Red Plate and title lead go to Veldman/Cermak by one point at fantastic Kramolin
Following a brilliant opening race, the eager spectators lined the Kramolin track to witness two new battles. The sun was glorious, their appetites had already been whetted by a second terrific quad race, and all was well with the world.
The gap between the top three teams had closed after Bax/Musset’s opening win and there was a new level of determination around the teams in the title hunt.
Race Two – Once again the true professionalism and grit of Daniel Willemsen shone through as he and Rodolf Lebreton took the holeshot followed by Bax/Musset and a frantic tussle behind. A massive tangle took out Leferenik/Beleckas and Peter/Zatloukel among others. Lukas Cerny/Bastien Chopin nearly got caught out by the mess but were quickly round it riding hard to a great finish in seventh. Five or six outfits were involved in total off the start, but all the main players were clear.
As before, Etienne Bax swept to the front on the first fast lefthander, and immediately assumed a commanding lead. Julian Veldman/Ondrej Cermak were way down in seventh place with Koen Hermans/Glenn Janssens pushing ahead into second position.
Marvin Vanluchene, series leader, did not look comfortable but kept his head down to chase the leaders. Bit by bit, Daniel Willemsen was overhauled by Vanluchene/Bax.
This left the coast clear for Julian Veldman/Ondrej Cermak to attack Varik, whilst at the same time fight past Daniel Willemsen
Jake Brown/Joe Millard had a much better start and were to get up to ninth place threatening eighth before their Zabel expired on the climb back to the start straight.
Hermans/Janssens were very fast but appeared to settle a little at half-race distance.
Bax/Musset meanwhile had built a seven second lead over them, until suddenly, Hermans seemed to find his mojo. So enchanted were we with his efforts to close down the race leader, we totally overlooked the fantastic charge by Veldman/Cermak who had reduced a large deficit on Vanluchene to next to nothing. In the closing stages he was past the 2018 champion to stand third on the podium.
But once again, the Bax/Musset roadshow marched to victory from a delighted Hermans/Janssens ahead of Veldman/Cermak. This result closed the top three in the title chase to within five points of each other.
Result – 1/ Bax/Musset, 2/ Hermans/Janssens, 3/ Veldman/Cermak, 4/ Vanluchene/Bax,
5/ Varik/Kunnas, 6/ Willemsen/Lebreton, 7/ Cerny/Chopin, 8/ Keuben/Rietman,
9/ Steegmans/Steegmans, 10/ Boukal/Boukal.
Race Three – This might go down as the best race in recent years with Daniel Willemsen once more heading the field off the gate. His starts this weekend were phenomenal and he scored every time. In this race he maintained his momentum for half-distance before anyone crept past. He was followed on the opening lap by a fast-starting Koen Hermans.
He and Glenn Janssens shot into second and looked as if they were going for glory. They had Etienne Bax in fourth with Julian Veldman/Ondrej Cermak third and pressing hard.
Vanluchene/Bax were fifth in danger of missing out on big points.
What transpired next was amazing. There was a six-outfit freight train circulating lap after lap, all following the old master Daniel Willemsen. He was riding a great race thwarting every effort to pass, but eventually Veldman knew he must go for it. He took his heart in his hands and launched by Hermans on the fast downhill drop at the back of the track. Next up was Willemsen and Veldman repeated the move with Bax very much in touch. This race was amazing to watch with the crews obviously giving it their best shot. Hermans somehow dropped off the pace and it appeared there was a problem. It transpired Janssens had a back injury and was hurting. Varik gradually charged up the order and put himself in a strong fourth place towards the end of the race. Veldman upped the pace and Bax had no answer, falling seven seconds adrift at the flag. Vanluchene lost the red plate, and Veldman now leads by one point. This was a terrific race and the crowd loved it.
Result – 1/ Veldman/Cermak, 2/ Bax/Musset, 3/ Vanluchene/Bax, 4/ Varik/Kunnas,
5/ Willemsen/Lebreton, 6/ Hermans/Janssens, 7/ Cerny/Chopin, 8/ Sanders/Rostingt,
9/ Keuben/Rietman, 10/ Heinzer/Schelbert.
Full results and standings are listed in the results/standings section on this website
Round Four the Finale comes from Oss, Netherlands 15-17 October