Martin Bayer sucessfully defends his EFRA European title as he wins final in Valencia. Going into the semi finals, the biggest unknown was whether the cars would be able to last 30 minutes on their single tank of fuel. In the first semi final, incidents on the first lap saw an early departure for last years runner up, Dario Veseli (HR) whilst current World Champion Guillaume Solon firstly got hit by a back marker, dropping him down, and then ran out of fuel on the final lap. This all allowed Guido Ruster (DE) to win the first semi, followed by Matieu Briere (FR) Gianmaro Martelli (IT) and Olivier Sampietro (FR) Solon would have to wait to see if he had been quick enough.
The second semi final had Martin Bayer (CZ) lead almost every lap, as pole sitter Alain Bernard Arnaldi (FR) made a mistake early on, but held on to second. Also moving up were Markus Feldmann (DE) and Christoph Flakowski (DE) Andrea Catalani (IT) also got into the final as the fastest loser, with Solon just scraping in as Martin Lissau (DK) also ran out of fuel on his penultimate lap and was thus 2 seconds shy.
Bayer would start on pole, followed by Arnaldi. Ruster, winner of the first semi would start fifth. Into the main final and Bayer led away, but was hit by Arnaldi on the opening lap. Bayer held onto the lead, but Arnaldi was relegated to the rear of the field with a stop and go penalty. This put Feldmann into second, with Flakowski and Catalani battling for third.
Feldmann and Bayer pulled away at the front of the field, with Bayer extening his lead as Feldmann also increased the gap to third. Arnadli meanwhile was working his way up the field and by the 10 minute mark, the battle for third was between Flakowshi, Martelli, Arnaldi and Catalani.
By half distance, Arnaldi was up to third and started to pull away from Flakowski and Catalani. The gaps up front remained static, until Arnaldi got his second wind and started to reel in Fledmann. Lap by lap the gap came down, until with 5 minutes to go, Arnaldi was looking for a way past Feldmann. But, a few laps later, Feldmann ran out of fuel, giving Arnaldi an easy pass and second place, whilst Catalani moved third.
But none of this affected Martin Bayer, who led the field home with a clear half lap advantage, despite very cautious driving in the last few laps to make sure he had enough fuel.
1. Bayer RS5 ModellSport PMT
2. Arnaldi Genius Abbate GRP
3. Catalani Genius Abbate PMT