Etienne Bax flies high with double top

16/07/2017

Could Valentin Giraud and Elvijs Mucenieks go one better this time and grab all twenty-five points? He actually had a last minute panic in the assembly area with mechanics swarming all over his sidecars.

Could Etienne Bax repeat his holeshot from race one ? On this very fast stone-littered track, the start is everything, as he showed.

 Another crew hoping for better things was the young Dutchman Julian Veldman who, with new passenger Peter Beunk, retired from race one with mechanical issues.

Beunk was also returning to the scene of a nasty accident last year, when a large rock knocked him out of the sidecar leaving him with head injuries.

 Streaking up the hill it was Bax again, with Willemsen tucked in behind. Giraud again gave himself an awful lot of work to do with a poor start. He was still in ninth after two laps.

If his school report included motocross starts, it would definitely say “must do better”.

Three laps in and the Cermak brothers were third, again with Brown/Millard fourth and Burgler/Betschart right with them.

 Lap five and Giraud was up to sixth, but some twenty-one seconds off the leaders. At the front, Willemsen/Bax were right on the back wheel of Etienne Bax and Nicolas Musset, who by their own admission, were not keen on the track.

Giraud was then past Brown and closing on the Czech pair with incredible speed. He knew getting past them was a priority, and he pushed all the way. The thundering AMS engined WHT sidecar fairly flew through the air and passed the Czechs over one of the many huge  jumps.

He now had a clear track but a twenty-five second disadvantage between himself and Willemsen. Then smoke or steam began to pour from his bike and he was forced to limp into the pits, losing out again to Cermak and Brown in the process. It was almost certainly a stone through the radiator or a loose clip which cost him a good result.

Bax by now had a ten second lead and was destined to leave Germany with the overall victory and a maximum.

Veldman again retired with no points, and the Cermak brothers had an incredible ride to stay four seconds ahead of Brown/Millard and Burgler/Betschart.

In true gritty style, Giraud rejoined and held onto seventh place ahead of the Latvians Daiders/Stupelis. Damage limitation for the Frenchman kept the points respectable.

 From Barry Nutley