Hello readers, and welcome to another weekend review, and this time we are taking a look at what happened in the Latvian, Czech, Estonian and French National championships. What a weekend it was too with, again, a lot of our WSC crews getting in valuable track time across various circuits in Europe, with a few surprise crews making appearances too.
Czech Championship – Krasna Lipa (Saturday)
Making an appearance in the Czech championship held at Krasna Lipa, located a mere 4km from the German border, was the reigning world champion, and current world red plate holder, Bax / Cermak. Throughout the weekend they proved to be absolutely dominant in the first race, taking the victory by almost a minute! Coming home in second place was Diblik / Gabor, who themselves were the best part of 30 seconds ahead of Boukal / Viton. Looking at the very bottom of the timesheets however, we find Cerny / Chopin who only completed 3 laps, but a laptime of 2:03.950, with a fastest lap of the race of a 2:03.450 set by Bax / Cermak, showed that without any mechanical difficulties, were a serious threat.
These mechanical difficulties were rectified for the second and final leg of the weekend with, once again, Bax / Cermak setting a hot pace at the front. This time, however, it was being matched by Cerny / Chopin on their Jawa, and the victory that came so easily to them earlier on the day, was looking a lot less certain. In the end though, they held on after a race long battle, and claimed yet another 25 points, to take away a perfect score.
- Bax / Cermak
- Diblik / Gabor
- Boukal / Viton
- Vejchoda / Vejchoda
- Polivka / Zatloukal
- Cerny / Chopin
Estonian Championship – Karksi Nuia (Saturday)
Over to the south of Estonia for the second meeting being held on the Saturday, and we find two more of our WSC crews in action, this time in the form of Varik / Kunnas and Gordejev / Stupelis. Also thrown in the mix for good measure is the young Latvian crew of Lielbardis / Lielbardis, and they proved to be a spanner in the works!
The first race was taken rather handsomely by the current second-placed crew in the world championship, Varik / Kunnas, by 24 seconds over the Lielbardis brothers who, themselves, completed the race with a 20 second advantage over Gordejev / Stupelis.
The pace was slightly slower, due to the track conditions, for the second leg, however this proved irrelevant as the top three from the first race repeated their antics, albeit with a slightly reduced deficit of just 2.5 seconds between the Lielbardis’ and Gordejev / Stupelis, with Varik / Kunnas taking the honours by 29 seconds.
- Varik / Kunnas
- Lielbardis / Lielbardis
- Gordejev / Stupelis
Latvian Championship – Ape (Sunday)
To kick off Sunday’s action, we move to Ape in Latvia, located only 115km away from the Karksi Nuia circuit. As a result of the proximity, we saw a previously mentioned WSC crew making the trip across the border, to maximise their track time, by the name of Gordejev / Stupelis. Also making the trip down were the Lielbardis brothers, after a successful Saturday saw them take the silver medal.
Saying this, they were clearly gunning for gold as they set the fastest qualifying time, to give themselves first gate pick ahead of Rupeiks / Liepins, and the aforementioned Gordejev / Stupelis.
This great forward momentum of the Lielbardis’ was paying dividends, as they took the first race victory by 17 seconds ahead of Rupeiks / Liepins, with Gordejev / Stupelis a mere 2.6 seconds adrift. A fastest lap of the race of 2:25.432 for the Lielbardis’ was almost four seconds quicker than the next fastest time, set by Rupeiks / Liepins, and this only cemented the fact that the young Latvian brothers were going to be very tough opponents indeed.
Later on in the afternoon, race two got underway and once again, it would have appeared that nobody has an answer for the Lielbardis’, as they stormed to a perfect score of 50 across the days action. For the remaining two spots available on the podium, it was a reversal of the first encounter, with Gordejev / Stupelis taking the silver medal ahead of Rupeiks / Liepins, by no less than 47 seconds!
- Lielbardis / Lielbardis
- Gordejev / Stupelis
- Rupeiks / Liepins
French Championship – Vesoul (Sunday)
Three races took place at Vesoul for the French championship, and what a day of racing it was! Local racers Prunier / Prunier took the victory in the first race after an almighty tussle in the early stages of the race, with Hermans / Musset rectifying the issues they suffered with last weekend in Bauge, and flying up the order after being eighth to choose their gate. They ended up rounding off the podium, with Sanders / Rostingt taking second place.
Wijers / vd Putten ended up taking fifth place, just behind Chanteloup / Villaines, however ahead of Wisselink / Tourbier.
The second race kicked off in dramatic fashion with the Prunier’s taking the lead from Hermans / Musset, which they would eventually relinquish, all while Sander / Rostingt were hunting them down. In the end, it was to no avail, as they took third place, behind the Prunier’s, with Hermans / Musset taking a very-well deserved victory. Another fourth place for Chanteloup / Villaines, with Wijers / vd Putten in fifth, and Wisselink / Tourbier coming home eleventh.
The third and final race saw the Prunier’s take the holeshot again, ahead of Sanders / Rostingt, and Hermans / Musset right in the wheel tracks in third. The Prunier pairing faded ever so slightly during the race, and both chasing packs did not need an invitation to come through, which they duly did. They did not go down without a fight, and it was not clear as to who would take victory until they took the chequered flag. It eventually went the way of Sanders / Rostingt, ahead of Hermans / Musset and then the Prunier’s rounded out the podium. For the third time, it was Chanteloup / Villaines who beat Wijers / vd Putten to fourth place, with Wisselink / Tourbier placing seventh.
As a result of the top three playing musical chairs with the podium, we ended up with a strange scenario in which they all scored 67 points!
- Sanders / Rostingt
- Hermans / Musset
- Prunier / Prunier
- Chanteloup / Villaines
- Wijers / vd Putten
The top 5 crews were all WSC teams, with Wisselink / Tourbier claiming an overall eighth place finish.