A perfect place to be for the end of this fourteen-round marathon is the south of France. The long season is still not decided with the two teams at the top separated by twenty-three points and fifty up for grabs. Etienne Bax knows that if his rival Marvin Vanluchene continues his momentum throughout this closing weekend, the title is all but decided his way. It will take a Vanluchene DNF or two uncharacteristically poor results, for the defending champions Bax and Cermak to be back in contention.
Third place is already decided with Koen Hermans and Ben Van Den Bogaart destined to wear the number three next season.
Enjoying their best season ever, Brett Wilkinson and Joe Millard from Great Britain are on target for a record finish in fourth, eighteen points clear of the impressive Lielbardis twins. This despite a couple of mechanical issues along the way and some racing mishaps.
The young Latvians surely have a world title beckoning as their careers develop and mature. They have shown an ability to maintain race pace and gain positions late in the races.
Justin Keuben’s attack has also been hindered by an engine breakdown and other unfortunate circumstances with the excessive heat in Loket. Now teamed up with Rodolphe Lebreton, he will be hoping for a strong finish in France.
The season-long battle between Tim Prummer and Marco Heinzer took a twist in Germany with Prummer suffering a race two DNF, allowing the Swiss crew to move eighth in the standings.
The French crowd as always, will be strong in terms of numbers and vocal support. Newly crowned double French champions Killian and Evan Prunier have made it into the top ten, with eyes on a barnstorming finish on home ground. Their weekend will benefit from the local encouragement.
Vanluchene and Musset also contested the French championship this year defeating the Pruner brothers in terms of points but were denied the actual title due to Vanluchene not being a French licence holder. No such thing can happen in Castelnau, so the field is open to whoever scores the most. Etienne Bax and Ondrej Cermak must go for glory and leave the rest to chance and fate.
We are all poised to witness this exciting finale, and as always, will be on-site to bring you every blow.
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From Barry Nutley