Karting comes to the fore in the Rotax Development Department relatively late. Though the company has already conquered motorcycle racing years before, is proving its innovative strength and endurance in the aviation sector, and Rotax-powered Ski and Sea Doos are delivering peak performance, it is only in the 1980s that Rotax begins to develop kart engines. But the first successes are not long in coming. The successful two-stroke engines from the motorcycle sector quickly dominate both national and international CIK (Commission Internationale de Karting) championships. But in 1997, sporting success is combined above all with a technological revolution, which gives karting an enormous boost: the Rotax 125 MAX kart engine boasts 125 ccs and an electric starter and brings lasting changes to its entry to motorsports. The innovative kart engine sets new standards for reliability and user-friendliness. And there’s more: Its structure is based on an evolutionary model, which requires very few components for refits and upgrades. This means the 125 MAX engine can be easily adapted to the needs of race series, namely the age of pilots and their approach to racing. Rotax creates a universal drive design for all, from first-timers racing in entry-level series to the fast, daredevil drivers in the professional karting series. An engine that will see kart drivers through their whole career and whose maintenance is cost-effective and resource-friendly.
ROTAX MAX CHALLENGE GRAND FINALS & ROTAX MAX CHALLENGEA kart racing series based on the Rotax 125 MAX engine
An engine design for all ages
The Rotax MAX Challenge & Grand Finals – a racing series and a breeding ground for talent
An engine for all race classes. An engine for all needs. The equal opportunities that this presents enable Rotax, together with its sales partners, to launch a motorsports race series under the title of Rotax MAX Challenge. The race series is officially approved by the CIK-FIA and uses only Rotax MAX engines, to ensure every driver races under the same conditions and has an equal chance of victory. Driving skill and talent are the only factors separating the more than 15,000 active race drivers and participants in the worldwide RMC program.
At the turn of the millennium, the race series is expanded to include a triumphant season finale: The first Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals take place in 2000. 66 race drivers from 19 countries take part in the final competitions in Puerto Rico. By the 20th anniversary of the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in 2019, the number of participating drivers has grown to 360 from almost 60 countries, competing in 6 different classes. And in 2018, the Rotax eKart is launched, with a special class at the RMC Grand Finals.
- The same chassis, tires and Rotax engines ensure equal opportunities for all entrants. Every year, karting enthusiasts showcase their talent. For many of them, the Rotax MAX Challenge marks their entry into professional motorsports. Formula 1 greats such
- A karting revolution The Rotax MAX 125 sees kart drivers through a range of age and racing classes. (BPR-Rotax company archives)
- The Rotax MAX Challenge race series has more than 15,000 participants worldwide and gives karting enthusiasts their first experience of motorsports. (BPR-Rotax company archives)
Get involved and never miss a milestone!
Experience the most important events of Rotax' last century afresh. Keep a look-out for special milestones. And unlock other highlights of our success story by commenting, liking and sharing!