4th Race of the European Scootertrophy 2017 – Rocking the Harz-Ring
This year, the 4th EST stage took place at the Harz-Ring. The track provides the perfect conditions for exciting events and suspense-packed races. On Saturday morning many pilots showed up to compete and hunt for record times on the 1068m long track.
Weather conditions were close to perfect – 20°C, dry track, and the atmosphere in the paddock was great. Lots of participants were expected for the short distance as well as for the long distance races. The organizing team decided to lower the price for entering the long distance race to attract riders who want to take part in both disciplines. The offer was well received, and eventually there was a left over potential for vehicles but not enough pilots.
Before the long distance race could take off, the riders had to get through qualifying to secure a good starting position on Sunday.
The winners of each class:
Stefanutto passed Alexander Dittmar in the 2nd qualifying run with a time of 1:01.396. Loibl, Richter and Müller finished behind them.
The first three positions were decided in the second qualifying. Berktold was far ahead of his competitors. M. Schröder came in second. Beerhues, Brüggeshemke and Apostel finished 3rd – 5th.
The hunt for the best lap times started on Friday, with many pilots giving it their all at training. In the course of this year’s racing season, a thrilling triple header between Lukas, Harder and Pohl developed. The situation did not change during qualifying, the rivalry between the three riders was palpable. In the end it was a smiling Lukas who brought victory and the pole position. Pohl finished second, followed by Harder. The times of all three were really close to each other which raised the anticipation for Sunday.
Schack started from pole in the mixed class, followed by Bartsch, Göttlicher and Dammert.
People were looking forward to the long distance race. 13 teams were impatiently waiting for the flag to drop. Ready for take-off! HK Racing was a bit too eager and crashed in the first turn; he got up and on his bike again and started to charge through the field. MultiKulti was in the lead right from the start, closely followed by b.e.-Racing. The field was shuffled by the first pitstop, though. HK Racing was now seriously catching up and claimed second place for a long time, with MultiKulti slowly but steadily increasing his lead. RMU Team Germany started to catch up during the second third of the race, but there was simply no chance of closing up on MultiKulti. Then, however, on his way to victory, MultiKulti had a bad crash. Now it was the time for RMU Racing Team to race ahead. Luca Göttlicher went full throttle and managed to make up leeway. The dramatic finish saw RMU passing right when the chequered flag went down and winning with 170 laps. MultiKulti pushed his PitBike over the finishing line and claimed second place with the same amount of laps. HK Racing came in third with 2 laps less. Preussen Racing came in at position 4 with 3 laps less, followed by SR Racing Team.
Weather conditions for the actual race day were ideal. Slightly cloudy, 20°. Everybody took advantage of the good weather to do some free test runs. They had 2 hours and 30 minutes for free training. The organizers introduced some new ideas and regulations they brought back from Belgium. Grid position is now pre-sorted at pre-start. This is supposed to make things easier, especially in regard to the major race in Liedolsheim.
A. Dittmar got off to a good start and took the lead in the first race. Stefanutto on pole had some difficulties at the start and fell back into the main field. Loibl tried to catch up to Dittmar but didn’t really stand a chance. Heckel had to drop out of the competition due to a technical defect the day before. Over time, Stefanutto managed to work his way up to the third position. Hüskes gave cause for alarm – he had a bad crash when trying to pass in the last turn before the finishing line. An ambulance swooped in and Hüskes was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder. Though the ambulance showed up quickly the helicopter that had to be called in arrived much later which led to a delay of proceedings for more than an hour. At the end of the day Hüskes made it back to the paddock – we wish him a speedy recovery!
The first race for Class2 developed into a crazy battle between basically all competitors, with Berktold, Schröder, Beerhues and Goldenpfennig in the lead. Berktold managed to break away from his pursuers. Goldenpfennig seemed to be glued to Beerhues, but was not able to pass him. Beerhues, however, managed to pass Schröder shortly before the end of the race, and Goldenpfennig dropped back to the end of the field. The actual action took place behind those 4, though – no. 32, 93, 18, 86, 71, 59, 15, 14, 88 and 44 fought tire-to-tire, with countless overtaking manoeuvres and suspense galore. It was Apostel, followed by Brüggeshemke, who made it out on top and secured position 4.
Schack won the mixed classes 4 – 7 race, followed by Göttlicher and Dammerte; he also set the record time for the weekend – 56.183. Bartsch won the GPs with a very slim margin. Zehe made it to first place ahead of Hasenberg and Gronow.
The pre-start of the Expert class was reorganized this year; the pilots were given 10 minutes to prepare for grid position. This turned out to be a disadvantage for Pohl since he had problems getting his scooter started for the warm-up lap. After he finally got it started, his vehicle broke down in the first turn and he had to push it back to the pits. Lukas, however, took advantage and immediately made it to the top position. With Harder crashing in the first lap, noone was in a position to jeopardize Lukas’ victory. It took Shahin 4 laps to charge through the field to position 2 which earned him important points in the overall rankings. Ong who rode on position 2 for a while, came in next, followed by Dersch. Sperling crashed in the turn right before the finishing line and had to drop out; cleary unhappy, he turned to the stand-up displays to vent. Pohl got out of the pits 3 laps behind but still managed to make some important points for the championship ranking.
The break was cancelled due to the accident and subsequent delay, so the second race was was held immediately afterwards. The weather became a bit worrisome as it started to drizzle during pre-start. Race management decided to proceed since track conditions were pretty good due to the relatively warm weather. The pilots were given two instead of just one lap for warm-up, though. And it was Dittmar again who was the fastest to get off from the starting line. But this time things did not run as smoothly. Richter stayed close behind him, just waiting for Dittmar to make a mistake or the rain to become more intense. He couldn’t change the situation, however, Dittmar made it to the finishing line without any mistake and was the first to cross the start-finish line. The head-to-head fight for position 3 was equally exciting. Loible and Stefanuotto competed against each other, Loible winning the fight with ease. A. Müller who had to drop out of the first race because of technical difficulties finished fifth.
While the second race in Class 1 was still going, race management decided to hold all subsequent races as so-called wet races. This left all decisions up to the individual riders.
It stayed dry, though, and the race was relatively calm and predictable unlike the tension-packed first race. Schröder was allowed to participate but due to a technical defect his result could not be considered in the official rankings. Berktold and Brüggeshemke went off to a good head start and nobody seriously challenged them. Beerhues finished third, followed by Goldenpfennig on 4 and Kückmann on 5.
Only two riders competed in the second race in Class 4, Zehe and Hasenberg, with Zehe winning again. Bartsch took home the BMC-GP class victory, Bähr finished second. The Pitbikes finish was more or less a repetition of the first race: Schack, Göttlicher and Dammert.
Pohl really wanted the last race in Class 3 to go differently. Take-off did not look promising for him because Lukas was off with a really good head start and took the lead. Pohl stayed close and the two pulled of an action-packed tire-to-tire fight for several rounds. Pohl tried to outmanouevre his competitor by braking and then accelerating out of corners. In lap 6 he got serious about it, and Lukas, noticing Pohl’s speed, did not want to risk an accident but rather secured the points he’d get for the second place. Harder had a hard time again, he looked a bit worse for wear. He did not give up, though, put up a fight and turned out a fair loser. Shahin, again starting from the back of the grid, came in third, followed by Ong and Dersch.
The next race will take place on September 2 and 3 in Liedolsheim. We are looking forward to seeing all of our friends and colleagues from race2.be and hope for many many participants.