racers and fresh talents geared up for the thrilling sessions that lay ahead.

The sun smiled down, casting a golden glow on the karts and the determined faces of the drivers. As the engines roared to life and the karts rolled out onto the track, a symphony of anticipation enveloped the venue.

So, let’s see what was going on at the race track today:

Denmark’s Knud Nielsen (#606) was fastest in the opening Non-Qualifying Practice session of the 2023 RMC Grand Finals with a 55.970, 0.399 seconds in front of Germany’s Mats Johan Overhoff (#601), whilst Marius Lyager Rose completed the top three, a further 0.007 seconds adrift.

It saw a close top six, who were covered by 0.540 seconds and completed by Bahrain’s Lewis Smith (#611). Team Switzerland covered the remainder of the top five, thanks to the efforts of both Christopher Holst (#604 – 56.409) and Phillip Loacker (#605 – 56.452).

Nielsen would again go top of the timesheets in the second NQP session of the day, as the track showed signs of significant evolution. The Dane would go quicker still with a 55.523, leading countryman Sebastian Bach (#603 – 55.648), who was 0.125 seconds slower.

Overhoff would again take another result in the top three behind the Danish pair, and also showed signs of improvement on a 55.705. Loacker would end up faster than Holst on this occasion, with the former matching Overhoff on pace, whilst Holst was 3 thousands of a second behind.

It would be three for three for Nielsen, as he would again post the top time in NQP 3 with a 55.635, with Lyager Rose (55.661) just 0.026 seconds behind him in another Danish 1-2. Holst would end up third in the final session of the day, where the top 13 drivers would be covered by just over eight tenths. Hungary’s Dominik Deak (#615) was fourth on a 55.742, whilst Loacker continued his good run in the top five again, and was only 0.001 behind the Hungarian.

Non-Qualifying Practice 4 for E20 Senior starts tomorrow afternoon at 15:29 Arabian Standard Time.

Brazil’s Joao Goncalves (#705) was quickest of the field in the opening session of the event, putting down a marker of a 57.570 second lap time at the 1.414-km circuit, beating Cyprus’ Igor Mukhin to the top time by 0.185 seconds.

Team Germany’s Andreas Matis (#707 – 57.933) was third, almost two tenths of a second behind Mukhin, whilst Chile’s Hector Ramirez (#702 – 58.338) and Switzerland’s Gilberto Loacker (#703 – 58.552) completed the top five.

Mukhin would then end up being quickest in NQP 2, putting down a lap time of 56.353 seconds, with Matis second 0.519 seconds adrift, as Goncalves rounded out the top three, 0.092 seconds behind the German.

Loacker would end up moving up the order to take fourth, followed by Ramirez, with the pair also improving their times with the #703 on a 57.436 and the #702 on a 57.572.

The Brazilian would again end the day by being the fastest driver in NQP 3 with a 56.284, with Mukhin and Matis completing the top three. Mukhin was only 0.036 seconds adrift of the Brazilian, with Matis clearly still having time to find. Gilberto Loacker was fourth, whilst Portugal’s Joao Dias (#708) completing the top five on a 57.339.

Non-Qualifying Practice 4 for E20 Masters starts tomorrow afternoon at 15:29 Arabian Standard Time.

The ambient air temperature would climb upwards, as the Micro MAX contingent would head out for their first Non-Qualifying Practice session. Team UK would lead the way in the opening venture onto the 1.414-km circuit, with Oliver Spencer (#9 – 1:01.936) and Emerson Macandrew Uren (#33 – 1:02.157) fastest out on track.

In a session that saw the top 20 drivers covered by just over a second, Danill Nikulshin (#26 – Kyrgyzstan) was third, whilst Edward Haynes (#4 – GBR) and South Africa’s Rafael Da Silva (#3) rounded out the top five.

