Day two of the heats provided us with plenty of excitement across the Senior, Pro and Super Shifter classes. We had mostly dry racing, with a few races being disrupted by brief showers only adding to the drama.
Senior – Van Splunteren remains unbeaten
After a hat-trick of wins’ yesterday Joey van Splunteren (NED) would have two more heats today in very different conditions. But his confidence seems to be growing every time he hits the track, a worrying sign for the rest of the field who have yet to find a way to beat him!
However, there are other drivers who are certainly not far away when it comes to results. Ben Barnicoat (GBR) has now picked up three wins with Rivaldo van der Westelaken (NED) and Enzo Leveque (FRA) taking two each.
The racing today saw us climb to eleven different heat winners with Edoardo Villa (ITA), Elie Goldstein (BEL), David Leguem (FRA) and Xavier Handsaeme (BEL) all joining that list. The racing highlighted that the field is extremely close in Senior with eight of the eleven races going right down to the wire!
From pole position Gus Lawrence (GBR) has continued to look strong with top three finishes in all of his heats today, Romain Leroux (FRA) has been consistent with two second place finishes. Penalties have hurt the chances for some with Thomas Turner (GBR) one of those and O’Neill Muth (GER) also picked up his first bad result of the weekend giving him some work to do tomorrow.
At this stage it is very hard to predict where exactly you are going to end up on the grid unless you are Joey van Splunteren who would need a disaster to stop him from being at the front now.
Tomorrow will see the completion of the heats before Final C and Final B which have a reputation of being chaotic races with only one qualifying space available in each.
Pro – MacDonald takes much needed wins!
After a first corner he’ll quickly want to forget about in heat one yesterday, Dean MacDonald (GBR) was clearly unfazed today as he recovered the best way possible with two heat wins.
Both races were far from straightforward though, Harry Thompson (GBR) and Franck Chappard (FRA) presented early challenges in heat two leaving MacDonald briefly down in third. But he would quickly fight back all of which had allowed the likes of Callum Bradshaw (GBR), Juho Valtanen (FIN) and heat one winner Morgan Porter (GBR) to close in.
But as MacDonald upped his pace only Chappard was able to stay with him and despite constant pressure there would be no mistakes from MacDonald who took the win. Behind Porter finished a solid third with Bradshaw taking another fourth and Thompson fifth.
Heat three saw MacDonald start the race by going backwards as he and Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA) would treat us to a brilliant battle for fourth which ended in a brief trip over the grass for the Italian. Up ahead Thompson, Nikolas Pirrtilahti (FIN) and Jorge Carlos Pescador (ESP) had escaped chasing after some much needed results.
Lap six would provide big drama, as the rain started to fall many were left caught out on the brakes into turn one with Travisanutto amongst those who lost time. It seemed to play into MacDonald’s hands who adjusted quickly and helped himself to a second win, with Valtanen second, Porter third and Taylor Barnard (GBR) gaining fourteen places to finish fourth.
There is still one more heat to come tomorrow, after which we will know who will be on pole position for the Pre Final. At the moment you’d have to say Porter is the favourite to do so with Thompson hot on his tail.
Super Shifter – Bordas and Piirimägi give us three different winners
Yesterday’s wet conditions saw the Belgian Christof Huibers (BEL) settle in the best taking a comfortable victory. But the dry conditions today would create a different story altogether.
After qualifying on the front row Quique Bordas (ESP) proved he has what it takes to win the IIF. The Spaniard quickly took the lead from Sten Dorian Piirimägi (EST) and pulled away from the field with only Thierry Delre (BEL) for company. Delre set the fastest lap as he mounted a challenge, but would fall just short of a victory with Huibers a solid third place.
A second and a fourth was a good set of results so far for Piirimägi, but to challenge for pole position you need victories and the Estonian took the third in very convincing fashion to prove he should not be forgotten about this weekend! From the off Piirimagi was in control and went on to win by 3.8 seconds ahead of Rodrigo Ferreira (PRT) who looked impressive on his run up from fifth.
With top five finishes for Delre, Bordas and Huibers it seems anyone of four drivers could be on pole come Saturday with the Super Shifter class seemingly getting closer every race.