Ronnefalk on pole for 36th Euros
David Ronnefalk will start the final of the the 36th running of the 1:8 Offroad European Championships from pole position. In a repeat of last year’s opening Semi final, the Swede again took the win ahead of Top Qualifier Elliot Boots, the defending champion having a slight bobble on the opening lap which let the former back to back champion slip through to a lead he would hold for the rest of the 20-minute encounter. Making it a three way train around the huge RC Redovan track Robert Battle would drop back a little after the first fuel stop as a wrong tyre compound choice saw his tyres go off. The Spaniard would hold on for third as he managed a comfortable gap over the Xray of Martin Wollanka. In the second Semi the result would also be a repeat of 12-months ago as Davide Ongaro took the win. Starting second Ongaro got by Darren Bloomfield on the opening lap and like Ronnefalk took control of the rest of the race. With Bloomfield falling to sixth to just make the cut, Bryan Baldo would take second followed by former champion Yannick Aigoin, Marco Baruffolo and Oscar Baldo, the locals ecstatic the Baldo brothers are into the final at their home track.
‘Everything was really good, I wasn’t planning to pass Elliott, he made a mistake’, was Ronnefalk’s reaction after the Semi. The 20-year-old said, ‘my car is very easy to drive. I knew in qualifying we would have a good car for the 45-minutes and now myself and Elliott are very close now’. Commenting on his race, Boots described it as, ‘not bad. Just put it into the final was the key objective’. He continued, ‘I got grip roll which allowed David to slip through and then it got a bit windy again and I had a tumble which caused me to hit Robert (Batlle), it was a racing accident’. Finishing 16-seconds back, Battle said the race was ‘very good’ adding ‘we just had a problem with the tyre compound after 7-minutes so I just drove to bump up’. Despite using too soft a version of Procircuit’s new prototype tyre, the former champion said his Mugen is good and with a harder tyre they are ‘looking good for the final’.
Winning his Semi by just 1.7-seconds, reigning Junior Champion Ongaro was lucky to hang on for the win. Getting by Bloomfield when the Agama driver got out of shape over the jumps, the 15-year-old pulled clear but after his first stop started to experience brake problems. With the link eventually coming undone, he would have to finish the race with no brakes at all. The Mugen driver also struggled for tyres his front slicks by the end of the race. Running Procircuits Road Runner tyre he will now switch for the final to the same prototype tyre as second placed Byran Baldo used in the Semi. Big names to go out in the Semi included the TLRs of Renaud Savoya and 2015 podium finish Alex Zanchettin.
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