Victory at last for Badey! After having come so close in Oschersleben, Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) took his first victory of the season after a superb battle with Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) and Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry ...
Victory at last for Badey!
After having come so close in Oschersleben, Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) took his first victory of the season after a superb battle with Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) and Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry Boutsen Racing).
The first action came early when Ludovic Badey span on the formation lap! Luis Miguel Reyes came off worse from the start, as he span and ran off onto the grass. Cesar Campanico was the next to go, spinning his car in the midst of the field.
At the front, Ludovic Badey quickly got the better of Jeffrey Van Hooydonk. Jan Heylen then joined the battle and promptly took second. Renaud Derlot (TP Competition) was the next to spin with Simon Abadie (Tech 1 Racing) falling victim to a similar fate in exactly the same bend.
The race order at the end of lap one was therefore Badey ahead of Heylen, Van Hooydonk, Nicola Gianniberti (Oregon Team) and Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing). From here, Gianniberti and Kuppens were to go it alone right to the finish. The leader meanwhile was maintaining the pressure and managed to put a few more car lengths into Heylen. But the Belgian was quick to respond, setting the fastest lap to bring himself right back up his rival.
In the main field, Sandor Van Es (Equipe Verschuur) snatched 6th from Marc Benz (Iris Racing). The young Swiss driver then dropped another place to Angel Burgueño, but remained first in the Junior standings.
On lap 5, Jan Heylen took the lead with an unstoppable overtaking manoeuvre. But Badey was not about to be dropped and continued to look threatening.
While the race order remained relatively unchanged in the top 5, it was quite another story for the other half of the top 10! Marc Benz finally won back sixth place from Sandor Van Es, who himself slipped back to 9th. In between these two, Angel Burgueño (Epsilon Euskadi) and Frederic Gabillon (Team Lompech Sport) were involved in their very own ding-dong battle!
On lap 11, Ludovic Badey, who'd been biding his time, chose his moment to put in a fine attacking move and pass Jan Heylen! Heylen tried to seize back the lead, but it was clear that Badey really wanted win badly after having come so close in Oschersleben. After attempting a few attacks, Heylen seemed to back off a little and settle for second.
Lahaye, who had managed to get past Van Es then ran off into the gravel. Benz also dropped two places to Burgueño and Gabillon. The battle between Lucas Lasserre (Energy Racing) and Pedro Petiz (Oregon Team) ended in a collision which meant the Race Director had to stop the race on the final lap. The race order was taken on the standings at the end of the penultimate lap. This gave Marc Benz another victory in the Junior category ahead of Mathieu Lahaye and Pedro Petiz.
Ludovic Badey: "I was involved in a superb battle, first with Jeffrey then with Jan. But it was a clean-fought battle all the way. In fact, it's my second victory but the first one which counts towards the Championship!"
Jan Heylen: "It was a good race, even if I had some engine problems in the closing stages, which meant that I was unable to stay with Ludovic."
Jeffrey Van Hooydonk: "I made a series of mistakes on the opening lap especially when I got it wrong on the brakes and let Ludovic and Jan past. Then I was unable to stay with them. But I'm happy with this podium finish all the same."