Olli Caldwell had his best season in European Karting by far in 2016 with a championship podium in the Junior Rotax class. The Rotax Max Euro Challenge is known by many as one of the toughest in the World.
The best drivers in Europe compete in four rounds at four different countries with the best three rounds counting towards your championship. There is no room for error and Olli didn’t have many of those along his journey to 3rd in the championship.
Heading into the last round of the championship at Salbris, France Olli was in a fight for 2nd in the championship with Mark Kimber and Glenn van Berlo. Heading into the first points scoring race of the weekend (Pre-Final) Olli was well placed lining up on 5th with Kimber 2nd and van Berlo 11th.
The drivers were faced with a damp track and would all head out on slick tyres. Despite the pressure Olli held his nerve and got himself straight into the lead as Kimber fell backwards. Three laps later and Olli was a close 3rd with van Berlo climbing to 4th and Kimber still struggling in 11th. As the lead group expanded van Berlo joined the party but took himself out straight away in an incident that saw him exit the race.
That left Olli only needing to worry about Kimber who was still out of the top ten as Olli was now back up to 2nd. Lots of fierce battling eventually saw the lead group involve as many as eight drivers with Olli 4th heading onto the last lap. That would have been a fantastic result for Olli with Kimber 8th but that was unfortunately where he was harshly run off the track which saw him drop to 9th and saw him received a front fairing penalty which dropped him to 12th. With Kimber 7th the battle for 2nd had swung in Kimber’s favour substantially.
The top three in the Euro Challenge would receive tickets to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals so that was Olli’s aim heading into the last final of the weekend. As the final got underway Olli gradually worked his way through the order picking drivers off one by one as het got closer and closer to Kimber. Olli managed to get through to 6th and catch the top five on his own where he eventually went on to finish 5th and comfortably secure 3rd in the championship.
There is no room for error and Olli didn’t have many of those along his journey to 3rd in the championship. He will now aim even higher in the Rotax World Finals, where he will compete for the Rotax World Championship title.