February 18, 2024

Zalewski heads Xray 1-2 at MIBO International

A driver who showcased his talents at inaugural MIBO International last year finishing runner-up in both buggy classes, Bartek Zalewski elevated himself up a step on podium this year heading an Xray 1-2 in 4WD.  Starting out the weekend in Horotovice by topping seeding in both 2WD and 4WD, it was to be the later that proved his better hunting ground.  Fresh from his EOS podium finished in Germany, the 17-year old would secure the overall TQ in the final round of qualifying denying his XB4’s designer Martin Bayer the top spot in his native country.  Carrying his morning Q5 form into A1, winning by 3.6-seconds from Schumacher’s Daniel Kobbevik, he was looking to seal the deal in A2 as he gapped the field but a brush with the tracks rubber dividers popped a steering link, as it had done in one of Saturday’s qualifiers, and the dream of packing up early for the trip back to Poland was over.  With Bayer taking the win from Kobbevik and new 2WD Champion Joern Neumann, A3 was now a pressure situation for Zalewski but despite the best efforts of Bayer he would remain claim and hold his senior off until the multiple European Champion crashed out as the race reached 2-minutes.  Managing his lead he would take a comfortable win over Team Associated’s Joona Haatanen to become a popular Champion of this year’s MIBO International.  Bayer made it a 1-2 for Xray, the event a truly family racing affair for the Hudy family with three generations competing.  Kobbevik would complete a podium double at the Sport V Hotel adding 3rd in 4WD to his earlier 2nd in 2WD.

Happy to get the win and continue his strong start to 2024, Zalewski said, ‘A1 was perfect. The car felt pretty nice so for a first run I was looking forward to the second one.  I had a few seconds gap on Martin (Bayer) but then lost my steering link like before.  We changed the plastics each round so I don’t know what happened.  Martin is really fast so there was now big pressure for A3 but after he broke I could breath again and just focus on driving a safe clean run.’  Just missing out on the podium in 2WD last year’s Top Qualifier in the class added, ‘In 2WD I was close to the podium.  From 6th on the grid a podium is difficult but even with a 2nd and a 3rd I didn’t get it which is crazy.’

Summing up his efforts in A3, Bayer said, ‘I tried to challenge Bartek for it but hit the board and that was it done’.  Opening the triple finals with a P3 and inheriting the win in A2, while disappoint his A3 battle didn’t got the distance he was complimentary of Zalewski performance saying, ‘He was driving very well so well done on getting the win’.

Making his MIBO International debut, Kobbevik was pleased with his third place but felt there was more for the taking.  Tying on points with Bayer as he did in 2WD but losing out on the tiebreaker on this occasion, he said, ‘4WD was good and I’m happy with third but it could have been better’.  The tall Norwegian vouched to, ‘go home and work harder’ for the next time.

View our event image gallery here.


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