As the lights went out it was Kurt Hock and Enrico Becker Hock Racing, LCR, Suzuki who got the hole shot under the blazing sun, right with them though was Pekka Paivarinta and Adolf Hanni, Team Suzuki Finland, LCR, Suzuki, Ben and Tom Birchall, Mitchells of Mansfield, LCR, Yamaha then Tim Reeves and Ashley Hawes, “The Relocator” LCR Suzuki. There was a small gap to the next group which was led by Jorg Steinhausen and Gregory Cluze, Steinhausen Racing Team, LCR, BMW who were side by side with Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer, Team Schlosser, LCR, Suzuki, right behind them was Josef Moser and Daniel Evenson, Team Tirol, LCR Suzuki, and right with them was Michael Grabmuller and Manfred Wechselberger, Delta Racing, LCR Kawasaki.
By lap two Reeves and Hawes had passed Hock and Becker bringing with them the Birchall Brothers who had got passed Paivarinta and Hanni, this put Hock back to fourth. Steinhausen and Cluze managed to get passed Schlosser and Hofer and started to reel in Hock and Becker, Hock started to get tyre problems which let Steinhausen get by, but as they were getting to grips with the race they too had a problem first losing water then power but they managed to cross the line in fifth place. The battle at the front had moved to the Birchall Brothers and Paivarinta as Reeves and Hawes started to pull away from the pursuing teams, however with the battle raging for second spot, this let Schlosser catch and make it a three way battle for the second place spot, as they all fought amongst themselves Reeves and Hawes pulled away and they were to take the chequered flag by nearly 10 seconds. The following teams fought hard for their places but with tyre problems affecting all of them it was hard going.
In the end it was an overjoyed Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer who crossed the line in second place. Closely followed by Paivarinta and Hanni and the Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom with them. Following Steinhausen over the line was Kurt Hock and Enrico Becker for sixth spot.
Slovenian driver Janez Remse and his passenger Jamie Biggs, Remse Racing, LCR Yamaha, lost power to their machine, and DNF the race.
Tomorrow will test all the teams to the limit with a 18 lap race, and the temperature is to be hotter.
Words and pictures by Mark Walters