Spencer would then double up in NQP 2 after the lunchbreak, putting down a lap time exactly one tenth quicker than the first session with a 1:01.836, with Haynes improving on his best effort to take second at the finish, setting a 1:01.911-second lap time.

Portugal’s Afonso Lopes put the #16 entry into third on a 1:02.082, ahead of Ecuador’s Julian Rivera (#14 – 1:02.118). Team UK’s Macandrew Uren (1:02.124) would complete the top five, being only 0.006 seconds adrift.

Haynes would then go one better in NQP 3, setting his best effort of the day to go quickest with a 1:01.874, 0.210 seconds in front of Croatia’s Vito Coza (#8 – 1:02.084). Lopes would again place third in the session on a 1:02.160, whilst Macandrew Uren and the Netherlands’ Cees Muijs (#10 – 1:02.292) completed the top five.

Non-Qualifying Practice 4 starts tomorrow afternoon at 15:42 Arabian Standard Time.

In the first Odds Non-Qualifying Practice in Bahrain, Canada’s Ilie Tristan Crisan (#149) would top the timesheets with a best effort of a 59.359 second lap time, closely followed by Lithuania’s Majus Mazinas (#151 – 59.439) and 2021 RMCGF Micro MAX Champion Nikita Ljubimov (#133 – EST – 59.537). Serbia’s David Matlak (#113 – 59.580) was fourth in front of Kyrgyzstan’s Prohkor Solukovtsev (#157 – 59.618), which saw the top 24 karts within a second of each other.

Evens saw the top three covered by a mere 0.089 seconds, with Jacob Ashcroft (#122 – GBR) fastest with a 59.202, followed by Thailand’s Kampolphu Anuchatkul (#164) and Albert Friend (#130 – GBR). 1.053 seconds was the time difference between the top 24 drivers, whilst Canada’s Edward Kennedy ( #156) and New Zealand’s Tommy Hart (#142) ending up fourth and fifth respectively.

The UK’s Cole Denholm was fastest in NQP 2 Odds, as the #135 set a benchmark of a 59.149 second lap time to beat, which saw Estonia’s Ljubimov get closest to it, but was 0.105 seconds off Denholm’s best effort. Mazinas was third, 0.213 seconds off Denholm, ahead of Solukovtsev, whilst Taigen Sakano (#101 – JPN) got into the top five with a 59.423.

Ashcroft again would be fastest in NQP 2 for Evens, as he would be the first driver to go under 59 seconds, posting a 58.894. Friend would be second fastest, ahead of Ireland’s Ben Mccloughry (#114 – 59.150) who completed the top three. Rory Armstrong (#138 – GBR) was fourth on a 59.273, followed by the Netherlands’ Senn Lindeman (#116 – 59.306)

NQP 3 Odds would again see another driver top the times, this time being Estonia’s Ljubimov with a 58.802, 0.080 ahead of Crisan from Canada, whilst Denholm completed the top three, a further 0.007 seconds back. The session would also see another three British drivers complete the top six, as Denholm was followed by Charlie Woolfitt (#119 – 58.939), Oliver Warner (#139 – 59.038) and Joshua Griffin (#131 – 59.055).

The final NQP session for Evens today saw Ashcroft continue his run of form at the top of the timesheets once again, as the British driver would lead a 1-2-3 for Team UK, as he was closely followed by Friend in second and Armstrong third. The trio were covered by just 0.055 seconds. Mccloughry would secure fourth, whilst Germany’s Niklas Cassarino (#112) would secure fifth in the session with a 59.198.

Non-Qualifying Practice 4 (Odds) starts tomorrow afternoon at 15:55 Arabian Standard Time.

Timo Jungling (#221 – GBR) was the fastest in the opening session for Odds in Junior MAX, being one of a handful of drivers to initially to break under the 55 second barrier with a 54.860, leading a British 1-2 in front of Kenzo Craigie (#229), who was only 0.071 seconds slower.

