Thirty-eight points separate top trio as Markelo awaits round eight


It's back to home ground to kick-start the second half of the season for Etienne Bax and Kaspars Stupelis and the Markelo track on the east side of the Netherlands. This famous track has been in use for over fifty years, and has been the scene of many world championship races for solo and sidecars alike.

Its surface is typical of the exhausting deep sand which prevails in the low countries, and will suit the Dutch and Belgian sand specialists.

In sparkling form after double victory in Estonia, Koen Hermans and  Nicolas Musset will be coming to Markelo on a high, having moved to within thirteen points of defending champions Marvin Vanluchene and Ben Van Den Bogaart in second place.

They in turn are just one race win behind the red plate of Etienne Bax and Kaspars Stupelis.

This has been a close season at the top of the table so far, in complete contrast to last year when the established stars were all sidelined with a variety of problems.

Davy Sanders/Lari Kunnas come next, closely followed by an on-form Arne Dierckens/Robbie Bax.

Just one point splits Stuart Brown/Josh Chamberlain and Valentin Giraud/Andres Haller in sixth and seventh respectively.

There is much to ponder. Will we see the re-appearance of Daniel Willemsen on home soil? Rumours abound with regard to his passenger situation, and for sure he needs to react now if he is to stand any chance of a respectable points finish.

Also missing from the action in recent rounds was Julian Veldman. He and Glen Janssens took victory in the opening round, but injured himself in training. Surely he will now be fit to return to home soil in Markelo.

Will there be more luck for poor Valentin Giraud, who after a stunning first day in Kivioli, failed to make the start of race one, and struggled to make an impact in the second outing.

So all in all, it has been something of a topsy-turvy season for many, but equally, the racing has been impressive, and the championship is very much in the balance.

One thing is for sure, we are witnessing a strong challenge for the title from the former champions and current leaders. Bax and Stupelis are in great form this year, showing an immense amount of determination and desire.

By the same token, Vanluchene and Van Den Bogaart won their title with a show of calm consistency, and they know there is a very long way to go in this fascinating season.

As with all the rounds so far, we will be there with our WSC TV crew to produce the one-hour highlights show, and all the news items as they occur.

Later in the season we will be back LIVE at Stelpe, Gooik and the finale in Rudersberg.

 There are still season passes available for the LIVE coverage, and all the highlights shows, with paddock gossip and facts here on the website.


From Barry Nutley