“Kaunas Grand Prix” Was Pulsating Intrigues and Tension
Even though last weekend was fulfilled with events in all the Baltics, most of the petrol heads have gathered in Kaunas “Nemunring” track. In here – “Kaunas Grand Prix” has gathered the best Baltic racers and two days filled with adrenaline, battles and tension. Air was vibrating from engine sounds from 10 a.m. on Friday, a first participants of the races have tried their best and were looking for their (as well as their cars) limits by driving in “Nemunring” corners and straights. First half of the day was assigned to free practices, as the rest of the day was balanced for qualifying sessions.
Painful Practices and …Crane on Track
Sadly, not all the racers were satisfied with their first practices on Friday, as already first couple laps have ended either with technical issues or slipping away. There were always rumours that this Lithuanian circuit track really has to take it’s own sacrifices. Finish racer Petri Seppälä (actually, the only one Finnish guy in “Kaunas Grand Prix“) was one of the first victims here. He was forced to finish his racing weekend mush earlier than planned as he lost control of the car during the free practice session. While sliding after so called Stadium corner, this racer’s car hit the tires and flew over the barriers, landing at least 15 meters down the hill in between of the trees. Even though the racer was OK and managed to climb back by himself, the crane was needed willing to take the car out of the woods. Another victim required by the track was found among local racers, as during “BMW 325 Cup” qualifying session racer Andrius Čilvinas tried to avoid hitting another BMW that stopped in front of him in the track and has ended his qualifying session on the roof. He was fine and tried to rejoin the qualifying session with another BMW, however, it was not verified with the Clerk of the Course and for car switch, his qualifying results were annulled and he begin racing at the end of the gird. So, pretty painful and long Friday has opened the “Kaunas Grand Prix”.
Breath-taking BaTCC Beatles
During “BTC 2”, “BTC 3”, “GT“ classes qualifying session, pole position was taken by Aurimas Mištautas. Actually this racer has shown quite the pace: his best lap time was equal to 1.15.295 minute. This Lithuanian on a grid was accompanied by another LT racer seeking for victory in the same classification as Aurimas does , that would be Izidorius Paukštys. Pole position holder Aurimas Mištautas took the victory both times, during the 1st and the 2nd runs. He is not leading this race once again, but holds the season leader’s position, too. As always, most the tension among the participants of this class – between Izidorius Paukštys and Danas Azikejev. During the 1st run, Izidorius took the second place, as for thr 2nd run – it was won by Danas. This athlete took the 2nd step on the podium, as well, keeping Izidorius on the third.
Vilius Praninskas wasn’t really lucky during 1st run the race. The car of his did not comply with the technical regulations of “BTC 2” class, so the result was annulled. However, this guy has managed to gather some really important points of the championship during the second race. Meanwhile, the 3rd place was taken by Julius Ašmonas, Atis Veismanis was the 2nd, as Tadas Petukauskas was the fastest among all of them..
In “BGT AM“ class, 1st place was taken by Kastytis Volbekas, keeping Laurynas Krikščiūnas in the 2nd.
During the run of the classes with less powerful vehicles (“BTC 1” and “ABC Race“) pole position was taken by Aurimas Kučinskas, having season leader Laurynas Simonavičius right behind him. During the races of those guys, there were plenty of battles and intrigues. Even though L. Simonavičius wasn’t able to start during the 2nd run, he was able to reach the 3rd step of the podium during this event, keeping the season leader’s chair to himself. The 2nd place was taken by Marius Kemešys, as the winner was Aurimas Kučinskas. “ABC Race“ class participants were fighting during all the race. The battles and the podium were phenomenally Latvian: the 3rd place was taken by Janis Ubelis, Egons Lapins was standing on the 2nd step of the podium, as the 1st place was taken by Ernests Skulte.
30 Racers in “BMW 325 Cup” Series
All the attention was attracted by incredible starting grid of “BMW 325 Cup” races as well as by the battles of “Nankang Endurance Academy“ 2 hours race. Both competitions filled with sportive incidents, accidents, yellow and red flags, non-stop technical issues, and, most importantly, the tension staying up until the final moments of the races.
Adrenaline has filled the air already on Friday. Right after an accident that ended on the roof, Andrius Čilvinas showed back on the track driving another BMW, however- missing the permission of the Stewards. Changing the car after the qualifying was penalized with an annulation of his qualifying results, so he have begin the race being at the end of the grid. Ramūnas Čapkauskas, even though he showed quite the pace, was forced to move backwards on the grid due to the penalty for repair works performed under red flags faze. Finally, having all grid positions clarified races were one step closer and pole position was taken by Karolis Jovaiša. No surprises there, as he is strongly holding the leader’s chair. First race, comparing to the 2nd run – was really calm and steady. However, couple of penalties were issued. Estonian racer Remo Raudsepp got the 10 seconds penalty for overtaking in the yellow flag zone, as another Estonian guy Enar-Klaus Kunman got the same size penalty for causing the collision.
During the 2nd run, all athletes were stringed according to the best time shown during the 1st race. However, the pole position did not change and once again, Karolis Jovaiša started from there. As for the 2nd place, it was taken by Ramūnas Čapkauskas, Enar-Klaus Kunman took the 3rd starting position. The 2nd run was stronger and hotter than the 1st one, having much more battles, push outs and accidents, as well as it was stopped showing the red flag. After quite a long list of the penalties were assigned, all the points were calculated. It was difficult to find any full and undamaged car in the Park Fermé. From all the 30 participants, the 3rd place was won by Lithuanian racer Edvinas Žadeikis. His guy was overtaken by Latvian Ričards Subeckis and both, season and event’s leader place taken by Karolis Jovaiša.
“Kaunas Grand Prix“ Dessert – NEA Battles
Just like cherry on the cake, the dessert of Kaunas Grand Prix was served right at the end of the event, when the grid of “NEA” was formed. Even 26 teams from all Baltic countries have showed here. After Fridays qualifying times were summed up, team “Erdėja“ has started from the 1st place, Estonians “Joujaam“ were right behind them, as the 3rd place on the Grid was taken by “Dock by 222” team.
After really difficult race, teams were awarded according to preliminary results, as the real winners of Kaunas Grand prix were verified and conformed only on Sunday Morning. In Overall classification, pole position holder “Erdėjos“ team kept the 1st place, as Estonians “Joujaam“ – the 2nd. Meanwhile, the 3rd place was taken by “Diesel Power“ team. “BTC 3” class podium was identical to the overall’s classification. Meanwhile, in “BTC 4” class, the 3rd place was taken by “Dock by 222” team, the 2nd belongs to “Čapkauskas autocentras“ team, as the leader of the race was “Freddy and Friends“ team.
“Autokaslita” took the 2nd place in “BTC 2” classification, having “RM klubas“ team in the 1st. The most filled with participants “BMW 325 Cup” classification’s 3rd place was won by “RS Motorsport“ team, having “Baltic Diag by KTK“ in the 2nd and their constant competitor – “KTK Racing Division“ took the 1st place. After this race, the teams holding the 1st and the 2nd places have only 4 points gap in between. So, clearly, winners and champions will be clarified only during final race in Riga.
In “ABC Race“ class, the 3rd place was won by “Degviela Motorsport“ team, “Yaris boyz” took the 2nd, and team “No name” was the leading one.
Far away from knowing all the champions and winners, so quite the tension is about to begin, knowing that only one race left until finish of this season. Final race in Riga will have not only BaTCC and NEA series, but BEC 6H, too. The grand finals of the season will gather everyone in Bikernieki at the end of this month, on the 24-26th of September.