2022 RMCGF Mini MAX Champion Christopher El Feghali (#201 – LIB) would complete the top three, being a mere 0.011 seconds slower on his best effort behind Craigie. Portugal’s Martim Barros Meneses (#261 – 54.969) was fourth, whilst South Africa’s Wian Boshoff took fifth fastest, as the #203 put down a best effort of a 55.016.

Bahrain’s Luca Horton (#206) was top of the timesheets in NQP 1 for Evens with a 55.141, fractionally edging out France’s Tom Dussol (#250) by 0.008 seconds, followed by Mika Van De Pavert (#240 – NLD) in third. 32 drivers would be separated by 0.864 seconds after the chequered flag, with Japan and France represented by the final two drivers that rounded out the top five – Arata Endo (#216 – 55.198) and Louis Comyn (#264 – 55.251).

NQP 2 Odds saw 29 drivers covered by just under a second, as Belgium’s Beau Lowette would be quickest with a 54.678. The #237 led a very close top three, who were covered by just over 0.150 seconds, rounded out by South Africa’s Kent Swartz (#211 – 54.831) and Jungling (54.832). Denmark’s Casper Nissen (#205) was fourth in the session, posting a 54.911, ahead of Mateja Radenkovic (#207 – BEL – 54.939).

NQP 2 Evens saw another name and nation fastest, as Germany’s Hannes Überfeldt (#202) was at the top of the times with a 54.724, ahead of Australia’s Max Walton (#242 – 54.792), whilst Endo (54.877) rounded off the top three. Luka Scelles (#234 – FRA) would place fourth, 0.186 seconds off Überfeldt, as Houghton secured fifth in the session.

Non-Qualifying Practice 3 (Odds) starts tomorrow afternoon at 13:58 Arabian Standard Time.

Belgium’s Kaï Rillaerts would lead the way in the first NQP session of the day, as the #357 posted a 53.859, followed by Japan’s Kenta Kumagai (#323 – 53.912) and France’s Adam Rahali (#359 – 54.059). Kuwait’s Fahad Alkhaled (#301) secured third spot on the times with a 54.193, 0.002 ahead of Italy’s Elia Pappacena (#345 – 54.195), where the top 30 drivers in the session, rounded out by Chinese Taipei’s Yan-Chen Chou (#371), were covered by exactly 1 second.

Norway’s Theo Eriksen (#366) would be fastest in the opening Evens session with a 54.099, in front of a British quartet that completed the top five. Kai Hunter (#334 – 54.246) would take second in front of Lewis Gilbert (#332), who would set exactly the same lap time, followed by Ethan Jeff-Hall (#308 – 54.260) and Macauley Bishop (#326 – 54.361). It also saw a very closely-packed spread between the top 31 drivers in the session.

Sean Butcher (#303 – GBR) was fastest in NQP 2 Odds with a 53.799, being one of seven drivers in the session to dip under 54 seconds. He was followed by the UAE’s Theo Kekati (#367 – 53.852), who was 0.053 seconds adrift, whilst Rillaerts would round out the top three on a 53.901, with the top three covered by just a tenth of a second. Greece’s George Kafantaris (#363 – 53.933) was fourth quickest, with Alkhaled rounding out the top five on a 53.948.

Hunter would make it four different drivers as being fastest in today’s Non-Qualifying Practice sessions, as the #334 from Team UK would top NQP 2 Evens with a 54.077. He would be followed by countryman Ethan Jeff-Hall (#308 – GBR – 54.179), who was just a tenth of a second adrift, whilst Finland’s Miska Kaskinen (#306 – 54.259) completed the top three.

Three-time RMCGF Champion Mark Kimber, who won here in Senior MAX two years ago, was fourth, just 0.007 seconds behind the Finn, whilst Bahrain’s Mohammed Alhasan (#346) completed the top five, just 0.001 seconds off Kimber.

Non-Qualifying Practice 3 (Odds) starts tomorrow afternoon at 14:24 Arabian Standard Time.

