In a welcome return to the UK after a few years absence the 1st & 2nd July saw the second round of the F125 and F250 European Championship series in Stewartby Bedford. Competitors from Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, and Hungary joined British Racers to battle for vital points in the two European Championship series.
A last minute scheduling change from the original venue for the two classes saw the UK promoters welcomed the F125 and F250 classes with open arms to run alongside the already scheduled GT30 European Championships and second round of the UIM F4 World Series being run on the same weekend.
With briefings out of the way competitors quickly got down to business in the qualifying sessions. In the F125 it was Germany’s Thomas Trabitzsch who took the lead setting a flying lap time of 51seconds on the nose on his second lap qualifying in second. Just .28 of a second behind him was Estonia’s Marek Peeba and with little separating them during qualifying all eyes were on the first heat to see who got the best start into the first turn.
Heat 1 and the fleet powered away from the lights, and as the four boats headed towards the first turn all eyes were on the lead boats to see who would clear the turn first. As the spray settled Estonia’s Marek Peeba had claimed the lead, but Trabitzsch was hot on his wake and pushing him every lap of the race. Peeba held on to the lead to take the first win of the weekend, Trabitzsch took second with Poland’s Sebastian Kecinski taking third and Britain’s very own Nigel Stopforth taking fourth and completing the field.
Above: Marek Peeba Top: Peter Bodor Photos by: Bryan Scott
Peeba made it two out of two heats with another clean start leading the race from start to finish and setting himself up for a strong finish with just one more heat to complete to win him the weekend’s crown. In heat two Kecinski got the jump on Trabitzsch to take silver ahead of the German.
The final heat of the weekend saw Peeba once more take a clean win to claim himself the second round of the European F125 series and following his win at Boretto in Italy set him on the right course to claim the 2017 UIM European Championship with the final round taking place in the Ukraine in August.
In the F250 championship campaign 6 nations lined up to battle it out for glory in the second round of the European Championship. In free practice, just half a second separated the top three boats with Peter Bodor of Hungary posting the fastest lap ahead of the Czech Republic’s David Loukotka.
With the qualifying session underway it was once again Bodor who took the lead setting his fastest time on his 6th lap of the course with a fantastic time of 0:39.69 seconds to claim pole position on the grid. Britain’s Wayne Turner looked on flying form setting a qualifying time of 0:42.56 and claiming the second position on the starting line-up.
Into Heat 1 and from his Pole position Peter Bodor took the lead into the first turn mark but it was disaster for Italy’s Marco Malaspina as he broke down just off the start causing the race to be restarted. With Malaspina recovered the race got back underway with Bodor once more powering away from the start and leading the race from start to finish. David Loukotka took second and Wayne Turner finishing third.
The second heat of the weekend saw the drivers on standby. With windy conditions affecting the course officials with approval from the drivers opted to postpone the F250 drivers second heat for a favourable gap in the weather.
With a break in the weather the F250 drivers were quickly on their grid once more. Bodor launched away from the start and got a clear lead around the first turn from third on the grid Wayne Turner who got a fantastic start and went neck and neck into the turn with David Loukotka. But taking the course wide the brit lost out to Loukotka who chased Bodor home in second, with Malaspina taking third and Turner forced to settle for fourth.
With a serious collision in the F4 World Championship race the final heat for the F250 was once more put on standby as boats were recovered and drivers taken to hospital for treatment with one in a serious condition. On consultation with officials the drivers made the decision not to run their final heat. So, Hungary’s Peter Bodor was crowned winner of the British Grand Prix and lengthened his lead in the F250 European Championship Series. David Loukotka of the Czech Republic took the second step on the podium and Britain’s Wayne Turner completed the podium line up on the Bronze medal step.
The championship battle continues for the F250 fleet when they head to Ternopol, Ukraine in August Peter Bodor looks set to claim the European title with a 14-point lead over Italy’s Marco Malaspina, but we’re sure there will be many drivers trying to stop him in his tracks.