The penultimate race of the Oberlausitz Cup on September 9 was on home turf for us at MSG Niesky. It's a big, fast track with some tricky sections so our club drivers had the upper hand of course.
A heavy shower on Friday night washed out the earth track completely, but the race still got off to a proper start on Saturday after dry wood chippings from the local joiner's workshop (courtesy of KERO) were laid down. The track was still pretty wet which gave it loads of grip and was really hard on the engines!
Steffen had managed to get in a sneaky bit of training in the weeks leading up to the race so he was used to the new springs (3 stripes) and had the right engine. He put in a great performance in the first two qualifers so could skip the third. I took the second spot behind Steffen, and Dirk Röntsch (HPI/RB) took third. Steffen's set-up was absolutely spot on and we were slightly worried he would lap us in the finals. He was so fast he gained a 20-second lead on us in 5 minutes!
In the truggy qualifiers it was a closely fought battle between Sven Faske (Mugen/RB), Tom Hommel (Jamara/RB) and me but thanks to my home advantage I managed to take first place in two qualifiers.
We didn't make any major changes for the buggy finals, and two super fast fuel stops by my mechanic helped me gain - if only temporarily - on Steffen mid-race. Championship victory is out of his grasp though as he missed two races because of building work at home.
The truggy finals were nailbiting and although I got a good placing in the first final, Sven took second which meant he was the day's winner. The second final started badly with a crash, which put me pretty much at the back of the field. I followed this up with a bad landing behind the wash board and lost my spoiler which wasn't great for my nerves! I was still in third place during the next pit stop when Steffen (as my mechanic) said he wanted to mount the spoiler back on, but the lost time was too much of a risk to me so I carried on the race with a very spongy, spoiler-less XT8. A bit of luck and one or two mistakes by the other drivers put me in first place and gave me my fourth truggy win in a row!