While the year is slowly coming to an end, allow us a little review of the ESC 2012. After 5 exciting races (Run&Race, Kurvenlage, Harz GP, Blechkampf, Holiday in Hungary) the finals at the Pannonia Ring in Hungary drew a line under an exciting season...
Just like the year before, the 2012 season was launched with a training weekend at the Challenge Scootentole in Mirecourt (France). And it was already there that we got a first impression of how this racing summer was going to be: Neither fish nor fowl - leaving
us struggling somewhere between deluge and sunstroke. You were lucky, if you had brought more than one pair of tyres. Many of the pilots were riding in new classes and some had actually made a quantum leap forward in terms of riding ability over the winter.
Some fast visitors had come from Italy and by the time the weekend was over, everybody had realised that noone was going to muck around on the track, but that it was going to be all or nothing this time. But in the evening all rivalry was forgotten and the pilots got ready for the K8. The spontaneous (and already legendary) paddock party managed to set the direction for the upcoming season: In 2012 the sport-oriented ESC discovered partying. Splendid!
The first race of the official classifications already presented us with the first highlight: 10 Years Run&Race! Not only the participants, but also the local Bella Club and many cheerful visitors had come to celebrate with the Stoneheads SC. It was also at the
Run&Race that we saw the only major crashes of the year. One of them in the Standard class, the other one in K2. Although nobody got hurt in the end, suddenly everybody had clearly in mind how rapidly crashes are happening. Maybe it has to do with the 2011
season (shocking in terms of accidents and casualties) that we can note down a very pleasing trend for 2012: While the paramedics were needed at every single race in 2011, the pilots' willingness to systematically destroy themselves seems to have significantly decreased. Despite
some minor injuries, all riders finished the season unharmed. We are more than happy about that and really hope that this trend will continue in 2013.
At the Kurvenlage we were once again impressed by the tricks that this racing summer had up its sleeve. Rainwise that is. Within seconds, the track in Wackersdorf became incredibly slippery. Thanks god it stopped raining in the morning and our awkward sliding
turned into serious racing action again.
As a little highlight on the side, not only the regular trophies were awarded in Wackersdorf, but also the Chris Voicu Memorial Cup for social commitment. This year Erwi was able to carry it home - representative for all the indefatigable and committed people who help to
make this racing series happen. We consider this young tradition a great gesture that says a lot about the ESC and the people involved.
Only shortly afterwards another weekend of sunshine and rain: At the Harz GP (the first of two races in the Salzlandkreis area) a lot of last minute organisation happened, in order to avoid the rain. Classes were combined, schedules rewritten... But it was all of no avail.
During the endurance race heavy rain was pouring down on the riders. But they didn't seem to care and had a blast anyway. So did the K8 in which (alongside some hot favourites, who had already performed extraordinarily well at the previous races), a couple of new
talents were discovered.
Only three weeks later the ESC squad is travelling to the next race in the Wild East. Being the second to last race of the season, the Blechkampf has always been decisive. While Butsch and Stoffi can already celebrate their championship, nothing is decided
in the rest of the classes and the pilots have no choice but to race like there was no tomorrow. Doing just that, not only Robert but also two of the ladies have to deal with the consequences and crash quite unpleasantly on the narrow track. Luckily nobody got hurt in
the end and the racing day is well nicely finished by another paddock party.
Once again, the last race of the season took place in Hungary. Alongside the ESC championship, the decisive 6h race of the ESC-endurance was scheduled. Two highlights on one weekend so to speak. We also witness the most thrilling K2 race of the whole
season. Long after championship issues are off the table. The guys definitely safed the best for last.
Here's a quick overview of the classes:
The K1 (SF - GP Limited) was once again more than thrilling to watch, as it is becoming more and more similar to the K2 as far as riding skills and engine performances are concerned. Unfortunately Bene didn't
manage to defend his title and the deserving winner is Maik Persch. Karoo, Da Woidi and Hömmes have also reason to be happy, ranking on third, fourth and fifth position.
Also the SIP team had sufficient reason to cheer this year: As if it was a child's play, Stoffi (SIP/Stoffi's Racing Team) dominated the SF Standard class - one of the few classes in which not the engine performance, but the pilot's riding skills are the decisive factor. Patrick and Achim wound up on the places two and three, shortly followed by Zimbo and Matze. Stoffi also scored in the open Largeframe class (K4) and reached the third place there (behind Roland and Thomas, in the lead of Grete). Putzi (SIP/Munich Bunglers) was not quite so lucky this summer and finished the season on the fifth place. Right behind him Pesi (SIP/Stoffi's Racing Team), who only participated in (and won!) one race this summer. Also Maniac (SIP/GSF) seems to have been pursued by misfortune this time, but still manages to rank in the midfield of classes 1 and 2.
While Butsch won the standardised Largeframe class (K3a - Gran Tourismo) in the lead of Lenki, Toni, Marco and Alex, the 'big guys' Michi, Heizer and Val settled the 'Fozzy bear class' K5b between themselves and the title eventually goes to Austria. Of course the ladies were also accelerating this year. In the end Isa (Desperados Racing Team) deservedly wins the championship in the lead of Sylvie and Nina. Julia and Nicole make the top 5 of the fastest ESC-ladies complete.
The sensation of the year: After missing the championship by a hair's breadth, Rob Leibfarth of SIP Racing Team finally clinches the title in the top tier (K2, SF - GP Open), which makes him the first German K2 champion ever in the history of the ESC.
The favourites of the class had been fighting fiercely during the summer but in the end Rob managed to stand up against Marco, Rapfi and Ulf, who were honoured second, third and fourth. Also Markus (SIP/Stoffi's Racing Team), who delivered a spectacular
performance in his second year in the K2, made it to the top 5.
Visit the official ESC website for further information. Thanks a lot to all riders, visitors and volunteers for a successful season 2012. We're looking forward to seeing you on the track next
Dez 14 2012, 03:05