2016 - What's new in 2016?

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Welcome to the 16th running of the South African Rotax Max Challenge. This highly popular and competitive National series has qualified more than 150 drivers to participate in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals on 6 continents and in many different countries. The RMCGF is without question the most prestigious and competitive karting event in the world. Champions from more than 60 countries have to qualify for an invitation to participate – there is no other way, no wild cards or credit cards!

SARMC National racing in 2015 was really strong from the Maxterinos to DD2s and it was great to see a really competitive Junior Max field again and real growth in Senior Max. Well done to our Champions and the team for bringing South Africa home second in the Grand Final Cup of Nations! Maxterino, Junior Max, Senior Max, DD2 and Masters will all run South African National Championships in 2016 with only minor changes to the rules.

While the rules are subject to final MSA confirmation, 2016 will use a scoring system similar to last year’s including four regional races. The first National event is on the 2nd of April in Cape Town and due to other national classes running on the same day at the Cape Town, PE (30th April) and Vereeniging (16th July) events there will be only three scoring heats from each of these races. The standalone SARMC final at Zwartkops on the 20th of August 2016 will be for SARMC classes only so there will be four scoring races on the day. A Comer Cadet Festival and Micro Max and Mini Max supporting classes will feature at the final event. The best 10 out of 13 National races for the year plus regional point score will determine the 2016 Champions! The Rotax African Open date has not been set and the date on MSA's calendar is not correct.

Technical rules will as always follow the published Rotax International Technical rules with a few exceptions to suit South African needs and subject to MSA approval. The important differences are the number and compound of tyres used in each class – only one set of four tyres from time trials, Mojo C2 for Maxterino, D2 for Junior Max and D3 for Senior and DD2 classes. Max Challenge runs at 162kg. Junior Max only permitted cylinders are marked with letters of the alphabet (and not marked by year model). Rotax XPS oil remains the only oil permitted.

The EVO program (EVOlution) introduction was controversial at the outset and at times problematic but there is no doubt now that the improvements were worth the trouble. Rotax as always have honoured their warrantee promises and the last few niggles will be sorted out in January 2016. An improved wiring harness will be available on exchange FREE of charge so please make use of this offer even if you are not having problems with your current harness. A new mounting bracket with dampers will also be provided FREE of charge to isolate the ECU, coil and PV actuator from vibration – please exchange your existing stuff even if it is trouble free. We strongly recommend that all EVO type 1 con-rods should be changed as there have been a few catastrophic failures causing major damage to casings, cylinders etc. Rotax will provide a new con-rod kit complete free of charge if you have your engine overhauled but you will pay for any other parts and labour provided by your Service Centre. Failure to exchange these con-rods will leave you without a warrantee in the event of a failure after the end of March 2016.

DD2 was fantastic in 2015 with nearly 30 starters at each National and more than 20 starters at most Gauteng regionals. DD2 growth in East London and the Western Cape was also encouraging. The interest in DD2 Masters is such that in 2016 the field may need to be split from the DD2 Challenge – nice to see the Masters on their own! Northern regions will again also host both a DD2 and a DD2 Masters Class Regional Championship in 2016. The unified weight limit of 176kg will also make for great racing. No chain – no pain!

Dates of Regional events counting for the 2016 SARMC will be published shortly.

Max Verstappen (interesting first name Max!) started in Mini Max and not long after is in F1. South African Champion drivers like Leeroy Poulter, Mark Cronje, Cristiano Morgado and more are proud RMCGF winners. Multiple SA Production car champion Michael Stephen was the 2002 SARMC winner and so nearly won the 2015 RMCGF DD2 Masters title in Portugal. Kelvin van der Linde was another Rotax Mini Max champion making a name for himself in the World of motor racing. Join the classes that produce real champions!

We will be showcasing Micro Max and Mini Max Classes in 2016 at Club level. These Rotax classes use the same basic Junior Max engine detuned to suit 7 to 10 year olds (Micro Max) and 9 to 13 year olds (Mini Max) and run on the same 95 cm chassis and tyres as our existing 60cc classes. Details of this introduction will follow but to be clear: the new classes have no impact on our current National and Regional Championship classes. Please note: there is absolutely NO truth in the rumour that Maxterino 60 is no longer being made – this is just mischief - new engines are freely available ex stock.

Rotax stands for fairness and we always strive to level the playing field. Thanks for participating in 2015 and Happy Maxing in 2016 !