After seeing off multiple challenges on the day, South African karter Cristiano Morgado won the DD2 Master’s Class of the 2013 Rotax Max Finals Karting World Championship, the world’s most competitive karting series, for a record fourth time.
Over 280 champion karters from around the world took part in the gruelling four-day series held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, with only 72 taking part in the final race.
Starting the final race on pole, Morgado fell to third after the first lap, but managed to regain the lead on the lap three. A lead he didn’t relinquish. “It was never going to be easy.” Said Morgado after his win. “Every lap was like a qualifying lap.”
Towards the end of the race Morgado saw off pressure from the competition but maintained the lead for the win.
The Rotax Max Finals have been running since 1999, with Morgado crowned champion previously in 2003, 2011 and 2012.
Other South Africans in the 10-strong team that took part in the finals didn’t fare as well as Morgado at the NOLA Raceway. In the DD2 Open Class, Luca Canderle from KZN qualified in the top 10, but an early racing incident resulted in a 15th place finish, while Ryan Frost from Gauteng started in 34th position in the DD2 final but did well to finish in 18th.
Being his first exposure and experience to the competitiveness of the Rotax series, the talented Nathan Parkins of Gauteng finished the Senior Max final in 14th place.
In the Nations Cup, won by the USA, South Africa finished sixth. However, South Africa remains the most successful team in the history of the Rotax Grand Finals – thanks to strong showings over the years in the championship.
Gavin Cronje won the first Rotax Grand Final in late 1999.
– Charlen Raymond