Seasoned campaigner Andreas Göhring in the MiniRX at the car dealership of Autohaus Eberstein in Buxtehude clinched the first victory of the ABT Vision RCCO. The ex-champion celebrated his 20th triumph in total in the ‘big little’ racing series. As a result, the mag channel racer team that has scored three consecutive victories has remained unbeaten in the traditional race held before the World Rallycross Championship round at the Estering. Björn Skottke (KTM), on achieving a second place, took the lead of the standings after Daniel Bäumler (Volkswagen) only came tenth. Rookie Axel Woltmann (Audi) completed the podium. Mattias Ekström won the ‘Race of Champions’ of the stars from the World RX.
Composure leads to success
The mag channel racer team of Andreas Göhring has remained unbeaten in the MiniRX in Buxtehude. After ‘Big Mag’ was victorious at the RX premiere at Autohaus Eberstein in 2015 and Robert Müller triumphed for the mag channel racers last year, the boss himself prevailed again on Friday night in spite of not having been in the best of health. Still in position nine following the four qualification races, Göhring, in third place of his semi-final, made it into the final by taking the lead early on and subsequently maintaining it with composure.
“This victory makes me incredibly happy,” said Göhring after clinching his 20th victory in the ‘big little’ racing series. That’s why I’d like to especially thank Robert (Müller) who built a car with high basic speed. And Frank (Wilke) who made this car really fit for this race once more. And Jan (Hedden) who with a splash-and-dash before the final still pulled a few tricks out of the hat. In terms of lap time I wasn’t at the far front in the final but managed to decide it in my favour by taking it easy at the start and using some tactics with the fast lane. With more voltage the two outer lanes almost had the same effect as a DRS wing flap – that was really good fun!”
Large brand variety
The MiniRX again showed how well the #VisionRCCO concept works. All six brands were represented in the top eight of the overall classification. Following KTM, Lamborghini, Schaeffler and Volkswagen, ABT has now entered its name on the winners’ list as a manufacturer as well. Only Audi has not scored a victory yet in the 2017 season, but the Audi R8 e-tron most recently recorded four podium places in succession. At the MiniRX, two Audi cars, with guest driver Axel Woltmann (tv racing academy) and Andreas Zschorsch (tv racing) made it into the final. Woltmann in his third RCCO run clinched his first podium in the ‘big little’ racing series and Zschorch, in position five, the best single result in his RCCO career to date.
Skottke back at the top of the table
With a second place trailing Andreas Göhring, Björn Skottke recaptured the lead of the standings in Buxtehude. The KTM campaigner, with 166 points before the last two races, is ranked in front of the two Volkswagen drivers Daniel Bäumler (155) and Kim Hauschild (153) with a narrow margin. Taking the void results into account, Hauschild is the favourite for the title because the racing driver from Horneburg has contested one race less than Skottke and Bäumler. Hauschild in position four in the MiniRX just barely missed the podium whereas team principal Daniel Bäumler retired in the semi-final and only came tenth overall. From a purely mathematical perspective, before the last two races, even eight campaigners from five brands (ABT, Audi, KTM, Lamborghini and Volkswagen) still have chances of winning the drivers’ title.
Ossi Kragl in final
Following his pole position on ‘home soil’ at the Nürburgring, Ossi Kragl had another experience of success in Buxtehude. The Schaeffler driver made it into the final and in sixth place clinched his best single result this season. In the absence of Frank Biela, who was unable to compete due to professional obligations, Kragl was also the best driver of a Schaeffler Vision RCCO.
Setback for Voigt
Record champion Thomas Voigt suffered a bitter setback in Buxtehude. Following three two consecutive places most recently, the Audi campaigner, in 14th place of the qualification race, missed out on participating in the final. Voigt’s Audi R8 e-tron with a total additional weight of 41 grams was by far the heaviest car in the field and the Audi campaigner, due to the low voltage in the centre lane, was chanceless. “At least I was able to reduce 15 grams of ballast this way,” said Voigt.
Ekström wins ‘Race of RX Champions’
The guest race of the RX campaigners competing with six identical Schaeffler Vision RCCO cars turned into a real ‘Race of Champions’. The 2016 and 2017 World Champions -- Mattias Ekström and Johan Kristoffersson – tried their skills on the controls. Topi Heikkinen, Reinis Nittis, Dieter Depping and Gigi Galli completed the line-up of stars. Estering winner Mattias Ekström proved his talent on the controls once again, winning the ‘Race of RX Champions’ by a narrow margin in front of his EKS teammate, Reinis Nittis, and Gigi Galli who was leading in the final for a long time, but shortly before the end of the race became entangled in a collision that Ekström took advantage of without batting an eye.
Thrilling title race
Before the last two races this season the top three in the drivers’ standings are separated by only 13 points. Even though eight campaigners still have mathematical chances of winning the title, the decision can be expected to be made between KTM campaigner Björn Skottke and the two Volkswagen campaigners Daniel Bäumler and Kim Hauschild. The series will continue with the City Cup at ADAC Hansa on 25 October. The finale will be held at Hanse-Ring in Hamburg-Harburg on 25 November.