IAME X30 WINTER CUP
THE FIRST EVER IAME X30 WINTER CUP CHAMPIONS ALL DECIDED ON LAST LAP
Valencia, Spain – February 16-19, 2017
The inaugural IAME X30 Winter Cup concluded with some excellent racing and action-packed finals Sunday, where the eventual winners were only confirmed in the very last moments of the race to the chequered flag to officially crown the 2017 champions in 3 classes – Maximus Mayer (SPA) in X30 Mini, Mari Boya (SPA) in X30 Junior and Jordan Brown-Nutley (GBR) in X30 Senior.
With the Spanish weather favouring the X30 warriors at the Kartodromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero near Valencia over the weekend, the new event organised and promoted by RGMMC attracted 65 entries coming from 13 countries in the latest initiative to the early season calendar.
The most recent addition to the X30 categories was dominated in the results by local drivers on the podium, although they did have some competition all the way from northern Europe. Qualifying pole-sitter Sergio Ruiz (FA Kart – FA Racing Spain) ended on equal points with fellow countryman Maximus Mayer (Tony Kart – MarlonKart) following one win each in Saturday’s three heat races, with Miron Pingasov (FA Kart – AC Motorsport) taking a win also, ranking third. It was Ruiz who started on pole for the pre-final, where he was narrowly beaten across the line by the British-born Mayer. Casper Jansson (Falcon – PDB Racing Team) won the dash for third place.
After leading for the majority of the final, Ruiz fell out of contention as the dice for P1 got serious in a four-kart battle during the closing stages. In a display of race-craft maturity, 11-year old Mayer allowed Jansson to overtake him as they approached the last corner before the flag, only to put pressure on the Swede and repass him for a well-deserved win. A front fairing penalty left the PDB driver out of the podium ceremony, so it was Ruiz second ahead of pace-setter Pingasov.
Maximus Mayer – “It is a brilliant feeling to win the Winter Cup! [Casper] Jansson was pushing me in the last lap and I knew he would get through if I defended, so I let him overtake me because I knew I could get my place back in the last corner. I want to thank my team and family for their support.”
An obvious fact in Valencia was the sheer confidence and track knowledge that gave the Spanish drivers a clear advantage at the X30 Winter Cup. This was definitely the case in the X30 Junior class where the experience of Ruben Moya Lopez (FA Kart – Teo Martin Junior Team) assisted in the official timed practice to secure pole position for the qualifying heats, and winning the first race on Saturday. However, it was Isidro Callejas (FA Kart – Unomatricula K-Team) seemingly surprised with his results, who made the unexpected manoeuvre of the race on Angus Moulsdale (Exprit – Fusion Motorsport) in the last heat, last lap, to claim pole position for Sunday’s pre-final.
Moya Lopez stole the lead from Callejas in the pre-final and led the race from there on, also setting best laptime after making the less popular choice of using a new set of tyres for the first of the finals. He managed to keep Moulsdale from taking P1 in a challenge to the finish. In the deciding final, rookie Mari Boya (FA Kart – Kids to Win) won the dice for second with Joshua Rattican (Tony Kart – Coles Racing) and took the lead on lap 3 from Moya Lopez. With one to go, the pole-man pushed and regained first, but it was short-lived as Boya played out his own race strategy to overtake his fellow Spaniard at turn 9 and seal the 2017 Winter Cup victory. Rattican was held at third place in the lunge for the line in front of the Peruvian champ Matias Zagazeta.
Mari Boya – “We had some hard races Saturday and the final was a really tough race. It took a lot of concentration. After Ruben [Moya Lopez] passed me in the last lap, I saw the gap at turn 9 to overtake and made the move, which I was pleased with. It was really good to win! Thanks go to my family and team, my mechanic and coach for all doing a great job for me to win.”
Boasting a competitive line-up of former and current champions plus international newcomers, the level of drivers was encouraging, and provided some intense racing across the weekend. Jordan Brown-Nutley (FA Kart – DHR) continued his dominance of 2017 Winter Cup success in Valencia, overpowering the highly-determined local driver Carlos Leon (FA Kart – FA Racing Spain) in qualifying before securing pole in the pre-final by just one on point over the Spaniard. Both drivers each won two heat races Saturday, with the deciding factor in the fight to rank first down to a daring overtaking move by the Brit Brown-Nutley on Leon in the remaining race when they eventually met. In the field of 42 drivers, Arnaud Malizia (Sodikart – Trefle Racing) and Dean MacDonald (Tony Kart – Strawberry Racing) featured as well in the heats with one race win each.
In the pre-final, it was Senior rookie Mark Kimber (Tony Kart – Strawberry Racing) who led 9 laps of 12 in total, assuming the lead from Brown-Nutley in the early stages. A fantastic pass by Leon on the outside relegated the Englishmen to P2 and 3 as the FA Racing driver took the honours. Oliver Clarke (Tony Kart – MSport Karting) and Jenson Butterfield (Tony Kart – Strawberry Racing) made up the top 5.
The best was yet to come though, as the full grid of X30 warriors went into battle over the 15-lap final and didn’t disappoint the fans watching trackside or via the Telemundi Media Livestream.
Poleman Leon duelled with Kimber and then with Brown-Nutley non-stop into the second half of the race, before running wide and allowing race pace-setter Milan Petelet (Praga) to take the lead. The French driver led up until the last chicane, but Brown-Nutley executed a perfect cross-over pass from the outside line to seal the title and cross the line celebrating. MacDonald was classified second due to Petelet receiving a front-fairing penalty, which meant Kimber was promoted to third ahead of team-mate Butterfield and Enric Bordas (FA Kart – Kids to Win) fifth.
Jordan Brown-Nutley – “I had a plan and was waiting to read what [Milan] Petelet was doing. I went over it in my head and knew if it went wrong, it would go really wrong. It worked! It’s a great feeling to win again in Valencia and I have enjoyed the racing here this weekend. Special thanks to Grice Racing Engines, Dan Holland Racing and my mechanic Russell Carter for getting the kart spot-on.”
Results from the 2017 X30 Winter Cup are available on the homepage – www.x30euro.com
Watch all the finals action from the 2017 X30 Winter Cup online at www.telemundi.com
Follow us on Facebook at IAME X30 Euro Series and on Twitter @rgmmc #RGMMC
The next event on the RGMMC calendar is the opening round of the official X30 European Series hosted by Genk Karting, Belgium from March 23-26.
*Photos by – Loredana Ivancov / The Racebox