2021 RMCGF Champion Martijn Van Leeuwen (#467 – NED) would be at the head of the field in the first session for Odds in Bahrain, posting a 53.335-second lap time, 0.142 seconds in front of Xen De Ruwe (#409 – SVN – 53.477). Greece’s Christos Oikonomou (#463) was third fastest on a 53.515, whilst the Czech Republic’s Jakub Bezel (#452) and Denmark’s Victor Frost Bay (#413) would round up the top five, setting their best laps of a 53.552 and 53.607 respectively.

NQP 1 Evens would have Leonardo Baccaglini as the fastest out of 36 drivers, putting down the best time of a 53.377, followed by 2019 RMCGF Senior MAX Champion Axel Saarniala (#432 – FIN), who was 0.125 seconds slower on a 53.502. Daniel Muallem (#404 – ANC) took third in the session with a 53.510, whilst Canada’s Matthew Taskinen (#450 – 53.526) and Latvia’s Martin Janovskis (#422 – 53.574) completed the top five.

Estonia’s Ragnar Veerus (#441) would be net to be fastest out on track, this time for NQP 2 Odds, putting in the fastest time of the day with a 53.230, 0.049 ahead of Oikonomou, with Bezel rounding out the top three. Another new name made their way into the top five, as Austria’s Philipp Moitzi (#401 – 53.379) took fourth spot, ahead of Van Leeuwen, who completed another close top five, who were separated by 0.153 seconds.

NQP 2 Evens would see Italy’s Michael Rosina (#414) as the fastest out there, posting a 53.260 second lap time, ahead of Saarniala, who was second despite Hungary’s Bende Szabo (#416) setting exactly the same lap time. Denmark’s Rasmus Vendelbo was fourth on the timesheets, as the #460 set a time of 53.323 that would see him ahead of France’s Antoine Barbaraoux (#434 – 53.367)

Non-Qualifying Practice 3 (Odds) starts tomorrow afternoon at 15:03 Arabian Standard Time.

Argentina’s Matias Rodriguez (#527) was the quickest of 36 drivers in the class’ first Non-Qualifying Practice session at the circuit, posting a 53.792, just 0.048 seconds in front of Canada’s Ben Cooper (#526 – 54.039). Rodrigo Eckholt (#523 – CHI) was two tenths of a second off second place, but still put in a respectable 54.039.

Eckholt would end up edging out the pairing of Latvia’s Henrijs Grube (#528 – 54.062) and New Zealand’s Matthew Kinsman (#521 – 54.143). It also gives us a glimpse of what will be a very competitive field, which includes Brazil’s Rubens Barrichello (#516), as the top 22 were within a second of each other.

Rodriguez would again top the times in NQP 2, putting in the best time of the day with a 53.601, 0.179 seconds ahead of Latvia’s Grube. Kyrgyzstan’s Dmitrii Kofanov (#529) would make into the top three with a 53.818 second lap time, 0.038 seconds off Grube in second.

Lithuania’s Martynas Tankevicius took fourth, as the #512 put down his best effort of the day with a 53.830, whilst Colombia’s Juan Duque (#532 – 53.833) completed the top five, who were separated by just 0.232 seconds.

Non-Qualifying Practice 3 starts tomorrow afternoon at 14:50 Arabian Standard Time.

Overall Fastest Lap Times:

  • E20 Senior: 55.635 | Knud Nielsen | DEN
  • E20 Masters: 56.284 | Joao Goncalves | BRA
  • Micro MAX: 1:10.836 | Oliver Spencer | GBR
  • Mini MAX: 58.769 | Jacob Ashcroft | GBR
    Junior MAX: 54.678 | Beau Lowette | BEL
  • Senior MAX: 53.799 | Sean Butcher | GBR
  • MAX DD2: 53.230 | Ragnar Veerus | EST
  • DD2 MAX Masters: 53.601 | Matias Rodriquez | ARG
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