Of the 384 registered participants in the 2023 Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC) Grand Finals, a lone entry from the Philippines stands out. Ryan Sy is taking on the world’s best karters this weekend at the Bahrain International Karting Circuit in attempt to put the country on the map.
The 13-year-old earned his invite after securing the Junior Class title in this year’s Rotax Max Challenge Philippines. That will see him spend a week in the Kingdom of Bahrain where he’ll compete in the 125 Junior MAX category.
What’s good about the RMC Grand Finals is that all entries compete on ‘equal machinery’. Almost 400 karts, with brand new chassis and engines, were built just for the event and will be assigned to each driver via a raffle. This allows for an even playing field so that true talent could shine.
Running under Formula E Racing Management, Ryan will be up against 71 other karters in his class for a shot in the Finals. Non-Qualifying Practice sessions takes place on December 4/5 which gives Ryan ample time to master the 1.414 km track. The Qualifying Heats, on the other hand, will be from December 6/8 to determine who gets a slot in the all-important Finals on Saturday.
As this is not Ryan’s first world-finals event, we expect him to already know the ins and outs of racing against an international grid of karters. While that doesn’t make it any easier, at least we’re confident that he can put up a strong challenge in Bahrain.
Ryan Sy: “I expect that the racing will be very close and scrambled since all the karts, engines, and parts are from a raffle. This is world class competition so it will be exciting. Since there are also 300 plus drivers across all classes I hope I can make more friends in the international racing community. My goal is to qualify for the finals on Saturday.”