Euros Day 1 [Monday 14th August]
2 Wheel Drive: The first day of the Euros consists of 5 rounds of practice, the first and second rounds were not timed due to problems with frequencies and other issues so it was hard to tell who the fast guys would be from the outset. Timing came in round three and it was local hero Hupo Honigl driving the Losi XXXCR that was quickest in round 3, followed closely by Neil Cragg and Paul Bradby – Peter Pinisch has had some fast laps too [all using the Associated B4]. Hupo looks like the man to beat at this years Euros. His experience on the track seems to put him in good stead for a top place in the finals.
Round 3 of practice suffered a slight rain shower toward the end, I say ‘suffered’ but this probably isn’t the case since the rain settled the dust and made the track a little easier to drive. The track had mostly dried up by the time round 4 was under way but a thunder storm and heavy rain put an end to the 5th and final practice session after 4 heats had run in progressively worse conditions, the track was still fast but the marshalling was unpleasant and dangerous.
The track runs anti clockwise, with a large sweeping corner after the straight and over a huge table top jump. This, just like all ‘features’, is covered in thin blue carpet. The table top landing is a little hard to see and judge. The double-doubles are next and require good timing. A corner jump with up slope and down slope is catching a few people out who try to jump over the corner and down the other side. Lastly the wall of death, this is fairly easy to drive, just aim the car and go full speed, then let off the power half way up and turn – no problem.
Some big names are missing, no Jukka Steenari or current 4WD champion Ellis Stafford. Former champion Chris Doughty was meant to be racing but hasn't turned up. There are still however some top racers in attendance, Neil Cragg, Hupo, Pinisch and touring car superstar Marc Rhienard among others. Multi-time euro chamion Craig Drescher is here and is pitting for Neil Cragg as well as racing himself.