The final round of the Rotax Euro Challenge took place at Salbris in France for the Coles Racing Junior and Senior Rotax competitors.
Adam Smalley came into the final round with a great shout of a top 5 finish in the standings. However his weekend got off to a horrible start - a difficult qualifying left him down in 26th position!
Smalley put on a great set of fightbacks in his heats. Heat one saw him gain twelve positions to finish in 13th. In his second heat he gained eight positions to finish in 17th and gained eleven positions in the final heat to finish in 14th. This gave him a starting position of 15th for the Pre-Final.
Smalley put on another good performance through the field. Keeping out of trouble as drivers all around him were making various contacts and getting penalised for nosecone infringements - he managed to take a solid 9th place finish.
Going off 9th position in the final, Smalley made a good start to elevate himself up to 7th. However on the fourth lap, a rival driver made contact with him, dropping him to the back of the field. Smalley then had to fightback from 26th in the remaining ten laps - salvaging 18th at the flag in a disappointing end to such a strong comeback drive throughout the weekend.
The usual Rotax Max team of Josh White, Josh Skelton, Tom Croydon and Stephanie Le Vesconte were joined by Zak Fulk for the final round of the championship.
A difficult qualifying for the team saw the drivers post the 10th, 17th, 29th, 32nd and 33rd fastest times after only being able to get in four timed laps in the short session.
White managed to recover to 11th position in the opening heat, with teammate Skelton just pipping Fulk to the line for 16th - as Fulk gained twelve positions in the race. Teammates Croydon and Le Vesconte also gained ground to finish 23rd and 26th respectively.
The second heat saw Skelton fair the best with a 9th place finish. Le Vesconte gained thirteen places to finish in 20th as teammate White endured a tough heat to finish one place behind. Fulk was given a five place penalty for a tough manoeuvre, deducting him to 27th at the finish, whilst Croydon registered a non-finish.
The final heat was another difficult race for the Coles drivers, with Skelton again fairing the best in 12th, White took 14th, Croydon gained thirteen positions to bag a solid 17th, Fulk took 21st and Le Vesconte 29th at the flag.
The Pre-Final was a messy affair with many drivers gaining penalties for front fairing infringements. Skelton was dropped down the order from his 9th place grid slot to finish in 13th, just ahead of teammate White. Le Vesconte and Croydon finished close together in 26th and 27th, whilst the luckless Fulk's race ended on the opening lap.
The two Josh's worked together well in the Grand Final, both making strong progress through the field to recover some solid points, with a 6th position finish for White, just ahead of Skelton at the flag. Fulk made a brilliant recovery drive to 10th position after starting 33rd! A five second nosecone penalty however demoted him to 16th at the chequered flag. Croydon recovered 7 positions in the final to recover to a solid 20th overall - whilst Le Vesconte also made good progress to finish in 23rd position.
At the end of an up and down European season, Coles Racing ended up with Smalley taking 7th overall in Juniors aswell as bagging the Winter Cup Title at the start of the season.
Josh White took 3rd overall in the Rotax Max standings to secure himself a ticket to the Rotax World Finals, where he will be competing for the World Championship in the class at Sarno in October. Skelton, Croydon and Le Vesconte took 14th, 23rd and 26th overall in their debut seasons in the Euro Challenge, with the experience to build on in the future.
The focus now turns back to the Little Green Man X30 Tour and Super One British Championship final rounds, as Oliver York is in the fight to win the LGM Junior X30 title, whilst Josh White and Jonny Edgar are in the fight for the titles in Rotax Max and Minimax respectively.